Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It allows you to reach out to customers, build relationships, and promote your products or services. But, one of the biggest challenges facing email marketers? Ensuring that your email campaigns display correctly across all email clients, particularly when it comes to email templates and tables.  

Email templates are pre-designed layouts that can be customized with your own branding and content. This makes it easy to create professional-looking emails quickly and efficiently. However, when it comes to displaying these templates in different email clients, the results can be less than ideal. One of the biggest culprits is Microsoft Outlook, which remains one of the most popular email clients despite its’ notoriously difficult display issues.  

In addition to general display issues, tables within email templates can pose their own challenges. Tables can be a useful way to organize information. But they can also be difficult to render consistently across different email clients. This can lead to alignment issues, overlapping content, and other problems.  

So, what exactly causes email template display issues, and how can you ensure that your tables display correctly?  

The problem with Microsoft Outlook  

Outlook has caused many headaches for email marketers because it uses its own proprietary rendering engine to display HTML and CSS code in emails. This means that emails that look great in other email clients may not display correctly in Outlook or may display in a way that looks very different from the original design. Some of the most common issues with tables include: 

1. Alignment issues

Tables may appear misaligned or distorted in Outlook, with columns and rows not lining up properly. 

2. Overlapping content

Table display issues may cause content to overlap, making it difficult to read and understand. 

3. Font and color issues

Fonts and colors within tables may not render correctly, leading to a jarring appearance, accessibility issues, and a less professional look.  

Why email template and table display issues matter  

Email template and table display issues can have a significant impact on your email marketing efforts. If your emails don’t display correctly or look unprofessional, it can reduce the effectiveness of your campaigns and damage your brand’s reputation. In some cases, it may even result in recipients marking your emails as spam or unsubscribing from your list.  

How to avoid email template and table display issues  

While it’s impossible to guarantee that your emails will display perfectly in every email client, there are steps you can take to minimize display issues and ensure that your emails look as good as possible across devices and platforms. Here are a couple of useful tips to keep in mind when developing tables for email templates: 

1. Keep it simple

Avoid using complex table layouts, merged cells, or other advanced features that may not display correctly in all email clients. Stick to simple, clean designs that are easy to read and navigate. 

2. Use inline CSS

Inline CSS can help ensure that your table formatting is consistent across different email clients. Use it sparingly and strategically to avoid overloading your email with code. 

3. Test your emails

Always test your emails with different email clients and on different devices before sending them out to your list. This can help you identify any display issues and make adjustments as needed. 

4. Consider using images

If your table contains complex or detailed information, consider converting it to an image and embedding it in your email. This can help ensure that information displays consistently across different email clients.  

While email template display issues can be a headache for email marketers, it’s important to remember that they’re not insurmountable. Keep things simple by using responsive templates, test your emails before sending, and be prepared for variability across different email clients. This will help ensure your emails look great and perform well, no matter where they are viewed. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can make email marketing a valuable and effective tool for your business. Happy emailing!