Correcting Outlook DPI Scaling Issues

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Outlook DPI scaling is one of the most common problems encountered when developing emails and supporting Outlook (alongside the 1px horizontal line issue). The severity of impact caused by DPI scaling depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with the email’s design/layout/structure, and how the email is coded.

At Litmus Live Boston and San Francisco this year, I gave a talk on correcting Outlook DPI scaling issues, while also looking at how it applies to Hybrid development, and touched on some other aspects it impacts that are common in email development today.

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Background Images & Samsung Email App

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Samsung is one of the most popular mobile device brands out there today, so it’s no surprise that we should support it when developing emails. It has its own native email app that comes pre-installed.

This year I was able to get my hands on a Samsung device to test on for the first time. One technique I use with emails is implementing mobile-optimized versions of images — particularly the “hero” image — in order to make them better for mobile devices, rather than just having the desktop version resize down. This involves hiding the inline desktop image and displaying the mobile version as a background image within a media query.

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Email Rendering in the Outlook App

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UPDATE (9/21/2017): Great news, email geeks! Media query support in the Outlook app is being rolled out for iOS and Android! Read all the details over on the Litmus blog.

UPDATE (8/12/2017): If you didn’t see on the Email Geeks slack channel, it was confirmed earlier this week by Kate Everitt from Microsoft that they are working on improving the rendering of the Outlook app for both iOS and Android, including support for media queries, and this would apply to all accounts used with the app. We don’t know when this change will be, but this is great news to hear!


There are many 3rd party email client apps available on iOS and Android to use. With the release of iOS 10, iOS users can even delete the default iOS Mail app, especially if they prefer using a 3rd party app (here’s looking at you, Gmail). And the support across these apps can vary, even between the same apps across iOS and Android devices.

One of these apps is the Outlook app — which used to be one of the best email apps available. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, considering it’s Outlook after all, but it’s true! The Outlook app used to support responsive emails and media queries, and rendered quite similar to the iOS app. That’s the key here… used to.

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Neopets, The Bachelor, and Email

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If you don’t already and you’re an #emailgeek like me, you should definitely listen to The Email Design Podcast by Litmus. Each episode they discuss all things email design, development, marketing… and have guests from the email community on the show!

I’m excited to share that this week I was a guest on the show and got to chat all things… well, email! Be sure to have a listen, and let me know what you think. 🙂

My Top 5 Email Coding Tips for 2017

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It’s been 3 years since I wrote My Top 5 HTML Email Coding Tips. While many of those tips are still relevant today (yes, tables are still in use!), email development has been changing over the past few years. So today, I am sharing my top 5 email coding tips for 2017. Whether you’re coding new templates or are looking to update some old ones, I hope you find these tips useful!

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The Email Design Conference: A Lil’ Recap

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Last month my colleague Lauren and I attended The Email Design Conference in Boston, MA hosted by Litmus. Two full days of talks, live-optimizations, email speed dating and fun was had all about email marketing, design and development, as well as workshops prior to the first full day of the conference.

On the day we arrived in Boston, I went to the Advanced Workshop in the afternoon (as a bit of a walking zombie due to our red-eye flight!). The workshop was hosted by Fabio Carneiro from MailChimp, and Kevin Mandeville from Litmus. I learned some cool tricks that I have already been able to apply to my daily work. I look forward to trying out Fabio’s “spongy” (was that the final name chosen?!) way of coding HTML emails. The number of different email client targeting tricks Kevin went through was insane – there’s a whole lot more you can target than just Outlook!

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