Read Time: 5 min

5 Email Testing Myths You Shouldn’t Fall For


We talk to people about email testing day in and day out. The good, bad, ugly, and sometimes frustrating. Most of the smart folks in our community care deeply about sending emails that are nothing but perfect. However, we found that even among brands that care a lot about email quality, some only test their emails infrequently. And when we dig into the why, there are a few myths that we hear over and over again. 

We thought that if we’ve heard these ideas so many times in one-on-one conversations, there are probably a lot of people out there who hold these myths as true. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, though. The good news is that you’re here now, and we’re going to clear up some common misconceptions. After all, knowledge is power!

Do you want to create the perfect email experience with every send, in every inbox? Then don’t fall for these myths:

“We work with templates, so we don’t need to test.”

This statement is at the top of the list because it may be the most common—and probably the most dangerous—email testing myth. Templates are wonderful for streamlining your email marketing process and maintaining a consistent style across messages. But while they can reduce your workload before hitting send, they aren’t immune to error.

Although templates keep the bulk of the email’s contents the same, no two emails are identical. Images, content, and subject lines change constantly, and where there’s change, there’s room for failure. Even sending an identical email at different times in the year can lead to problems. Email service providers and spam algorithms are changing all the time, and you’ll want to make sure the same templates look good across all devices and email clients—every time you hit “send.”

Email testing made easy

Get a guided check of the critical elements that affect email performance before you send with Litmus Checklist and ensure you’re sending perfect emails—every time.

Learn more →

“I only work on transactional emails, and those don’t need to be tested.”

Part of the allure of transactional emails is that they seem the most “set-it-and-forget-it” of them all. After all, they’re designed to be created and then automatically triggered when a customer makes a purchase, abandons a cart, or celebrates their birthday. 

The only problem is that email clients can drop or change support of critical HTML elements in your email without warning. If you don’t review and test your transactional emails regularly, you may be sending broken emails to customers at critical times. 

“We’ve tested this email before and it works.”

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but the world of email marketing evolves quickly. An email that looked great yesterday might be broken today. It’s completely unreasonable to expect you or your team to stay on top of all the updates that could affect how your email appears to readers—or whether or not it even makes it to their inbox. That’s why it’s so helpful to use email testing software to automatically flag any issues that could get in the way of email success. Little errors, such as broken links or images, can cause major issues at scale.

“Email testing requires manual sends, and I just don’t have time.”

If you’re using a manual process to test emails, step away from the keyboard. There’s a better way. Understandably, you’d be wary of email testing if you’ve only known it as a time-intensive process. However, tools like Litmus run an automatic check on your emails to make sure they look great everywhere and you don’t end up blacklisted on accident.

Say goodbye to manual rendering testing

See screenshots of your emails across 90+ apps and devices to ensure compatibility in all environments with Litmus Email Previews.

Test your emails →

“We have great coding knowledge so we know what would break a campaign.”

The best email coders in the world don’t have enough hours in the day to stay on top of the changing email landscape. You shouldn’t have to try to, either. Spending too much time studying the constant, small changes that email clients make would take time away from more important coding projects. Elements such as screen size, recipient settings, and operating systems also factor into the complexity of email rendering. Plus, testing emails isn’t a sign of coding weakness. As an email coder, you have a responsibility to send the best emails you can, and email testing is just another tool in your toolbox.

Email Testing Doesn’t Have to be Stressful

If reading all of these myths and comparing them to what you and your team does has made you panic—take a deep breath. You can’t improve what you don’t understand, and now you’ve reached a new level of email testing mastery. The number of variables that go into each and every email delivery means there are a nearly countless number of hurdles that could pop up in the way of getting your beautiful email safely to your customers’ inboxes.

The good news is that email testing doesn’t have to be a stressful or tedious process. Don’t believe us? Then check out this guide on How to Streamline Your Email Testing Process with Litmus.

Brooke Freedman

Brooke Freedman

Brooke Freedman was the Senior Director, Sales at Litmus