How to build email newsletters that look great in all versions of Outlook – with Mail Designer Pro 3.3

By | Mail Designer | No Comments

It’s a big day: today we’re rolling out Mail Designer Pro 3.3 – a big update that includes something we’ve been working on for a while… all-new Outlook support.

Just saying the word “Outlook” to a newsletter designer will send shivers down their spine: it has notoriously poor support for HTML standards and a lot of quirks that make it extremely tricky to design for. If that wasn’t bad enough, all versions since Outlook 2007 use Word’s engine to render HTML, so things have actually gotten worse over the years.

In the past we addressed these issues by adding workarounds to our existing HTML code. Extra style commands and table wrappers were added to the code that we write for all other email clients. However, this could occasionally still cause layout issues (e.g. extra spaces, slight misalignments…) and we were never entirely satisfied with the final result.

A New Hope for Email HTML
Last year we got together our email jedis and looked at different solutions. We decided to adopt an entirely new approach and make a bigger change. We decided to re-write our code to use dedicated code sections for Outlook.

How does it work?

Basically all existing code is hidden from Outlook entirely, so we can write nice clean code for all the other email clients, without extra Outlook hacks.

Then we take the content you’ve added and use it to write a second layout section, that is hidden from all email clients except Outlook. This section is tailored to all of Outlook’s quirks.

We do all of this automatically when you send or export your design – so all your content is included in both the Outlook and non-Outlook sections automatically.

So – does it work? In all our tests, the results were great: Designs are much more accurate, check out a Litmus preview:

With the earlier compatibility code, you’d see slight misalignments or extra padding. All of those issues can be avoided with the new code. This new technique also makes it easier for us to improve the code going forward, in case we run into any other compatibility issues.

Existing Designs are automatically improved
So what do you need to do? Nothing!

Whenever you open a newsletter design in Mail Designer Pro 3.3 or later, it’ll automatically be upgraded to use the new Outlook code with all compatibility improvements.

Detailed Outlook improvements:

  • 3-column layout blocks are always displayed with correct alignment
  • Line-height is correctly adjusted in all Outlook versions
  • A problem that could cause layouts to become misaligned has been fixed
  • An issue that could cause extra padding to surround an element has been fixed

Other Improvements

  • New Plain text export: When you export as a HTML file, the plain text version is now also included as a separate file
  • New If you’re sharing documents with colleagues, Mail Designer Pro now lets you know if a font was used that you don’t have on your Mac
  • When copy & pasting from Microsoft Office documents, we now prevent HTML elements being added inadvertently
  • We’ve fixed an iPad preview issue under macOS Sierra
  • You can now use multiple mailto links with advanced options in your newsletter
  • An issue that could very large newsletters to not upload to MailChimp correctly has been fixed
  • An issue with image quality has been fixed
  • A few minor issues with mobile background editing have been fixed

Want to experience hassle-free email design? Try Mail Designer Pro 3 free today. Mail Designer Pro is available for just $49,99. Owners of previous versions can take advantage of our discounted upgrade offer.

How to connect to Cisco Meraki VPN from your Mac

By | VPN Tracker | No Comments

Cisco Meraki network solutions are becoming increasingly popular and we’ve heard from a lot of macOS Sierra users about adding support for it in our Mac VPN client, VPN Tracker 365. Meraki devices are sleek, offer great performance and have great cloud management capabilities. On the VPN side of things, their Auto VPN technology makes them a breeze to set up securely, provided both sides support it.

We’ve updated VPN Tracker 365 with comprehensive Cisco Meraki support. We’ve updated the Auto-Config VPN technology in VPN Tracker to work with Cisco Meraki, so it’ll only take you a few minutes to get set up. The new Cisco Meraki Connection Profile supports the popular Meraki MX series.


Connected in minutes: Connect your Mac running macOS Sierra to a Cisco Meraki VPN Gateway

  • Open VPN Tracker 365
  • Create a new connection and choose our Cisco Meraki profile
  • Enter your Cisco Meraki gateway address

Then just follow the steps in our detailed Configuration Guide to configure VPN on your Meraki. VPN Tracker 365 automatically figures out the right configuration settings for your Meraki setup and connects you using the best settings.

