Best Practices for Testing Emails Part 2

Last time I wrote, I offered a few tips about experimenting with email campaigns.  This time around I want to give you some more general email testing tips.

  • To avoid having your emails thrown in spam boxes, keep away from spam-like subject lines or emails.  Simple practices to avoid include writing excessive amounts of words in all caps, too much use of red or blue fonts, larger than ordinary font (ordinary is 10-12pt), and too many images when compared to text.
  • Use smart landing pages for the links you provide in emails.  Always double check every link you include to make sure it works and takes the viewer to the correct page.  Use appropriate landing pages that give your audience the information they want.  If you provide a hyperlink on a specific topic, the page should link to a landing page on that topic, not to your company homepage.
  • Send test emails to yourself and to colleagues to review your work for any content issues such as HTML or spelling errors.  A solution like Prospect Insight allows you to send test emails within the user interface and easily edit any last minute changes.
  • Always include an option to opt out of an email list.  To ensure CAN-SPAM compliance, make sure you allow your viewers to have this option.  Prospect Insight includes opt out options within every email or email template you create.  This feature ensures you won’t forget to include the option and risk having your entire campaign thrown in spam.
  • Monitor the look and feel of emails by checking campaigns in different email providers.  It’s important to see how your email will look in different readers including Yahoo!, Gmail, Outlook, or even on mobile phones.  Although some marketers have numerous email accounts setup for testing purposes, the easiest way to view any email in over 50 email readers is with Return Path.  A service such as Return Path identifies content and delivery issues and tests against spam filters.

As always, remember to put yourself in the shoes of your audience.  What information or offers would you want to know about?  How often do you want to be informed or reminded?  And what catches your attention?  Using the above tips along with the tips on experimenting from Part 1 of this blog, you will be sure to build your reputation and benefit from increased response rates and less delivery issues.