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Email Rendering:
Something Worth Remembering

There are a multitude of unexpected obstacles that may arise when sending out an email. Hang around to find out how to overcome them.

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Why Surrender to Render Testing?

There are many variables involved whenever you send an email. Some subscribers will view your message on large devices and some on tiny, little screens. Telecommunications are constantly advancing, and many of your customers will update their devices once or twice a year. Today’s aesthetic may be impressive, but tomorrow your layout may be out of fashion. Good render testing ensures that everything goes according to plan when a recipient gets your emails. It smoothens out all the bumps in the road.

Put Yourself at Ease
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The customer journey is somewhat of an obsession for us and getting you a good return on investment in your email marketing campaign is what we’re most passionate about.

Curious about our methods?
It’s as simple as this:

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Why you can’t Do without
Email Campaign Render Testing


An email might look good and function properly on your phone but a rendering will give you an idea of how your audience will receive it, regardless of what inbox provider or device they use. Your brand identity depends on the audience’s seamless interaction with your content. Avoiding and repairing issues before they can turn into mistakes will work towards building customer loyalty and bring more value to your email marketing campaigns.

What’s more, the value of your brand is built up by how people perceive it and it’s often the simple things that cause the most damage. The wrong design, content issues, and imagery hiccups can all create a bad perception of your brand. Email render testing is one of a handful of simple yet effective ways to keep your email program firing on all cylinders, and very importantly, it helps you maintain a consistent image. Click-through rates, open rates, and other key KPIs are dependent on how well your emails render.

How are you keeping up with the numerous new devices launched each year?

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What It Takes

  • 01.

    A Step-by-Step

    Your email is going to be monitored at every step. From the get-go, the email rendering will be tested thoroughly to make sure that we’re on the right track when it comes to achieving the objectives of your campaign.

    We’ll look out for broken or untracked links, correct design formatting, and deal with spelling or grammatical errors. We’ll also take into account inconsistencies in font, color, or design in general, all common pitfalls that can be resolved by implementing top-notch email design.

  • 02.

    Look Before
    you Launch

    So maybe our email rendering test leads to a template refresh, image rehosting, or value changes in the coding process. Just because an effort was made to change things around doesn’t always mean that those changes have reached the desired effect. Render testing prompts us to make the necessary tweaks that’ll make your content even more inviting and functional.

  • 03.


    As much as we hate to admit it, there will always be a tiny percentage of subscribers that will not engage at all with your material, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. If your results aren’t as satisfying as you’d like them to be, it’s probably because your subscriber list includes silent spectators. That’s why we always factor in these people when looking at how effective your campaign is.

    However, new subscribers are always going to be our favorite test subjects. They represent a fresh opportunity to test emails without past interactions interfering with their decision-making process. We’ll expect these people to interact with you more, and that should give us more insight into how to move forward with the campaign.

  • 04.

    the Process

    In order to learn from an experiment, it's important to keep it going for enough time to collect ample data that a decision can be based off of. As a campaign is running, we keep track of progress, take note of any shortcomings, and translate the data into a realistic action plan. The adjustments are left to gradually sink into the audience so they can take it in bit by bit. The goal is to reduce the chances of all the bad things we mentioned actually happening, and that takes time.

    As each of your subscribers respond to the changes, we learn more about them and this does a world of good to your email marketing strategy as a whole. Reducing unwanted potential surprises along the way helps to increase reach and improve your chances of getting more leads and securing more revenue.

A Push from
the Professionals

As with anything, making too much of an effort can cost more than it’s worth. Whether you’ve already tried your hand at building an effective email marketing campaign or you’re going on a maiden voyage, you need a trained eye that’ll help you spot a speed bump along the way. Our goal is to get more than what you put in, and you need that extra push to help you achieve that.

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Any revelations yet? Surely you see
why email campaign render testing is crucial
to your email marketing efforts.

We’re always looking for opportunities to show off our skills. With technical know-how, industry insight, and genuine enjoyment for what we do, we can take your marketing campaign to another level.

