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Mailchimp lists are now called audiences. They include the same data and functionality as before, along with valuable new insights about your contacts. As we introduce this change over time, you’ll notice fewer places where we still say list. Learn more about this change.
We encourage you to test every email campaign before you send, to make sure everything looks just right for your recipients.
In this article, you'll learn some email campaign testing tips.
Before You Start
- Note the limit on the number of test emails you can send per campaign and per 24-hour period. If you've hit your test email sending limit, try these tips to continue testing.
General Testing Tips
- Proof your content.
Don't forget to proof your content and your design. Reading your content aloud will sometimes help you catch any typos.
- Use the Link Checker.
The Link Checker tool looks at the links in your campaign and pings the sites to make sure there's a functioning site on the other side.
- Select Enter Preview Mode from the Preview and Test drop-down menu to check your design as you go along.
Preview Mode shows you if any images are broken or if your general layout is working properly. It is designed to give the best approximation of what the campaign will look like when received, so definitely send test emails to get the best idea of how your campaign will render.
- Select the Send a Test Email option on the Preview and Test drop-down menu near the end of your design process.
After your content has been added and you think you're almost ready to send, select the Send a Test Email option to send a test to your own email address.
- Don't just test to your own email account.
Every email client renders HTML differently, so your campaign's appearance may vary slightly from one email client to the next. To get the best idea of how your campaign will display in your recipients' inboxes, set up email accounts on all the most popular email clients, like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, and send tests to those account. If you have a paid account, you can also use our Inbox Preview feature to see how your campaign will look in different email clients.
- Use the Push to mobile option in the Preview and Test drop-down menu to view the campaign on your mobile device.
Send tests to your phone, so you can see how your campaign will render when viewed on mobile devices.
- Ask for testing volunteers.
Ask friends and colleagues to review your campaign content. Since they are not as familiar with your content as you are, they will likely catch typos or unclear content that you may have missed.
Testing Merge Tags
Merge tags pull field data from your audience to generate personalized content, so they have to be connected to a live audience to display correctly. For example, when you send a test email from the Campaign Builder, we can't replace the tags with any data because we only have the email address you provided.
To see how your tags will look for your subscribers, try one of these methods instead.
- In Preview Mode, toggle the slider to the green checkmark to enable live merge info to see how the merge tags will appear for certain subscribers.
- Send your campaign to a test audience with the required audience field data to make sure the merge tags display as expected.
- Are all the images in your email working?
If you used Mailchimp's templates, make sure the image has uploaded properly. If you provided your own code, make sure you're using absolute paths for images, meaning you need your whole image URL, not just the file location on your server. Also check to make sure that all of your images are hosted on your public web server, and aren't on a password-protected site.
- Are all your links working properly?
Click on each of your links and use the Link Checker to make sure they are working. Remember that click tracking is not activated when you use the Send a Test Email option, so a link in a test email will not redirect through our click-tracking feature like it will when sent to an audience.
- Is open and click tracking enabled?
We enable tracking by default, but you can check your settings in the Settings & Tracking section of the Campaign Builder. If they're disabled, you won't see open and click activity in your campaign report.
- Are you getting blocked by spam filters?
Keep spam filters in mind as you create your campaigns to make sure they won't get stuck in your recipients' spam filters.
Test with Inbox Preview
If you aren't sure how your campaign might look in a variety of email clients, you may want to test with Inbox Preview. This tool shows you your campaign in your subscribers' favorite email clients, so you can see how small HTML changes affect your layout.