Quality Assurance Testing Is Not Optional

Recently, ANNUITAS published a blog post on When Mistakes Happen that focused on how to address mistakes once they occur. On the flip side, what can we do to eliminate mistakes from happening in the first place?

Quality Assurance (QA) is a vital piece of your production process to ensure you don’t wind up on the next “12 Of The Worst Email Marketing Fails” list. Everything matters from spelling mistakes, broken links, rendering issues to missing images, and the list goes on. Assembling a team to go over your assets and programs with close attention to detail will give you your best chance of eliminating mistakes before going live.

quality assuranceSo how do you improve your quality assurance process? There should never just be one person checking for mistakes. In fact, a group of team members should QA the same assets to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Litmus agrees, “First of all, always proofread your email yourself—numerous times. In addition, a second pair of eyes (or a third, or a fourth, or…) is helpful.” Everyone will find different call-outs and provide you with well-rounded feedback to improve every email. Several rounds of testing and proofing are best to not only catch every error, but to make sure that every previously identified correction has been implemented.

Provide your team with an example of exactly how your emails or landing pages should look. Include a guide for them to follow and cross-reference during their QA efforts. This will provide a common understanding across the team so that errors found are not those of personal opinion or style, but are errors noted in the documentation.

Common Mistakes found in QA:

Content-
As simple as this may sound, spelling and typos are a common oversight in the email production process. The template, images, and higher priority items tend to overshadow the small mistakes in your emails. However, it is important to examine every sentence and look for small details such as double spacing, missed spaces, capitalization mistakes, and punctuation. Proofread all of the content including the from name, subject line, preview text, CTA button, body copy, reply-to address, and housekeeping information. It’s a simple part of a complex program, however, proofreading is often overlooked during the production process and its impact can be significant if not addressed.

Rendering/Responsive Design
Responsive design is the standard of email marketing but sometimes your responsive design might not render correctly. Litmus stated in a recent blog post, “Not only is rendering inconsistent across desktop, webmail, and mobile inboxes but, on occasion, email clients drop support for HTML and CSS attributes without notice.” This is why its imperative to test your emails across multiple platforms and email clients to ensure the user experience remains the same.

There are tools you can utilize such at Litmus to build, edit and preview your emails across over 50 email clients. Google Chrome provides DevTools which allow developers access into the internals of the browser and their web application. These tools can help in analyzing, building and troubleshooting pages.

Broken Links
Broken links create a poor user experience and a missed conversion. During the QA process your team should test every link and examine the parameters to ensure they are correct. Its important your links lead to the correct offer or landing page that is being promoted. Even housekeeping links such as the privacy policy and contact us should be reviewed. Confirm that every link (especially your call to action) is leading to the correct page because nothing is worse than engaging a buyer and losing them due to a preventable error.

Mistakes are going to happen, it is inevitable. However, by utilizing a strong QA process you can eliminate the chance of a mistake before hitting send. That small moment of panic before pressing send can be diminished or eliminated through implementing a Quality Assurance team and strong process.

Author: Sydney Gordon @sydneydgordon Marketing Automation Production Associate, ANNUITAS