Perform a pre-send spam test

Generate a new Spam Test manually or through your ESP connection. If you're experiencing an issue with your Spam Test, please visit the FAQ section.

NOTE: Spam Testing is available on Litmus Plus and Enterprise plans.

Start your spam test

Choose View and create spam tests in the Test section of Litmus. In the Spam Testing window, select how you'd like to run your full spam test. You can pull your email in from your ESP or you can choose a manual send.

The manual send option provides you a unique list of seed addresses for each test. Every test requires a fresh list so even though some of the addresses look similar, reusing a list will mean you won't receive results. Use all the seed addresses that appear in the list and send your email from your ESP. 

If your ESP allows importing addresses, you can download a csv copy of the list. Otherwise, you can copy the list to your clipboard and paste the addresses in to send. If you can't send to all the addresses because your ESP limits the number of test send recipients, you can send the test in batches within one hour of creating the seed list. Once you've sent the email to your seed list, select the green Yes, I've sent it button to begin receiving your results. 

Results will start to be reported in your test summary page. The Summary page provides a visual overview of the results. Scroll over individual blocks to see a test's details or choose Results in the left menu page to view individual results and see details of each test.

Start a spam test from your ESP

Starting a spam test with an ESP connection requires an existing ESP integration. Once that integration is in place, spam testing starts with the same Start a new spam test button. You'll select Pull from your ESP, select your ESP and an email, then choose the Start your test button. The Summary window will appear as your results begin to process.

Get spam results in Previews & QA checklist

When you create an email by sending in a draft email, you’ll also automatically get 8 essential spam checks in the Spam Testing section of your Previews & QA. This will help you make sure your authentication records are set up properly, including DMARC, DKIM and more, in addition to making sure you’re not on any blocklists. We now also verify you have BIMI set up and configured correctly.

Checklist tab of an email test in the Spam Testing section

Step-by-step video to use Litmus' Spam Test


Can I retest my email by sending it to the same list of addresses?

No. Each new Spam Test requires you to send your email to a new list of seed addresses. While some of the addresses may be the same or look similar, the majority of the list are unique addresses that need to receive the email in order to return complete results to your Litmus account.

Why am I receiving a "We can't find your test email" message?

The most common reason for this message is because your email was not received at the key email address in the seed list provided. This could be because it was simply missed or the email was sent to an old, previously used list.

As you send your email to external spam filters, we need to be able to match your email from all these third parties back to your Litmus account. The only way for us to do so is to match the email you sent to Litmus' email address (which looks like to the emails that arrive in the third-party appliances.

Another common reason for not receiving results is because the message's Content-Type is text/plain. We currently do not process text/plain messages for Spam Tests.

If you continue to receive this message after:

  • sending to a new spam seed list
  • your ESP is showing that the email was successfully delivered to the key email address, 
  • and the message is not text/plain, 

please reach out to the Support team who will be happy to help you.

Why is an individual test unavailable?

The most likely cause of an individual test being unavailable is because your email was not received at the corresponding seed address. This could be because it was simply missed, the email was sent to an old, previously used list, or that the email was not successfully delivered by your ESP.

Another cause of this may be that we were not able to match the email received by this test to your Litmus account. This can happen if you are using variable content in the subject line, usually for personalization. If the content differs too much it is possible that we are not able to match the message with enough certainty to your account.

Another reason you may see this, is if your team has created multiple spam tests for the same exact email in a short period of time. As mentioned above, our spam service must be able to match the emails to your results, if you are sending the same email in to multiple spam tests in a short period of time, mismatching can occur between the multiple spam test. We advice you wait at least an hour between creating spam test for a single email in order to limit the possibility of mismatching results. 

If the test continues to be unavailable after sending to a new spam seed list, and your ESP is showing that the email was successfully delivered (and not bounced) to all email addresses, the Support team will be happy to help. If your ESP is showing your email was delivered to all addresses, please provide the Support Team with the logs or a screenshot of the information and they can investigate this further with you.

My ESP doesn't allow me to send a test email to that many email addresses

We understand that some email service providers limit the number of addresses you can send a test email to. If this is the case you can send the email in batches—as long as they are all sent within an hour, we should return a complete test.

My email has been marked as spam, how do I fix my email?

Spam testing is tricky because they won't tell you exactly why your email failed—mainly because that would allow spammers to get around their algorithms!

It's also important to note that each recipient of your email has their own rules/filters set up and how each inbox treats the same email is unique to the recipient since it learns from their behavior in their own inbox.

You (or your IT team) can often find further information by taking a look at the full email headers. Email headers are usually hidden from view however they contain a lot of interesting information about how your email has been handled, where it's been routed, and other key metadata. You can view the headers by clicking the Troubleshooting? View the full email headers link within each placement test.

Office 365 spam test result with Troubleshooting? View the full email headers link circled

Try it for yourself!

Now that you know how to perform a Spam Test, try it for yourself! Head on over to Spam Testing to run your first test.

Run a Spam Test →

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