Pre-Send Checklist And Message Testing

Questions this guide will answer:

  • How do I check my links in my email?

  • Do I need to add Alt Text to my images?

To help you spot potential problems before you do your own testing, when you move from the editor into the testing step of the email flow, we will have done some checks for you.

Essentially we’ll go through the HTML behind your email and look for things we know are common problems and mistakes. Many are things we know you want to test and some that you may not know too.


Initially, each row will tell you how many of each of its elements it found and how many (potential) problems it found.

If you have any potential problems the row will be flagged to you. You can then click to expand each row and see the details.

Link check

The link check looks at the URLs structure to validate them as a valid URL. It will flag them to you if it looks like they won’t work when sent to your contacts. It does Not click any of the links, so as not to confuse your site analytics.

The header will show you a count of links in the email, text & images and how many warnings it has for you. You will get a tick if there are no warning and an X if there are any.
Click the header to expand the detail.


The link checker will list every link in order of their appearance in your email.

  • If you see a tick it hasn’t spotted any problems and should be good to go.

  • If you see an X it means the url in the link does not look like a valid url and probably won’t work when clicked from a test or a campaign

  • If you see a ? it means that it is not sure, due to having personalisation in and it is not possible to be certain until they are ‘merged’ at point of send. It will need to be manually tested from a test campaign.

A ticked url, whilst being a valid url, may not be the url you want. It is not uncommon to use valid urls as placeholders when designing, while you are waiting for your content team to put pages live to give you the correct url. So it is a good idea to have a look through of all the valid links too.

The ‘Text’ column is there to help you identify the link in the editor. Text links have the text which is linked and image links hold the image name. See below for image testing and how to find them.

Image check

The image header will show you the count of all of the image in your email, including background images, then a count of any warnings. You will get a tick if there are no warning and an X if there are any.
Click the header to expand the detail.


Every visible image in your email will be listed and potential problems in any of the four columns will be highlighted.

Status: If there are no problems spotted about an image, its status will be a tick. If there are any problems it will have an X.

Source url: The image checker will load the image in the background to make sure it actually gets an image and it is not broken. If it doesn’t, it will be highlighted as a warning.

Alt text: If an image does not have alt text it will be highlighted as a warning. This is because spam filters cannot tell what is contained within the image. Therefore, it will read the Alternative Description of the image to identify if it’s spam or not.

Size in message: If an image in an email has been set to have either dimension (width and/or height) to be over 1400px, it will be highlighted.
There are almost no scenarios where an image should be higher or wider than 1400px because it results in a poor rendering experience for your contacts.
Background images have fluid dimensions are not tested for their size in the email.

Actual image size: If the image itself is higher or wider than 1400px, it will be highlighted. Images of that size tend to be far too heavy for their use and should be resized accordingly. Using heavy images in emails, results in a poor rendering experience for your contacts. It can also eat into your image library space and make the email editor sluggish.

If you want to see the image, copy and paste the image url into a new browser tab. You can use that to help you find the image in the editor if you need to add alt text or replace it with a smaller one.

Personalisation check

The personalisation checker counts every personalisation custom field you have added to your email and tells you how many do not have fall back values.

As you add fallback values to each of your personalisation fields, the personalisation check will update accordingly in real time.


Unsubscribe link check

Having an unsubscribe ‘method’ is a legal requirement for marketing emails, best practice is to have a link to click.

PureCampaign will add one at the bottom of all of your emails by default.
You can remove the default in step1 if you wish and you can use the snippets to put the unsubscribe link into your message behind your own text.

This check will look to see if the default is enabled and if the snippets have been used.


The header will tell you if it has found any or not.
Once opened it will tell you which kind(s) of unsubscribe method it found (Automatic / Manually added / Automatic & Manually added / Not found)

Google Analytics Tracking check

It is extremely common to append Google Analytics tracking code to each link in an email, to allow GA to attribute email traffic efficiently.
PureCampaign can do this automatically with a checkbox in step1.
This check will tell you if it is enabled or disabled.


If you find it is not ticked for new emails, when you enable it, you will be asked if you want it on by default. This can also be toggled in manage profile.

Alternative Tracking

You can also append your own tracking to the end of all of the links in step1, it is not frequently used. This check tells you if it has been set.

You can still send your emails if you don’t have all of the green ticks on the testing page. However, it is a good idea heed the warnings and be sure you understand the risks if you decide to send without fixing all of the flags from the checker.

We’re eager to add more automatic tests. Its purpose is to reduce the amount of tedious manual testing wherever possible and avoid being told about unspotted issues by your boss during sign-off or even your contacts receiving the final email. We have some great ideas already from our own experience and from user feedback but we are always eager for more. Please use the feedback option in the profile menu.