From Gmail to Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird to Windows Mail, there are more than 30 different email clients. That means 30 plus lenses through which your prospects and customers read your emails. 

And you know what else? Each of these clients displays emails differently. For instance, an email that looks perfectly fine on Gmail may not resolve properly on Microsoft Outlook and vice versa. To add to this the complexity, more than 50% of people read emails through mobile devices.

So as a marketer, how can you make sure your email appears properly to all contacts?  

The great HubSpot engineers anticipated this challenge, and created a new Email Preview option so you can see how your HubSpot email appears in different email clients before sending. You'll find it in your Email editor here. You may not be able to account for every different way your email subscribers read your content, but at least you can get a preview and catch any major issues prior to hitting send. 

Here's How HubSpot Email Preview Works: 

1. When you've finished writing your email in HubSpot, click on the "Preview in Other Inboxes" button. You'll find that button in the bottom right of your email editing screen, right below the live preview.


2. Click on that button and a new window will appear.  That window will allow you to select the different inboxes and devices for which you'd like a preview. If you have personalization tokens or smart content in your email, you can even add a test contact and see how the personalization will look to that recipient.



3. Select the devices and inboxes for which you'd like a preview, then click the green "Test my email now" button.  The test will take a few moments to run.

4. When they're ready, you can view results over in the View Results Tab and click through each one. In the upper right, you'll see the ability to toggle "on" and "off" both image block or the inbox view. 


5. After previewing, note any displays that are problematic and make changes in your email to address it. For example, do you have an image that is overwhelming the email in a certain client? It may be because you've resized a very large image.  You may want to try to upload a smaller version. 

6. If your email doesn't look right on mobile devices, you may want to build the email using HubSpot's default email templates which are now all optimized for mobile using responsive design. To access these templates, create a new email and look for the responsive option in the "folders" drop-down in the top left.

That's all there is to it. Here's that whole email testing process again in a short video walk-through:


A Few Email Testing Ideas to Try Out:

There are a number of different ways you can use this email preview feature. Beyond the basics of testing for mobile devices or different email clients, you can also:

  • Test for colorblind accessibility and image blocking.
  • Get a preview of how your email will appear to an individual contact -- including personalization and smart content previews.
  • If you're on the COS Blog or use an external blog, you can see how your RSS-to-Email campaigns will look to different subscribers.

Why Email Testing is a Good Idea:

The distribution of email clients and devices your subscribers use is quite varied.  Litmus just released its annual report on the most commonly used viewers and while there are a few top-dogs, you're likely to find email recipients inboxes running the full gamut.  Here's a segment of their findings for 2013:

Testing is a good way to ensure that the work you've put into crafting the perfect email doesn't go to waste for a portion of your email list. Start incorporating it as a final step in your email review process.  

Email Testing in HubSpot is powered by Litmus, but you do not need to have a separate Litmus account to use it. We've built it right into the software for everybody.  Go try it now in your HubSpot account. 

Strengthen and test your emails by previewing in different inboxes. Go to you email tool.  

Originally published Feb 4, 2014 9:00:00 AM, updated November 08 2017