Testing your email newsletters is an important part of any email marketing campaign. You want to make sure that the email looks right, has correct HTML, no mistakes and gets the highest deliverability. Here is an overview of the best Email Testing Tools to try before hitting send.
The email testing tools in this list will help you:
- Preview your email design and layout,
- Test HTML validation,
- Check your email sender reputation,
- Improve deliverability
Why use email Testing tools?
There are a lot of things marketing teams need to take care of – planning campaigns, creating compelling catchy content, and tracking the performance of all ongoing promotion activities, including email marketing.
Next to technical aspects like dealing like email rendering and deliverability, the success of your email newsletters and automated email campaigns depends on the attention of your team during the campaign setup. If you want to make the most out of every email you send, testing could be just as important as design and campaign tracking.
In this article, we will take a look at easy-to-master email testing tools that will save you a lot of time and help ensure your readers get the best version of every single newsletter you send out.
HTML Validation and email testing tools
Missing a closing tag or a table cell might not seem too big of a deal when you are writing an email code; however, a little mistake can destroy your subscribers’ reading experience. To make sure your emails are tested, render well in every inbox and error-free, do HTML testing using these tools:
1. Litmus – email previews and testing suite
Litmus offers marketers dozens of testing and campaign management tools. There’s a campaign tracker, built-in email editor, and many other convenient features. The platform is most often used for its email testing preview in multiple inboxes. Litmus covers 90+ of email clients, browser clients, and screen dimensions.
- Email testing before send
- Collaboration options – shared accounts for teams
- Campaign monitoring
- Campaign checklist
Pricing: A monthly subscription that costs $99 after free trial
2. Mailtrap – HMTL validation and Spam tester
Mailtrap is an email testing platform that works as a fake SMTP server emulating sending and gathering emails in development stages. The tool scans the entire email and makes sure there are no missing or redundant tags, basically checking the HTML email campaign.
Other than HTML validation, developers and marketers often use Mailtrap as an email spam tester. The Mailtrap system mimics SMTP servers. Users can view how the email is rendered in specific virtual inboxes managed by Mailtrap.
Main email testing features:
- Shared virtual inboxes
- Check for spam and HTML validity
Pricing: there’s a free version that supports individual accounts. For professional use, Mailtrap subscription plans start at $9.99
3. Accessible Email
Accessible Email is an accessibility evaluation tool for email. It free to use and is mainly for email marketing professionals and industry developers. The tool gives an overview of their current level of email accessibility and possible improvements.
- Validate the HTML of your email
- Check for accesibility features
- Give advice to improve and build on
Pricing: 100% Free
4. Putsmail – email test sends
Created by the developers of Litmus, Putsmail is a tool dedicated to HTML validation. It allows marketing teams to send multiple emails to their team members or different mailboxes for testing. There are no virtual inboxes, so you still have to check with each inbox or your colleagues one-by-one. There is an email-sending interface.
- Sending test emails to multiple teammates at once;
- Available as a Google Chrome extension;
- CSS inliner and testing history
Pricing: the platform is free
Email Preview and email send testing tools
Email marketers should keep in mind that different devices, screen dimensions, and email clients can get in the way of your design, making it look different from what a creator had envisioned.
To make sure your email is equally appealing regardless of a device or email client it’s opened on, run email preview testing using these tools.
1. Email on Acid – email validation and preview tool
Email on Acid is a full-featured email testing tool. It gives marketing teams confidence in the way the message is displayed in different browsers and email clients. The platform has a complete set of features, covering HTML Validation and previews on over 90+ clients and devices it covers common email browser clients, ISP (email providers like Gmail), and operating systems.
Email on Acid has an email preview feature. The platform is especially efficient for self-coded HTML and designs.
- Unlimited email previews
- Email analytics dashboard
- Pre-check email campaigns
- Spell-check & email process checklist
- Validate in-message URLs.
Pricing: there’s a free trial with unlimited access to check out the platform. To use the email testing tool after, marketing teams pay $73.00/month.
2. Stripo – email testing
Stripo is mostly known as an email template builder and editor. But also you can preview emails on more than 70 different platforms (powered by Email on Acid). With every paid plan you get a number of free email tests. Check how your emails’ custom fonts, buttons, images should look like in the eyes of customers.
- email editor with email newsletters templates
- Email tests powered by Email on Acid
- plugin for apps
Price: It is free to try out the editor. The paid starter plan costs $12,50 per month.
3. Preview My Email
This email testing tool is among interesting alternatives to Inbox Inspector. Like other preview tools, this one allows you to check email designs on various apps and platforms but also to examine your messages more thoroughly.
Use Preview My Email with a copy-paste email content testing, integrate with API, upload email HTML code, and preview messages in a virtual inbox. The tool is less sophisticated as for instance Litmus and Email on Acid.
- Simple email editor included
- Spam testing
- copy-paste email content testing
Pricing: free 7-day trial; a standard plan starts from $25 per month.
Email Send Reputation testing tools and deliverability
Sender reputation is a measure of deliverability. Some email service providers calculate a score depending on your campaign’s open rates, the number of spam complaints, and the eagerness with which readers interact with the email content (click on links, forward emails, etc). And there are plenty of handy tools that track sender reputation.
1. Sender Score by Validity
You might remember Return Path Sender Score from before it was part of the email company Validity. Sender Score helps marketing managers find out what the account’s sender’s reputation is. Currently, you’ll have to register and enter your IP address and let the platform run a scan. As a result, an email will be assigned a score from 0 to 100, indicating sender reputation (the higher your grade is, the better the reputation score is).
