Irrespective of the number of years you have spent greying your hair in the field of email marketing, if there’s one hoop that you still can’t even imagine jumping over, it is email testing. Right? Well, rightfully so. Now, more than ever, testing has become incredibly crucial, what with the diverse array of devices, email clients, and environments across which emails are being accessed by people the world over.
Imagine the tireless and innumerable yards devoted to curating the copy, polishing the design, fine-tuning the code, preparing a robust segmentation framework, and setting up the ideal automation workflows, all going to waste, simply because you didn’t bother testing your email, to check whether it is rendering as desired for your subscribers. That send a few tingling sensations down your spine? Fret not; you will be able to shirk them off soon enough.
In today’s blog, we talk at length about the many merits of email testing and the practices one can employ to accomplish it clinically. After all, the above-stated scenario is best kept just hypothetical, you’d agree? Dive in, then, to take the first step towards galvanizing your testing sword!
Why is Email Testing Important?
An Email on Acid survey reveals that the majority of email marketing teams take around a week or two on average to develop a campaign. That’s a sizeable span that logically entails a considerable number of resources as well. So, talking at the most superficial level, test your campaigns to ensure you don’t end up showing zilch for the time spent in bringing it to life.
However, skirting around the superficial has never been our style. Let’s delve deeper, thus, to discover the myriad benefits of email testing in all their glorious detail.
Steer Clear of Typos, Grammatical Mistakes, and Punctuation Errors in the Email Copy
On even days, the spelling of Mississippi will appear as obvious to you as daylight. On odd days, a misfiring neuron will have you confuse “there” with “their” and “accept” with “except” (or vice versa), leading you to pen down a brand of comical goofiness that will only elicit grimaces in retrospect. If the English language is funny, the machinations of our brains are downright hysterical.
“To err is human”, of course, but “To take measures to curb them while operating in a professional space” is the need of the hour. That’s why it is vital to test your emails for misspelled words, typos, grammatical mistakes, and punctuation errors that might have inadvertently made their way into them during the drafting process. Keep in mind that any slackness on that front will leave a dent in your professional image, leaving your subscribers second-guessing your credibility and authenticity. Not just recipients, even ESPs and ISPs, don’t take kindly to email copies that aren’t sincerely proofread. In their experience, emails laden with spelling and grammatical inaccuracies are invariably spam, so should they notice the same strain in your emails, too, they won’t spare a second thought before conferring you with that disreputable identity.
The best part is you don’t even have to do this proofreading manually. Most modern-day email testing tools come with in-built spell and grammar checkers that will do the job for you, giving you the space to assign more time to enhance the coherence, logical flow, and general articulation of your copy.
Troubleshoot and Revise Rendering Issues
Operating systems, email clients, and devices are all undergoing updates almost on the daily, making keeping up with them an uphill task. What it also necessitates is for brands to test their emails as close to their scheduled delivery times as possible to make sure their email templates have accommodated all the latest updates. Failure to do so might lead to your email designs appearing broken to your subscribers. And that’s the absolute last thing you’d want, isn’t it?
The wisest course of action, therefore, is to use a testing tool to generate previews for your email across all the different clients that your recipients are using. This will help alert you to the shortcomings of your email design, allowing you to resolve them at the earliest. Goes without saying, subject your email templates to an additional round of testing after you have effected the changes from the previous iteration.
Mend Bad Links
The links embedded in your email are pivotal in determining your conversion rate. They are, after all, responsible for directing your readers from the email to your website, where a synergy of various elements will either nudge them towards making a purchase or amplify their curiosity regarding your brand, at the very least. Hence, glitchy links are something you can ill-afford.
Bad links can be broadly classified into 3 categories:
1. Broken links: These are links that fail to carry the subscriber to the intended destination; when a recipient clicks on them, they are shown an error message
2. Incorrect links: As the name suggests, an incorrect link leads a reader to the wrong destination, and not the one that it promised, in the first place. Imagine a “Buy Now” link directing the subscriber to your site’s legal terms and conditions page. Doesn’t paint a pretty picture, does it?
3. Untracked links: Devoid of UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes, these links keep you from monitoring visitors’ activities on your page, thereby depriving you of critical insights regarding their engagement.
Whatever the nature of a bad link, it ultimately translates into lost sales opportunities for your business. Testing allows you to identify as well as fix them. As a result, neither do you lose out on conversions nor do your subscribers get delivered an unsatisfactory user experience.
Resolve Accessibility Issues
Approximately 1.3 billion people in the world live with a disability. Striving to craft accessible campaigns, thus, must be among the foremost priorities of every email marketer out there. In 2023, if inclusive values aren’t informing your marketing strategies, nothing can stop you from garnering an unenviable reputation for your brand. Subsequently, this will end up dealing a body blow to the overall reach and visibility of your campaigns.
Listed below are a few parameters against which you can test your email template for accessibility:
- Always strive to establish an ideal contrast between your background and foreground elements. Consider taking the help of online tools like Contrast Ratio, Coolors, Contrast Finder, and Monsido in this regard.
- Make certain your email templates are screen reader-friendly. This involves taking a number of measures, such as including semantic HTML markup, using ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attributes, adding a skip navigation link, minimizing the usage of emojis, and the like.
- If you are developing a dark mode version of your email, do make it a point to preview it first to check how it is rendering across different clients and environments.
- To enhance readability, ensure your template’s design elements are arranged mindfully to create a visual hierarchy. On top of that, try to divide large chunks of text into smaller segments of 2-3 lines wherever possible.
Nowadays, quite a few email testing tools come equipped with default accessibility checkers, making the life of marketers easy.
Take Stock of Personalization Errors
Personalization, in this day and age, is most likely your go-to weapon, as it should be. With inboxes being flooded like never before, personalization is your only bet at rising through the clutter and forging a meaningful relationship with your customers. Now, as rich are its rewards, equal will be the volume of misfortune should you happen to bungle your personalization attempts.
Imagine you are trying to execute a basic first name personalization in one of your broadcast campaigns. For whatever reason, the emails end up going out as, “Hey, [first name]”, rather than having the designated name in place. With some mistakes, there’s no turning back; this is precisely one such scenario. The impression that your subscribers will draw of you from this incident, will become exceedingly difficult to overturn in the days to come. And to think that all this could be avoided by simply subjecting your email to a round of pre-deployment testing!
Email Testing Best Practices to Take Note of
- Determine the email clients which your subscribers are using. This will be extremely beneficial while you chalk out your testing strategies.
- Test one element at a time. Compile your observations in detail concerning one element before moving on to the next. This will drastically improve your testing results.
- Establish a testing schedule. What this will do is give a fixed deadline to all the relevant departments to abide by, thereby streamlining your email development process.
- While conducting A/B or multivariate testing, it is always advisable to maintain a control version. Comparing your findings become much more convenient by doing so.
Wrapping It Up
If you weren’t quite that serious about email testing earlier, we hope this article has been able to convince you otherwise. Rigorous and disciplined email testing holds the key to supercharging your campaigns and empowering you to tower above your competitors.