Formatting issue - email does not look like preview.

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Formatting issue - email does not look like preview.

I'm having major difficulties getting the format in my meeting invite correct.  I always spend too much time changing font sizes and adding spaces only to have them revert or change to something completely different a couple of saves down the line.  The text editor has a mind of its own!  However -  the big issue is the resulting email.  Once I get the email looking the way it should in the preview, I send out a test email and open it in Outlook and its all jacked up again. 

 

How do I fix this?  I can't send the current email out to colleagues without looking like a moron. 

 

Thanks,

Shelley Broyles

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Marketing Advisor

Hi there, 

When using our Second Generation Editor (2GE) sometimes what you are designing may not be the same design and layout that gets sent out to your contacts.

 

Email programs and mobile devices have unique ways of displaying emails. So, the email design your contacts see may not exactly match what you see when you preview it in Constant Contact which I know can be frustrating. These issues typically arise when you are copying an email multiple times as the HTML code for all of your edits from previous versions may cause these display issues. We recommend creating a new email, in this case, to make sure that you are starting fresh. If you use the same layout for all of your emails you can use the Save as template feature so that your edits to the design of the email will be saved and you can still create a new email to help avoid any display issues. Here’s more info on that.

 

Please see this FAQ with these design tips and you can make your email look better in all email programs (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.):  http://conta.cc/2lkiaQZ

Always preview your email before sending whether you are using 2GE or 3GE.  I hope that helps! 

 

 

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575 REPLIES 575

I'm just curious why Constant Contact has so much trouble with copying / pasting from Word.  There are many other email programs on the market that seem to handle that pretty well.  I'm also frustrated that background images will not display in Outlook.  In fact, alot of my emails do not display well in Outlook.  since that is the most common email program, I wish that Constant Contact would be more compatable.

Hi,

 

Word has formatting behind it that can sometimes cause issues with display in other email clients. It has to do with the way HTML is rendered and the way Word is rendered.

 

The issue with background images in Outlook is universal. This is not specific to Constant Contact. All emails that contain background images will not display correctly in Outlook 2007 and on.

 

If you are having specific problems with an email, let us know or call 1-866-289-2101.

 

Thanks,

Jarrad

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One "work around" is to copy from Word to notpad and then copy again to Constant Contact. 

 

Because MS Outlook uses MS Word to display an email, everything is broken into pages and that gives you the same grief that inserting a photo into a word document does. The best answer for that is to send yourself a lot of proofs to be sure your photo is in the right position.  Resizing the photo and adding or decreasing padding hleps too.

 

Just some thoughts.

Sincerely,
Ray Higgins
Cybermail Marketing
ray@cybermailmarketing.com

 

 Updated: August 2017

 

Hi,

Email programs, also called "email clients", display emails in different ways. Web-based email programs can also cause emails to appear differently in different browsers. You can see how a sample email displays in many common email clients from the Email Standards Project.

 

You can make sure your email looks its best and displays consistently across multiple email programs by sending yourself a test email before sending to your contacts. Scanning your contacts email addresses for the most common email clients can also help you identify some trouble areas before you even start drafting your email.

 

As new email clients and browsers develop, we make every effort to make sure your emails will display as expected in them.  To see the most common issues identified in email clients see the list here.  

I'd love to take a look at your email. If I have your permission, I can look up your account and see if we can fix this for you. If you prefer, you can also call us at 1-866-289-2101.

 

Thanks,

 

Jarrad

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Occasional Participant

That would be fine, Jarrad.  The email in question is the August 2011 Newsletter.

 

Thanks for looking into it!

Hi Evan,

 

I'm having this escalated to our Tier 2 level of support. This is a high priority and someone will be contacting you later today. I can't guarantee we will be able to fix the issue because it may be an issue with the way Outlook is rendering the email.

 

 

I'm sorry for the inconvenience,

Jarrad

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Occasional Participant

Thanks for keeping me updated.

Regular Participant

Was this ever resolved? If so, sharing the solution publicly would be great -  I'm having the same issue.

Are you using a CTCT provided standard template?

Hi John,

 

There can still be issues with the way Outlook displays emails but this is generally caused by the way Outlook is rendering the email, not because there is anything wrong with the way your email is formatted.

 

If we have your permission, please let us know what the name of the email in question is and we can go into your account to adjust the HTML so that it performs well when sent to Outlook.

 

Please keep us updated.

