Tweaking your content for better deliverability and rendering.

Getting in to the inbox comes down to two key concepts: Content and Reputation.

In this issue of emsights (sign up for the emsights newsletter at, we'll focus on Content. We'll discuss how you can "Pre-Flight" your message to determine whether or not it's likely to pass common Spam filters and show you how you can verify that your HTML code will render properly across a broad range of email clients.

A thorough pre-flight check of your campaign means that your message should be tested to see if it will pass through the most common Spam filters including:

  • McAfee
  • Norton
  • Outlook
  • Postini
  • SpamAssassin
  • Ironport
  • Cloudmark
  • and more…

If your message gets through to the inbox alive and intact, you're in good shape. If it doesn't, you'll want to cross check it against a good list of common Spam words to determine which words in your copy are causing issues.

In addition, the message should be sent for pre-flight rendering to common email clients, including:

  • Outlook 2003
  • Outlook 2007
  • Gmail
  • Yahoo!Mail
  • and more…

Some email clients are pickier than others. See the examples on the right. One additional notable example is Outlook 2007, which doesn't support background images, where almost every other email client does. This can lead to some design/rendering surprises if you are not prepared for it.

This campaign for Indigo Wild (a natural soaps company & our best-smelling clients — hi ladies!) renders as expected in Gmail and in Outlook 2003, but Lotus Notes doesn't like the background colors in the tables. Some tweaking to the template can fix this.

Indigo Wild - Gmail Indigo Wild - Outlook 03 Indigo Wild - Lotus Notes

You can see how pre-flighting can have a dramatic impact on the success of your campaign. In an upcoming emsights, we'll discuss how your reputation as an email marketer can effect your deliverability and give you some tips on how you can keep your rep clean.

In order to make pre-flighting a manageable task, emfluence partnered with ReturnPath to integrate their Campaign Preview toolset within the emfluence Emailer. The result is better deliverability. Check out Emailer features on

You can learn more about Email Rendering and Spam Filter Check, parts of the ReturnPath Campaign Preview integration at


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