May 27, 2011

Inbox Inspections Now Include User Agent Data

If you’ve ever run an inbox inspection, you may have found yourself wondering which email clients to focus your testing on. Does it matter if a font looks a little wonky in AOL Mail if 98% of your list uses Outlook 2007?

Good news. In v5.9, we started taking your list’s user-agent data and displaying it next to each email app in the "Run Inbox Inspection" dialog:

So now I know I should prioritize my testing on Outlook, Gmail and Thunderbird (I’ll tell you why I skipped iPhone in a sec)…

We also added user agent stats to the full Inbox Inspection results:



Under each screenshot, we show you how many people on your list (whose user agents we can measure) use that app:

We all want our emails to render perfectly everywhere, but that’s not always feasible. This should help you make better decisions on which email apps to prioritize your coding time for. I’m probably not going to spend a ton of time optimizing for those 9 Lotus Notes 8.5 users when I’ve got almost 500 using Outlook to worry about.


A Note on User Agent Tracking

In order for your subscribers’ email client to be detected, it needs to make a request to our server so we can track it. That really only occurs during an open or a click. Tracking opens can be tricky (See: How Open Tracking Works), and clicks are naturally harder to obtain than opens (See: Average click rates by industry). So a lot of user agents will be under represented. As with all stats, take this with a little grain of salt.

The interesting thing about the iPhone is that it loads images in email by default, whereas most other clients automatically block images by default. So the iPhone is probably going to be over represented in your stats.