If you want to make sure your email marketing campaign is working, or if you want to improve the security of your internal emails, you’ll need email testing tools to help you get the job done.
The trouble is, with so many different types of email testing tools available, it can be hard to know where to begin.
In this guide, we’ll define and segment the different types of email testing, then list some of the most popular and most effective email testing tools you can use depending on your purposes.
Table of Contents
- What Is Email Testing?
- Email Phishing Testing Tools
- Tools for Testing Email Deliverability
- Email Preview Testing Tools
- Email AB Testing Tools
What Is Email Testing?
Let’s start by defining email testing. Email testing can happen in a few different ways, but it’s also centered on evaluating emails for certain qualities; sometimes, those qualities pertain to security, while other times, they pertain to effectiveness.
Let’s take a look:
- Email phishing and security testing. How secure is your company’s email? A single phishing attack can devastate your business, and you may never see it coming—that is, unless you use an email phishing testing tool to proactively detect and correct for the vulnerability. With email phishing and security testing, you can prevent phishing schemes and maintain the integrity of your internal systems.
- Email deliverability and integrity testing. You can also test emails to maximize the chance that they will reach your intended audience. This typically includes testing in a wide variety of different areas. For example, some tools provide you with an HTML inbox rendering test, showing you how your email will be displayed in your recipients’ inboxes – including responsive design testing, for those recipients who read emails on a mobile device. Most email testing tools include a spam test, helping you evaluate whether or not your email may be flagged as spam. It may also test the internal links of your email, to make sure they all work.
- Email success evaluation (AB testing). Marketers and salespeople want to maximize the effectiveness of their emails, and the best way to do that is through AB testing. There are great tools available for this, enabling you to tweak individual variables and see how they play with your audience.
Email Phishing Testing Tools
Let’s start with an assortment of email phishing simulation and testing tools you can use to improve your internal email security:
Gophish is an open-source phishing framework designed to reduce your vulnerability to phishing schemes. With it, you can build out different email phishing templates, send them to specific targets, and track your results, measuring the number of emails opened, links clicked, and forms submitted. You can install it for free.
- One-Click Installation
- Full REST API
- Cross Platform
- Real-Time Results
- Beautiful Web UI
- Great way to reduce your vulnerability
- Easy to use
- Great Analytics
- Can be confusing at times.
2. Infosec IQ.
Infosec IQ offers a free phishing risk test that allows you to test your business’s susceptibility to phishing scams in just 24 hours. And if you’re interested in something more robust, you can use its PhishSim tool to run a full-scale campaign, relying on more than 1,000 phishing templates.
- AwareEd™ security awareness training
- PhishSim™ anti-phishing training & simulation
- Reporting & assessments
- Program automation & management
- Client support services
- Great for managing security and educating employees
- Incredible content and fantastic customer service
- Helps in recognizing potential phishing attempts
- Affordable and Versatile
- Big discrepancy between the campaign reports and the data
- Html template editor is not great
- More flexibility in reporting would also be appreciated
- Facing issues with data entry attacks
Need to email them according to your needs.
3. Phishing Frenzy.
It sounds like a mobile game, but Phishing Frenzy is actually an open source email phishing testing program, built on Ruby on Rails. You’ll need some familiarity with Linux and programming to get it to work, but if you have the right professionals on your team, you can use this to conduct thorough penetration testing for your organization.
- Open Source Ruby on Rails application
- Campaign management
- Template reuse
- Statistical generation
- Easy to create phishing testing campaigns
- Limited customer support options.
4. King Phisher.
Also available on GitHub is King Fisher, from SecureState. It’s an even more robust tool designed to help you design and run multiple email phishing tests simultaneously. With it, you’ll be able to get location data on your phished users, and view in-depth reports on the success of your attempts.
