How to Preview and Send Test Emails

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Feel confident that your emails will render and appear correctly in each inbox by previewing and testing them before sending. This is a crucial step that should not be skipped as you prepare to send any type of campaign. It’ll guarantee all your efforts in creating a beautiful email don’t go to waste.

When you design a new email template in AdRoll, there are several ways to preview and test how it will look when sent. In this article, you’ll learn about the different testing methods:

  1. Preview directing in AdRoll
  2. Send a test email
  3. Send a live campaign to a preview list
  4. Use a third-party tool

Preview an Email

To preview any email in AdRoll, simply click on the Eye icon within the email editor. Here you’ll see a preview of your email design with the option to toggle between mobile and desktop.

When previewing on mobile, you can also see how your email will render in landscape mode.


If you have dynamic content or personalization within your email it’s recommended to preview the email as a contact as well. You can do this by selecting any contact available within AdRoll.

Note: If you have missing merge fields or dynamic content, you’ll be notified when you attempt to preview. This is the perfect opportunity to fix any issues and adjust your email.


Send a Test Email

To send a preview to yourself or any of your contacts, simply click the Send Preview button in the upper right corner when you are previewing your email. Choose one or more contacts to send the test email to and select a specific contact to receive the email as. This will help you ensure all personalization displays properly.


Once your test email is sent, it’s recommended to view that email on several browsers and devices. Then you can adjust the design to ensure it displays correctly across multiple viewing scenarios. You should also check:

  • Spelling errors
  • Images load correctly
  • Links point to the correct location or are not broken
    • Link tracking is not set up for Preview emails, clicks will not be tracked
  • The subject line and preheader are correct

Send a Live Campaign to a Preview List

The ultimate test is to send a live campaign to a list that you create as an AdRoll audience. To do this:

  1. Create a new list called "Preview" or “Test” and add yourself or members of your team to the list
  2. Create a new campaign by navigating to Email Newsletters > Create Newsletter
  3. Choose your preview list under “Send to” in Step 1
  4. Configure your message details including sender info, subject line and preheader
  5. Select the template you want to test in Step 4 and update any content as needed
  6. Click Schedule in the upper right corner and choose to send now

The email you receive will contain live links and an accurate preview of what your contacts will see when they receive the same email message.

Using a Third-Party Tool

Using a third-party email testing tool can help if you are concerned about how your email design will render across multiple browsers and devices. These tools allow you to test and preview emails in potentially hundreds of popular email clients. Some third-party tools we recommend are:

Preview Emails Going to Spam

There are several reasons why you may see email previews going to your spam folder. When sending a preview you have the ability to send it directly to an email address. Most email inbox providers decide what emails go to spam on a user-by-user basis.

Here are some tips to help prevent your preview emails from going to spam:

  1. Make sure your test content looks and reads as much like a real campaign as possible.
  2. Set up your DNS authentication in AdRoll to become a trusted sender.
  3. If you send previews to yourself frequently, be sure to open them. This indicates to inbox providers that you are interested in receiving preview emails.
  4. If an email lands in your Spam folder, move it back to your inbox or the Primary tab in Gmail.
  5. Your company may also have a Spam filter for firewall setup. Check your firewall settings to ensure they are not blocking AdRoll emails.
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