Test your campaign

Use the campaign testing options to check your campaign content and design.

Laura Russell avatar
Written by Laura Russell
Updated over a week ago

After creating the HTML and plain text versions of your campaign, the third step of the campaign creation process is Test.

Before sending out a campaign to your contacts, it's important to test it thoroughly. Testing allows you and your team to confirm that your campaign contains all of the expected content, and test send recipients can feed back to you about what the email looks like in their different email clients and on different devices.

Test options

The platform provides testing tools for you. There are two possible testing options available:

  • Test send to contacts in your Test list.

  • A charged inbox and spam filter test service provided by Email on Acid.

Different email clients and devices show HTML differently, so it's wise to test your campaign in a number of mail clients (for example, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail), and on different devices (iPhone, Android mobile device, desktop).

Send to your test contacts

A test send is a copy of the campaign sent to your selected test email addresses. The subject line of your campaign is prefixed with Test: to make test sends easy to identify in an inbox. You can test both the HTML and plain text versions of your campaign.

Test contacts

You can't add suppressed contacts to your test list. If you see an error message when trying to add a new address, this is likely to be the reason why.

You can also add contacts directly to your test list by going to Audience > Lists then selecting the Add contacts icon for the Test list.

To learn more, check out the article Add a contact.

1. During campaign editing

  1. Select TEST SEND from just above the toolbar.

  2. The Test send side panel opens. Select using the radio buttons whether you want to send both HTML and plain text versions, or the HTML version only, or the plain text version only.

  3. To add a new email address to your Test list, select NEW TEST ADDRESS, fill in the details requested in the New test address side panel and select CREATE.

  4. Select SELECT TEST ADDRESS to choose contacts to send to. You can hold Ctrl to select multiple addresses. You can also search for them by their email address and name.

  5. Once you've made your selections, select Test send to confirm the send.

2. During the Test campaign step

  1. Select CHOOSE CONTACTS under Send to your test contacts.

  2. Select which campaign versions you want to test (HTML, plain text, or both).

  3. Select SELECT TEST ADDRESS to choose a contact who already exists in your Test list, or select NEW TEST ADDRESS to add a new test contact.

  4. Once you’ve chosen your contacts, select TEST SEND.

3. From the Email campaigns list

  1. Go to Campaigns > Email.

  2. Select the correct tab — Unsent or Sent — for the campaign you want to test send.

  3. Select the Test send icon on the right hand side.

  4. Select which campaign versions you want to test (HTML, plain text, or both).

  5. Select SELECT TEST ADDRESS to choose a contact who already exists in your Test list, or select NEW TEST ADDRESS to add a new test contact.

  6. Once you’ve chosen your contacts, select TEST SEND.

After sending, you can check the mailboxes for the email addresses you selected, and verify that your campaign is displayed as intended.

Test sends and the spam filter

If your test sends are going to your spam inbox, don’t worry. Test sends are not intended for testing inbox placement, because the test send IP pool is different from the IP pool used for live sends. If you’re feeling uneasy and want to make sure your campaigns aren’t going to spam, do a live campaign send to yourself or your colleagues.

Test send limits

There are some limitations and restrictions when it comes to test sends:

  • A maximum of 200 email addresses are allowed in your test list.

  • A maximum of 500 test sends are allowed in an hourly period.

  • Link and reply tracking aren't enabled for test sends. Nor are unsubscribes or preference updates using the preference centre.

  • A placeholder is displayed if your campaign contains external dynamic content.

Test sends not arriving

If you find that test sends sent to your business email address are not being received, you need to speak with your IT team to ask them to whitelist Dotdigital's IP sending ranges, to ensure your test sends can pass through any email security filters your organisation has in place.

You can find our IP ranges in IP addresses used by Dotdigital.

In the meantime, you can try test sending to a non-corporate inbox, such as a Gmail account.

Inbox and spam filter test

If enabled on your account, you can use the inbox and spam filter testing tool to:

  • test what your campaign looks like in dozens of different email clients and devices.

  • assess your campaign's content to highlight how it scores against all the key spam filters, identifying which words, images, and code may cause you deliverability problems.

Depending on your account package, there may be a charge for each use of the inbox and spam filter testing tool. The cost is displayed in-app.

Campaign previews vs inbox and spam filter tests

The Inbox and spam filter test tool doesn’t support views for Liquid and dynamic content; it should be used to see how your campaign design displays on different types of devices or in different email clients.

Use the Preview option in EasyEditor to view your Liquid output and dynamic content. Learn more in the section Preview your campaign.

Order an Inbox and spam filter test

Test address for Inbox and spam filter tests

For Inbox and spam filter tests to work, your account holder email address must exist as a contact in your account. We use this email address to generate the results of the test.

To order an inbox and spam filter test:

  1. At the Test step of creating an email campaign, select Order test under Inbox and spam filter test. You'll see the current cost of a test before you complete the order.

  2. Inbox and spam filter tests can take between 15 and 30 minutes to return results. If you don't want to wait for the results, select to be notified by email or by text message when the tests are complete. When you have selected your preferred communication method, select OKAY.

View the results of an Inbox and spam filter test

  1. Expand the User menu and go to Settings > Email > Inbox test results.

  2. Next to the campaign, select the View icon. Alternatively, select the link in the notification we send you.

  3. Hover over a preview image for an email client and select VIEW to see how your campaign looks in that email client.

  4. Where available, you have the option to see more than one preview for an email client. Use the options in the header to view the following:

    • The campaign with images turned on/off

    • The campaign in preview/full-screen mode

    • For webmail clients, such as Gmail or Outlook.com, you can choose to see the campaign in different browsers

  5. To view spam filter results, select the Spam filters tab.

  6. The different spam filters are displayed in two sections: Business filters and Consumer filters.

  7. The result for each filter can be Passed, Failed, or Unknown.

Campaigns can fail the spam test for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, there's no way to determine the exact reason why it's failed.

The spam filter test runs a simulation by sending a version of your campaign to various email clients. Campaigns with a Failed score indicate that the email wasn't received in the inbox, which means the email could have been blocked or sent to the junk folder for that particular email client. Spam filter results can often be pessimistic as the recipient email from the test hasn't interacted with the sender previously. Marketing to historically engaged contacts should help mitigate some failed tests.

If a result is Unknown, it means the results for that spam filter are unavailable.

These are the spam filters that a campaign is tested against:

Business filters

Consumer filters



Outlook 2003


Apple Mail 10

Outlook 2007

Google Apps

Apple Mail 11

Outlook 2010

Iron Port


Outlook 2013

Symantec Cloud


Outlook 2016

Symantec Messaging Gateway (formerly Brightmail)




Spam Assassin




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