We all have that one person – your mom, an uncle or a neighbour- that will ask “Can you help me set-up my email on my phone? I receive messages but I can’t send any”. In my case, it’s my mom. She has summoned me numerous times to install her email account on her laptop, mobile phone or tablet (Always in return for a nutritious meal!). It’s astonishing how many people still use outdated email clients, something that we as database marketeers have to keep in mind.
That’s why we always test an email on different aspects before sending it:
Some of the emails you have created look good at first sight, but in other email clients, the email can look completely different. Apple Mail has fonts that always look really good, but don’t lose sight of the email client people like your mom might be using. Or everything from Outlook. And the latest addition to Windows 10 is perhaps the biggest challenge.
But don’t just get stuck on the desktop version of your email, keep mobile in mind as well. The screen has a very different sizes and ratios. Content like an image can look completely different for mobile.
If you send out emails frequently, you can look into tools like Litmus to view how your emails look for different email clients. Otherwise you have to test each email for every client (both mobile and desktop).
To get the best test results, you need to know which email clients are mostly used by your readers. This way you can focus your optimization on the most important clients.
#2 Links and UTM-tagging
Do all the links work? Are they directing the reader to a relevant page and not to a 404 error or the wrong page on the website? Do the call to action link and the landing page match? Does unsubscribe link work? All important questions to ask yourself when it comes to links in your email.
Another important aspect is giving links the right UTM-tagging so that you can analyze the results of your email afterwards. It is especially important to check more than one link when it is a dynamic email.
A handy tool you can use to set the right UTM-tagging is the Google’s Campaign URL Builder.
This seems obvious but unfortunately this often goes wrong. Make sure you always check your email content before sending it. Let someone who has not seen the text before check it for any grammar mistakes, spelling error and sentence structure.
What is also important, is the length of the text and sentences. Although that depends on your target audience and goal of the email. Some target audiences will react better to short, gripping sentences and others you have to send substantive texts.
Also, be sure to address the audience in a consistent way. Are you going to address them in an informal or formal way.
If you send an email in multiple languages, check if the email looks good in all languages as well. Are you going to translate the text literally or are you going to approach other languages (and thus countries / cultures) in a different way? This can make a huge difference! But even a button text that’s just a little longer can look different. At PI marketing we try to do this as efficiently as possible by using our own Pitlane software (you can read more about it here), but proper control remains important.
In other words, know your target audience and adapt your content accordingly!
#4 Spam score
What is your spam score? This check is integrated in some esp’s, but you can also check it with a tool like Litmus. There are also a couple of free tools with which you can test your spam score that all check different aspects of your email. One focusses on the content and an other one will do more of a technical analysis. Depending on your goal, you can choose which one will be the best tool your email(s).
Next to using tools to check your spam score, there are a couple of things you can keep in mind to prevent your email being recognized as spam:
- Watch out for words like discount, for free and don’t overuse exclamation marks.
- Make sure your DKIM/SPF settings are in check.
Another one is the quality of your email list. Note the following things:
- Do not continuously send emails to purchased lists, but make sure that the receivers are engaged and stop sending emails or lower the frequency for the people who do not engage with your emails.
- Remove bounces and inactive email addresses or lower their frequency.
- Use a double opt-in to guarantee the quality of your database.
#5 A/B versions
Maybe you are already working with A/B versions to continuously test your emails (we wrote an insightful post on A/B testing here). The last step is to make a B version of your email. Depending on your test, something needs to be changed and has to be checked again. This will take extra time, especially if you have two different versions of main text. A button text is much easier to check.
Do you check all these five aspects of your email? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to know more about what we can do for your travel business? Check our services here or contact us!