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Karin Ballestrazze
 
February 2, 2012 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce , Email Marketing , General , Resources and Tools | Karin Ballestrazze

Are you testing your email messages before blasting?

Given the number of mailing lists our Client Services team has joined, we too often experience that “oh no” moment when we receive an email that was clearly sent untested.  And, recently, at the ecommerce workshop I attended at the DTC Symposium in San Francisco, the topic of email testing was discussed at length.  This has prompted me to provide some tips to follow before sending out marketing emails.

I think many of us have been there, right? Rushing to meet a deadline and feeling like a quick preview of the email will be a sufficient enough test.…….but then you send the email and WHAM! It hits you like a ton of bricks as you sink down into your office chair, burying your head into your hands…….your email has typos, broken links and the merge tags are inaccurate so users can't easily place an order on your website, which was your point to begin with. You could be faced with customer service calls and now need to send out the dreaded apology email with corrections. Your customers may have lost faith in this important communication from you and it makes you really wish you had taken the time to test.

Our ecommerce team can’t stress enough how important email testing is as it provides the opportunity to catch mistakes in advance and ensure the email is sent with accuracy.  If desired, we will gladly review our client’s emails and make suggestions for improvement to help ensure it is sent without error.

Our client, Alexana, does an incredible job of not only creating emails with rich content and images but segments their list to ensure it reaches the proper audience.  Including extra time for testing will help ensure email success as well as a positive customer experience.  I’ve attached a recent sample email they sent which speaks to their attention to detail.


Some tips to help you check your email prior to sending:

 

  • Proof your content by reading it out loud to ensure readability. Or, ask somebody to proof your work.
  • Create an email address at Yahoo, Hotmail, Google, MSN, etc. and send the email to this test group. Preview your email in both a web and outlook client.
  • Check for typos, broken links and proper tags.
  • Don’t save images with spaces, dashes or characters in the name or they may not render in some email clients. Check that images are sized properly and aligned with text.
  • Check email on a mobile device, IPAD, etc., more and more users are reading email on handhelds.
  • Ensure your list segmentation results are what you expected.
  • Join other winery/brand mailing lists that you think highly of to see how they communicate with their clients.


Testing is an email marketing best practice that not only helps you avoid errors, but improves the overall effectiveness of your email marketing program and how your brand is perceived. 
 

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