Web Marketing Today

HTML E-Mail Client Program Summary

In January 2001 I asked subscribers to my Doctor Ebiz newsletter to tell me what they saw with their e-mail client program so that I could get an idea of the HTML capability of modern e-mail client programs. My daughter Ann and I carefully cataloged about 450 responses. In order to make sure our respondents identified their program accurately, we looked at the X-Mailer line of the e-mail header, which an “e-mail sniffer” program might do with a confirming e-mail to determine whether or not the member of their list can see HTML e-mail.

In the table below I have summarized comments from respondents for each e-mail program. In some cases, comments didn’t tell us everything we hoped to learn, so there may be some errors with less-used e-mail clients. The percent column gives the percentage use of each e-mail client in my sample of respondents, and is in no way intended to be widely representative of those used on the Web. From my sample, only about 13% of my respondents could not see fairly decent HTML-email. Your sample will vary.

The number of HTML-compatible e-mail clients will become even greater as AOL subscribers gradually install AOL 6.0. not really adequate.

E-Mail Program

%

Type Comments
AOL 4.0
AOL 5.0

3.8%

T Cannot read HTML e-mail. To make it readable send text-only version, or multi-part MIME with text first, HTML second. Links not highlighted except when using an exclusive AOL method.
AOL 6.0

2.7%

H Standard HTML capability. Does not support mailto: ?subject=topic feature, nearly all others do.
CompuServe
2.1, 4.0, 2000

0.9%

T Apparently text only, like AOL 4.0, 5.0.
Eudora 3.1

0.9%

T Enhanced text. Links are hot, some headlines appear bigger than text.
Eudora 4.0, 4.2, 4.3

3.8%

M Full HTML support when Microsoft Internet Explorer is configured as the HTML viewer. Programs configured for the default Eudora HTML viewer do not support full HTML, do not control font size well, and do not allow submission of forms.
Eudora 5.0

3.6%

M Same as 4.0. When configured with MSIE as the HTML viewer it supports full HTML. The native Eudora HTML viewer is still limited.
Lotus Notes 4.6

0.9%

T Seems to be enhanced text. Cannot control fonts, colors.
Lotus Notes 5.0

2.0%

H Nearly standard HTML
Netscape Communicator 4.0

0.4%

H Color control isn’t complete.
Netscape Communicator 4.5 (Win)

-

H Seems to be standard HTML
Netscape Communicator 4.5 Mac

-

T No color or hot links. Gray background.
Netscape Communicator 4.6 Mac

-

H Seems to be standard HTML
Netscape Communicator 4.7

5.1%

H Standard HTML. Apparently does not support colored horizontal rules. Sometimes size of elements seems too small.
Novell GroupWise 5.5

0.7%

H Seems to be standard HTML.
MS Entourage for Office:2001

-

H Standard HTML. Apparently a Japanese Office 2001 for the Mac.
MS Outlook 97

1.6%

H Sub-standard HTML. Does not handle font or link colors. Centering problems.
MS Outlook 98

4.2%

H Standard HTML. Does not handle font colors.
MS Outlook 2000, 2000 S1

21.6%

H Standard HTML, but not yet consistent with style sheets.
MS Word 2000

-

H Standard HTML. Word 2000 can be used as an e-mail reader in conjunction with Outlook 2000.
MS Outlook Express 4.0 Mac

0.7%

H Standard HTML
MS Outlook Express 4.5 Mac

0.7%

H Standard HTML
MS Outlook Express 4.7

1.3%

H Standard HTML
MS Outlook Express 5.0

20.0%

H Standard HTML
MS Outlook Express 5.0 Mac

-

H Standard HTML. One report of a centering problem.
MS Outlook Express 5.5

10.5%

H Standard HTML
Pegasus Mail 3.1

2.0%

H Standard HTML. Link color not handled.
HotMail

3.3%

H Standard HTML
Juno 4.0, 5.0

1.0%

H Nearly standard HTML
Excite

-

H Standard HTML
Yahoo

3.3%

H Standard HTML.
Becky! Internet Mail Ver 1.26

-

H Standard HTML
Calypso Version 3.1

-

H Standard HTML
Claris Emailer 1.1 Mac

-

T Appears to be text only. No hot links. Headlines not distinguished.
EarthLink MailBox 5.02.8

-

H Apparently standard HTML
exmh 2.1.1 Unix

-

H Seems to be almost standard HTML
Franklin Webmailer 1.0

-

H Seems to be standard HTML
GoMail 3.0.0

-

H Seems to be standard HTML
PostMe 3.0

-

H Standard HTML. Link color not handled. Centering problem.
Web Based Pronto

-

H Standard HTML.
Webbasis.com

-

H Some HTML apparently. No colors of links or headlines.
WWW-Mail 1.5

-

T Text only.
Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
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