 

Thanks,

Jarrad

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Jarred,

 

Here is a general question.  I've had this happen to me. 

 

Should it be expected that if a customer uses a CTCT provided template that it will work in all major platforms? Are they ever retested?  It seems that having the customer go through this isn't the right thing. I realize this is a moving target some times but there are a whole lot more of you then us.  I realize that if a customer changes the template beyond its original spec the expectation would be dismissed.

 

That really should be expectation don't you think?  The nuisances of the differences in email clients should be well beyond the small business owner who signs up for the product.  Just saying.

 

Thoughts?

 

Hi Tony,

 

One tip which may help, without looking at your email, is adjusting the height of your images. I would make sure that no image is larger than around 1100 pixels high. This can sometimes cause weird things to happen in Outlook.

 

Without looking at the code of each block it's hard to identify what may be causing these display issues. Email clients do not render emails in a universal way. There's actually a site hoping that this will happen one day. Check out email standards for more info.

 

If you'd like us to further troubleshoot this, just reply back with the name of your email.

 

Thanks,

Jarrad

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You answered a question I didn't ask.  :smileyhappy:

 

 

I asked about the expectation of the "official" CTCT supplied templates working in the standard email clients.

 

 

Hi Tony,

 

Sorry if I misunderstood your question.  Our templates should perform well in all email clients, however due to the nature of each email client we cannot guarantee that there will be no issues.

 

We are constantly updating the product and do test the performance of the templates. Email display issues can still happen, but if you contact us we will do our best to minimize any issues.

 

I hope this helps,

Jarrad

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Hi Jarrad-

 

Thank you for the reply. I have 12 (!) versions of an email called "VEOD Promo" in my account. Most of the changes from version-to-version involve colors & text, but all of them appear in Outlook with an enormous - unwanted - block of color at the bottom of the right column. We're very happy with the way the email looks in Yahoo, gmail, hotmail and the web-based version you host.  I would love to be able to "freeze" the formatting so that it appears the same in Outlook somehow.

 

And Tony - yes, it is a standard CTCT format.

 

Thanks for any help!

 

John

Hi John,

 

 

I tested your email and I do see the space you are referring to. If you notice, there is a small space at the bottom of the email on the right side. This is exaggerated when sent to Outlook. The space is being caused because content in the left column is longer than the content in the right column.

 

We tried editing the style sheet and removing padding but this did not help. I escalated this to our tier 2 level of support and we came up with a two options.

 

  1. You could change the color of the background to white so that it matches the article block's color. There would still be a space but it would be less noticeable.
  2. You could move some of the content from the left column into the right column so that the two columns are even.

 

I wish I had a better fix for this but we did try several workarounds and these were the two that would either remove the space or make it less noticeable.

 

Sorry for any inconvenience.

 

Thanks,

Jarrad

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Regular Participant

HI Jarrad-

 

This is actually helpful for the reason that you have led me back to my original problem. I was using a white background - and we were very happy with it - but the border between the right & left columns vanished in Outlook. I dug around in HTML trying to add a new border between those columns for a while before giving up & deciding to try a different background color to distinguish betweenthe two boxes.

 

So, question #2: Is there any way to ensure that a border between the left & right columns will be visible in Outlook?

 

Thanks again for the help!

 

John

Hi John,

 

The only way to ensure that a border would be visible in Outlook is to have it in the foreground not in the background.

 

Here is our FAQ on how to add a border around your blocks.

 

Let me know if that answers your question!

 

Thanks!

Regular Participant

Thank you, Marisaa. That was very helpful.

 

BUT - that made it somewhat better in Outlook and somewhat worse in the other email services. Ideally, the "natural" border in our format would show up in Outlook, and that is apparently part of the background. Is there any way to make that happen? Or to somehow lock the formatting in place so that it opens with the same dimensions in Outlook?

 

Thanks again - this is definitely progress and I appreciate the help!

 

John

Hi John,

 

I made a copy of your last email in your account (mwcopyof VEOD Promo v12) and I changed that register link so that the words secure link were clickable.  It looks pretty good in my gmail, yahoo and Outlook now.

 

Would you like to test that and let me know how that goes?

 

Thanks!

Regular Participant

Ah - good idea! That definitely cleaned things up!

 

I like that the width is now about the same in Outlook. How did you set that?

 

I guess there's no way to make the backgrounds show up though? Or insert a background that would be visible in Outlook?

 

Thank you again. I'm sorry to be taking up all your time today!