Coming Soon: Single-click design and spam testing

As I mentioned in my original call for standards support, "getting an email to display consistently in all of the popular email clients is by far the most frustrating part of the job". Our dedicated site for the push towards standards in email is coming along nicely, but we're also well aware that things won't be improving overnight.

To keep everyone sane in the mean time, we're putting the finishing touches on an awesome new feature that lets you do incredibly detailed design and spam testing with a single mouse click - all before you hit the send button. Here's a sneak peek at some of the cooler bits...

Screenshots in all the major email clients

See screenshots of exactly how your email will look in up to 18 of the most popular email clients like Outlook 2007, Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, Lotus Notes, AOL and many more.

Sneak preview screenshot of the design test tool

Image blocking and preview panes included

As you know, most of the popular email clients sport image blocking and preview panes these days. Not only will we take screenshots of your design, but we'll take multiple versions with images on, images off and even how your design looks in the horizontal or vertical preview pane. You'll have every angle covered.

Sneak preview screenshot of the design test tool

Your email tested against popular spam filters and firewalls

Instead of just scanning your content for "spammy words", we’ll pass your email through real spam filters and tell you exactly why you failed. On top of popular desktop spam filters, we’ll also run your email through a number of key spam firewalls - the gatekeepers for most ISP’s and large corporations.

Sneak preview screenshot of the spam test tool

Cheaper than doing it yourself

This new feature won't be free in your account, but will cost $10 (or 1,000 email credits) for each detailed report. This will include dozens of screenshots in all the major email clients and your email being run through a range of popular spam filters and firewalls. It isn't something you'll use for every campaign you send, but if you're working on a new design or making some big template changes, this is a great way to get piece of mind in minutes.

As we've explained before, proper email testing takes time. Serious time. We've got test accounts at all the major ISP's and have a few test machines to check different spam filters - we know how painful testing is. I've been playing around with this new feature internally for the last few weeks and I have to say, I'm never going back.

We're hoping to launch this some time in the next 2 weeks, and I'll post an update here as soon as it happens. If you're an Aussie heading to Web Directions tomorrow, make sure you swing by the Freshview booth for a sneak peek at this new feature in action.

Posted by David Greiner

21 Comments

  • Michiel
    26th September

    This is a killer feature!

  • James
    26th September

    Wow - this will be great… the $10 per report thing, presumably this will be for each time you run it - so if you do a design, run the report, do some tweaks and then run the report again you will get charged twice?

  • Dave Greiner
    27th September

    Cheers Michiel, we think so too. That’s spot on too James, the fee is payable for each test you run. Because of this, you might still do some of your own preliminary testing first by sending yourself a quick preview, making some tweaks and sending a preview again.

    Once you’re pretty happy with your design, you can use these reports for a complete check across the board and to make sure you’re covered for the major spam filters. In my experience so far, you usually won’t need any more than two of these tests to get everything right.

  • Benjamin Quorning
    27th September

    I’m looking forward to using this feature! Hopefully, it will be available on MailBuild accounts as well…

  • Dave Greiner
    27th September

    Cheers Benjamin, we’ll be rolling it out in Campaign Monitor first, but if the demand is there we would certainly port the reports across to MailBuild too.

  • Marco
    27th September

    Here’s another demand for Mailbuild support ;-)

  • James
    27th September

    Also, just wondering, will the results of this be available to our clients to see in their reporting section - i.e. we can manage expectations of what the newsletter will look like in GMail etc rather than having them ring us up once it’s been sent and say it doesn’t look like it did in Outlook?

  • Dave Greiner
    27th September

    Not at this stage James, but that’s a great suggestion. We’ve got a few plans on how we can make these reports easy to present to clients, and if the service is popular we’ll be exploring those options post launch.

    Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from supplying any of the generated screenshots to your clients for approval with the reports launching next week.

  • Alex
    27th September

    Hallujah!  This is the best in a long string of good announcements from you guys.  Thank you!

  • Steve
    27th September

    Wow - Great, so worth every penny of $10! And here’s another MB integration vote!

  • Jesse
    27th September

    This looks like a great new feature, very similar to litmusapp. I assume however yours will actually complete tests and not take 8 hours to run? :)

    Also another thing that has been lacking is the ability to scroll down in the image… I want to see the bottom of my long newsletters as well as the top.

  • Jesse
    27th September

    It would also be great to be able to pay a flat monthly fee ($50 p/month?) to run as many tests as you would like.

  • Dave Greiner
    27th September

    Also another thing that has been lacking is the ability to scroll down in the image… I want to see the bottom of my long newsletters as well as the top.

    Jesse, you’ll be pleased to know that we provide the entire screenshot of the email - from top to bottom.

  • sighmon
    27th September

    I’m super super impressed!  Can’t wait to have a play with this feature.
    keep up the great work guys & girls.

    si.

  • Damien Buckley
    28th September

    This is a HUGE feature - great to see it in action and catch up with you all at WDS07 yesterday.  Looking forward to having a go with this.

  • Aaron Sagray
    29th September

    MailChimp does something like this too. As far as pricing goes, it would be nice to see a monthly “unlimited use” option that was reasonable. Given how picky email clients are, I can easily see running up a $100 tab every time I go to test a new, complex template. Not very realistic from an expenditure justification point of view.

  • Dave Greiner
    29th September

    Thanks for the feedback Aaron. This service isn’t a complete replacement of the current testing tools in Campaign Monitor that let you send a quick test to any address. You should use this free tool to send yourself a bunch of tests and make sure it looks spot on at your end.

    Once that’s done, run a complete report and check out the results. Usually you’ll only find one or two problematic clients. Once you target fixes at them, you shouldn’t need to run more than another test or two to get everything sorted out.

  • Richard
    3rd October

    I was very excited when I started using litmusapp but it’s turned out to be a dog.

    Another vote for an unlimited tests monthly fee option.

  • Mike
    5th October

    I agree this is an absolutely amazing feature and well worth the price - but I’d like to add my vote both for MB support (which I’d assume will be down the pike anyway…) and also for an unlimited type of pricing structure. Since CM is pay as you go, maybe a “pro” account monthly fee which covers testing would an option I know I’d definitely consider.

  • Dave Greiner
    5th October

    Thanks for the great feedback guys, as well as the suggestion about pricing. If this feature proves as popular as we’re hoping, then we’ll be able to consider other pricing options. It’s definitely something we’ll be revisiting again in a few weeks.

  • mazak
    25th July

    I’m looking forward to using this feature! Hopefully, it will be available on MailBuild accounts as well…

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