Test an ecommerce email campaign

1. Create email addresses for each behavior you want to trigger in your email campaign.

For example, signing up for your general mailing list, abandoning a cart, placing an order, signing up for an in-stock notification, ordering a subscription-based product, or buying something that requires onboarding, first-time configuration, or assembly. Name your email to match the behavior you are tracking. For example, abandoncart@example.com.

2. Check if email campaigns work by signing up on your website using a different email address for each behavior.

For example, sign in with the abandoncart@example.com address when you plan to abandon your shopping cart.

3. Once you've received all emails you'd expect from a particular behavior, analyze the email content and delivery.

4. Create smart folders to filter by each store name and behavior email address you created.

For example, set email filter conditions so that emails sent to abandoncart@example.com from TaylorStitch.com are stored in the Abandoned Cart folder. This makes it easier for you to track and locate emails sent about specific actions you’ve taken.

5. Place a real order on your website, behaving as much like a regular customer as possible.

Is a receipt email sent? Is a shipment email sent? Is a welcome email sent? According to Omnisend, welcome emails have an average open rate of 45%, versus 18% for promotional emails. Are other transactional emails – out for delivery, delivery, signature required – sent? Are there personalized emails based on what you ordered? Is the recipient name correctly spelled, and do the emails contain what the subject indicates? Scan the emails that contain transaction data to identify if they contain an invoice or receipt of purchase. Look in your spam folder to see if any emails have been marked as spam.

6. Add a hidden product on your website that is out of stock, and sign up to be notified when the product is restocked.

Test the emails that you receive when the product is restocked, discontinued, or remains out of stock for over a month. Before an in-stock notification is offered, does the projected shipping time increase – to a maximum of 4 weeks? Does the in-stock notification contain a checkbox to sign up for the store’s mailing list? If yes, is the box checked by default? When signing up for the in-stock notification, is the customer sent a confirmation email? When signing up for the in-stock notification, is the customer given a clear next step on the store’s website? If a product has been discontinued, is the customer notified? Are alternative suggested? If a product has been discontinued because it’s been upgraded – and the upgrade represents a new product – is the new product linked instead? When customers need to be notified of a restock or discontinuation event, are they notified at a time of day that fits their time zone? When clicked, do images of products go to their respective product detail pages or to a collection page? Is this the behavior that customers expect? Is an email sent to the customer when an item is restocked? Do restock announcement emails contain a clear call to action that, when clicked, automatically adds that specific product – including size or color – to the customer’s cart? If the customer hasn’t made a purchase within two days of the product being restocked (and the product hasn’t sold out yet), is a followup email sent? Are alternatives offered if a product remains out of stock for 4 weeks?

7. Sign up to the main mailing list and check the first few emails you receive.

Is a welcome email sent? If an enticement – like a free product, download, or discount code – is offered, is the enticement sent, and does it work?

8. Go through the process of making a purchase and dropping out of the purchase before paying for the product and check if your email campaign processed all the data.

Is the customer’s email address retained as they focus away from the email field? If the cart is abandoned, is a cart rescue email sent between 2 and 4 hours after the transaction is initiated? Does the cart rescue email provide a link with the customer’s saved information, including the cart? Are any discounts offered as enticements? If so, are they one-time-use codes, or are they general-purpose codes that can be used by anybody? Are the discount codes time-delimited to promote scarcity? If so, is a timer provided in the cart rescue email? Is a follow-up email sent when time has almost run out? Do the discount codes work? Do the cart abandonment emails fit the overall design, voice, and tone of the brand? Is the customer signed up for the store’s general mailing list? If not, is a checkbox provided for the customer to provide consent to do so?

9. Click on email elements such as buttons or hyperlinks to find if they perform the action or navigation that a customer would expect.

Are calls to action actually displayed as buttons? Are they styled as real buttons and not ghost buttons?

10. Look at the emails you receive from a strategic perspective - do they adhere to brand voice and marketing best practices?