Even if you use the same email template over and over again, you should still test your message every single time. Why?
A Little Something Called Human Error.
Human error accounts for all of the following email problems:
Broken Links: We’ve all done it – we make a minor change to an existing message, or we create a new one, but we forget to update a link. So it shows up on the other end as a broken link that either doesn’t work or takes your reader somewhere you didn’t intend. Like it or not, you need to test every link in your email to make sure it works – before you send it.
Broken Images: Along the same lines, broken images are a common problem, especially if someone has moved files around, or somehow changed the image source without your knowledge. And be sure your images’ ALT text is spelled correctly and has been updated appropriately. Due to personal preference or their email client’s default setting, images are blocked for many of your readers, so it’s important that ALT text is correct.
The Dreaded Typo: And finally, because we’re only human, we’ve all been guilty of overlooking typos or grammar problems every now and then. When you’re reviewing draft number 3, or 5, or even 10, you’re just too close to your work to see the mistakes. If you send emails with typos once or twice, your readers will probably overlook it, but consistently missing typos or using incorrect grammar will eventually take its toll, and can ultimately hurt your image. So please make the Grammar Gods happy and spellcheck your work – and enlist some other sets of eyes to proofread it, too!
“Placeholder” Subject Lines: You should always double-check your subject line as well… Sometimes you don’t know what you want to use for a subject line, so you’ll use placeholder text and make a mental note to update it when you’re ready to send. You’d be surprised at how often this can be overlooked.
Dynamic Content: Don’t take chances with your dynamic content either! You’ll need to test to make sure that your merge and personalization tags are working correctly and importing the right information.
All of the above is well within your control to catch before you send your emails – as long as you test in advance.
However, there’s always the matter of…
Email Clients Going Rogue
Email clients can develop bugs, or change support for various HTML or CSS attributes without warning. So even if you’re sending virtually the same email to the same lists that you sent to yesterday, things can go horribly wrong and you won’t know why. So although you can’t control these situations, if you test before you send you’re more likely to find out about potential issues. This way, you can make the necessary modifications and adjustments so your email shows up the way you intended it to!
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, well… It can be. But the resulting peace of mind you’ll have is absolutely worth it. After all, who loves the intense panic of realizing there’s a broken link the in the email they just sent to hundreds of thousands of people? Nobody, that’s who. So take the time to test, and save yourself the anxiety!
On that note, soon we’ll be announcing a powerful new feature that can dramatically reduce your testing time and effort. Then you’ll really have no excuse not to test! Watch this space for more info – coming soon!