Microsoft Outlook is an email service that is meant for professional communication amongst professionals from business to business. Given that it is so well known for interpersonal email communications (and usually already incorporated into a professional’s daily life), companies want to believe that Outlook is appropriate for their email marketing campaigns as well.
Although this application is convenient for day-to-day use, various features make Outlook an unsuitable tool for effective email marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at a few important reasons why Outlook might not be the appropriate application for your marketing needs.
1. Limited Sending Capacity & Risk of Being Blacklisted
The Outlook.com service limits each user to sending only 300 emails a day and 50 recipients per message. While professional editions of Outlook may not have the same restrictions, your company’s IT department probably does. This is because Outlook’s purpose is primarily for professional interpersonal communications use only.
When you increase the size of your mailing list to more than 50 recipients, an algorithm within the program takes note of your domain and investigates whether or not you are a spammer (since this activity is rare amongst their users). Suspicious activities like this will diminish your ability to send emails to those recipients in the future, increase your chances of having your IP address blacklisted for any future emails you may send, and will harm your company’s reputation with your clients.
Additionally, since outlook was not designed for bulk mailings, there are no features built in to manage things like bounces and unsubscribes. Failing to maintain your contact lists by removing bounces is a good way to get blacklisted, but failing to remove people who want to unsubscribe is a good way to be legally prosecuted.
These limitations makes the service impossible to use for larger companies, and diminishes business’ likelihood of success by destroying their email deliverability.
2. Design Restrictions
Outlook is one of the most popular email programs available today, and the most restrictive. The applications marketers would need to create a visually engaging, user-friendly and stylish campaign are all prevented by Outlook. While Outlook may be able to read and display some HTML/CSS, designing with it is another story.
What does that mean? HTML is the most basic markup language that is used to create websites. This language provides structural semantics, such as paragraphs and links, within written content. It also enables images and interactive content to be embedded in a webpage. The style sheet language CSS is very similar to HTML. These two elements are what enables you to format and design the layout of your email in whichever way you choose.
Unless you’re a web or graphic designer proficient in programming for email, the chances of your email campaign being visually appealing and professional are slim. Using a 3rd party email marketing service provides you with the ability to use a visual editor, like Mailify’s drag-and-drop EmailBuilder.
3. No Email A/B Testing
A/B testing is one of the most useful tools when it comes making the most of your email campaigns, and this is feature is not offered within Outlook. Of course, this makes sense when you consider that Outlook is designed to send messages to individual recipients, not contact lists or databases.
Rather than merely hoping that you are sending a compelling and engaging campaign, companies should evaluate their options and make a decision based on their statistical results.
The best way to understand which elements of your message are harming or enhancing your campaign, is by experimenting with a trial run. A/B testing, also referred to as split testing, allows marketers to send two separate versions of the same email to a small sample of recipients. After you see which version of the campaign performs better, the winning email is sent to the remainder of your contact list.
This ensures you always send the most effective message. The key to this technique is having only one specific change between the two versions (such as subject line or call-to-action button), while keeping all other elements of the campaign the same. This enhances accuracy and verifies that your results are not skewed by other influential factors.
4. Unresponsive to Mobile Devices
A mobile-friendly email campaign is different from a responsive one. A mobile-friendly email like you’d create with Outlook makes the content of your message small enough to fit on a smartphone’s screen (which in turn becomes difficult to read) without any of the elements failing to display.
A responsive email marketing campaign refers to the email’s ability to automatically rearrange the layout of your message for optimal viewing depending on screen size. When you use a email service that automatically creates responsive versions of your email campaigns, you eliminate the risk of having colossal communication problems with your recipients.
The two emails on the left are responsive, the email on the right is «mobile friendly»
Deliverability and usability are the two primary goals for any email marketer. If your recipient is unable to read the content of your email easily and efficiently, then they are most likely going to skip over or delete it. In fact, roughly 80% of consumers will instantly delete an email if it doesn’t display well on their mobile device.
Therefore, having a service that enables you to easily create responsive emails to mobile devices and tablets is a fundamental necessity for any marketer who wants to effectively grab their client’s attention right off the bat. Since Outlook’s service is meant for text-based content, it doesn’t help its users create responsive designs with graphics and dynamic content, risking ineffective communication between a company and their customers.
5. No Results To Analyze
Reviewing the results of your campaign is the most effective way to determine if it was successful, and how you can improve. Statistics like opens, clicks, and social engagement provide valuable insight to a marketer allowing you to gauge the impact your content had on your recipients, as well as the efficiency of your email deliverability (are you making it to the inbox?). Additionally, data analysis allows email marketers to develop an effective pipeline of email communications through follow up emails to openers, clickers, etc.
This is yet another limitation of using Outlook for bulk email marketing campaigns. The inability to view statistical results of your campaign is a serious disadvantage. In today’s digital world, savvy businesses need to be data-driven in their marketing campaigns – always learning and evolving. Without knowing what works, what doesn’t, and who you’re engaging with, marketers are at a distinct competitive disadvantage.
Solution? Use an Email Marketing Software
If you are looking to send a user-friendly and engaging email campaign or newsletter to your contacts, your best option is to go to the experts that are built for precisely that! Using an email marketing software from a third party significantly broadens your marketing capabilities and allows you to take full advantage of the technological advancements available to you.
Mailify incorporates all of the features that you need to ensure you consistently send successful email campaigns. With our professionally designed and customizable email templates, extensions, and responsive drag-and-drop EmailBuilder, you can be sure that your next campaign will be one to be proud of.