Top Ten Posts in 2012: Troubleshooting, Stats and Infographics, Oh My!

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Just like you, every post published and email sent in 2012 brought in visits, opens, clicks and conversions for us here at Litmus. So like many marketers around the world, we took a little time this week to look at what did well (and maybe not so well) in 2012, hoping to build on our successes and learn from our failures. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes a post successful (is it shares on Twitter? New newsletter signups? Free trials taken?), but we hope that by sharing a little insight into what we’re working on, it can help you, too.

Of 111 posts written in 2012, we pulled our top ten based on pageviews over the course of the year. Some of them were super popular, generating hundreds of tweets and tens of thousands of visits to our website. We hope that some of these resources might help as you reflect on 2012 stats and set goals for 2013. This sampling of our top content includes email client market share statistics, mobile email design info, HTML troubleshooting tips and more.

1. Email Client Market Share: New Stats – This infographic from June revealed that mobile opens had converged with desktop and mobile in February before finally beating them out in April with 38% of all opens. Although we’ve published newer stats since then, this news really seemed to resonate across the email marketing community and was shared and re-posted countless times.

2. Designing the Perfect Call to Action – How do you give readers an offer they can’t refuse? Creating click-worthy calls to action is sometimes more art than science. This infographic outlines 10 tips for creating an awesome CTA, as well as 8 things to avoid.

3. Anatomy of a Mobile Email – This graphic breaks down mobile email design into bite-sized, easy-to-follow best practices, complete with helpful illustrations. Originally published in October 2011, this graphic was still our #3 blog post for 2012. Some readers have even sent us photos of this infographic printed out next to their desks!

4. 16 Tips for Troubleshooting HTML – A lot can go wrong when writing HTML for email. This graphic covers lots of common problems, like images not showing up, problems with links, and client-specific support issues. There’s also an entire section dedicated to tips for helping troubleshoot your own HTML when you get stuck.

5. A Closer Look at Email Engagement – Why do subscribers lose interest in your emails and unsubscribe? 49% say that content from email communications is too repetitive or simply not interesting. With reputation and engagement increasingly important to email marketers, this infographic can help you understand why readers become disengaged.

6. The Best Way to Code Background Colors for HTML Email – Learn the best way to use background colors in email, and how to avoid a black or green result!

7. The Foundations of Coding HTML Email – If you’re new to writing HTML for email, this is a great place to start. Since many modern HTML and CSS properties aren’t supported by commonly used email programs (I’m looking at you, Outlook), it can be a steep and frustrating learning curve. Learn how to code like it’s 1999 all over again!

8. Banning Blue Links on iOS Devices – Phone numbers, addresses, and dates are frequently highlighted blue in emails sent to iOS devices. With a full third of email opens happening on iPhone and iPad, you’ll definitely want to have the fix for this rendering quirk handy.

9. Twitter Inspires with Unique Responsive Design – Possibly our favorite email in 2012, this message from Twitter utilizes media queries to their fullest potential — customizing content specifically for iPhone users, altering the layout and more.

10. Outlook 2013 Still Powered by Word; Now Available for Testing – After Microsoft started using Word as a rendering engine with Outlook 2007, email designers have been hoping for a change ever since. Unfortunately, the latest version of Outlook still users Word to render. Luckily, you can use Litmus to see how your emails look in Outlook 2013 (and 30+ other clients)!


Looking at what made it into the top ten this year, it’s very clear that you (our readers!) like educational posts, troubleshooting tips and email-specific HTML fixes. Infographics were definitely a big hit, making up more than half of our list. While data visualizations were super trendy in 2012, we did our best to provide you with useful and relevant info, rather than just another pretty thing to stare at. We think that infographics work best when they’re easy to reference and communicate key issues quickly and succinctly.


Every time we’re able to help you solve a problem or address an issue, we’re getting a little closer to making email everywhere awesome(r). Many times, it’s your emails and tweets that tip us off to an idea for a new post, graphic or other resource, so keep your questions, suggestions and comments coming. If you have any ideas about what you’d like to see here on the Litmus blog in 2013, let us know in the comments below. You can also shoot us an email or send us a tweet.