Tip: We’ve added a quick link to the Meraki configuration website, so you can instantly access your config and change settings, if necessary.

We were really impressed how easy it is to set up a VPN on the Meraki MX-Series and with Auto-Config VPN, you’ll have VPN Tracker connected in minutes.

How to get started: VPN Tracker 365 with Auto-Config VPN for Cisco Meraki is now available to all VPN Tracker 365 customers ( download latest version). New customers can purchase VPN Tracker 365 starting at just 79.99 annually and benefit from all of VPN Tracker’s business and security features. VPN Tracker 365 is optimized for macOS Sierra  and supports more than 300 IPsec VPN gateways.

Using TP-Link SafeStream VPN with your Mac – now built-in to VPN Tracker 365

By | Company, VPN Tracker | No Comments


VPN Tracker 365 Company Connect now supports TP-Link SafeStream VPN routers.

As the leading VPN client for Mac, we’re always improving VPN Tracker 365 and adding new protocols, device profiles and configuration options, so customers always have the choice of leading VPN products and vendors. Today VPN Tracker 365 includes support for over 300 VPN gateways: from enterprise-level VPN solutions from SonicWALL and Cisco, to cost-effective VPN products for small-businesses, start-ups and home-offices (see all compatible VPN devices).

Simple, secure and high-performance

Getting your TP-Link VPN router configured with VPN Tracker is a piece of cake: The step-by-step VPN Tracker Configuration Guide walks you through all the settings you need to make in the TP-Link web interface and in VPN Tracker, you just pick TP-Link and enter your gateway address – secure remote access to your office will be up and running in minutes.

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 12.09.15

TP-LINK VPN devices support a variety of VPN protocols and encryption algorithms, including very strong AES-256 encryption. Our connection profile is designed to be extremely secure while also offering fast VPN performance.

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 12.09.49

Other improvements in the latest VPN Tracker 365 update:

• We’ve redesigned the new Connection window, so it’s easier to find your device manufacturer
• Improved import of system L2TP and PPTP connections
• An issue with accessing login credentials stored in your Keychain has been fixed
• SecureDrop downloads now work more reliably


Pricing and availability: VPN Tracker 365 with  TP-Link support is now available for VPN Tracker 365 customers, a free update included as part of your VPN Tracker 365 plan.

New customers can purchase VPN Tracker 365 via the equinux online store, plans start from just 79.99$ annually.


Advanced mailto-links, poster images and more in Mail Designer Pro 3.2.2

By | Mail Designer | No Comments


Mail Designer Pro 3.2.3 adds some great new options to your creative email marketing toolkit:

Poster layout blocks – stylish header images for magazine-like layouts

We’ve added new layout blocks for one large poster image plus two or four smaller detail images. These are great for magazine-style layouts, or when you want to split a larger image up into multiple areas. Super flexible and looks stunning.


Faster footer layouts with social media links

We’ve also added layout blocks that combine a text area with four image areas. These are designed to make it easy to build a footer with contact details alongside your social media links.

Advanced email links for instant feedback

You can now build advanced email links that will pre-fill the subject line and message text when they’re clicked. Add a “RSVP now” link for example and pre-fill a message with fields for the information you’d like people to reply with. Super handy if you’re planning an event, or asking readers for feedback.


Other improvements

  • We’ve improved handling of transparent images under macOS Sierra 10.12.2
  • Image optimization is smarter about images with transparency and using JPGs
  • When you use the “Replace Image” feature, you can now dive into sub-folders as well
  • We’ve improved compatibility with email providers that use MD 5 Challenge / Response security

Download Mail Designer Pro 3.2.3 now.

