How do I preview emails before sending them?

It's important to be able to see precisely what your customers will see before sending emails.

That's why Recapture has a couple of different ways to show you what your emails will look like:  The Preview Button and the Test Email

The Preview Button

The Preview Button is located on every email campaign toward the upper right hand corner of the email editor.  It looks like this:

When you click the preview button, this will render a version of the email inside of your browser.  On the right hand side, you can click one of these device icons:

To show what your email will look on on mobile (left), tablet (middle) or desktop (right, shown by default).  Recapture's emails are responsive to device context so this will help you see what the final results will look like.

You can also send a copy of the email to yourself using the "Send Test Email" button above the icons on the upper right:

To the left side, if your store is fully connected, you will see a list of recent products from the Live Cart Feed.  These can be used to substitute the variables you might be using inside of your template (e.g. First Name, Last Name, Product Name, Coupon Code, etc).  Clicking on a cart on the left:

Will change the content of the email in the middle:

Limitations of the Preview Screen

The Preview screen and the Test Email you can receive have a few limits on them, namely:

  • The links you see are FAKE because they require a real cart to be able to go and visit in order to be valid.  The Live Cart Feed is showing you basic data, but we don't have access to the cart to send anyone but the real customer to their actual cart.  Also, this could be dangerous if you accidentally completed the purchase on a test store.  It would mix the data from a real customer with your testing.
  • Links in the email will take you to a blank page (because of the previous reason)
  • The coupon codes you see will show EXAMPLE_COUPON_CODE if you're using Unique Coupon Codes.  This is because we don't waste a coupon by showing you one in Preview (remember, the codes are tied to your customer directly and can only be used by them, so we don't expose that to everyone)

If you want a more "real" email, you have to do more "real" things to get it.  See the next section.

Using Emails Directly to Test

The Preview pane is great and the test emails are super helpful to get a good idea of what things are like, but what if you want to do a full end-to-end test?  For that, you'll need to use a REAL email and a REAL campaign that is active and running.

Best way to test is this:

  • Make sure the setting for the time of the campaign is like 1 minute
  • Segment the campaign to send ONLY when your email is the customer email (important for testing on a live site!!  Especially if you're trying a new campaign you're not sure is quite ready yet).  If you're not familiar with segmenting, we have a background article here.  Setup for segmenting is covered in detail in this article.
  • Activate the campaign you want to test
  • Go to your store, add items to a cart, make sure you enter your email from the segment above into your checkout form so it's captured
  • Confirm that on the Live Cart Feed:
  • Wait 30 min (because that's how long your cart takes to be "abandoned")
  • Check your email

That's how you can use a real email, with live links and a real coupon code.

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