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Email Campaign Design – Testing Tips

By on Nov 29, 2009 in Graphic Design | 0 comments

When testing an email campaign design, there are a few things you want to keep in mind.

First, set up multiple accounts with email providers, and spread them out among email clients on PC and Mac. I do have to say that I am an Apple guy myself, but the majority of users still use a PC. It is imparative to test both Mac and PC. Great email clients to test in are Apple’s Mail app, Thunderbird, and Microsoft’s Outlook/Outlook Express. The following email providers’ online clients are a must: Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and if you host a domain with a provider try their email client. I personally have found success in designing for Google’s Gmail, and then testing the other clients later.

Like I said earlier, I am an Apple guy! However, testing in Mail will proove to be tough because it supports all kind of CSS strategies, divide based layouts, and background calls in div style tags. For the user, all of this is amazing to have and makes viewing a great experience. But, keep in mind that online clients like Gmail will strip out any external calls to CSS or any CSS embedded in the head, and kiss div tag reliability goodbye. When designing email layouts, it’s time to go ‘Old School’ and use tables for everything. Yes, a pain in the butt, but reliable and consistent. With tables, you can successfully call backgrounds in Gmail and trust that the layout will stick to placement and dimensions.

If you are having issues with font styles when testing, try calling the styles using a div tag. (I know I said divs are unreliable, but in the specific case of font styling, I have not experienced any issues.)

Don’t forget to test on mobile devices!!! If you don’t want to compromise your design to work around mobile limitations, then make sure you have a ‘view in browser’ link at the top of your layout. More and more people are using mobile devices to check email especially following, my personal favorite, the iPhone. With ‘new school’ devices, email still seems to be stuck in the ‘old school’ ways. So, brush up on your tables!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone (while driving somewhere in the middle of the Rockie Mountains)