- Run multiple phishing campaigns simultaneously
- Optional Two-Factor authentication
- Credential harvesting from landing pages
- Web page cloning capabilities
- High level of accuracy
- Fast in clarification process
- Provide clear idea about the effective level of each classifier
- Time consuming
- Huge number of features
- No standard classifiers
- Need large email server and high memory requirement
5. LUCY Security.
If you’re concerned about security in your organization, LUCY Security offers more than just an email phishing testing tool (though it offers that as well). With its services, you’ll get access to attack simulations across email and a variety of other channels. You’ll also get access to employee training and progress measurement, so you can grow as an organization.
- Data protection
- Infrastructure test
- Employee training
- Progress Measurement
- Employee integration
- Best anti phishing tool to use
- Great security education platform
- Supports 130 languages
- Easy installations
- Limited customer support
Starts at $960 per year.
Tools for Testing Email Deliverability
If email marketing or email-based sales are a bigger concern than your internal email security, you’ll be more interested to learn about the tools designed to help you test and evaluate your outgoing email blasts.
These are some of the best:
One of the best-known names in the email marketing world is Mailchimp. With both free and paid options, you can use Mailchimp to manage your email lists, design emails, and send them out—but not without testing them first! Mailchimp has several built-in tools to help you test your emails before you send them, including evaluating their spam score and previewing their designs.
- Performance monitoring
- Content management
- Multiple tutorials available
- Automated scheduling
- Multi-channel communication
- MailChimp is very flexible and gives you a wide variety of easily customizable options
- Offers free and high quality templates to use for newsletters
- Great platform with a huge base of supporting articles and videos
- It’s really hard to find some options/features
- The metrics it tracks are very limited
- Missing a lot of advanced filters, smarter ways to segment users, and doing more advanced drip campaigns
Has a free plan, then paid plans starting at $9.99 per month.
7. Constant Contact.
The same is true for Constant Contact—one of the most robust email marketing tools available. Constant Contact offers thousands of templates and recommendations for how to create the perfect email campaign. And like Mailchimp, there’s no shortage of internal testing tools you can use to make sure your emails will be sent (and seen) properly.
- Drag. Drop. Editing made it easy.
- Drive more sales in less time. Automatically.
- Open the door to eCommerce email marketing
- Contact management, with less of the “management.”
- Track your email marketing results in real time. Improve them in no time
- Email-creation UI is easy and powerful
- Highly customizable templates
- Flawless delivery of emails
- Contact management
- List management UI is not the best
- Poor billing policies
- Limited templates
- Needs more features
Starts at $20/mo.
Pabbly is a specialist tool that’s designed to improve email deliverability by getting rid of unwanted and obsolete email addresses on a given list. With just a few clicks, you can thoroughly test your email list and remove things like duplicates, inactive domains, and invalid addresses.
- Minimize Bouncing
- Syntax Eliminator
- Domain Confirmation
- Complaints Removed
- Email De-duplication
- Spam-trap Removal
- Pocket-friendly, & easy to use the tool
- Great customer support
- Flexible tax system
- Limited features for payment analytics
Pabbly pricing starts at $5 for 1000 emails.
9. Reputation Authority.
Have you ever wondered how many “good” or “bad” emails you’ve sent in the past? Reputation Authority will help you do it. With this tool, you’ll be able to evaluate your domain and dig into your reputation, determining whether your messages have had a positive or negative impact on your brand.
- Next Generation Techniques
- Zero-Hour Response During Malware & Spam Outbreak
- Effective Defense Mechanism
- Increased Performance of your Network
- Dealing with Spam
- Products Comparison
- It requires minimal response time during the occurrence of the issue
- New and sophisticated techniques are employed to increase productivity.
- Directory Harvest Attack
- The Reputation History cannot be cleared indefinitely.
- Hard to Navigate
This tool is free to use.
Postmark is a super simple tool that allows you to copy and paste your email’s code into an online interface. From there, you can preview your email and examine different variations. You can also check its spam score and make adjustments as necessary. Aside from its excellent email preview functionality, Postmark is also one of our top-ranked bulk email services.