Have fun with the new version and have a great creative start to 2017!
Your Mail Designer Team

Mail Designer Pro 3 brings the power of Touch to email design

By | Mail Designer | No Comments


Mail Designer Pro 3 is the only email newsletter design app for macOS that lets anyone create mobile-responsive email newsletters. And with the brand-new version 3.2.1, we’re bringing Touch Bar and iPhone 7 support to Mail Designer Pro.


Mail Designer Pro: Touch Bar Details

We looked at the features email designers most often need while using the keyboard and designed Touch Bar support around those actions:

  • Access text formatting and style options – all without leaving the keyboard
  • Adjust background color and tint, or zoom background images
  • Switch between desktop & mobile layouts, pull up a smartphone preview & toggle guides
  • Customize the Touch Bar with preferred shortcuts and controls


Also new in this release
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Device Previews: Check out a real-time preview of your design on the latest iPhones.
macOS Sierra tab-support: Working on two newsletters? Group them into one window and switch between them in a flash.

We’re excited to be bringing mobile-optimized emails to everyone. Mail Designer Pro 3 is available from the equinux Store and Mac App Store.
For a limited time only, we’re offering Mail Designer Pro for just $49.99.

Big savings on apps and gadgets with the equinux Super Friday Sale!

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Our biggest sale ever! Get big discounts on equinux apps and tizi gadgets in our huge Super Friday SALE 2016. But hurry, all deals are only valid through Cyber Monday – November 28th 2016.


Save on tizi gadgets for your iPhone and iPad

We’ve got great deals on tizi car chargers, cables and more – check out all tizi Super Friday Deals>


Mail Designer for just $9.99

Get 66% off Mail Designer 2, perfect for designing your very own holiday mails. And for your responsive newsletter needs, Mail Designer Pro is just $29.99 – our lowest ever price!

Check out all Mail Designer & productivity app deals >

Ho-ho-ho! The ultimate Holiday Greeting Cards pack for Apple Mail – now just $9.99image-12

Think of your loved ones this holiday season with a beautiful Holiday Greeting card – sent directly from your own email address with Apple Mail.

This year we’ve bundled our entire set of Holiday Greeting Cards into one mega set with more than 180 card designs for just $9.99.

We’ve also got savings on Season’s Greetings 7 and 8. Check out all Apple Mail Greeting Cards Deals >

Security 2017 – GO! VPN Tracker 365 Savings

If you’re just getting started with VPN Tracker, or want to add additional seats, or upgrade from an older version? Now’s your chance, with our amazing Super Friday VPN Tracker discounts. Save up to $30 discount code on your VPN Tracker 365 plan>.

Mail Designer Pro 3.1.1: Leaner, faster-loading email newsletters

By | Company, Mail Designer | No Comments


Faster loading newsletters with PNG image compression in Mail Designer Pro 3.1.1

Modern eye-catching newsletters tend to use a lot of images and large photos. That can lead to large overall email files sizes that will take longer to load.
The latest Mail Designer Pro update (Download 3.1.1) now offers lossless PNG compression, which decreases the size of your graphics, logos and banners. The result? Leaner, cleaner, faster-loading email newsletters.

Mail Designer Pro automatically compresses images when you export – you’ll find it alongside the other Design Options


We’ve also made Mail Designer Pro a bit smarter about images: It now detects whether an image is a photo or a sales graphic and uses that to choose whether to save an image as a PNG or JPG file, while also keeping file-size and quality considerations in mind.

Other Improvements:

  • Animated gifs now loop correctly
  • PDF export: fix for transparencies
  • Web fonts are now loaded over HTTPS
  • We’ve re-structured the Export menu
  • A few formatting bugs have been fixed

Mail Designer Pro 3 is currently available for just $49.99, we also offer a free trial download.

Mail Designer Pro 3.1 Update: Gmail is now 100% mobile optimized

By | Company, Mail Designer | No Comments


Gmail is one of the most popular email providers in the world and the default email app on many Android phones – that’s a lot of customers reading newsletters in the Gmail app. Until today, Gmail has only supported an ‘optimized’ newsletter view, where it would automatically take the desktop version of your email and tried to re-format it for smartphone screens – usually with mixed results.

iphones-vorher-nachher_enNow Gmail users will see your mobile-optimized layout exactly as you intended it: Google has updated Gmail with full support for mobile-optimized emails. So we’ve released Mail Designer Pro 3.1, an update that takes full advantage of the new Gmail features and lets you create newsletters that will look great in Gmail.

