The Importance of Testing Your Email Campaigns

It might seem tedious to test every single email before you send it, especially if you’re using the same or a similar template for most of your campaigns. But especially if you’re working with the HTML directly, coding slipups can happen quite easily without even realising it.

However, even if you are a HTML prodigy, there are constant changes taking place on the World Wide Web that you essentially have no control over, causing obscure inbox rendering of your email campaign or potentially breaking it entirely, so it’s always a good idea to check anyway.

If you want to send out an email campaign that is as close to perfect as possible, then you have to test everything. Because no two email programmes work the same way. Even the most similar programmes or devices have minor changes that could cause items in your email to display incorrectly. This is why it’s vital that you check the structure & layout of your HTML template, and what the responsiveness of your email will look like in as many programmes and on as many devices as possible.

Some of the main programmes and devices to check include:

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Apple Mail
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Gmail
  • Yahoo!
  • Hotmail
  • Apple devices – iPhone and iPad
  • Android devices – Galaxy smartphones and tablets, and HTC smartphones and tablets
  • Windows devices – smartphones and Windows 8 tablet

Another important thing to note is that the web versions of your email campaign will look slightly different on all of the browsers too. Try viewing the online version in major web browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera also too see how your template renders.

Common content snags to look out for:

To ensure your campaign reaches optimum capacity, take note of the following when you’re testing your HTML email:

  1. Spelling and grammar The entire presentation of your campaign could be let down by something as minor as incorrect spelling or awkward sentence structure. Most WYSIWYG editors do not support spell-check. If you don’t actually double check your email copy, you stand a chance of tarnishing the actual goal of your email campaign.
  1. Links This is an easy one to forget, especially when you’re re-using templates from previous campaigns already sent out. Make sure that none of your links are still linking to pages from a previous campaign. Hover over all images, titles and descriptions too, to check that each link paced, is going to the correct place - specific to the current campaign.
  1. Landing pages This part goes hand in hand with testing the links. It’s all very well sending people to a web page, but last thing you need is for it show up as a 404 error or for the content on the site to have updated without your knowledge. So, actually clicking through on all of those links is a good idea too.
  1. Images and ALT text Every single image in your email newsletter should have an ALT text to describe what it is about. This not only improves your spam score by being explicit with your HTML, its super useful for those email clients that don’t automatically download images. This is also what inspires your reader’s to download the image and ideally mark you as a safe sender so that all future messages are automatically downloaded. So, be sure to always have a good description.
  1. Spam score Most ESPs, including TotalSend, run a spam score on your email campaign. ISPs use this to determine whether to inbox your email or mark it as spam. So be sure to take that spam score and the messages that come with it seriously. Having a plain text version of your email campaign adds to improving this score too.
  1. Pre-header content This is an easy one to forget, particularly when working so closely with the content of your email campaign. The pre-header content of an email includes your sender name, sender email address, subject line and the pre-header text of your HTML content. It’s the information that recipients see first when the email appears in their inbox. So, if you think about it, this part should never be overlooked, as first impressions always last the longest.

Using the inbox preview tool on TotalSend

TotalSend offers an email design test tool that gives you a real-time idea of what your campaign will look like in up to 45 different programmes, allowing you to test all of your design elements, as well as how responsive your email is to various screen sizes and programmes. So, by using the HTML email testing software you’ll be more confident about your email campaign by the time you’re ready to hit the send button.

Simply put, email marketing is an intricate trade. But relentlessly testing your email campaigns and ensuring that you’re sending out the best possible version of it, can only work in your favour. It’ll give you confidence every time you press send that you’ll see positive results and a return on your investment.