- Email API
- Transactional Email
- Email Delivery
- Email templates
- Inbound email
- Cost effective
- Quick Email tracking
- Customer support is quick, friendly and passionate
- Excellent deliverability
- Limited Email history
- More improvements on the templating language
- More search capabilities
Postmark pricing starts with $10 for 10000 emails per month.
DataValidation is more concerned with testing your email list than your actual email, but it’s still important. The app guarantees you’ll deliver 99 percent of your emails after using its list cleaning service. You’ll get a thorough breakdown of active and inactive email addresses, which you can then act on before you send your next blast.
- Live chat and email support
- Email list monitoring service
- Email verification API
- Native Integrations
- Free list archiving
- Multiple upload formats
- An email marketer’s guardian angel
- You can upload your mailing list to the system without paying anything
- Provides an alternative to do an initial cleaning of a mailing list
- Debugging the mailing list is not immediate
- Time consuming
Data validation is free upto 500 emails. It’s pricing starts with $0.007 per email.
From MailPoet comes Mail-Tester, a tool designed to make it easy to evaluate your email for spam-related red flags. With it, you’ll be able to check for SPF and DKIM records, keywords that trigger spam indicators, and several other measurements. It’s also a convenient way to see if you’ve been blacklisted as a sender by any major email clients.
- Result will be accessible for 7 days with free version or 30 days if you created an account and used your own prefix
- Cheap, simple and efficient way to quickly test the quality of our newsletters
- Detailed report of what’s configured properly and what’s not
- Data is super safe
- Limited customer support.
Mailtrap offers several email tests in the same place; with it, you can preview test your email, check your HTML with various email clients, determine your spam score, and more. Everything is done on a fake server, so you never have to worry about accidentally sending out a test email to real people.
- Sharing projects
- Send the invitation by email
- Sharing inboxes
- Analyze emails for spam & blacklists
- Test HTML for support by basic email clients
- Share inboxes with your team members
- Organize test emails into special inboxes
- Secure by default
- For free accounts there’s a limit on emails
Free for new users who want to evaluate Mailtrap. $9.99 For freelancers and individuals working in a one-person team, $24.99 for an established team where users may invite others to join their project and $49.99 for companies with multiple tech teams working on several of their own or client projects.
NeverBounce is another email list testing tool. After using it, you’ll get a detailed report of how clean (or cluttered) your email list is, and you’ll get the chance to prepare your list for a live send.
- Domain check
- Syntax check
- Mail server validation
- Spam trap detection
- Disposable email detection
- Activity Dashboard
- Third Party Integration
- Produce quality results
- Excellent alternative to manage my email
- Great Email verification software
- Bounce rate is high
NeverBounce pricing starts with $0.008 per email up to 10000, $0.005 per email up to 100,000, $0.004 per email up to 250,000 $0.003 per email up to 1,000,000.
There’s also Clearout, an email validation and verification service that promises 98 percent accuracy (or higher). It’s one of the most efficient and most reliable email verification services around—and it’s also easy to use.
- Accurate Result
- Affordable Pricing
- Accelerated Turnaround
- Anywhere on Any Device
- Great accuracy
- Great customer support
- Affordable pricing
- Has limited integrations with email list providers.
- Very less free credits provided
Clearout.io pricing starts with 5,000 credits for $20 for a month. Get a 30% discount for the price when you pay annually.
SendForensics contains a number of testing tools designed to help you improve your email deliverability. With it, you’ll be able to look at your sender score, preview the content of your email, and make improvements to get past the most common types of spam filters.
- The Missing Metric
- AI-driven insights
- Detailed Content Analysis & Optimisation
- Comprehensive Infrastructure Auditing
- Live Inbox Placement Testing
- Integrated Email Client Preview Testing
- Considers collaboration throughout your teams and groups
- Easy-to-use UI
- Low pricing
- Destabilizing reporting
- Less responsive customer support
- Glitchy flag items
You can start free for testing purposes. $49 for 2 domains.
