Troubleshooting Your First Campaign

When you're new to HTML email, it can take a few tries before you're totally satisfied with your finished campaigns. These are some common problems you might encounter, along with some tips and resources to help you troubleshoot.

If you're new to Mailchimp, take advantage of our Getting Started Guide.

General HTML Email Problems

My images aren't displaying correctly.

There are a few things that can cause image display problems. Check that you've uploaded your images correctly and take a look at our article on how to troubleshoot images in campaigns.

My advanced graphics or videos aren't displaying.

In general, if something requires special code, it probably won't function correctly in HTML email. JavaScript, ActiveX, Flash, and videos all require embedded code. Because viruses also use embedded code, most email programs block any embedded code in incoming email as a security measure. If you want to include videos in your campaign, use one of our email-friendly options.

My font formatting or CSS won't display.

CSS will work with HTML email, but it has some limitations. To ensure your CSS displays correctly, we suggest that you keep your code simple and only use CSS for very general style elements, such as fonts or colors. Inline CSS tends to work better with HTML email than embedded CSS. Our CSS Inliner tool will automatically inline your embedded CSS.

My email is breaking when I forward it.

Some programs or servers will break the code used to generate the original email, causing forwarded emails to display as a jumbled mess or raw code. We recommend you use our Forward to a Friend merge tag to forward your email campaigns. This merge tag automatically generates a link to the Mailchimp-hosted Forward to a Friend form which allows your subscribers to send a link to the archive version of the email.

Email Delivery Problems

These are a few common problems you may run into when you try to send a test email or a campaign and how to troubleshoot them.

I never got my test email.

We recommend that you allow up to 30 minutes to receive your test email. Once an email is sent to the queue, we send it out very quickly. However, if your ISP is running slow or experiencing down time, it may take a little longer for your test email to arrive in your inbox.

Check your junk mail folder to see if it was accidentally sent there and double check that you sent your test email to the correct email address.

My email got sent to the junk folder or flagged as spam.

There could be several reasons your email may have been sent to your junk or spam folder. Something in your content might trigger spam filters, or your spam filter doesn't recognize the Mailchimp server yet. Take a look at our article on troubleshooting test emails.

An email keeps hard- or soft-bouncing, but I know it's a valid address.

If a recipient's valid address bounces and the recipient's email server was properly set up using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), it should include a message in the header explaining why it rejected your email. These are some common reasons emails get bounced back.

  • The recipient's email address no longer exists.
  • Recipient's account is over-quota, or temporarily unavailable.
  • Mailchimp isn't whitelisted on the email server, so emails are blocked.
  • Email firewalls blocked your emails.

Read more about reasons valid addresses bounce and what to do about it.

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