Why Microsoft is every email marketer’s worst nightmare

Posted on February 17, 2016 at 10:45 am Written by

mircosoft-nightmareMicrosoft has always been tough on email marketers. Just when you think you’ve figured out a solution to one issue they throw another curve ball your way.

It all started back in 2007 when the folks at Microsoft decided they would use MS Word to render HTML emails in Outlook as opposed to a web based rendering kit. As a result, Outlook 2007 and every version since has, to put it politely, terrible HTML and CSS support. Not exactly ideal for email marketers who want to send HTML based campaigns.

Thankfully email designers worked tirelessly to overcome the majority of these rendering issues with clever little workarounds but just when you think you have Outlook eating out of the palm of your hand, BOOM!, Microsoft goes and launches Office 365.


Not only does Office 365 use MS Word for its rendering kit it also comes equipped with quite possibly, the toughest spam filter I have seen – and don’t even get me started on that clutter box!

One of the problems is Office 365 doesn’t like it when you send emails from yourself to yourself (or the same domain). So if you find you’re constantly having to fish your test emails out of the spam folder or even worse, your tests aren’t arriving at all, fear not, there is a spam filter setting you can adjust which should help solve the problem.

We feel your pain…

After suffering the very same fate here at NewZapp HQ with our own test emails since switching to Office 365, we did some research and found that the administrator can set specific domains to always be allowed. Here’s what you need to do…

1. Go here to login: https://portal.office.com/Home

2. If you aren’t an admin, you’ll need to find someone who is (this will most likely be someone in your IT team)

3. In admin, select Mail under Service Settings and then Spam Filter Policies

4. Then click the pencil


5. Then go to allow list and enter your own domain (e.g. yourcompany.com), newzapp.co.uk and newzapp.com


6. Make sure you click save

That’s it, you’re all done – now go send those test emails and wait for them to hit your inbox!

If you’re interested in finding out more about email rendering then I would recommend downloading our ‘Common Email Display Issues‘ PDF. It’s a great guide for all email marketers and designers.

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