You know the expression, “What you see is what you get”?
Well, when it comes to email marketing campaigns, that might not always be the case.
In this post, we'll discuss the best free and paid email testing, previewing, and rendering tools you can use to make sure your emails are ready for the eyes of your leads and customers.
What is an email previewer?
An email previewer is a tool that helps you preview your messages before sending them to your list. Previewing your messages ensures your emails are professional, error-free, easy to read, and ready for your leads and customers.
Why use an email previewer?
Since everyone uses different email providers such as Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo, emails can appear differently for various subscribers.
Sometimes images are blocked, alt text is missing, or fonts won‘t render. If this happens, you could damage your credibility and lose subscribers. That’s why it's essential to test your emails before you send them.
Now let's take a moment to review HTML versus plain text emails and previews.
HTML Emails vs. Plain Text Emails
HTML emails code a document so that an HTML reader (e.g., a web browser) can read and render information — this allows a page to show multimedia, color, images, and more. Plain text emails don't include any of the multimedia, colors, images, special fonts, etc. that you'd see in an HTML email — it's just plain text.
No matter which email type you choose, you should preview your emails to make sure they're ready for your audience.
This is especially important if you go with an HTML email since it inherently includes multimedia elements, colors, fonts, branded elements, images, and more.
HTML Email Preview
As your HTML emails become more sophisticated, it's important to preview and test your emails before sending them to recipients. An HTML preview allows you to adjust anything necessary before the final version is sent to your audience.
That way, you can send your messages to the people who matter most — your customers — with complete confidence.
Best Email Preview Tools
- HubSpot Email Marketing Tool
- Campaign Monitor
From HubSpot to GlockApps, here’s how to choose the right email previewer for your needs and budget. Aside from previewing emails, many suggested tools also include other email marketing features, like advanced testing.
Price: $18 per month to $800 per month.
We’ve baked HubSpot’s Email Marketing Tools into your CRM plan. You can use authentic and accurate customer data to power your email marketing efforts.
Because the CRM platform scales with your business, HubSpot’s Email Marketing Tools are ideal for growing companies.
As your subscriber count increases, you have the flexibility to adjust your lists accordingly. Plus, our drag-and-drop email builder simplifies the process of previewing emails across various platforms and devices. With the added benefit of the HubSpot AI Email Writer, managing and creating engaging email campaigns has never been easier.
Price: Ranges from $9.99 a month for 1–1,000 subscribers to $189.99 a month for 30,001–35,000 subscribers.
SendX is an email marketing software for experienced email marketers. There’s only one plan (Business Plan), and the price varies based on your volume of subscribers. The Business Plan includes all software features and unlimited emails per month.
SendX caters to “unfairly banned” niches, including “cryptocurrency” and “afﬁliate marketing.”
Their product offers a heatmap report featuring an overview of call-to-action (CTA) success across campaigns. You can use the feature to see which visuals inspire readers to take action.
Price: $9 monthly for a basic plan; $29 monthly for an unlimited plan; and $149 monthly for a premier plan
Campaign Monitor’s Inbox Preview tool shows what your email will look like when sent to all major email providers and when viewed on various devices.
You simply have to click the view you’d like from the options listed on the left. It’s even possible to view your email without images.
In addition, this tool can check to see if your email will pass popular spam filters to ensure it lands in your audience’s inboxes.
Price: $9 a user per month for a starter plan; $16 a user per month for a business plan; $20 a user per month for a professional plan; and custom pricing for enterprises
Mailosaur allows you to instantly see how your email will appear on all popular email clients, allowing you to catch any mistakes and to feel confident that your email will look great in any inbox.
It further allows you to view your email on different devices and different browsers. You’ll be sure to correct any errors before sending out your emails.
Price: $59 monthly for a basic bundle; $99 monthly for a business bundle; $199 monthly for a custom bundle
GlockApps is a deliverability tool that helps marketers in the tech space preview and test their emails. Aside from testing for spam scores, you can preview and analyze email content.
Once you run the tests, GlockApps will provide you with action steps to improve your emails before pressing send.
Price: $39 monthly for a brand plan; $63 monthly for a company plan; $159 monthly for an agency plan
SendForensics is an all-in-one email deliverability tool for in-house marketers and agencies. SendForensics’ tool is mainly for email testing, but the paid plans also offer a previewing feature.
Because the previewer doesn’t use an emulator, you’ll see your email exactly how it’ll look on a device or browser.
Free Email Preview Tools
- HubSpot Email Marketing Tool
- MailNinja Email Previewer
- Inbox Analyzer
It's important to note that the following free email preview tools are also free email testing tools. Meaning, they have the ability to assist with email previews and email testing.
With HubSpot's Email Marketing Tools, you can create, personalize, and optimize your marketing emails without the need for any code or help from designers.
