It’s pretty easy to run email marketing campaigns through Outlook; just Google “how to send HTML emails through outlook.” Please don’t do this. Instead of sending from Outlook, use an email marketing platform like Campaigner, MailChimp, or software from one of many other similar companies.
- Blacklisting – Email servers will start to identify the bulk sending and users might mark the email as spam. This will cause email servers to block the sender’s email address, domain, and/or mail sent from the entire email server.
- Analytics – Outlook alone will not report useful tracking metrics like bounces, open rates, or specific user interactions.
- Design – When Outlook sends (or receives) an email, it modifies the email code to work within Microsoft Word’s rendering engine. This process adds and removes code, so test the emails thoroughly and consider designing the email to gracefully allow for some imprecision.
- Mobile – Among the code stripped by Outlook are CSS media queries. Media queries are necessary for making a responsive email. Without this functionality, consider a design approach more suited for mobile like a fluid layout or a fixed width as wide as a mobile device.
- Opt-outs – According to FTC CAN-SPAM regulations, emails must provide a clear method of allowing recipients to opt out of future emails. Common practice for providing this via Outlook is having the recipients reply to the send with an unsubscribe message. For the sender, this means manually maintaining a list of those opted out recipients.
- Fines – Outlook will not force emails to adhere to anti-spam regulations. More sophisticated software (and an experienced email marketing team) can review emails for violations that can cost $16K per offense in the United States. Outside the U.S., the fines are often far worse, ranging from $100k+ in the UK to $10M for companies in Canada.
- Accessibility – Outlook sends will originate from a single user’s Outlook profile. This isn’t easily managed by multiple users or while away from that system. A web-based email marketing platform will allow access from a browser or mobile app by anyone who has been granted access.
This list could easily continue. Email marketing platforms typically have plenty of other features that are missing from Outlook sends such as template tools, list management tools, segmentation tools, multivariate testing, image/file hosting, dynamic email content, CRM integration, website integration, remarketing emails, and automated emails.
Even if the budget is tight, there are limited free plans offered by these platforms that are much better than sending from Outlook.
Need help moving from Outlook sends to an email marketing platform? Let us know.