Canadian Small Business Videos
Review: Litmus App Email Preview Software
Email and newsletter broadcasts rank among the top tools businesses use to promote themselves online. Yet sending an email newsletter can be tricky, as you need the email to look good in a growing number of email programs. The growing reliance on smart phones makes things even more complicated.
Review: Litmus App Email Preview Software Transcript
Sending out email newsletters is one of the most common tools small business owners will use to market themselves online. This month, we reviewed Litmus App. Litmus app was designed to let you see how your newsletter will appear in different email clients before you send it. They don’t offer a trial version, so we are going to log in and give you a tour.
So now we arrive at the main page. We can either create a new email test to test one of our broadcast campaigns, or we can find out what one of our web pages would look like in a variety of browsers. The difference between these is that the email test will test about 45 different browsers and email clients, where as the page test will test a smaller number of browsers.
Let’s go ahead and do a new email test. We will just click here – I have been logged into this system before and have a variety of email clients selected as my defaults. You can also customize this list, but in this case we are going to use the defaults. So I click on the start test button and it will open up this window giving us two options. You can check your newsletter by sending the newsletter to this email address – this is generated as a different address every time. Or you can upload your email’s HTML which is what I would prefer. We are going to make this “Test 1”. We could paste it in here or we can browse on our hard drive for the file. Once we have located the file, we select it, click open and just run “start the test”. As you can see, once we start the test we get notified that it is going to take approximately five minutes to complete our test. It doesn’t take long for screen shots to start to appear. We don’t have to wait for all the screen shots – we can start looking at them right away. I am going to click on the iPhone – one of the neat things about Litmus app is that with the Smartphones, it actually lets you scroll and see the entire newsletter on the Smartphone. Now this looks good, so I am going to check the green checkbox. I can navigate back and forth – for example I can move on to the iPad and see how the newsletter is going to look on this device. However, since not all the screen shots have loaded, I am better off to go to the overview or else just wait.
Now you can see that a lot more screen shots have loaded in, we don’t need to look at them each individually. Instead, now we want to take a look at the spam analysis tool in this program. Each newsletter is analyzed to see whether it is likely to make it through common spam filters. You can see that our newsletter passed most filters, but it failed two – Postini and Barracuda. The program tells you the score that it failed with and it gives you some reasons why it failed. The one concern I did have is that these reasons are not specific and detailed. They say these are some of the reasons why your email did not pass, but it doesn’t say that these are all of the reasons.
The next step is to send your newsletter once you fix the things that you found. There is an analytics tool in Litmus apps that is available in some of the more advanced accounts. This lets you monitor how your email is being opened. To use the analytics feature we simply track a new campaign, give our campaign a name – we are going to call this “task one” – and say “create this campaign” and generate my tracking code. This is going to generate a tracking code that you are going to paste into your newsletter. When you send the newsletter with a tracking code, as people start to access your newsletter, the data about how they’ve accessed the newsletter will appear right here. We can click back on the analytics tool bar button and we can take a look at the data from one of the test ones. As you can see, there is an overview pages that tells us the engagement and the top email clients used. We can also see if anyone forwarded or if anyone printed the newsletter. Now the engagement looks at a couple of things. It looks at essentially how long someone opened your email and it infers whether or not they read it based don how long the email was open. The top email clients give you an idea of what browsers people are using which again will help you go back and build your own tailored list.
If you want to use Litmus apps to see how your webpage is going to look in a different web browser, just click on “test”, click on “new page test”, type the name in, select the target browser by default or by selecting from the full list and say “start the test”. In essence, it works the same way as the email client.
So, that is a really quick introduction to Litmus App. Hopefully this helps you evaluate how it can be used in your business.