How to Create Email Newsletter Template for Outlook with Stripo
Until recently, it was difficult, almost impossible to send HTML email newsletters through Outlook that would be displayed correctly. And Stripo found the way out. From now on you can create an email template for Outlook and seamlessly export it to the featured email client. Please be advised that this feature is meant for Windows OS, does not work on macOS.
Why would you need to use Outlook when you can send emails with Mailchimp, eSputnik or any other ESP?
Why we decided to add direct export to Outlook
According to Litmus, 10% of people currently use Outlook. Mostly, they are corporate clients who need to send out internal newsletters, be it an annual report or company’s news and updates. Definitely, this requires an HTML email template to make email/report orderly-structured, responsive, and maybe even interactive with tables, video-instructions or video-greetings embedded.
All emails of this kind, especially annual reports, should be kept confidential. Thus, you are unlikely to send them via a third-party service. Even though all ESPs guarantee the safety of information.
This is why many of our users reached us out to ask about the way they can export templates to this email client.
So, our developers started working on this project. And we have released this option.
The way it works
We are proud to announce that Stripo is the first email editor that allows you to create email templates for Outlook. On May 21, 2018, we released this brand new option: exporting email templates to Outlook.
It works for Windows OS only.
Step 1. Building email templates for Outlook
In our blog post "Manual A to Z", we in detail show how to create newsletter templates.
You design an email template for Outlook just the same way.
But there are some things we'd love to highlight here due to Outlook's special rendering rules:
CTA buttons in Outlook
It is a well-known fact that buttons in the featured email client may look somewhat different from what they do in other email clients. For instance, rounded buttons in Outlook get "square angles". Hence, your email may lose its beauty and consistency. No worries — Stripo's on it.
To help you save buttons' design across all Outlook versions, you need to activate the "Support of Outlook" option.
- go to the "Appearance" tab on the side panel;
- open the "Button" tab;
- enable the "Support of Outlook" option.
Backgrounds in Outlook
Backgrounds render in Outlook only if they have been set for entire emails. If you set a background for a row/stripe, or any other email element, it will not be displayed.
We found a way out:
- activate the settings of a certain email element you want to add a background to by clicking the label of this content element. It can be "label", "stripe", etc.;
- then open HTML code editor;
- insert this code sample above the line in the code that starts with "Table width";
<!--[if gte mso 9]> <v:rect xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" fill="true" stroke="false" style="width:327px;height:100%;"> <v:fill type="frame" src="https://iiqf.stripocdn.email/content/guids/CABINET_b696bac619e2a6fd60a2c756b8b7c9c5/images/26661559905688877.png" color="#7bceeb" ></v:fill> <v:textbox inset="0,0,0,0"> <![endif]-->
now insert this code sample below the line in the code that start with "Table width", i.e. below the same line;
<!--[if gte mso 9]> </v:textbox> </v:rect> <![endif]-->
replace the link that we've underlined with the link to your background image — you'll have to do it twice;
- be sure to edit image width so that it corresponds the container's width — you can see it in the top line after the "width" tag. In our case, it is 600 px.
Please be advised that you cannot both use this code for backgrounds and activate the "Support of Outlook" option for buttons as Outlook renders only one element written in VML at a time.
In our blog post on Common rendering issues in Outlook, we show alternatives to background images in emails.
GIFs in Outlook email templates
We all know that as of February 2019, Outlook supports GIFs.
What versions of Outlook handle GIFs:
- Outlook for Office 365, desktop app;
- Outlook for Office 365, mobile app;
- Outlook 2003, desktop app;
- Outlook for Mac, app;
- Outlook web version both mobile and desktop devices.
How do you upload GIFs in emails with Stripo
Just as a regular imager:
drag the image block into your Outlook newsletter template;
add a necessary GIF file by uploading your photo or inserting a link to an external file storage;
your email is ready to go.
Remember to add a link to the web version of your email for those recipients who use the following versions of this email client: Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016 and even Outlook 2019.
How to get the Web Version link with Stripo
- enter the preview mode;
- above your template, please click the “Copy” button or else click the "Open in a new tab" button;
- insert this link at the top of your email template for Outlook.
Step 2. Previewing
When you create HTML email template for Outlook or any other email client, you need to preview it prior to sending out to valued recipients to make sure your emails look just as you planned.
There are three ways to check your emails with Stripo:
Way 1. Preview mode
Once you enter this mode, you will see the desktop and mobile versions of your email.
Way 2. Testing email templates for Outlook with our testing tool
Stripo is integrated with Email on Acid, one of the best email testing tools. This integration allows you to see your emails across all versions of Outlook and other email clients.
Way 3. Sending test emails
You may also want to send test emails to multiple accounts in Outlook that belong to your friends and colleagues to see "live" tests.
To do so, just click the "Test" icon, enter a number of email addresses — separate them with commas if there's a bunch of them, click "Send".
Step 3. Pushing email templates to Outlook
We want to emphasize once again that this option works on Windows only. It does not work on macOS.
When your newsletter template for Outlook is ready, you need to:
- click the “Export” button;
- select Outlook from a number of ESPs suggested.
Note: once you have exported your email template this way once, the next time you will see the Outlook export option in the “Export to your Email marketing system” line.
Your template will be downloaded to your computer as an OFT file — Outlook File Template. By clicking the file, you get an Outlook window with your ready-to-send email template opened.
Note: you will need to download an Outlook app to your computer instead of using a web version.
Here, you will see it exactly the way your readers will. In this window, you can edit the template if needed.
Insert the recipients’ names in the address line. Done!
Save all Outlook email newsletter templates to your personal content library with Stripo. Export them to Outlook with just 2 clicks at any time you need.
Dear Outlook users!
If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below or email us at email@example.com.
This post was originally published May 21, 2018, updated March 21, 2020.