Testing your campaign

Testing your campaign before sending it out to your list is a critical step in your email marketing process. We recommend using different methods to help ensure that your links are working properly, personalization tags are rendering, the correct conditional content (if using) is displaying, and more. In addition, thoroughly testing your email allows you to see how your email looks in different email clients and devices so you can make adjustments as needed before sending your message out to your list.

In this article, we'll walk you through the different options ActiveCampaign offers for testing your email.

Sending a test version of your campaign

Sending a test version of your campaign will allow you to see how the email looks in a specific recipient’s email client. You can also use this method with multiple team members to see how this email looks in different email clients and devices.

This test is useful to do a final, quick review of content and to make sure all links and buttons are taking you to the correct destination when clicked. Replies to test can also be received by the “From” email address.

Conditional content, personalization tags, link actions, and any other pieces of information tied to a contact will not render in this type of test. In addition, any actions (ie, opens, link clicks) taken by your test contact(s) will not be captured or recorded.

This test can be accessed from two different places in the Campaign Builder:

  1. By clicking the cog located on the upper right corner of the Campaign Designer:

    Click_cog.png

    Which will pull up the campaign settings modal:

    Test_your_campaign.png

  2. Or from the Campaign Summary page:

    test_from_summary.png

Simply type the email address of the person who should receive this test in the “Test Your Campaign” section of the Campaign Settings page or Campaign Summary page:

type_email_address_for_test.png

Make sure that the email address receiving this test message is different than the “From” email address. If these two email addresses are the same, you may not receive the test email as it can get blocked or go to your spam folder. In addition, you may experience deliverability issues if the “From” email address and “To” email address share the same domain (ie, @mycompany.com). To help resolve this, we recommend whitelisting our IP ranges.

Desktop preview: Campaign Settings page

This desktop preview shows you how your email looks in both desktop and mobile at a glance. You can use this to see how your design translates from desktop to mobile while making changes to your email. It’s important to note that this should not be used as your only design test as each email client and device renders html differently.

To access this Desktop preview:

  1. Click the cog located on the upper right corner of the Campaign Designer:

    cog_campaign_designer.png

  2. The Campaign Settings modal will open. Click "Desktop Preview."

    Click_desktop_preivew_settings_modal.png

A new window will open where you can view your email in both desktop and mobile:

desktop_preview_example.png

Desktop Preview: Campaign Summary page

This version of the desktop preview will allow you to view the email from a specific contact’s point of view, allowing you to see how personalization tags will render as well as conditional content. In addition, you can also view the plain text version of your email. This only displays the desktop version of your email.

To access this version of the Desktop preview,

  1. Navigate to the Campaign Summary page of your campaign by clicking "Summary" on the top menu.
  2. Click "Desktop Preview."

    Campaign_summary_2.png


A window will open where you can view the desktop version of your email:


desktop_preview_3.png

To see how this email will look for a specific contact, type their email address in the email address field located on the top right of your screen. Then click “Preview.”

Click_preview.png

To view the plain text format of your email, click the “Format” dropdown and select “Text.”

text_format.png

Email Client Preview

Email Client Preview (also called Inbox Preview) allows you to see how your email will appear across the following email clients:
Gmail
Yahoo
Apple Mail
Outlook (Outlook.com, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016)
iPhone
iPad

This is an optional paid service for customers on the Lite Plan. Customers on the Plus and Professional plans receive 5 free previews per month and customers on the Enterprise plan have access to unlimited previews.

This test can be accessed from two different places in the Campaign Builder:

  1. By clicking the cog located on the upper right corner of the Campaign Designer, which will pull up the Campaign Settings modal.
  2. Or from the Campaign Summary page.

Click “Email Client Preview” from either page. 

Email_client_preview.png

A Compatibility Preview modal will load where you can view your email:

compatibility_preview.png

Clicking “Share This” on the lower right corner of the compatibility preview screen will generate a link that you can share with any member of your team so that they can see how the email renders in different email clients.

Share_this.png

Send your campaign to a test list

After you have created your campaign you can create a copy of it and send it to your test list. You’ll want to make sure you have at least a few different contacts in that test list with different email clients (ie, work email, yahoo, gmail, etc) and that you and/or members of your team have access to those email accounts.

Sending the actual campaign to a test list will allow you and your team members to see how the campaign will look on different email clients and devices. In addition, you can test personalization tags, conditional content, link clicks and actions, buttons, and more. All contact actions (link clicks and opens) will be captured and accessible on the Reports page.

If you wish to send your automation email to any test contacts, simply add them to the automation using the bulk edit tool.

Note: If the “From” email address and “To” email addresses in the test list share the same domain (ie, @mycompany.com) you may experience deliverability issues. To help resolve this, we recommend whitelisting our IP ranges.

  1. Create a copy of your campaign. To do so, navigate to the Campaign Overview page and click the dropdown for your campaign:

    click_dropdown.png

  2. Click “Duplicate.”

    click_duplicate.png

  3. Click “Continue” for the copy you just created on the Campaigns Overview page.

    click_continue.png
  4. Navigate to the “List” page of the Campaign Builder by clicking “List” from the top menu:

    Click_list.png
  5. Then select the test list that you wish to send your campaign to by clicking on the appropriate checkbox. Make sure that no other list is checked.

    Test_list.png
  6. Click “Next” located on the top right of your screen and follow the rest of the steps to send a campaign to your test list.

    click_next_to_send.png
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