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7 Reasons to test every email before pushing the send button

Every email deserves to be tested. Even if you've just tested that template you're using yesterday. Email programs and apps are not only capable of breaking your design, but also links, subject lines, images, … the whole lot. Each and every time your finger hovers over the send button, you should check (and double check!) for these 11 critical mistakes. Neglecting them could significantly affect your opens, clicks, conversions, and most importantly—your brand.

EMAIL CLIENTS DROP SUPPORT WITHOUT NOTICE
Rendering isn't only inconsistent across desktop, webmail, and mobile inboxes. Occasionally, email clients drop support for HTML and CSS attributes without notice. This leaves many email designers with a major headache. Regardless of whether you have a pre-tested template that has rendered correctly in the past, it may still be affected by unannounced updates and changes.

BROKEN + INCORRECT LINKS
Broken, incorrect, or untracked links—we've all been down that path. And, it sucks every time. Unless you're sending a plain text email, URLs are typically masked behind a hyperlink or a button, making them difficult to verify with the quick scan of an eye. And we all know that clicking through them all can be quite the pain.
The safest way to work? Use our partner Litmus' Link Check tool and actually click the links in your email to ensure they are leading you where they should.

FROM NAME + SUBJECTLINE + PREVIEW PANE
Subscribers only spend 3 seconds to decide if they are going to view your email. So it's important to optimize your email in the preview pane. Make sure to check if your from name, reply-to address, subject line, and pre-header text are all optimized—and filter out any errors.
From name + reply-to address: Ensure that the from name is easily recognizable by your subscribers. For reply-to addresses avoid using “no-reply@” email addresses which appear spammy and don't encourage a two-way communication with your subscribers.
Subject line: Did you remove your placeholder subject line? Is it correct? If you are using special characters, are they supported across the various email clients? Check that before every campaign you send.
Preview pane text: Ensure that you're using this crucial space to your benefit: it's pulled from the first few lines of text in your email and the perfect place to further encourage your subscribers to read your entire email.

SPELLING + GRAMMATICAL ERRORS
When it comes to email, there is no undo function once you've hit that send button. When you've sent out an email that contains a spelling or grammar error to hundreds or thousands of people, there is virtually nothing you can do. Unless, of course, you send your recipients an apology email (which may be appropriate in some—but not all—cases).

Always proofread your email yourself—several times. In addition, a second pair of eyes is always helpful. If you've written the content yourself, it's sometimes difficult to spot the error(s). Also, copying your email text into Notepad or Microsoft Word can help you detect spelling errors.

BROKEN IMAGES + MISSING OR INCORRECT ALT TEXT
Make sure that images in your email are loading properly (and that you have proper backup, just in case they aren't).  Since images are blocked automatically for many subscribers, the use of ALT text is encouraged.
Test your emails with images disabled, to ensure that you've replaced placeholder ALT text, that it's spelled correctly, and that it's appropriate for the image it's representing. You can check that manually, or start an email preview test with our Litmus features—which includes images on and off views.

BROKEN DYNAMIC CONTENT
Have dynamic content in your emails? There you have another important step to test. Check if the tags in your email are working properly and are pulling in the correct information. In addition, ensure you've included fallbacks, in case you're lacking subscriber data.

UNWANTED BLUE LINKS ON IOS DEVICES
Phone numbers, addresses and dates frequently turn blue and underlined in emails which are read on an iPhone or iPad. These links trigger app-driven events, such as making a call or creating a calendar event. While these may come in handy for some scenarios, in others situations they can be quite a nuisance and ruin your carefully planned branding, and even decrease legibility.

Conclusion

Even if you're eager to hit that send button, just take a few moments to check and double-check your email for the 7 ‘hidden' email killers above. Just see it as a reward for all the hard work and time you've invested in creating it.

Posted on
Dec 12, 2014