Different email programs display your HTML email differently, so it's important to preview and test your campaign content before you send to your subscribers. Testing time decreases once you settle on a layout that works for you, but we recommend spending at least an hour to test new templates.
In this article, you'll learn how to preview your campaign in MailChimp's preview mode, and how to send test emails. For more information on reviewing your content before sending, take a look at our campaign testing tips.
We're releasing a new Campaign Builder, so some of the steps in this article may differ from what you see in your account. To learn how to preview and test your campaign in the new Campaign Builder, click here.
Enter Preview Mode
The Preview and Test menu is available from the Design step of the Campaign Builder for most campaign types and gives you an idea of how your campaign will look in your subscribers' inboxes. Because each email client renders HTML differently, we strongly recommend that you do additional testing of your campaign.
If you're building a Plain-Text Campaign, you'll see Preview and Test on the Confirm step only.
To enter Preview mode, follow these steps.
- Navigate to the Design step of the Campaign Builder.
- Click the Preview and Test drop-down menu in the upper-right corner, and choose Enter preview mode.
The left panel shows the desktop preview of your campaign, and the middle panel shows the mobile preview. You can click the Rotate link to change the orientation of the mobile preview. The right panel shows your campaign's Inbox Preview.
Header Info displays the campaign information, like the subject line and reply-to email address.
To see how your merge tags will look in subscriber inboxes, toggle the slider to the green checkmark to enable live merge tags. If you continue to see test data, check out our troubleshooting merge tags article.
Open Link Checker
Use MailChimp's Link Checker on the Design step of the Campaign Builder to make sure all the links in your campaign are valid and take your subscribers exactly where you want them to go.
To use the Link Checker, follow these steps.
- Navigate Design step of the Campaign Builder.
- Click the
Preview and Test drop-down menu in the upper-right corner, and choose
Open Link Checker.
The left panel displays a campaign preview, and the right panel lists all links in your campaign.
- Click a link in the right pane to open
The Link Details pane displays the URL the link points to, a screenshot of what the website looks like, and tells you whether the URL is valid. MailChimp cannot preview links containing merge tags, anchors, or mail-to addresses in the Link Details pane.
If you need to change the URL the link points to, click
Edit link under the URL in the
Link Details screen.
To navigate between checked links, you can either use your mouse or use keyboard shortcuts. Use your left and right arrow keys to move up and down the list, and "e" to edit a link.
Link Checker is currently not available for Code Your Own template options, including Paste in code, Import Zip, and Import HTML. If using a Code Your Own template, you will want to thoroughly test your email to make sure all links are correct.
Link Checker also isn't available when creating a template in the Templates page of your account.
Customize Social Cards
Some social networks display a social card when your campaign is shared. This social card shows an image from your campaign along with some text to encourage viewers to click the link to your campaign's archive page.
When testing your campaign, you can choose the featured image and text as well as preview the social card. Choose Social Cards from the Preview and Test drop-down menu on the Design or Confirm step of the Campaign Builder, and make any changes you want.
The Social Cards feature isn't available when creating a template in the Templates page of your account.
Send a Test Email
To send a test email from the Campaign Builder, follow these steps.
- Navigate to the Design step of the Campaign Builder.
- Click the Preview and Test drop-down menu, and choose Send a test email.
- Type the email address you want to send the test to. You also have the option to use the checkboxes to send to other users on your account.
If someone replies to a test email sent from the Email Designer, their reply will show up in the
Comments tab. You can include optional instructions and a personal message, then use the checkboxes to select which account users will be notified of new comments.
- If you have run out of test email sends for your campaign, there are a few things you can do to test your campaign.
- On the Pay As You Go and our Forever Free Plans, MailChimp deducts one credit for each recipient you send an email to, whether it's a test campaign or a live campaign.
- When you use the Send a Test Email option, the merge tags won't be activated because your campaign isn't being sent to a list just yet. We recommend that you test your merge tags.
- Test emails sent from the Template Builder will display a from email address that is the primary account contact for your MailChimp account. This is because template tests are not associated with a list in your account. When you send your campaign, the from email address will display as the from email address associated with the list you're sending to or the address you typed in on the Setup step of the Campaign Builder.