How to test and preview your mobile-friendly email

It’s obvious that before sending out any campaign, you have to make sure everything looks as planned.

For this, you must do 2 things:

  1. Preview your campaign
  2. Test your campaign

Considerations

Since you are dealing with many different variables like email clients, devices and screen sizes, this can’t be as simple as just sending a test and open it in whatever app you use.

While your campaign might be displaying correctly on the Gmail app, it could be completely different on Mailbox.

The preview

Some ESPs, like Mailchimp, will offer the option to preview your campaign for mobile.

Mailchimp mobile preview

Others, like Aweber, will only show you a preview for desktop, so you are going to have to rely only on testing.

Aweber email preview

First thing to do then, is to figure out if your ESP offers a mobile preview of your campaign.

Where to find the campaign preview

The test

The preview will only be the start, you still need to make sure your campaign is displaying correctly in the real world in different environments.

Multiple apps

The best thing you can do is to have multiple email clients installed on your mobile device, this way you can open the same test in more than one environment.

Here is a test conducted on 3 different apps: Apple Mail, Gmail and Mailbox.

test conducted on 3 different apps

If you already have data about the email clients your subscribers use on mobile devices, I’d suggest to install at least the 3 main ones on your mobile device.

As you can see, there are minor differences between them, like the spacing in the headline, but the experience remains pretty uniform in all samples. What you are looking for is that the user experience on mobile is not completely different from app to app.

We’ll consider this test a success.

How to send a test

In this video I show you how to send a test so you can preview campaigns on your own.

3rd-party services

That’s what you can do on your own to either preview or test your campaigns before sending them, but there is a much more professional and effective way to do this: Use an email preview service.

The 2 most popular ones are:

  • Litmus
  • Email on Acid

These services take previewing to the next level by giving you a preview of the campaign in several environments, all in one place.

The benefits:

  • Save time (lots of it)
  • See how your campaign looks in environments you have no access to
  • See all the previews in one place and at the same time

Here is a preview of the Litmus dashboard

Email preview dashboard

and how can preview individual environments:

Litmus email preview

And here is the dashboard from Email on Acid:

Email on Acid dashboard

And how you preview on individual apps:

Email on Acid email preview

These services are paid as I mentioned before in the course.

Mailchimp + Litmus

Litmus starts at $79/month, but I want to show you how to enjoy the benefits by a fraction of the cost.

This is only if you use Mailchimp.

Mailchimp offers an integration with Litmus called “Inbox Inspection.” It is not included for free account, only for paid users, but even if you are on a free account, you can select to pay the minimum to enjoy this. That minimum is $10/month, a fraction of the Litmus cost.

Here is how to use it:

GetResponse

Another thing I want to acknowledge is that GetResponse offers a similar feature that is already included in its service. Of course GetResponse doesn’t offer free accounts.

GetResponse previews

Homework

Okay, I gave you a few options to preview and test your campaigns.

Here is what you need to do before you send your next campaign:

  1. Figure out if your ESP offers a preview for mobile (You already know Aweber doesn’t)
  2. Install a few email apps on your own device. Ideally the one most used by your subscribers to open your campaigns
  3. Send a test to yourself and preview it in the different apps
  4. What you’re looking for is that the campaign provides a uniform experience for the recipient, but don’t expect that it will be identical
  5. Make the necessary changes and send a new test until you’re happy with the results
  6. Send your campaign