Why can't email clients just abide by proper web standards?
I've personally found plain-text often also converts better than most HTML-heavy newsletters.
Most HTML is pigeonholed into email where it doesn't fit well, for example the variety of unpredictable clients and devices. I'd rather serve that via the browser where full CSS/HTML is supported.
Mobile is helping by standardizing webkit but we're still far from it being a good delivery mechanism for a web experience.
And personally I prefer them. If I must use html, I only stick to the basic styling elements with no css.
Outlook 2007 makes IE6 look like the best browser in the world.
That little comment is a life saver.
I've noticed that Outlook, particularly 2007+, will play nicely with CSS so long as your styles are only applied to table elements. Put some padding on a 'p' tag and you won't see anything happen.
Likewise mobile gmail on a phone browser will not render a responsive email. Not sure if ZURB has given that any attention or if they intended to focus on the rendering of native clients.
You can read more about it here: http://www.email-standards.org/blog/entry/microsoft-to-ignor...
What these users really wanted was the ability to edit and format their emails the same way they did in Word. Word really is a fantastic document editor/formatter, and I don't know of any html doc editor that comes close to the flexibility, ease, and power of Word.
So they traded standards for what people really wanted - email that they could format.
In the sense that it did a lot less and thus presented a smaller attack surface, they were right.
There's a very good reason why your email client doesn't display images by default.
Imagine every major email client allowed using HTML5/CSS3.
One day somebody discovers a bug that allows you to execute random code. Now all you need to deliver a trojan to millions of people is mass-email it.
Kudos to be reasonable.