Using Pre-Campaign Rendering Checks to Optimize Email Effectiveness

There has been a surge in discussion around email testing recently, and the steps marketers can take to optimize their email creative. While not directly related to email delivery rates, how an email renders in various email readers will have an impact on the overall effectiveness of an email campaign. For this reason, pre-campaign content testing should be part of any formal email marketing program.

Return Path’s content testing tool, Campaign Preview, shows you what your email looks like in the most popular email readers in use today by your audience. And, we are getting getting ready to release a major upgrade to our tools to include views with images off for all represented email readers that offer images off by default, as well as preview pane views, both horizontal and vertical. This release will also include rendering views for some of the most popular email readers in the UK and Europe.

There are literally hundreds of email readers out there today, but 90% of email recipients in North America use one of fifteen email readers. All other email readers have less than a 1% market share each. By focusing on 90% of email readers, and concentrating on getting your creative right for the popular readers, you’ll be maximizing your efforts for the optimum return on your investment of time and money.

Return Path always stays on top of the latest developments in email readers for you. Specifically, we were the first to provide rendered views of Windows Live Mail (the new Hotmail), and Yahoo! beta email clients, so that you could plan ahead. However, our previous studies on content and reputation remain true. Optimizing your email marketing for high deliverability is not just about content.

Our research shows that your reputation as an email sender is the single most important factor affecting your delivery performance. Spam complaints, unknown user rates, and other measures come together to form a profile of you as an email sender, which is used by ISPs and filtering companies in their decision to deliver your email to the inbox. While testing your rendering is important, it won’t matter much if your email doesn’t get delivered in the first place. An ideal solution set offers both rendering testing and the guidance to improve the factors affecting your email reputation.

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