Since this tool is part of the HubSpot CRM platform, you‘ll know the data you’re using to customize your emails is accurate. For instance, personalize emails by referring to the recipient's lifecycle stage or membership status — then schedule your campaign so your customized emails are sent automatically.
Pre-made, customizable email templates and the tool's drag-and-drop editor allow you to quickly create beautiful emails to your recipient list.
Lastly, A/B test different elements of your emails — such as subject lines or the time that you send your emails — to determine what works best for your audience.
Testing the visual design of your emails is important. However, don't forget to preview your actual content as well.
With SubjectLine.com, you can test your subject lines and receive a free rating out of 100. The tool considers the total length, word length, urgency, and more.
Word choice matters in your subject lines, and this tool will help you develop more clickable subjects so your readers are more likely to open.
MailNinja is a free, easy-to-use, uncluttered email preview tool. With this tool, you can see instant previews of your HTML emails. Additionally, you can double-check your alt text, send test emails, and see how your email will look on different devices.
This is a simple, free option if you don't trust or want to use a different preview tool than your email marketing software.
Inbox Analyzer, another free email preview tool, helps take the pain out of inbox and spam testing your emails.
Send your emails to the most popular inbox providers to see how they appear and if they deliver — this tool will let you know if your email hits the inbox, spam folder, or is undelivered.
Additionally, you‘ll receive instant reports on your sender scores, reputation alerts, and even blocklists. With this tool, you’ll be able to find issues and learn how to resolve them.
PutsMail is a free email testing tool by Litmus. Plus, PutsMail lets you see how your email will look across 50+ platforms and devices. This is a great tool if you’re just looking for a quick and easy way to preview your emails.
Paid Email Preview Tools
- Get Response
- Preview My Email
- Email on Acid
1. Get Response
Price: $19 monthly for email marketing; $59 monthly for marketing automation; $119 monthly for ecommerce marketing
Get Response is an email marketing software that can help you create content, boost sales, and increase traffic to your site. Preview your emails in over 25 popular email clients, and determine if and when multimedia elements like images are blocked.
Price: $99 monthly for Litmus Basic; $199 monthly for Litmus Plus
Litmus is a tool for testing and developing email campaigns. With a paid account, you'll gain access to an email preview testing tool that allows you to see screenshots of your emails across 90+ different apps and devices.
Litmus allows you to personalize messages at scale. It’s suitable for established companies with large email lists. Every paid plan comes with email previewing and offers unlimited read-only users. There’s a range of templates that are easy to implement.
Better yet, if you have a Litmus account, you can add a Chrome extension to your browser and test your emails without ever leaving your email service provider.
With the extension, you can validate your links, images, and tracking. Plus, the extension will instantly run a new checklist with every edit.
Price: $15 monthly for a basic plan; $45 monthly for a medium plan; $95 monthly for a pro plan
Stripo is an intuitive email builder with email testing and a variety of available email service provider (ESP) integrations (including HubSpot, Gmail, Outlook, and Mailchimp). There’s a library of custom modules, so you can use them across various campaigns.
All of the emails you design with Stripo’s HTML editor are responsive, so you’ll never have to worry about how they render for recipients across different devices. Additionally, after building dynamic AMP emails with Stripo, the tool’s code validator checks the email for errors for you.
Stripo will be releasing a “Real-time co-editing & commenting” feature for the Medium and above plans in the future. Stripo works for in-house marketers — there’s also a use case for HR managers who send out internal newsletters.
Price: $25 monthly for a standard plan; $45 monthly for a business plan; $160 monthly for a professional plan; $399 monthly for an enterprise plan
Email Preview Services (formerly Preview My Email) is another email testing solution that can help you improve your performance.
With it, you’ll get real screenshots of your email across all the popular email providers in one click. This tool also offers email analytics that can help you better understand your email audience.
It’s a great email enhancement solution for marketers, designers, and developers. Every plan has unlimited email previews to access via a dedicated inbox.
Email Preview Services gives you four ways to preview emails before sending — copy-paste, API integration, HTML-upload, and send as email.
Price: $74 monthly for The Basics; $134 monthly for Premium; $449 monthly for Professional)
Email on Acid is an email preview tool designed to help you display emails properly across all clients. The email previews are live clients, so you’ll see exactly what your subscribers see.
This tool gives you screenshots, so you have no questions about what your email will look like on 90 clients and devices. It also tests for poor formatting, broken links, and code problems.
Email on Acid also offers the ability to comment, edit, and review email previews directly in the software for a faster and more efficient testing process.
Start Previewing, Testing, and Rendering Your Emails
Previewing your emails is an important part of email marketing. If people can‘t see your emails or your credibility is ruined, those emails haven’t done their job.
Use an email previewing and testing tool to ensure they're perfect for recipients.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.