Silverpop - The ABCs of Template Testing: How to Gauge Your Grade
It appears you are using an older version of your browser. This site was developed to be progressive and future-compatible. Please take a minute to upgrade your browser for an optimal experience.
Skip to content
  • Subscribe:

The ABCs of Template Testing: How to Gauge Your Grade

by: Christine Proctor (@IBMforMarketing)
13 May 2013

Within the realm of academics, it’s no secret that attending class regularly will yield a higher grade on “the big exam.” Keeping up with daily lectures will ensure your ability to ace all those pesky tests. In the digital marketing world, your recipients’ device formats also change constantly, similar to day-to-day differences in the classroom.

The test below will allow you to assess your email template design performance. If you’re just beginning to format your emails for mobile and tablet devices, this test will identify your pain points so that you can improve your users’ experience. With the right multiscreen strategy, your recipients will be able to open emails, complete calls to action, navigate your website, and even buy from you with each piece of content formatted perfectly for their device – whether mobile, tablet, desktop or notebook.

Good luck!

  1. Your approach to email column design is best summarized by which of the following:
    1. Does not commit to any specific column design, but instead utilizes media queries.
    2. Uses one-column design strategy to prevent squishing on smaller devices, since email content adapts to fit the screen size of the individual’s device. Allows viewers to scroll through content with control and ease.
    3. Uses multiple columns, leading to a never-ending load time.
  2. Your use of action calls to recipients are closest to which of the following:
    1. Call to action is simplified to one large, finger-friendly button and is clearly related to email content.
    2. Multiple calls to action, several of which may not load properly and/or be clickable.
    3. No calls to action. (Why are you sending this email in the first place?)
  3. Which of the following is most similar to your media queries usage?
    1. Utilizes media queries by signaling text, images, etc. to change size depending on device resolution.
    2. Aware of media queries, but "OK" with viewers using zoom in/out on mobile phones to view content.
    3. A media what …?
  4. Your knowledge of different device templates is closest to which of the following:
    1. Aware of multitude of devices and constantly maintains user-friendly templates for them
    2. Settles for separate email designs for computers and mobile devices; tablet is "in the works."
    3. Follows the “one size fits all” mantra, with a website that isn’t mobile-friendly and no device segmentation.
  5. Which of the following summarizes your approach to device-specific analytics:
    1. Reviews device-specific analytics.
    2. Would review device analytics if you had the software or the time.
    3. Analytics? Well, the website has views!
  6. Your user-friendly interface “experience” is closest to which of the following:
    1. Consistently provides device-friendly material from email to landing page to app to online payments, creating a complete experience for users.
    2. Has somewhat device-neutral email, but landing page is not readable on mobile devices.
    3. An email is enough of an experience!

Please add up your answers and score your test based on the following values:

  • Each “a” answer = 3 points
  • Each “b” answer = 2 points
  • Each “c” answer = 1 point

A is for Adaptable = 14-18 points

Congratulations! Your efforts in providing an all-around user-friendly experience, regardless of device or email provider, is leading to high marks on your report card! While you’ve achieved high honors, make sure you stay up to date on mobile, design and analytics trends to maintain your grade!

B is for Bulky = 9-13 points

While a "B" grade is not cause for concern, you should hit the books to improve on pain points and put yourself at the head of the class. You have great potential in providing an adaptable user experience, but make sure to not ignore the details of your template design before your recipients start ignoring you!

C is for Cancel = 6-8 points

Put that flip phone down! Seriously, though, it's important to recognize  that if you don’t pay attention to email template testing and design for different devices, recipients will likely ignore and delete your mailings since they can’t see the content. As a result, you might find yourself sequestered to email detention, a.k.a. the spam folder!

Along with this cheat sheet for best practices in building email templates, be sure to utilize email testing software to see exactly how your email will render on all devices. View this software as your personal tutor to email templates — available to assist you in checking your work and helping you achieve your best results. Many analytics packages also offer device-specific analytics to help you understand how often your email recipients are opening your emails on mobile devices.

Want to get a head start on your next exam? Email Insights from Silverpop offers the email testing features and device analytics you’ll need to gain A+ status.

And for an in-depth guide to creating device-friendly emails, check out the Silverpop white paper, “Multiscreen Maturation: Email Design Strategies and Tips,” which provides a range of tips to guide you in your multiscreen design strategy!

Related Resources:
1) Blog: “3 Questions to Drive Your Multiscreen Design Strategy
2) Video: “Mobile Context: What to Consider When Optimizing the Mobile Experience
3) Blog: “5 Questions: Trilogy Interactive’s Brian Sisolak Talks Mobile Optimization


Sign up Now!

Subscribe to IBM Marketing Cloud's Digital Marketer Newsletter!

Popular Categories

Top 5 Posts


To give you the best experience, this website uses cookies.

Continuing to use this website means that you consent to our using cookies. You can change your cookie settings in your browser at any time.
Find out more here or by clicking the Cookie Policy link at the bottom of this page.