It’s not easy putting together an email marketing campaign. In all likelihood, creating the right one for your business took a considerable amount of time and effort — not to mention money. In the end, you’ll hope that all your efforts were worth it and that you see improved email engagement and, ultimately, more conversions.
But it’s important to keep in mind that even the best-laid plans can go awry. While you may think you have a stellar marketing email that will get results, the proof is in the pudding. And that pudding can often be spoiled by a simple issue: email rendering. This is the aspect of emails that dictates how your email will be presented to the recipient, and, spoiler — just because your email looks great when it lands in your email inbox, that doesn’t mean that it’ll look just as awesome when it lands in the email inbox of the person that counts: the customer.
And while the odd skewed image or incorrectly structured text within an email may not sound like a big deal, it actually kind of is. You’ll have put together your marketing emails to drive your business forward, but they can only do that if they’re as close to perfect as possible. If things just look off, then you’ll be unlikely to dazzle the recipient enough to turn them into a customer.
Thankfully, there’s a tried and tested solution for avoiding this problem, and it’s called email rendering testing. In this post, we’ll take a close look at everything you need to know about how to test email rendering, as well as provide some top tips for rendering your emails correctly.
What is test email rendering?
If you’re going to go to great lengths to put together the perfect email marketing campaign, then you won’t want to fall at the final hurdle. But amazingly, that’s just what many brands do, and it’s all because they fail to adequately test their emails before hitting the send button.
Remember, once your brand’s email lands in the recipient’s inbox, there’s no getting it back. If there’s an error in there, then the best you can hope for is that they fail to notice.
You can put the power back in your hands — rather than in their lack of observation skills — by thoroughly testing your email rendering before launch.
You can do this in multiple ways, including checking your planned emails by sending them to inboxes that use different ESPs before you send them to your subscribers’ list. You can also send them to various employees to see if they notice any problems within their email clients.
However, while this approach may be somewhat effective, it is time-consuming. And in truth, the effectiveness is pretty limited. You could test your emails against a few ESPs, but you probably don’t have dozens of different email addresses you can use. To truly minimise the risk of errors, you’ll want to use an email rendering tool.
Why is it important to use an email rendering tool?
Email rendering tools can ensure that you know exactly what your recipients will see when your brand’s email lands in their inboxes. And this can have far-reaching benefits, as we’ll see later.
With an email rendering tool, you can test the presentation of your email across various platforms before you hit the send button. As we said above, while your email might look great in your inbox, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll look the same in your recipients’ inboxes.
The best email rendering tools will allow you to see how your marketing emails will appear across mobile, tablet, and desktop, as well as across a whole host of ESPs — all of the most popular ESPs (Google, Hotmail) will be included, but crucially, many of the not-so-popular ESPs will also be included.
They’re quick and easy to use and will give you peace of mind that your emails look exactly as they should. After all, if you’ve spent hours crafting an email that you think will wow your customers and bring in a ton of business, then it’s essential that the email is presented as you intended.
Some of the key benefits of using an email rendering tool include:
- Check your emails for obvious errors.
- See how your email will look across various devices/platforms.
- Allows you to make last-minute changes to maximise effectiveness.
How you can use an email renderer to improve your ROI
Most marketers understand the power of email marketing. It’s one of the most effective marketing methods they have at their disposal. And in truth, email marketing can be so effective that even error-laden emails can yield results.
But brands don’t just want acceptable results. They want exceptional results. One study found that brands that test their emails experienced a 17% higher ROI than those that did not. And given the relatively low amount of time it takes to test your email rendering, we’d say that fact makes testing a no-brainer.
After all, your emails will have the most impact if they look great on the recipients’ screen. And that’s just what email rendering testing promises.
Best practice for email rendering
All going well, your emails will look perfect at the first time of asking. But we all know that this isn’t a perfect world. Even if you’ve nailed your current email marketing campaigns, for maximum effectiveness you should be switching things up from time to time anyway. To improve your email rendering, keep the following tips in mind:
- Code your emails using HTML tables.
- Add alt-text to your images.
- Inline CSS and tables should be preferred over CSS Stylesheets.
- Emails should always be mobile-responsive.
- Keep your emails within 102 kb to avoid Gmail clipping.
- Always check your email rendering before hitting send.
It’s not easy putting together emails that your customers want to read. Don’t lose them because of rendering errors. If you need further help boosting your email marketing campaigns with email marketing software, then be sure to claim your free trial of Instiller.