Email Preview Testing Tools
Your recipients read your emails on devices of all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to ensure that your email renders correctly across them! Use these tools to ensure they do:
Adding to the list of all-in-one email marketing tools is Drip, which is designed to help marketers construct and manage automated drip email campaigns. But again, you’ll have access to multiple built-in tools for testing your emails before they get sent out.
- Customer Data
- Interface is intuitive and easy to use
- Integrates easily with Shopify.
- Customer service is fantastic
- Email creator isn’t very easy to use
- Lack of certain features
- Limited options for Lead capture
With 500 people in your account, you’ll pay $19 each month and can send unlimited emails. It also offers a 15 day free trial.
GetResponse offers testing for 25 of the most popular email clients. It also comes with a variety of other tools for your email marketing campaign, including email automation, templates for landing pages, and free webinars so you can learn more.
- Email marketing
- Landing pages
- Marketing automation
- Conversion funnel
- Great deliverability
- A good selection of pre-made templates
- Powerful automation and conversion tools to fully automate your funnel
- The visual campaign builder is excellent
- Lack of flexibility with the system
- Customizable reports
- Email templates were outdated or looked clunky
Get Response pricing starts with $15 per month. It also offers 30days free trial.
One of the most popular email testing tools available is Litmus, in part because it’s used by major corporations all over the world. With Litmus, you’ll be able to preview your email in many different clients and contexts, then change your code on the fly to see how your changes are reflected in the final product.
- Customizable Templates
- Design Management
- Email Tracking
- Helps in designing and testing email campaigns
- Rich features and wide capabilities
- Validate email design across all typical platforms
- Powerful campaign approvals
- Spam tests are not quick to set up
- Cannot unsubscribe test email address directly
- Lacks integration with our present ESP
Litmus pricing starts with $99 per month.
20. Email Preview Services.
Take a guess what Email Preview Services allows you to do. It’s a tool meant to help you evaluate your code through the lenses of different email clients and platforms. Quickly and easily, you’ll be able to see how your email will appear to various people on your email list—and take action if there’s something that needs to be corrected before you send.
- Email Design Testing
- Email Analytics
- Inbox & Spam testing
- White – label API
- Email Editor
- Powerful campaign approvals
- Best email marketing tool
- Email builder
- Easy to use
- Lacks integration with ESP
- There is no option to create folders
- Mobile app is not great
- Online code editor has few annoying bugs
Email Preview Services pricing starts with 25 USD per month. It also offers 7 days free trial.
21. Email on Acid.
One of the most thorough email testing tools available, Email on Acid provides email preview testing with more than 70 different clients and devices. You can test your email with an endless combination of configurations to make sure it’s not going to appear broken for anybody.
- Patent-pending click-to-fix technology
- Unlimited live testing and previews
- Patent-pending click-to-fix technology
- Email heatmapping
- Great intelligent HTML editor
- Email Previews Across Multiple Providers
- Great & flexible platform for email services
- Quickly uploads emails
- Does not have the latest versions of some popular clients
- Doesn’t integrate with marketing automation platforms
- The email previews sometimes are unreliable
Email on Acid pricing starts with $ 85 per month. It also offers 7 days free trial.
22. HTML Email Check.
If you’re looking for a simple, free, and quick tool to check your HTML, XHTML, or CSS markup, HTML Email Check is for you. As an added bonus, you can use it to validate the links in your email, check images, and evaluate accessibility.
- HTML Validation
- CSS Validation
- Font Validation
- Image Validation
- Link Validation
- Mobile Validation
- Lots of formatting features
- Instant validation results
- Fully flexible Cross-Device email testing
- Less compatibility
- May be considered as spam
HTML Email Check pricing starts with $14.95 per month.
