5 things you should be testing (but probably aren’t) before sending an email

After weeks, perhaps months, of meetings, content plans, creative briefs, fervent designing, presentations and amends, the day finally arrives… you take a deep breath and hit ‘broadcast’ to set your email campaign live.

End of story, right? Well, maybe. Here’s when that nagging feeling starts. That one you can’t put your finger on, or shake off either. There’s something you REALLY should have done – testing!

Now we might be teaching you to suck eggs, but it’s no good finding out that your email doesn’t fit all screen sizes, the images don’t display in all clients, or your subject lines booked your message a one-way ticket to your recipient’s junk folder.

That is why email testing is such an important part of any email campaign, and here at Flourish, we recommend that along with the usual checks, you pay particular attention to the following:

1) Alt Text: Particularly important in clients which block images by default. Check that the alt text matches the image and is spelt correctly. It’s also possible to style alt text to give the text only version a visual hierarchy.

2) Correct Colours: It’s important to keep all of your marketing material consistent: Do they match the colours in the brand guidelines. If Photoshop was set up to use CMYK the RGB reference will be slightly different.

3) Image File Weight: Your email looks great but if it takes too long to download the recipient won’t read it. Compress both jpegs and gifs to keep the file weight as small as possible and decrease load time.

4) Retina Quality Images: check that your images look sharp on a retina screen. Save images at twice the size, when they’re scaled down in the email they will look sharper.

5) Validation: Code should be structured semantically and without any errors. Code errors increase the chances of emails being displayed incorrectly in email clients. Check that your email validates to the correct w3c standards.

Using this rough check-list can help to prevent silly mistakes from slipping through the net and negatively impacting your campaign.

Now you may think you’ll never fall into this trap, but given the the sheer number of emails that we see with missing alt tags, blurry images, and so broken you feel like giving it a respectful burial – plenty of people aren’t getting it right.

If you’re concerned about an email you’ve produced, get in touch and we’ll be happy to take a look for you. Drop Ian Reeves, our General Manager, a line.