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Test Emails sent to recipients not on previously uploaded lists

Are there any plans to give us the ability to send 1 off test emails to recipients without having to first create a list and then upload a csv to it? 

I often get requests to send test emails to 3 or 4 people ahead of actually sending client email campaigns. Not only does this create extra steps for what should be a fast one off email, it also winds up adding extra items to our dialogue for contact lists on the campaign screen. 

A worse scenario would be that I would go ahead and create a list for the few test contacts, but then a client will request additional contacts receive the test email. So I have two options, I can add the name to the test list and inundate the other clients on that test list with a second email or I can create yet another test list just for the extra contact. Neither of these solutions are ideal.

Hi Nick,

Yes, I am aware of other ESPs that allow you to send test messages to recipients that are not actually contacts in the database.  I, myself, have worked at ESPs that have this type of a capability -- so I have many years of experience in this matter.

I reject requests for this type of capability in Maropost Marketing Cloud for reasons as I shall enumerate below.

  • Test emails sent to non-contacts would be deceptive -- by definition, test emails sent in this manner cannot go through the exact same email creation process that production emails go through. Consequently, the test email never reflects the actual email -- both in terms of rendering and inboxing -- no matter how hard one tries to keep the two similar.  While the majority of the times a test email sent in this manner looks just like an email sent from the production system, there are always the unpredictable anomalies that waste countless hours troubleshooting.
  • Test emails sent to non-contacts cannot feature personalization nor dynamic content -- since the contact records don't exist, any personalization and/or dynamic content blocks cannot be rendered.  In most cases, this affects the display of the email which is expecting the dynamic content to be present.
  • Test emails sent to non-contacts would introduce high maintenance and be error prone -- because test emails sent in this manner cannot go through the normal email creation process, an entirely separate code base for creating and sending test emails must be developed and maintained.  Parallel code bases are inherently error prone and difficult to keep in synch with the code base for actual production emails.

If i understand your scenario correctly, Maropost Marketing Cloud with current functionality still allows you to accomplish the "quick add" to a test list under the conditions that you have described.  I have done it myself many times.

  1. Stay on Step 1 of the Campaign Editor and select the test list.  But don't send your test email just yet.  
  2. Open the Contact page in a separate browser tab.  This allows you to keep focused on the campaign that you are sending as a test.  In the separate browser tab, you can easily enter a new contact for any of your lists directly in the user interface without having to upload a CSV file just for a few contacts. 
  3. After you've added the contact to the list, send your test campaign.

Best regards,
Manny Ju
Vice President - Product and Client Success
Maropost Marketing Cloud

Thank you for the quick response Manny, it's truly appreciated.

While I understand your point on the back end, this can lead to a frustrating workflow from a user perspective. If I were to take this scenario where I don't want to resend all of the test emails out to the same list again just one new person, those 3 steps you outlined would be more like this (I've demarcated each step by different browser page):

1. Same as yours.

2. Open contact page on separate browser tab, find the list and click contacts below it

3. Select Contacts > New Contact from menu structure above.

4. Fill out the form and save, should take you back to that contact list where you can edit the existing ones. Repeat as necessary for the amount of contacts or add import via csv.

5. Trash icon any contacts not wanted on the next send so all except the new one

6. I would then go back to the campaign page and send the email with that same edited list 

And afterwards I guess reimport that .csv of the prior contacts on the test list or enter them individually.

That is, being modest, a 6 step process for a one off email test that involves nothing but adding an email address, you can see where that can be frustrating, especially if say the request comes in end of the day with a deadline in the morning. Maybe a good compromise is to add that new contact submit onto the same page as the one where you can delete your contacts on the list. That at least will save a step if you're not going to give us the ability to just do this from the campaign send page, as with every other system I've used (mailchimp, constant contact, sailthru) and erroneously come to expect of all platforms.

Thanks again for your feedback.

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