In my book, Modern HTML Email, I mention a number of times that testing email campaigns is one of the most important aspects of email marketing. There are a variety of tools and services that help out with testing, my favorite being Litmus. Litmus allows you to preview your campaigns in a ton of different clients both in your browser or using a desktop app called Alkaline. Litmus has an amazing service, and the previews are top-notch.
The only problem is that previewing responsive or mobile-optimized emails in the browser leaves a bit of a disconnect. While Litmus provides mobile previews - even going so far as to dump screenshots into a device and mimic scrolling - the feel of viewing an email on an actual device is missing.
This is what I think would be cool: Alkaline Mobile.
Imagine this - An iPhone app for viewing your Litmus mobile testing results. I imagine it would work the same as their regular testing. Simply send or upload a new test and see the mobile results on an actual device. Now, you would be able to actually scroll around your email - checking image, link, and button placement to see how an email really feels.
I’m not advocating them making a completely mobile experience for their entire service - just worry about mobile. I think it could work simply enough - pop open the app and get a list of clients for previewing emails. Maybe click on that top logo bar to drop down a list of recent campaigns, or just always load the most recent campaign if you don’t want to store the screenshots on your iPhone. Once you click on a client, you see the preview.
I think it would be tricky for Litmus to actually load up and accurately render the HTML email, so why not just load the screenshot from the test and allow that to be scrollable? It would be great to have their usual “toggle images” option, too.
A large part of mobile email design is getting the email to feel good on a device. Building a tool to actually test this enigmatic quality on a real device would be amazing. If anyone can do it, the fantastic team at Litmus can.