Gmail mobile-responsive facts

So what has Gmail changed exactly? Here are the details for fellow email-HTML nerds out there:

  • Gmail now pays attention to media queries, which allow us to show the mobile version of your newsletter to smartphones
  • There’s still no support for web-fonts, but you can configure fallback-fonts in Mail Designer Pro 3, for the best of both worlds
  • Technical fun fact: Attribute selectors aren’t supported, but CSS class definitions are – Mail Designer Pro takes your design and translates it into HTML and CSS styles that Gmail will display correctly
  • Roll-out status: Gmail’s mobile-responsive changes are already available in Gmail for Android, Gmail on the web and in Google Inbox on iOS. The Litmus team has more details on their blog.


New mobile design previews: iPhone 7 and Google Pixel

To help you to visualize what your design is going to look like, we’ve added a new smartphone design preview for Google’s new Pixel phone. It gives you an accurate Gmail-preview, complete with the fallback fonts you’ll see.

We’ve also added the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (in Black and Jet Black) so you can get a feel for those new models as well.

Time-saving shortcuts

Try out some of the new keyboard shortcuts for a real productivity boost:

  • Command + G groups objects
  • Space + Enter adds a simple line break (instead of starting a new paragraph)
  • Command + N opens a blank design
  • Command + K add a link to the currently selected text


Version 3.1 also includes further compatibility improvements for Outlook and MailChimp, as well as performance optimizations. And you may have noticed that Mail Designer Pro now displays a notification once your test-email has been sent.

Get early access to upcoming Mail Designer Pro releases

Introducing the Mail Designer Pro Beta program! We love getting feedback from you guys, so experienced users can now activate Beta updates under Preferences > Updates. You’ll get early access to our public betas with new features, fixes and improvements.



We’re really stoked to support the new and improved mobile-responsive Gmail right from the get go. If you like the latest update, we’d appreciate a short review on the Mac App Store

Mail Designer Pro 3 is available for $49.99. Download your free trial today.

Tips for creating real “hero” newsletters with wallpaper images and enticing Call-To-Action buttons

By | Mail Designer | No Comments


Perfect newsletter design with Mail Designer Pro: more Mail Designer tips can be found on our Mail Designer Pro Tutorial Page.

What are you trying to accomplish with your newsletter? You want to win hearts, clicks, fans, and followers, right? On average, your recipients only have an attention span of about 8 seconds. An intelligently constructed, image heavy newsletter is sure to increase sales.

The leaves have begun to change color and fall, triggering an eager, optimistic target group becoming even more enthusiastic to buy. As they snuggle under their fleece blankets on the comfy couch, by the glow of their iPhone screens, thoughts of the upcoming holidays fill their minds. It’s high time to power-up your email marketing campaigns – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s are right around the corner!

Clever Designs with Mail Designer Pro, increase your potential for success. We’ll show you how…


Take it up a notch with Wallpaper Mode – Backgrounds with a bang!

A picture is worth a thousand words, and boy do they sell! Pictures put readers in the right mood and give potential customers a stronger emotional connection to your products or sales. With the improved background features from Mail Designer Pro, you can create brilliant, breathtaking effects with full surface hero images. Be creative and stretch mood pictures over an entire email. A catchy slogan and large fonts will help give your newsletter that extra umpf.

Tip: It’s important to use an image that works well in Mobile Mode because when viewed on a smartphone, your recipient will be scrolling. Basically, within 8 minutes of viewing your newsletter,, your readers should get into the right mood, recognize your style, and understand the offer and promotional period at hand.


