Testing Emails Is The Email Marketing Step You Don’t Skip
It’s happened to all of us. You craft an email newsletter or lead nurturing campaign and you get a little lazy. Your last several emails knocked it out of the park and you figured this next one would do the same. Testing emails is the one step you can not skip in your email marketing efforts.
But, you forgot to thoroughly test and check it. And, as luck would have it, you forgot to test the key link. Shortly after you hit send, your partner notices the error but by then, it’s too late. The email has entered cyberspace and inboxes across the nation, this is the case that testing emails is vital.
No doubt you will now spend inordinate time cursing your fate, pulling your hair out and wondering how you fell victim to such a rookie mistake. Well, as they say, familiarity breeds contempt.
When we become too familiar and comfortable with our processes or rely too heavily on past successes, we tend to forget all the hard work that got us there in the first place.
All your past emails were successful because you followed a formula: you checked — and rechecked — everything in that email. Yes, it took extra time but the email actually achieved the results you wanted.
So, let’s review the standard email checklist for testing emails to improve your email marketing success. Use the list for lead nurturing campaigns, newsletters and other regular emails you send out to a list of subscribers for your inbound marketing strategy.
1. Test for Rendering: All email servers operate just a little differently when it comes to HTML emails. Use an application that will preview your email on different email platforms including Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook and others.
2. Collect Internal Feedback: Your email should pass by several sets of eyes before you hit send. Different members of your team will notice different aspects of the email and what one person doesn’t catch, like a clunky subject line, someone else will.
3. Verify Personalized Fields: Personalized fields add a touch of the, well, personal to an email but come with some risk, especially with copied text. Testing emails with personal fields, verify the personalized fields fill correctly and that you don’t have any fields without a value.
4. Clean Subject Line: What does your subject line look like in the receiver’s inbox? Is it short enough and clear enough to compel someone to open it or does it cut off in a weird place, leaving the meaning unclear? It may seem minor but subject lines can make the difference between someone opening the email or just hitting delete.
5. Get “From” Right: You want the recipient to know who sent the email so double-check the name and email address in the from field so the sender information is clear.
6. Check the Text: Don’t just check the HTML version. Some email recipients want the text version or have email that won’t support the HTML. But, you want the text reader to get the same information as those reading the HTML email. Make sure they match.
7. Live Links: Make sure all the links in the email work and are live when you send the email. It’s frustrating for recipients to click on a link only to get an error message when they put forth the effort.
8. Proofread: And don’t just proofread once. Proofread two to three times. Also, don’t rely solely on spell check. It can’t see the same mistakes as we do.
9. Check the Schedule: For scheduled emails, double-check your scheduled time zone.
Now… Check Again: Once you’ve run through the list, do it one more time, testing emails takes a little patience The first check fixes any problems. The second check finds that one last issue that would have sunk your hours of work. Inbound Marketing success relies on all the wheels turning together.
It will happen. You will send an email that has an issue — a dead link, an egregious spelling error, a blank personalized field. But, you can make those mistakes few and far between by testing emails and sticking to a method for checking and rechecking your emails before hitting send.
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