See if we’re Bluffing

Some FAQ's

Even if you create your emails in-house or with a drag-and-drop editor, there is code in every email campaign that is designed. Email services like Outlook, Gmail, and Apple Mail have a variety of support for HTML and CSS, plus specific file formats and media. When email rendering happens, the message containing HTML and CSS reaches its destination. But prior to an HTML email being opened and displayed, a rendering engine will process it. Rendering engines are software that can draw graphics and text on the screen and can add style and structure based on the code. Think of email code as the instructions on how a campaign should function and look. Since every email service uses different rendering engines, you end up getting inconsistent results. But have no fear, there are ways to deal with email rendering that we’ll discuss in our do’s and don’ts of rendered emails.

Answering this question is like weaving your way into a labyrinth. Email rendering is so complex due to its multiple layers of testing. Here are five major layers to email rendering:

  • App and web-based email clients – Inbox providers like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo all display HTML differently and may disable certain features.

  • Email service provider (ESP) – Since ESPs function on mobile stacking, any font adjustments that are made display their templates differently. Based on their settings, elements may display differently across every ESP.

  • Images enabled or blocked – It’s common for email clients to sometimes block images, so ensure the emails you send out should be compatible without the intended imagery.

  • Operating systems – Apple, Linux and Windows follow different structures and policies.

  • Screen size – With so many screen sizes available, the email needs to be compatible with desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablet sizes.

Unless you live and breathe email design, it can be frustrating when your email shows up broken on Outlook. Since the wonderful world of Outlook had endless quirks, it can be challenging to wrap your head around its loopholes as an email marketer. Here are some reasons why your emails render differently on good old Outlook:

  • ESPs such as Outlook interpret HTML code in a variety of ways.

  • Outlook relies on Microsoft Word to render HTML/CSS. This is why emails display differently in Outlook.

  • You may encounter issues with the following HTML Emails in Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019, 2021 and Outlook 365.

  • Outlook supports for HTML and CSS in these versions have not changed since Outlook 2007 was first released.

Now that we’ve discussed why emails show up funky on Outlook, let’s take a closer look at some do’s and don’ts of email rendering.


Do’s and Don’ts of Email Rendering

  • Do Use HTML Tables to Code Emails

    Most ESPs support adding styles to <div> tags, but Outlook still isn’t up to par. That means <div> tags will render differently in Outlook, so if you want your emails to look the same across all ESPs we recommend using <table> tags instead. Tables are consistent across all email subscribers without the formatting changes.

  • Do Use the Right Coding Software

    If you want to be on the safe side, use VS Code, Sublime Text, or HubSpot's email template creator.

  • Do Use Absolute Image Paths

    Any images you use in your email templates need to be hosted on your website. You can then make the image path point to the URL of the page on which the image is hosted. To find the image URL, just right-click on the image and select "View Image Info." The image should end with a file extension like .gif or .jpg, not .com.

  • Do Add HTML Text for CTAs

    Try using an HTML text that lets subscribers know about the next action, even when blocked images are existent. We call this a bulletproof button design.

  • Don't Use HTML Bullet Points

    If you ever used HTML bullets, it’s time to take them out of your email practices completely as they aren’t compatible with rendered emails. Opt for a plain text alternative, like dashes (-) or asterisks (*) to ensure readers do not see bullets in their emails.

  • Don’t Try to Build Emails With Javascript

    Forget about JavaScript as it triggers spam filters. Don’t compromise your deliverability by designing emails with it.

  • Don’t Use The Incorrect File Format For Images

    Modern file formats, such as .webp and .avif should be avoided. When it comes to the legends themselves, .jpg and .png files, take into consideration their pros and cons, and use whichever best accomplishes your goals. While .jpg files are lighter, .png files are better leveraged when you’re coding for dark mode. With that being said, .png files, being heavier, can potentially lead to the dreaded Gmail clipping issue if your email’s overall file size is large as it is.

  • Don’t Include CTAs in Background Images

    Speaking of bulletproof buttons, since many images are rendered incorrectly, we recommend that if you do use background images, leave CTAs out of your background.