Regular newsletter sending is an inevitable part of marketing strategy for many companies. The method is inexpensive; e-mails immediately get to the addressee and may bring quick results, provided that all crucial points were met. Actually, newsletter design complies with general web design principles and is created using similar tools and technologies; however, the difference surely exists.
Testing a newsletter before sending is highly important; otherwise your efforts may turn to be a waste of time. Smart merchants test their newsletters in two stages, firstly for its marketing efficiency and then its technical side. There is plenty of testing software, you can install on your computer or use online, still main steps stay the same, so let’s highlight them one-by-one.
First of all, make sure that all essential elements are present in your newsletter design. Here follows their short list:
1. Read your subject line, it should be informative, short and recognizable otherwise the customer may simply ignore your e-mail.
2. Your newsletter should look attractive and encouraging for further reading even in minimal preview size.
3. Some e-mail clients like Outlook, Lotus Notes, and Hotmail don’t display images by default, so check your design without images, is it still worth opening? As a kind of alternative, you may include a link leading to the externally-hosted html version of the email. This way, subscriber will have the possibility to view your content despite the method of viewing and broken elements.
4. Stick to relatively narrow newsletter designs; remember that customers often view their e-mails in partial screen mode.
5. Your e-mails should contain permission reminder, people respond marketing information better when they know that they have subscribed to it themselves.
6. When the addressee knows and trusts the sender, he/she is more likely to open the e-mail. So sender’s details should be clearly stated.
7. Unsubscribe link is also a must-have for commercial e-mails as it saves your efforts and recipient’s nerves. If the person is not interested in your propositions, he/she will throw your e-mail into the bin anyway.
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Now let’s suppose that your newsletter matches all the above stated points and meets all your aesthetic and marketing requirements. Here comes the right time to test some technical moments.
1. Send your newsletter to 10 or more e-mail addresses of your test group. The accounts should be set on all major web-based email services like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail, common desktop e-mail clients like Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird as well as the mobile Android and iPhone mail apps.
Here is a list of popular mailing programs, used for business correspondence, enumerated according to their rating:
Handheld devices (such as Blackberries)
2. Check every account to make sure the e-mails were delivered. If the percentage of failed deliveries is large, check the mailing configuration settings on your mailing list software. If they are correct, switch the mailing method from personal to BCC or contrariwise. Send your message again.
3. Trace how many e-mails got into spam box. If the number is considerable, let the spam checker program work over your content. Change all suspicious words and resend the message again.
4. Make sure that the links are clickable, all fonts, images and newsletter structure are perfectly rendered in all accounts. Remove the imperfections if any and send the e-mail again.
5. Verify whether your statistics program recorded the opening rates. Check the tracking code in your email message and web pages in case of records absence and insert the necessary amendments. Make the test resend for the last time.
We all understand that it is rather disappointing when your marketing efforts don’t bring the desired result, try to follow these simple newsletter testing guides and you will be able to take the most out of your e-mail marketing, including the solid raise of your conversion rates.
You can also consider some helpful newsletter testing tools to manage your campaign. They will simplify your life and save a lot of time and efforts testing your e-mails on a variety of devices and clients to make sure they work properly.
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