What To Do About Lack of Spacing Above Bullet Lists in Outlook.com?
So I have an issue that is extremely frustrating. Sorry for the long post. But it takes some explanation to get the whole story across. I'd greatly appreciate some help as I don't really know who else to turn to at this point other than this forum, which I'm very thankful to find.
I have a series of autoresponders to send out that are mostly informational, not marketing.
They are nothing fancy, just a lot of text, but of course I still want to use the HTML version to track links, etc.
Some of my emails have a number of bullet point lists, so I want them spaced evenly so they read smoothly and stand out visually in the right way.
So for each bullet point list, I want to have the paragraph above the list, then a blank line, then the first bullet point item, a blank line, second bullet point item, blank line, third bullet point item, blank line, first line of next paragraph. All of those spaced evenly.
I use GetResponse. So I used their blank template on their new editor and created my first email, which has a bullet point list in it.
I then looked at it in Inbox Inspector. Everything looked perfect on all the clients except one thing.
On Outlook.com, there is no line space between the last line of a paragraph and the first bullet point item in a list beneat it. It puts the first bullet point item right up against the paragraph above it. It does put space after the last bullet list item, between it and the next paragraph. But no space before the list.
(By the way, I tried one of GetResponse's own designed templates that has bullet points in it and it behaved the same way in Outlook.com).
Now this doesn't look great, especially when I have several bullet lists close together in an email. It really makes them stand out less and the page flow less smoothly.
I thought about just leaving it and accepting that the bullet lists on Outlook.com will just not be spaced correctly. But a few things made me decide not to just accept it yet.
I figure if I'm going to send out thousands of emails for years to come, I might as well take the time to see if I can get this right, especially since Outlook.com has a significant userbase. Why should these emails be harder to read for so many people for years to come if there is a fix for it?
At first I figured this is just something every email marketer deals with since there seemed no way to fix it. But then I noticed that I had a number of emails from people with bullet points in them that, for whatever reason, space correctly in Outlook.com. So obviously, it isn't just something everyone has to deal with. And if they don't have to accept this problem, why should I?
I've tried several workarounds to make this work myself, including:
Various attempts as using inline CSS. The problem is that if I add CSS to get the spacing right in Outlook.com, then it makes the spacing in others incorrect. I could never find a way to add the space on Outlook.com without adding too much on the other clients.
Tables - Obviously, tables would be the way most people would suggest. But GetResponse's template is mobile responsive (which I like) and so if you use a table, when it's viewed on mobile, it rearranges the columns into their own rows stacked on top of each other. So there is no way to do it with tables that won't get messed up on mobile responsive, leading to a single column with a bullet point, then its text, then another bullet point, then its text, as you go down the page, rather than what you want which is the bullet point next to its text in separate columns
I should note that I'm not a coding expert so I couldn't figure out exactly how the emails I have with bullet lists in them are spacing correctly. But I can say they aren't using tables to do it. So there appears to be a way to do it without tables.
I have wrestled with GetResponse's support, as well as their developers who I was put in touch with, for over a month on this. Finally last week the developers told me they were going to fix this issue of bullet list spacing on Outlook.com. I even sent them a couple of the emails I had where the bullet lists work properly on Outlook.com, hoping they'd take a look at them and figure out how they're doing it and model after it. But then, after waiting another week, they wrote back to say they can't fix it because the margin property doesn't work on Outlook.com (which I already knew). Yet why can't they fix it when these other emails I get work fine despite the margin property not working? I wrote to ask them that question, but we'll see when they get back to me again.
So what should I do?
Is there a way to take the message created in GetResponse's blank template and tweak it to fix the spacing above bullet lists on Outlook.com without messing it up on the other clients?
Do I actually need someone to design me a template just to fix this one thing? My emails are just a bunch of text and so simple? It seems like overkill to need an entire template re-design to fix this one small issue on one client.
Is this a GetResponse-specific issue? Because like I say, emails I'm getting from other sources don't all have this problem. But I really don't want to leave GetResponse since they have many features I want and also my whole campaign is entered and ready to launch as soon as this is decided so I'd hate to have to re-enter everything in another provider.
I guess I could live with Outlook.com's spacing being imperfect if I knew that this is just the way it is and everyone has to deal with that. But that doesn't seem to be the case from looking at these other emails I have.
Either way, this has held up my entire campaign and I really need to make a decision about what to do going forward soon. I don't want to do all the work of entering all of the many emails in my autoresponder series until I have either figured out how to get this fixed or can be assured that this is something I should just accept by people who know better than I do. If real experts told me "Hey that's just how it is with Outlook.com and it's no big deal" then I'd feel a lot better just living with it. Although I'd still want to understand why, then, I have these other emails where it doesn't happen.
Thanks for reading this and if you can help me come to some resolution with this I'll be extremely grateful since I'm not finding any real solid help anywhere else I'm looking.