There’s a reason most companies plan to spend more time and money on email marketing in 2016: email marketing continues to hold the highest ROI of all digital marketing channels.
Every marketer has their preferred email service provider and email development checklist. But far too often they overlook the crux of the campaign: testing their email across multiple devices and clients before setting the campaign to deploy. Though many test campaigns by sending an email to their iPhone or Gmail inbox, that’s not enough. Why? Because every email client renders code differently.
Email on Acid Overview
Email on Acid provides email testing, troubleshooting and advanced analytics tools to help companies simplify and improve their email marketing efforts. The company tests email campaigns on 45 different email clients and devices and provides tools to solve rendering issues. Founded in 2009, Email on Acid has helped more than 80,000 companies worldwide test their emails.
Marketers use Email on Acid to simplify testing emails created from scratch and within any email service provider. But that’s not all—Email on Acid provides a variety of other tools, including:
- Link and image validation
- Code analysis and an HTML optimizer
- Collaboration tools
- Web page previews in numerous web clients and mobile devices
In addition to its core suite of tools, Email on Acid offers numerous resources and unrivaled customer support. A community forum composed of email marketers, coders and designers is available to anyone, free of charge. And the Email on Acid Resource Center hosts a library of free responsive and hybrid fluid email templates, guides, whitepapers and more.
The Importance of Email Testing
Email clients and mobile devices display HTML differently because each client renders HTML in its particular way. That’s why your code might be left justified in Outlook yet look beautiful in your Gmail client.
If you don’t test to diagnose coding and deliverability issues before you deploy your campaign, your email engagement (and brand and ROI) can be negatively impacted. In fact, 70 percent of individuals say that they will delete an email immediately if it does not render properly in their inbox.
Email Development Best Practices
If you’re new to the world of email, you may find all of this information a bit overwhelming. Modern web coding techniques have little to no support in email clients and meanwhile people keep telling you to use tables. Here’s the thing, tables in email code are a necessity, so plan to become an expert in them. A few other pointers:
- Single column design makes life easy! It’s sufficient for most emails (newsletters are an exception) and will make it easier to accommodate mobile devices.
- Use 600px for width to fit nicely on most web and desktop clients. The size can be scaled down to fit on mobile screens using media queries or fluid hybrid design (read on for more about that).
- When in doubt, table. Forget divs and floats. Tables are the most reliable way to achieve a consistent layout. This technique is the basis of responsive and fluid design and allows you to take advantage of the align attribute to structure your design.
- Keep mobile users in mind. Some designers have even switched over to “mobile first” design. This approach is especially successful for simple emails like password resets, transactional emails, and account updates.
And Email on Acid just released a free, web-based email editor. This editor allows users to build, edit, preview and optimize emails in a single application in real-time.
Test, Test, Test!
Email coding can be tricky. The only way to be sure your email will look great everywhere is to test it. Email on Acid can help with that by generating screenshots of your email in all of the most popular email clients and devices in less than 30 seconds.
In addition to email testing services, Email on Acid offers troubleshooting tips and information for any issues you do encounter, pre-deployment spam testing, and post-deployment advanced email analytics. The company also writes an outstanding blog covering topics like Troubleshooting Line Length in HTML Email or Best Email Development Tricks and Hacks.
With the plethora of email clients and devices available, email testing isn’t a convenience; it’s a necessity. Take your email efforts to the next level: