Sending test emails to yourself before sending them to recipients is essential to ensure the highest quality and best user experience. Whether you send a monthly Christian newsletter, weekly sales emails, or a quarterly ask to your donors, you want to ensure they have a positive experience interacting with your content. Keep reading to learn how to test an email and what to look for when you do.
How to Test an Email
The exact steps for sending test emails will vary depending on which email marketing platform you use. However, most platforms have an option to send a test to the recipients of your choice. So, you can send test emails to yourself and other team members to ensure quality control for the piece. Keep in mind that some platforms have a limit on how many test emails you can send, especially if you’re using free versions.
For example, Mailchimp users on the free plan can send up to 12 test emails per campaign (but no more than 24 total test emails in 24 hours). Additionally, each test email can include up to six email addresses at once. Be sure to review the rules on your platform so you don’t run out of test sends before you’re done testing.
7 Email Testing Strategies
Because of the limits on sending test emails, you’ll want to be diligent about the email testing strategies you use. Once you send a test email to yourself, follow these seven steps.
1. Check the Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing your recipients will see, and it can heavily influence whether they open the email or not. In fact, 64% of people use the subject line to determine whether they’ll open or delete an email. So, it’s crucial to ensure your subject line is engaging, concise, and accurately reflects the content of the email. Check for spelling or grammar mistakes, as these can negatively impact your professional image. Also, ensure that the subject line isn’t cut off on mobile devices, as a significant percentage of people read emails on their phones.
2. Check the Preheader
The preheader is a short summary text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox. It provides a sneak peek into your email content and is another opportunity to engage your recipient. Make sure this text complements your subject line and offers valuable information to encourage the recipient to open the email. Again, check for any errors in spelling or grammar.
3. Check Links
Links are often included in emails to direct recipients to a website, product, or service. It’s vital to ensure all links are working correctly, lead to the intended pages, and open in a new browser. This includes in-text links, button links, and photo links. Broken links can frustrate recipients and may affect your credibility, engagement, and future open and click-through rates.
4. Check the Design on Desktop and Mobile
With people accessing emails on various devices, it’s important to make sure your email design looks good and functions well on both desktop and mobile. Formatting issues can make your email difficult to read and navigate, which can lead to recipients quickly losing interest. Look out for things like text size, image placement, and overall layout.
5. Check the Email in Multiple Email Platforms
Different email clients (like Google’s Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc.) can display your email differently. It’s important to send test emails to these different clients to see how your email appears in each one. This can help you catch any formatting issues or compatibility problems before sending your email to all recipients.
6. Ask Others to Review the Test Email
It’s always beneficial to get a second pair of eyes on your email before sending it out. Others may catch mistakes you’ve missed or provide valuable feedback on the overall flow and impact of your email. They can also confirm if the email has been received in their inbox or spam folder, which can help you improve your email deliverability.
7. Try A/B Testing
Another type of email testing is done after you ensure quality assurance on your content. A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method used in email marketing to determine which version of an email yields better results. In an A/B test, you create two versions of the same email (version A and version B), changing one element between the two, such as the subject line, call-to-action, or even the content layout. These two versions are then sent to a small, random segment of your audience. The version that performs better—be it through higher open rates, click-through rates, or conversions—is then sent to the remainder of your audience. Most email marketing platforms have built-in features for A/B testing, making it easy to conduct these tests. The insights gained from A/B testing can be invaluable in refining your email strategy and increasing engagement.
Boost Your Outreach with Christian Email Marketing Services
If you want to up your email marketing game but don’t have the time or resources to invest in ensuring a perfect email is sent every time, FrontGate’s Email Marketing Services can help. We take care of the entire process for you, from writing the emails to testing different versions for effectiveness to finally sending them out to your audience. We are focused on creating impactful emails that resonate with your community, drive engagement, and meet your organization’s specific goals, whether increasing donations, boosting event attendance, or simply keeping your members informed.
Contact us today to learn more about developing your next Christian email marketing campaign with FrontGate Media!