On any given day, over 300 billion emails are sent out around the world. That’s a lot of content. But almost all of that content is sent through a handful of email clients — you know the Outlooks, Gmails, Yahoos, Apple Mail, etc. So when it comes to testing an email to ensure it delivers properly to your audience, why would you test all the clients that they’re not on?
We asked ourselves the same thing. So we did some major research (typical Assemble) to see how we could elevate our email testing using the email clients that our clients actually care about. As a result, we discovered how to save a lot of time and make the experience much smoother from the get go. Here’s what that looks like.
The Importance of Email Testing & How It Works
While it would be nice if every single email client, device, and platform rendered emails in the exact same way, they don’t. No matter how pretty or perfect your email design may be, it’s not always going to show up that way. For example, even when every element of your email shows up perfectly rendered in an Outlook inbox on desktop, it may have some glaring issues on Apple Mail on a mobile device. Broken links, missing images, misaligned text — all have the power to hurt your brand’s credibility and drive potential clients to your competitors.
With so many different combinations of clients and devices out there, a lot of developers use Litmus (the top email testing platform) to help streamline the process. “It’s a very convenient tool that automates the process of rendering a single email into multiple email clients and environments versus going through each one manually,” Fabian Miranda, Web Development Manager, explained. “It’s very fast and reliable, but depending on the plan you have, there’s a limited number of views/renders, and if you have a wide open scope, it can be consumed pretty quickly — which can add extra costs and drag the process out significantly.”
So our team set out to uncover how they could optimize views consumption without increasing the potential risk of an email not displaying properly in any recipient inbox. “We figured the best way to have all the necessary testing coverage, while offering quicker turnaround times and a better experience for our clients was to focus on the latest and greatest email clients used today,” Jimmy Gonzalez, Developer at Assemble, shared. “And that started with research.”
Optimized Email Testing for Today’s Top Email Clients
Utilizing knowledge acquired from studying market shares, trends, and projections, the plan was to narrow down the endless list of clients to only the most popular in the world today. This way, the team could set up a guaranteed list of clients to communicate to at the start of each project. “The goal of our research was to understand the top clients being used across the globe right now,” Fabian shared, “not limiting our testing capabilities, but making them a lot more efficient. So after evaluating data and trends across a variety of studies, we established a list of 15 email clients that cover just about 96.4% of email clients used today.”
In addition to a quicker development and review process, this solution also allows Assemble to provide a clear scope to our clients at kick-off. “Our clients will know exactly what our testing procedures involve and exactly where their email renderings will be tested,” Fabian added. “We’re not wasting time on email clients from a random country or an outdated device that the email will never get sent to. Our project managers communicate our guaranteed list and establish the scope from the first conversation. This minimizes any unexpected feedback or issues that may arise from these deprecated clients.”
And if a client still needs Assemble to review a rending on a specific combination of browser or device, we can. It’s just that now, we can focus on just that. “Instead of devoting extra time and resources to testing the clients that aren’t even being used by the recipients, we can adjust just to the specific requests of our clients,” Emmanuel “Emma” Ulloa, Developer & Training Manager added. “We can make sure our design teams are focused on the design elements required for that specific client — and not distracted with all the others. This allows us to estimate this process as extra effort and be more clear about the additional time required.”
But the work is never done. Assemble is committed to staying on top of the latest development trends and updating our processes — including our email client list. To learn more about how Assemble has optimized the email testing process and enhanced the experience for our clients, contact us today.