If 17.4 million devices were activated, so were the opinions about mobile for business, marketing, culture trends and how different people in the world will use all those devices and apps.
As a copywriter for small business people, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and other business owners, I know this much is true. Small biz folks need to know how the mobile revolution will affect their marketing efforts. The benefit of customers being and using mobile will far outweigh the initial challenges. But you need a set of simplified standards to work with, and the sooner the better!
One thing you may be wondering is how your email looks on all those mobile devices. You hope that the email you created visually in your email service looks professional — and gets read — when it’s delivered to your customer’s inbox.
Finally there’s an easy and inexpensive way to get your rest your mind about your weekly email sends and how they are seen by the majority of your customers and clients.
Email testing can be quick and painless!
Most of us don’t have our own coders creating email from scratch; dreaming in html code about perfect email tables and living to redesign our website across all email clients, operating systems, and mobile devices.
In real life, we’re plugging our content into Constant Contact, MailChimp, Aweber, etc. and hoping for the best.
You might go one step further than just crossing your fingers by setting up some accounts in different webmail and email services: gmail, yahoo, hotmail, outlook, AOL. You might even go out on a limb and actually test what your email looks like when it lands in each of those mailboxes. If that’s you, congratulations! You’re doing better than most small businesses.
But what about those other email clients…Thunderbird, Lotus Notes, Windows Mail, and the countless others out there? And does your email look OK on the latest tablet or ereader?
Wouldn’t you love to know…
You can, with email testing services. I recently discovered a website that rivals Litmus, the popular testing standard for email marketers. I think this one is made in Heaven for the small business person for a few reasons. It’s called EmailOnAcid and (no, I don’t get any kickback) you really should check it out.
The beautiful thing about this service is that you get a ridiculous amount of value for a mere $5 (that’s five measly clams) and it might be all you need every couple of months or so:
- Test and preview individual emails easily; you just upload your code or send your email to YourName@emailonacid.com. Then just one-click “Test this email.”
- Get advice and tips to improve your email for specific clients and devices
- Get coding support for your email design
- See your email in 54 previews: 27 web, 17 desktop and 10 mobile
- Discover discrepancies/erros in your html code for each test
- Test spam filters (optional) in 72 blacklists and 18 popular SPAM filters
- Free email optimization to fix email client “quirks” (most have ’em)
Screenshots of one email test preview:
I’ve only just dipped into this EmailOnAcid software as service. After testing email from two different email services (I used Emma and Aweber) I’m betting all the big email services are just as solid. The drag and drop ease of visual email creation seems to translate well. At least mine didn’t generate too many ugly surprises. My tests revealed numerous coding errors, but not to the extent that they ruined the overall look and readability of my emails, IMHO.
You know me by now; I’m no coder. I have to put on my big girl pants just to look at html, the building blocks of email. I grudgingly understand just enough to appreciate it’s clarity and elegance. So why would EmailOnAcid be valuable to a small business when it offers amazing resources you might never use?
Seven Benefits (plus one more) to a small business person who uses an email marketing service:
- You only test emails in a format/template you use regularly. If you have a standard format for a weekly newsletter, say a two-column design, you can test it once and reuse it with confidence that it will be seen correctly in subsequent sends. If you’re not redesigning your email campaigns weekly, why pay $39/month?
- It’s easy to add emailonacid to your test group and automatically send it to your archives in your emailonacid account. You only test the ones you want.
- Email testing satisfies your curiosity. You no longer have to call your friend with that “other” smartphone or go through the hassle of opening other web browsers to see if your email looks ok. You instantly see what most of the world sees.
- It’s inexpensive! The best $5 I’ve spent online all month.
- There’s no commitment and no monthly subscription. Simply create your account and only buy and use credits when you need to.
- Reading your email in dozens of views allows you to walk in your customers’ footsteps. You sympathize with the woman who’s Blackberry removes all your pretty pictures. She doesn’t know what she’s missing 😥 but seeing it reminds you the text (your copywriting) is everything to her. On the other hand, the iPad owner’s experience reminds you of your ability as a marketer to really engage that subscriber’s senses with interactive content…video, graphics, etc. In some cases you face the fact that your subject line may be all they see. Email testing is a peek into your customer’s world, which is pretty cool.
- You can take advantage of the email code optimization and use it to make your emails better across the board. It’s a quick (free) step, and it couldn’t hurt
- I saved the best for last: As you’re waiting the 15 seconds or so for your results, you watch short movies featuring e-man, a little stick figure in a green cape. He’s wayyy more amusing than a load bar or pinwheel! And the funny name itself…that’s some far out email testing, man.