In the last year, we’ve seen some changes in the email client market. Webmail usage continues to grow significantly while new versions of
popular desktop clients have been released. In an attempt to stimulate some improvement on the CSS front, we’ve helped launch the Email Standards Project.
While we can hope for future improvements, it’s the present we need to design for. The time has arrived to again poke and prod the major email clients to determine just how much (or how little) support they provide for using CSS with HTML emails.
Last year’s report focused on the unique challenges of Outlook 2007. In 2008, Outlook is still an issue, but there are encouraging signs in other areas.
The release of Entourage 2008 (the Mac equivalent of Outlook) made great improvements with CSS support, bringing it on par with Apple Mail’s excellent rendering. Proof that perhaps Microsoft has been listening and we can only hope that the next version of Outlook will follow suit.
Thunderbird 2 was released with plenty of new features, and continued it’s run of excellent CSS support. Gmail has probably been the most disappointing client of all. One of the advantages of web applications is not needing to wait for new versions to be rolled out. With just basic in the head CSS selector support Gmail would go from bad to good but we’re still waiting for that.
Checkout the Email Standards Project post about some support inside Google though, and keep your fingers crossed.
We did expand our testing this year — A combined total of 21 email/web clients making this the biggest test we’ve ever done, up from last years 13.
The CSS support in email guide is permanently located at http://www.campaignmonitor.com/css, and that’s the best page to bookmark to ensure you are always seeing the latest version.