Why is my newsletter displaying differently across email clients or devices?

Learn why subscribers might get different experiences when opening your newsletter across devices and email clients.

With Letterhead, we take several steps to ensure your promotions & content look great. When you use our complete system to build & send your newsletters, our system does a lot of invisible work to make sure everything looks as good as possible on as many screens as possible.

Our Authoring system handles ad placement & rendering to fit into the entire product. Our system uses MJML, a markup language built specifically for email. We also recommend that you keep the visual design of your newsletters as simple as possible. Using simple elements like sections, headers, dividers, and images, you can make a great-looking, skimmable, engaging product. Some tools allow you to design emails as if they were Photoshop or Canva -- these systems, while pretty, are almost guaranteed to break on at least one type of screen or device. The more complex the visual design, the more likely issues will be.

A lot is going on between you sending an email and your audience reading it. The landscape is nuanced and increasingly complex. The most popular email client, Apple Mail, only covers two-thirds of the market share. There are hundreds of email clients. There are hundreds of email service providers, and each email client is responsible for supporting emails from those service providers on their own. Factor in the quality of the reader's connection, which of a half-dozen browsers they are using, when the last time they updated their operating system. You can imagine how your audience is not sharing the same predictable experience, and they are each having individual experiences.

We put a lot of effort into providing cross-client and cross-browser consistent emails, but there's only so wide a net you can cast.

Suppose you're using our Revenue Manager only and creating content & sending it through another email service provider. In that case, there can be issues introduced downstream that our system can't account for. Every ESP & email editor handles content differently. We test rigorously in the most common ESPs, but depending on your setup and design, this isn't guaranteed that everything will look perfect on every device. This is why we recommend using our complete system -- we can be much more confident the entire product will look great in every inbox.