- Get an indication of your send reputation
- Fast Sender Score scanning
- Breakdown of your score
Pricing: SenderScore is free
2. Reputation Authority
Reputation Authority is a reputation-monitoring tool that allows marketers to collect the reputation data of the brand across online channels and social media tools, email included. The platform alerts marketing managers if the brand’s reputation becomes lower and gives a big-picture view of how the brand is perceived online.
Reputation Authority is not the most fleshed-out tool out there – the interface is slightly outdated, there’s no detailed breakdown of how the score gets calculated.
- IP-based reputation assessment
- Indicates which emails in the campaign caused sender reputation fluctuations.
Pricing: Reputation Authority test is free.
3. Postmark – Spam check with Spam Assassin
Postmark offers a free Spam Score check, by pasting the entire text of your email the score will be shown on the page. Your message is verified using SpamAssassin and gives you your SpamAssassin score without you having to install it anywhere. Spam Assasin is still a widely used spam filter. Postmark is an SMTP email delivery service.
In addition, they offer a JSON API for free to give you a SpamAssassin score. This works for any incoming or outgoing email.
Pricing: Spam Check by postmark is free.
4. dmarcian Domain and DMARC tester
Dmarcian helps companies monitor and successfully deploy DMARC and get emails authenticated.
Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is a free and open technical specification that is used to authenticate an email by aligning SPF and DKIM mechanisms. Dmarcian offers several email authentication checking tools and wizards.
Few things that are more frustrating to marketers than realizing that the email they worked so hard to write and design ended up in spam rather than a reader’s inbox. You want to be able to have a spam checker and deliverability monitoring tools.
1. GlockApps – find email issues email
GlockApps offers a solution for improving your email deliverability and spam scores. In that sense, it’s an alternative to the popular 250ok (now part of Validity).
GlockApps helps to deal with deliverability issues at multiple stages of your email campaign. From content ongoing inbox checker and email list management till bounce and replies tracking. Whith their bot, Gappie you can run all tests from your smartphone and receive alerts in Telegram or Slack..
- Ongoing inbox tests
- DMARC policies analytics
- IP reputation monitor
- Bounce tracker
Price: 3 free spam tests and 14-day free DMARC Analytics trial. Paid plans start from $39/month.
2. Send Forensics free email deliverability test
Promoting itself as “the most advanced deliverability toolset”, Send Forensics is meant for ESPs and Enterprise brands to do content analysis, give performance insights, pre-send spam check, and display testing. Send Forensics offers a free email deliverability test that you can use after registration.
- Blacklist tracking
- Low deliverability alerts
- AI-driven optimization
Pricing: The email deliverability test is free to use.
3. Mail-tester – test the spammyness of your emails
Mail tester is a simple deliverability testing tool, that tests in seconds. To get your grade, send an email to the address given on the homepage of the platform. Mail-tester will analyze your message, your mail server, your sending IP, and show a report of what’s configured properly and what’s not.
- Uses Spamassassin
- Fast deliverability scan
- Built-in DKIM and SPF records checker
Pricing: Mail Tester is free
Email Deliverability, What to do when emails are going to Spam?
If after testing your email deliverability, you find a low score, it’s easy to get confused as to what went wrong. Here are some common issues marketers struggle to get their emails to readers’ inboxes:
- A high number of spam complaints – the obvious one, this type of deliverability issue occurs when too many readers report your email as spam.
- Technical problems with content or configuration. When your email HTML is invalid or authentication is wrong or not set at all.
- High bounce rates. Emails don’t reach email inbox because too many emails bounce, which can be caused by sending to old email addresses that haven’t been mailed in a while or lots of fake / unconfirmed email addresses. A bounce means the email inbox is either temporarily unavailable or the address is not available at all.
- Low engagement. Despite getting your emails, readers aren’t interested enough to open, engage, or click on links in them. Some ESPs track the audience’s behavior and will eventually stop delivering the brand’s messages if they are not interacted with.
- Changing to a new ESP or failure to warm up IPs and domains. This type of behavior is considered suspicious by ESPs since it’s typical for spammers, eager to hide their traces. This is why it is always good to talk with your new ESP about deliverability.
4 easy steps to test email deliverability issues and deal with them
There is no universally accepted rule to fix the deliverability difficulties at once. However, you should be aware of these four pieces of advice and try to implement them in practice.
Clean your email lists. To avoid sending to low engaged or bad email addresses, clean your list thoroughly to protect the campaign from bouncing and avoid deliverability damage. You can use any email validation tools before send and / or engagement statistics from your ESP to find subscribers with low engagement.
Warm up before the game. Warm up the IP and email address before starting a campaign, act gradually. At the initial stage, start sending letters in small batches to subscribers that are known to engage with your emails and slowly increase sending volumes as you get some credit from the receiving inbox providers like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.
Respect subscribers. Get subscribers’ consent before sending emails. You have to avoid buying lists or adding addresses to the base without a recipient’s permission. It’s rather unethical and inefficient and can lead to a lot of spam complaints. If you are not sure the correct permissions are in place, it might be a consideration to do a well-planned re-permission campaign.
Correct your HTML and add email Responsiveness. We use different devices, so sites and emails with responsive tables, text. Spend time to make sure your emails are responsive or use a responsive email template builder. And don’t forget about testing mobile emails either. Test email content to make sure it’s mobile-friendly, scalable, and readable. This way, you will increase the campaign’s engagement rates.
What is the best email testing tool?
So by now, you understand that email testing is a crucial part of a campaign’s success. It informs of how well emails will do to get to the reader’s inbox. There is hardly any way to do email Quality Assurance without automated email campaign testing tools.
We will add more interesting projects in the future. In the meantime, you can give the ones reviewed above a try and share your personal favorites in the comments.