5 things to look for when testing your email templates

It’s essential to schedule a reminder once a month, or at the very least once a quarter, to quickly run your email templates through another test. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

  • Broken links
  • Outdated code
  • Dark mode support
  • Missing images
  • Accessibility changes
  1. Broken links

A broken link in an email is the worst. It not only frustrates your subscribers, but it often defeats the entire purpose of the email.

Check your templates as you create new web pages, update old blog posts, or switch CMSs. You never know when a redirect will fail.

What else to watch for? Double-checking your link tracking on your templates (and making sure they’re there!) It does you no good to have six different emails with the same UTM because you forgot to change the tracking when you copied the template.

  1. Outdated code

Examine the emails’ code first. Is it the same way you code new ones? Are you using outdated workarounds? Examine the code and clean it up if you can. It will save you time later.

With old code, you need to consider the minor elements that get passed down. Check the copyright date and your footers every year. Some ESPs, like MailChimp, have auto-update shortcodes, but you’ll have to do this manually every January.

Check and test any personalized tokens you receive via email. The user’s first name may be displayed in error due to a data structure change.

  1. Dark mode support

If your templates support dark mode, you know you last tested them. It’s still a new feature, but it’s become so popular that it’s worth checking that email clients aren’t inverting colors, removing contrast, or otherwise looking odd. Here’s a full dark mode checklist.

Ascend2 and Pathwire found that 59% of marketers are testing dark emails in 2021. Another 20% planned to start dark mode email testing soon. Now is a great time to test your templates in dark mode.

  1. Missing images

Changes in email client support can cause missing images, but so can image file degradation or accidental deletion within your ESP or content delivery network (CDN). Check that your GIFs are still optimized and that your sizes work.

  1. Accessibility changes

Always check your templates for accessibility. This is about making sure everyone in your audience can read and act on your emails with the best possible subscriber experience.