Effective UI Testing: How UI-Tested Visuals Improve Email Marketing

Email marketing still has an important part to play in our digital world. But how effective is it? It has several advantages, to start with, including the fact that most people can relate to or use email. Other benefits include their cost-effectiveness and the fact that emails can reach thousands of people almost instantly. Emails are also measurable, and you can target them for a specific audience. 

In this post, we’ll be looking at one of the ways you can make your email marketing more effective and how you can check if your strategy is effective across all devices and email services. 

Distinguishing UI from UX testing

UI Testing is a way of testing an application’s visual elements to see whether they meet your expectations concerning functionality and performance. Also known as GUI, the UI stands for User Interface. 

A range of different things is tested, including all visual and graphical icons. The testing also includes radio buttons, menus, checkboxes, text boxes, color palettes, fonts, toolbars, and much more.

You can perform UI testing manually, but there are also automated UI testing tools. The goal of the test, regardless of the method you use, is to ensure all UI elements meet the required specifications.

 A UI test will typically check the following aspects:

  • Functionality
  • Performance
  • Compliance 
  • Usability
  • Visual design

As well as testing the visual aspects of applications, UI testing is also relevant when checking whether your email marketing efforts are hitting the mark.

So, how is UI testing different from UX testing? At a most basic level, UI testing checks all the elements that enable someone to interact with a product or service. On the other hand, UX is what an individual takes away from their experience with a product or service. 

Let’s put it another way. when you create UX, you focus on the user’s journey to solve a problem, whereas UI focuses on how a product looks and functions. With regards to email marketing, UI tests how effective email marketing is and whether any changes need to be made to improve communication.    

What is Visual Testing?

Visual testing is a way of evaluating the visible output of an application. For example, in terms of an email marketing campaign, assesses how effective visual elements such as photos, illustrations, or videos are.

Visual testing is sometimes called UI testing, and it is a way of identifying any problems with the visuals in an email. It makes sure the user interface appears correctly to all users. For example, it will check that all elements appear in the right shape, position, and size. It’s also a way to check that the elements appear and function correctly, regardless of the device or browser being used. 

The Effectiveness of Visuals in Email Marketing

An engaging visual is a must in the modern marketing world. Human perception is primarily visual, with more than 90% of the daily processed information coming from visual receptors. 

Visual content is vital for several reasons:

  • Visuals are much easier to understand.
  • Visuals are shorter.
  • Most people remember 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read.
  • Visual content is more likely to be shared across respective platforms and between friends, family, and business partners.
  • Visual content is easier to produce and cheaper than ever before. 

With visuals, you can quickly hook your audience and keep them locked in. Visuals also help your audience engage with your message.

Communications that include images produce 650% higher engagement than a text-only post.    

Using Various Types of Visuals to Make your Emails Stand Out

You can use a range of visuals in your email marketing campaigns. Here are some of the most common you’ll want to consider. 


Thanks to HTML technology and coding, it’s now possible for you to add a whole host of images and background colors to your emails. Both of these will make your emails more effective for the reader. 

Source: Screenshot taken from the author’s email

Relevant images help break up long bodies of text and convey far more information when available space is limited. 

Source: Screenshot taken from the author’s email

eCommerce email marketers and e-retailers have found that using images in their emails to showcase products yields a higher conversion rate. 

Images don’t have to be only 2D either. Technology allows you to use 3D images in your emails as well. 


Another visual element you can use to make your emails stand out is GIF animations. An animation of this kind uses several dynamic frames that repeat in a loop. 

There are several ways you can use GIFs in your email campaigns:

  • Travel Industry: It’s common for travel industry email marketers to use animations to inspire their subscriber’s wanderlust. 
  • eCommerce: eCommerce industry marketers often showcase different types of products using GIFs. They help to shorten the length of emails. 
  • SaaS or B2B Companies: GIFs are commonly used to demonstrate how services or products are used.
  • Marketers: In triggered occasion-based emails, GIFs help to convey warm wishes to subscribers. 
  • Creative Branding: 3D images can take your GIF animations to the next level. 


Infographics can be a crucial resource when you’re working on an email marketing campaign. Visuals of this kind contain a collection of charts, illustrations, graphics, and text, and you’re able to create a collage of images and words.

It has been found that infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than content that is just text. This happens because you can present information in an easier to understand and more attractive way. 

If you want to convey a wordy or hard-to-follow message, an infographic is a very effective way to do it. 

Source: Screenshot taken from the author’s email

Infographics are also great for explaining a process or introducing product categories. But you have to be careful not to make them too long. If your infographic is especially long, your readers will be caught in an endless scroll. They might not even make it to the end. 

If you have got a lot of information you want to convey, you always have the option of sending a sneak peek with a link to your site. When the reader clicks on the preview image, it will redirect them to your site, where they’ll be able to view the whole infographic. 


A cinemagraph is similar to a GIF, but in this case, it’s a still photograph in which a minor and repeated movement occurs, thereby forming a kind of video clip. It is an image that combines still photography with active video to create a picture that contains a small moving element while the rest of the image is frozen. 

It is an excellent way for you to capture your audience’s attention and, at the same time, present the opportunity for a fuller exploration of an image. You’re able to highlight details that otherwise might have been missed. 


You can use videos in your emails in one of two ways. 

  • Thumbnail image: In the email, you add a video’s thumbnail image with a play button. The reader clicks on the image and is then redirected to your landing page, where they can watch the full video. 
  • Embed a video: This option allows the subscriber to view your video without visiting any web page. 

You can use a range of different tools when you want to send out personalized videos in emails. In turn, these videos should help to increase your conversions.

A good time to include videos is an event invitation email. For example, you could use a teaser of the previous year’s event or the venue where you plan to hold the event. If you’ve got a YouTube channel, include a thumbnail image or snippet video rather than embedding the complete video in the email.  

Source: Screenshot taken from the author’s email

Effective UI Testing for Email Marketing

We’ve already highlighted how important emails can be for your business. So many people have an email address, and most check their inbox several times a day. According to the Direct Marketing Association, every dollar you spend on email marketing will generate an ROI of $44.25, on average.

There are no established standards for rendering or displaying your email, which can be a problem. Each email service has its own way of handling emails. It’s not uncommon for there to be software issues that can seriously distort your copy and designs. The rise of smartphones has compounded the problem.

UI testing lets you check that each element in your emails is displayed in the correct position, shape, and size. It can also check that the visuals are functioning correctly. 

In today’s digital world, we’re able to use multiple operating systems, browsers, and apps. When targeting a wider audience, you need to ensure that your visual communications reach the maximum number of people possible. An incompatibility issue could cripple the effectiveness of your visual email marketing campaign.  


It is in the best interest of your business that you perform UI or visual testings. Any issues identified can be quickly corrected, and all visual elements will be visible across operating systems, browsers, viewers, and media players. 

It also means you’ll be able to keep up with technological changes and apply design principles to match new requirements. 

Author’s Bio

Georgi Todorov is the founder of ThriveMyWay, a website dedicated to teaching successful digital marketing strategies. Georgi is regularly called upon by companies seeking to develop and enhance their SEO and link-building strategies in order to achieve hockey stick growth. When Georgi isn’t working, you can find him getting close to nature, learning online, or traveling.