Don’t Allow Your Email Marketing Layout View Dictate the View for Your Audience
Often times trainers, consultants, or professional coaches use their own email or mobile inbox to test their email. While this can be a good first impression, it should not be the final word on layout decisions. Because email platforms, mobile inboxes, and personal settings greatly influence how an email marketing message is viewed, a more diverse testing method should be used.
The first line of testing an email is a test or preview option in your email marketing platform to review your layouts. This will provide a direct browser rendering of your email layout and is best served to check for potential glitches or anomalies. Many offer a scaling tool to see how the email will display for different screen sizes. However, it’s rarely fool proof as it ignores image disabling and advanced functions that some email or mobile platforms won’t support.
So that there are no false expectations, it’s impossible to test your layout for every possible scenario. Even sophisticated paid testing platforms don’t guarantee compatibility across the board. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t test on common platforms, systems and settings.
This is an important point because personal experience often drives inadvisable decisions. We got a simple example of this from a client reviewing an email layout. The client feedback said, “Remove the gray box at the top, it’s just taking up space. Put our header in instead.” The gray box in question was the result of the client’s email system disabling images. After explaining that the image was disabled and viewing the email with images enabled the client told us, “Definitely keep the header as it’s the graphical identifier for who we are.”
This is a simple example but one that could be expanded on. Suppose the client loved the graphics and made an email full of them. Every recipient with blocked images would see a blank email until images were enabled. What if the graphic didn’t scale to smaller screens? Mobile users would see a zoomed in version of the header without the benefit of seeing where the content began further down the page.
Don’t let your personal viewing experience dictate unilateral changes. Set up a layout and test it in a few different ways to ensure that a wide range of your audience will get a useful view.