The following are things that you should always check through when you are sending out an email campaign:
- Do the links work and are they going to the correct places?
- Do you have alt tags behind your images?
- Do all your pictures have links and are they going to the correct place?
- If your email is personalised, are the names in your list correctly formatted and present?
- Do you have a clear unsubscribe button and does it work?
- Do you have pre-header text at the top?
- Do you have your company registration details in the email?
- Are you tracking your links using Google Analytics?
- How does your email look in different inbox clients? Try running an inbox preview to test this
- Have you run a spam check to ensure there’s nothing that could lower your emails deliverability?
To help you spot potential problems before you do your own testing, when you move from the editor into the testing step of the message flow, we will have done some checks for you.
Essentially we’ll gone through the HTML behind your message and looked 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.
The check currently has three sections:
- Link checks
- Image checks
- Personalisation checks
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.
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 (or your boss).
The link checker will list every link in order of their appearance in your message.
- If you see a tick, the link looks fine 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, probably due to having custom fields 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 looking like 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 all of 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.
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 red and the status will get an X.
Alt text: If an image does not have alt text it will be highlighted as a problem.
Size in message: If an image in a message 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 rendering experience for your contacts.
Background images have fluid dimensions are not tested for their size in the message.
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.
The personalisation checker counts every personalisation field you have added to your message and tells you how many do not have fall back values.
Once opened, it’ll tell you where to manage the fallbacks.
As you add fallback values to each of your personalisation fields, the personalisation check will update accordingly in real time.
Q: Can I still send my email if I have any Xs in the Checks?
A: Yes. you are free to do as you choose with the results and the message. 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.
Q: There are more things I’d like to be told about, will you add more in the future?
A: Yes. we’re eager to add more automatic tests. Its purpose is 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 and/or contact your account manager.