With SubjectLine, you can test your email’s subject line—both in terms of its spam score and in terms of its potential open rate. After using it, you’ll have a clearer picture of your subject line’s value, and hopefully, a direction on how to improve.
- Deploys a wide range of data gathering, management, analytic and marketing services
- Free tool
- Provides great informative results
- Helps to increase the open rate in email campaign
- Secured information
- Limited customer support.
Email AB Testing Tools
AB testing involves creating multiple versions of the same asset, in this case an email: you’ll have an “A” version and a “B” version. You can launch both and compare their effectiveness against each other, objectively determining which variables are most important in your campaign.
Many of the email testing tools we’ve already listed also have some capacity for AB testing. But beyond those, here are some popular tools that either specialize in or excel at email AB testing:
24. Hubspot AB Testing Kit.
Hubspot’s “Complete A/B Testing Kit” is a combination of tools designed to help you brainstorm ideas for AB testing, build AB tests, and of course, measure and analyze the results of your AB email tests. It’s very intuitive if you’re just getting started.
- Dynamic content
- Mobile optimization
- Data quality management
- Ability to test dynamic content
- Excellent end user support
- Super easy and intuitive user interface
- Hubspot keeps the technology up to date with current web and marketing trends
- Email Marketing
- The tasks feature is great for following up on unfinished tasks
- It’s not suitable for big companies which deal in B2C and B2B
- Difficult to understand the interface of the HubSpot and its automation are complicated
- Mass emailing
- Email marketing features
One of the best-known CRM and marketing automation platforms online, Intercom also offers everything you need to plan, conduct, and analyze your AB email tests. It’s what we use here at EmailAnalytics!
- A/B testing
- Audience segmentation
- Customer user profiles
- Email campaign creation
- Message tagging
- User event tracking
- Filtering features
- Built-in customer chat
- Helps to boost revenue and customer satisfaction
- Intercom agents provide prompt and helpful support
- Interface is clunky and slow
- API documentation is poor and needs to be improved
- A/B testing could be improved.
Intercom pricing starts from $87 per month.
Optimizely is an experimentation platform designed to help you AB test your marketing campaigns, regardless of which channels you use. You’ll be able to run tests for emails, advertisements, web designs, and more.
- A/B Testing
- Account Based Marketing
- Behavioral Targeting
- Experience Management
- Recommendation Engine
- Website Personalization
- Relatively real-time statistical review of the experiment data
- Performing A/B testing for minor visual changes to the site
- Allows for quick changes
- It provides an interface to create tests easily.
- Extremely intuitive interface with excellent usability, without sacrificing features
- Better search functionality when searching for current tests
- Snippet integration
- API documentation could use more examples
Start simple with rollouts free plan, scale as needed across teams
27. AB Tasty.
AB Tasty offers a series of tools designed for experimentation, which allow you to create AB tests, split tests, multivariate tests, and more. You’ll also get access to in-depth reports to analyze your results.
- Variation Testing
- A/B Testing
- Visitor Behavior
- Nudges are available when you are running out of new ideas
- Results are easy to understand
- Tests are quickly implemented
- High quality service
- Multi-page testing capabilities
- Counting / tracking the visitors to know them more
- Data collection takes lot of time
- Improvements to be done in hide/add/remove elements in html features
- Visual editor was not very intuitive
- UI is a bit clunky
AB Tasty’s package starts at $1,000 per month for e-commerce websites and includes: All Plus Plan features. Unlimited visitors per month.
Are you interested in learning more about how you or your team members use email on a daily basis? You may need a tool like EmailAnalytics.
EmailAnalytics connects to your Gmail account with a couple of clicks; from there, you can take a deep dive to learn your average response time, the number of emails you send and receive per day, your top senders and recipients, and more. Sign up for a free trial today, and get a closer look at the data visuals that can help you and your team members be better emailers!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.