What is QA?
Quality Assurance (QA) is a way to ensure your emails, webpages, campaigns, and everything else in between is done correctly. QA prevents your marketing materials and campaigns from going ‘live’ with any errors. A common mistake can easily be overlooked, which is a huge red flag for potential customers. We will get to that here in the next section…
Why is QA Important?
A common mistake like a missing period, extra spacing, misspelled words, etc. can easily be overlooked, which is why QA is so important! One little error or dead-end link can truly hurt your brand’s reputation. QA also makes sure your users have a positive experience. You want people to trust you, right? Then make sure you QA everything and are getting stuff done right (the first time!).
Create a QA Process
Always create a process for QA. If you don’t, you might as well not even QA because things will still slip through the cracks!
Create a process is using a Quality Workbook (QWB). A QWB is a checklist and documentation of your QA, which will help standardize your process. I create a master QWB for the different areas of QA. For example, here are some of the ones I have created:
- Email testing
- Webpage testing
- Content testing
- Campaign/program logic testing
- Template testing (I make sure Litmus is part of any template testing)
- Product launch testing
- And any other QWBs your company may need for QA!
By creating QWB’s, anyone in your company can (or should be able to) easily perform QA. This is a huge accomplishment in making sure NO steps are missed during your QA process, or even your building process.
TIP: If there are changes made to anything along the way and especially if you’ve already performed QA, make sure you run everything through QA again! Start the process over completely (you can utilize the same QWB, so everything is in one place, but run through your QA checklist from start to finish). No matter how small an update is, when someone goes in and makes one update, it can mess with other aspects.
Now, let’s fill in your QWB with a checklist of items to lookout for during QA. Some of the major key points I look for my marketing campaigns are:
- Content – This should go through a QA before passed off to any build team. But once I build the email/webpage, I like to make sure the copy is proof-read by someone from the Content team again. I also do a proof-read myself to check for misspelled words, missing periods, etc. Don’t forget about text version too!
- Links – I click on every single link to make sure they are linking to the correct page and there are no dead ends. A user experience can be quickly ruined by reaching a 404-error page within an email or webpage (especially if a coupon involved!).
- Images + Design – Make sure all images are loading properly. I also make sure images don’t take a long time to load since this isn’t a positive user experience.
- TIP: You don’t want to use images that are so high in resolution they cause slower loading. Yes, you want your images to look good, but make sure the resolution isn’t too high.
- Make sure design aligns with overall branding of your company; coloring, fonts, logos, etc.
- Forms – If you are using a form within your email/webpage, make sure you test that the form is passing data correctly and backend logic routes the lead properly.
- TIP: If you are wondering why you’re not seeing your test lead in a certain database or the logic isn’t routing properly just yet, you may need to activate or create a test campaign (if you want to keep test leads separate) to ensure leads are flowing properly.
- Overall Functionality – There are so many things you can look at with overall functionality of your marketing campaigns. Here are some of the things I look at specifically for my email campaigns:
- Email subject line
- Email pre-header
- Email header and footer (make sure your footer contains unsubscribe link for ALL promotional communications)
- Email From name
- Reply to email address
- Template aligns and functions properly in ‘live’ environment
- Email goes into inbox vs. junk/spam folder
- Time of Send – If you are marketing around the globe, it is important to be aware of the time zones. You don’t want to launch an email at 3 a.m. or, especially, send someone an SMS message at that time. If you aren’t marketing globally, it is still important to check time zones. If you’re in the Eastern time zone, you can easily send someone in the Pacific time zone an email at 5 a.m. Triple check time zones before hitting ‘send’.
Here is a sample of one of my QWBs:
Now, (hopefully) you can wrap your head around a QA process in your world.
One last thing I want to call out, don’t ever feel like you don’t have enough time for QA. Even when you’re in crunch mode to hit a deadline, make sure you always follow your QA process. Quality is always better than quantity!!
If you have any questions or need assistance creating your QA process, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help!