No matter how pretty, powerful or on point your email campaign appears to be, it may not show up in the inbox as you designed it. Your creative often gets socked by a double whammy in the email-rendering process, specifically the preview pane, a small reading space that only displays a portion of your email, and blocked images, which leave a red X where your graphic should be.
In the worst case scenario, you end up with an invisible email that shows lots of red Xs, no headline, no call to action, no links to your landing page and, ultimately, no expected results.
With the widespread adoption of Microsoft Outlook in corporate settings, B2B marketers have been grappling with this design challenge for some time. Outlook 2003 blocks images by default, and its preview pane functionality is the most common way to peruse email at work.
The convenience of the preview pane is finally hitting home with consumers. The newest releases of two popular consumer email tools, Yahoo! Mail Beta and Microsoft's Windows Live Mail Beta, enable preview panes by default. For the first time, B2C marketers can no longer assume that consumers will see their entire emails as designed.
Fortunately, you can design emails that render well in the preview pane or in a full window with images turned on or off. It's just a matter of making smart choices.
I urge you to continue reading here » -- this is one of the best article I've read so far on image rendering (and it has lots of screenshots too)!
Conclusion of this article: It really only takes a few hours to redesign your email template for the preview pane and blocked images.
Is it time for a redesign or is your template in good shape? If you are still unsure, take this preview pane rendering quiz for a quick analysis.
Source: iMedia Connection