Pictures add an extra value to the style of your newsletter: A special fall menu for your restaurant, an invitation to an Open House, or a last minute weekend sale – the right background adds a subtle, but meaningful reinforcement to your message.
A little bit of taste is helpful for bringing across the right message. We’ll show you how to use background art for your desktop and mobile versions.

Find the right background image

Bigger is better. Ideally, you should look for pictures that are at least 4000px wide. This gives you more leeway for positioning and the picture will remain sharp for Retina displays

Extra leeway: Keep in mind that you will most likely want to include text boxes on top of your picture. Therefore, it is not recommended to use a picture with lots of details throughout but instead one with depth, colors, or slightly blurred. This way it’s easier to find appropriate spots for Headlines and texts.


Picture databases as inspiration: If you search the web for pictures, you’re sure to find some good image databases for downloading pictures, such as these:

Sometimes, simply browsing through the different images can give you inspiration for your newsletters. Of course it’s always best if you start off with your own ideas.

Layout cheat sheet: Create emails with backgrounds

More or less text? Before you start, it’s best to decide if you want to work with transparent text boxes or with non-transparent layout blocks. The latter variety is appealing when you’ll be including a longer text.

Give your background space: Try to keep the top and up to the first third of your newsletter free. This space is important to let the background image make its impression. For texts, you could use a text/picture layout block and reduce it, such as seen in the following example: Texts should be at least 16px big so that the work well on mobile screens.


Style with transparent layers: If you use minimal text, as in: Quick information, sales, transaction emails – you can give your background picture even more room. Try working with picture layout blocks which you can include layer by layer for your texts.

Check out these 3 examples to see how different the moods can be depending on how a background is used…

background_hero_02 background_hero_03 background_hero_01

For the layers, drag a square or circle onto your picture layout block from the Graphic Tools. Turn the opacity down to around 80% so that it is slightly see-through. With this method, it requires a bit more work to create the mobile versions.

Tip: Increase your click rate: Try this method as well to help push your Call-to-Actions. Adjust the picture so that the background drags attention to one of your links.

Apply, position, and optimize the background for your desktop version

To position a background, click on the background icon link at the bottom. Now you can pull the edges of your background to adjust the size. With the zoom feature, you can adjust the background image to fit your newsletter exactly. By holding the mouse button while you drag, you can move the inner area of your background picture.

Tips: Background images can increase the volume of data in your newsletters. Using Optimize Background, you can further compress the image. Decouple and adjust the background for the mobile version.

Detach and adjust the background for the mobile version

You’ll most likely need to choose a smaller section of the background picture to use for the smartphone version. Go to the Mobile Layout View for Smartphones and then to Background Mode.
background_lunch_03By slightly moving the background picture, Mail Designer asks if you’d like to decouple the background from the desktop Design. After decoupling, you can adjust the background exactly to fit the narrow smartphone screen.

5 tips for catchy CTAs with a good conversion

When it comes to a Call to Action (CTA), it’s best to get inspired by the modern webtrends. The same rule applies here:  The CTA must first work on the mobile version before you transfer it to the desktop one.


One single CTA in a newsletter makes more of an impact than five. The fewer choices your recipient has, the better.

Here are five helpful CTA Design tips for you:

• Slogan booster: Use a modern web font. Position your text on your lead picture and highlight one motivational word in which you build in your CTA. Tip: Using special characters such as “>” actually help to boost your text link.


• Transparent surfaces and button graphics give your CTA a modern look


• Light lines: Try using simple, (1pt), lightly rounded outline in combination with a thin font (for example: Open Sans) positioned on top of a lead picture.


• High contrast: It’s not only about the color of a CTA, but the contrast. According to a recent study, an online shop increased its sales by 30% simply by changing their buttons to green. Due to the contrast with the background, they became much more visible.


• Make it different Surprise them with nonconventional button shapes and postions. Who says you can’t use a round button?


Check your hero image: Does it help if you move your hero image to a differnt section? Find the best position to make it a real eye-catcher.  Does the content flow? Are the recipients in the zone? Then this is the right spot for an effective CTA.