Test an email

Use these steps to create tasks within your test to measure whether or not participants find your email effective.


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What you can test in your email

The subject line

  • Test your participants' motivation to open the email. 
    • Example task: "Would you open the email based on the subject line? Explain your answer."
  • Ask participants to review two different subject lines.
    • Example task: “Which subject line do you prefer?” 
  • Follow up with participants and inquire why they prefer their chosen subject line:
    • Example task: “Based on your previous response, would you open an email which features that subject line? Explain your answer.” 

The usefulness and clarity of the email

  • Present rating scale questions with instructions for participants to explain their answer out loud.
    • Example tasks:
      • “How CLEAR would you say the messages are to understand for you personally? [11-point Rating scale: 'Not clear at all' to 'Very clear']. Explain your answer."
      • “After reading this email, do you feel you have a basic understanding [insert email topic]? [11-point Rating scale: 'Do not understand at all' to 'Very clear understanding']. Explain your answer.”
  • Here's an example of how you could structure a series of tasks around the email's usefulness:
    • “How helpful did you find the content of this email? Please explain aloud.” [11-point Rating scale: “Not at all helpful” to “Very helpful”]
    • “If you were a new [company name] customer and received this email, how HELPFUL would you say the content is for you personally? Please explain aloud.” 
    • “Do you feel this email includes useful information for a new [customer name] customer? Explain your answer.”
    • “Do you feel this email includes the right kind of information for a customer to [do what the email explains]? Explain your answer.”
  • Ask questions about the participant's general feelings toward the email or how it could be improved.
    • Example tasks
      • "Do you have any comments about the email in general?"
      • "If you had a magic wand, how would you improve this?"


Build your email test in the platform

There are two ways to create an email test in the UserTesting platform:


Set up an unmoderated email test from scratch

  1. Go to your dashboard.
  2. Click Create test, then Create a test.
  3. Choose the device you're testing (prototype, website, app).
  4. Choose your audience.
  5. Click Build test plan.
  6. Input your Starting URL.
  7. Write your Scenario.
  8. Add an Image asset to your Test plan. This approach allows the participant to see both the content and the design of the email.
  9. Add a rating scale task to address key questions, such as how clear participants find the email and whether they find it useful.
    Screenshot 2023-11-08 at 3.00.29 PM.png
  10. Input additional tasks and questions as needed.


Set up an email test from a template

  1. Open up the email engagement template. (You can also find it by going to Create test > Customize a template and then search for Email engagement in the Template gallery).
  2. Select Use this template
  3. Select what you're testing and who your audience is, then click Next.
  4. Click Edit by the Test plan summary.
  5. Review the tasks and questions and edit any placeholder content.



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