Please note: when you ask me to design and code your email template, I’ll take care of 99% of testing activities. However, the last 1% has to occur when you set up your actual campaign. Before sending it out to your subscribers, you need to make a quick test run (preferably including one desktop email client and one mobile email client).
My personal test setup*
I run a quite extensive test setup in order to make sure your email template renders properly across various devices and platforms. My personal test environment consists of actual devices only, so I don’t use any artificial virtual test simulator emulator thingies whatsoever.
This is the hardware and software I use for email template testing:
- Outlook 2016 on Windows 10
- Outlook 2013 on Windows 8
- Outlook 2010 on Windows Vista
- Outlook 2007 on Windows Vista
- Windows Live Mail on Windows 10
- Thunderbird on Windows 10 and Linux (Mint)
- Apple Mail on iMac
- Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo!
- Android Mail on Samsung Galaxy S2 and Samsung Galaxy S8 **/***
- iOS Mail on iPhone 5 and iPad 2 **/***
- Lots of web versions (Windows 10: Edge and Opera || Windows 8.1: Internet Explorer || OSX: Safari)
Other email clients and / or devices
Even though the list above is quite comprehensive, it’s not actually complete. There are other email clients and devices out there. Please note that – unless we’ve explicitly agreed to include other email clients in the test setup – I will ignore them, because their market share is just too small to consider.
* This list may change over time: email clients that are (not) supported today, may (not) be supported tomorrow.
** Android and iOS offer tons of email apps. Testing email templates in all of them is just crazy monkey business, so I only consider stock email apps.
*** A quick note about the Gmail app (Android and iOS): it has a mind of its own (and that’s putting it nicely). It will typically display your email quite decently, but if you want to be one of the cool kids and use a responsive email template (which I highly recommend unless your audience primarily consists of desktop users), you might be in for a few surprises. The best way to tackle this situation is to force the Gmail app into showing the desktop version of your email instead of allowing it to ruin your beautiful design in what at best can be described as “a very poor attempt to improve the usability of your email”. So that’s what I typically do. However, as of September 2016, Google will be launching support for media queries in its mobile email app, allowing incoming e-mails to be responsive in the true sense of the word. This disclaimer will stay in place until support for media queries in the Gmail app is no longer a promise though, so let’s just hope that by the time you read this, it’s already obsolete.