Move "This is a test" message on test sends up to top of email

It would be extremely helpful to move the red text indicating the email is a test to the top of the email. We've had countless situations where a test email was forwarded thinking it was real. You have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see it's a test, and most people just don't do that! This would be a very intuitive move for Constant Contact.

Established Member

I agree! having the test message notification at the TOP would be extremely helpful.

Status changed to: Not Currently Planned

At this time, we do not have plans to move the test messaging to the top of a campaign. Should we hear of any updates to address this request, we will provide them here.

Established Member

Hey constant contact, I just want to say thanks for always listening to your customers and implementing simple things that they ask for to help them!  (sarcasm)

Established Member

Seriously? How hard is it to move the test message to the top of the campaign?  As Marissa_M said, thanks for always listening to your customers. I wish we could thumbs down this response so that CC would get feedback on the response not to implement this change.

Super Participant

Would like to know what went into the decision to drop this request.It seems so obviously better than what you are doing now. Is it just too hard? Coding complexity? Or do you actually think the way it now is, at the bottom, is better for some reason?

Regular Participant

Really disappointed - two years and two months to get a response, and the wrong one at that. Seems like this is something many customers want, and that with today's technology it should be easy to enable that option to have the test message at the top. It's intuitive. Would love an explanation, or to hear that they can finally implement this request. 



Thanks for the follow up questions, it's helpful to know that this is still an important feature for you so that we can make another attempt at getting this implemented. I'd like to address some of the questions, but first I'd like to give some background information first around the status of "Not Currently Planned"

Some of you that participate in our feedback forums more often may have noticed there have been a lot of status updates lately, recategorizing posts into various new statuses. From my time on our community team I've heard a lot of feedback around wanting to know where a certain request is in our development pipeline. Previously, ideas would typically stay in a "Voting Open" status in perpetuity and not much more information was really given externally unless the feature was implemented. We wrote a blog article about the new statues here, but in short, the idea is that we want to provide more transparency into the process. I give that background, because we'd like to start using the "Not Currently Planned" status more often. There's only so much we are able to work on at a given time, so it's hard to see what we're working on without also seeing what we're not working on right now. It's not meant to be a permanent "no, we'll never do this" in every case but in cases like this more of a "not a current priority". I'd really like to get to a place where we could give insights into what's happening in the next month, quarter, 6 months, etc. pretty reliably. With 1,700 various community ideas we've had to go through and update, we'll need to defer ones that might not be a priority in those time frames. Especially something that is as heavily used and gets as much feedback as our email editor. I'm a believer that an honest less-than-positive answer is better than the boilerplate "we'll pass your feedback along" answers where nothing is really ever learned. Given this is all a new strategy for us, maybe this means we need to make updates in the future to separate ideas like this where we could call it "deferred" or something that makes it clear it's not a permanent no.

With my feedback philosophy ramble out of the way, let's talk about the "this is a test" verbiage. Some great ideas shared from moving the test message up to the top, to appending the subject line. I think there are also some other schools of thought around the current placement of the test text:

  • The test verbiage was originally there to help explain why the unsubscribe and other footer links don't function like a real email, which is why it's near the footer. Not to say we can't have it both places, but historically that's why it is at the bottom.
  • Not having anything additional in the subject line allows you to view the subject line with it's real length in your email client of choice. You can see if it's too long and gets cut off. If it allows proper space for your preheader.
  • Not having it at the top also doesn't interfere with your preheader. If the test preheader read "This is a test" that wouldn't be very useful, although this problem could probably be solved with additional code.
  • Not having the message at the top allows you to see your message as your subscribers would, paying attention to what is "above the fold" and accessible without having to scroll at all.

What I hope the takeaway will be here is that, we are still trying to get this implemented but it won't be within the coming months. What I will do is send this to some different internal teams and try to get some more exposure around the idea while we build our case. Please continue to vote and comment, and we will make adjustments as things change.


Super Participant

Thanks for the further explanation (and the link to the status descriptions--I had not seen that post).  Since it seems that further commenting on an idea not yet planned may help move it forward, here are some further thoughts on the idea of moving the test notification to the top of the email.


First off, I want to say that I really appreciate the efforts by Constant Contact to report more clearly on the status of ideas. And I feel that a further note such as the one you have here, explaining what the thinking is on why things are not moving forward at a particular point in time really helps us know what is going on, and I bet it will help you too, since we can respond to your assessment in real time, so to speak.


With regard to the particular points you make here, I do appreciate the thinking that it's important to see the test campaign as it will be seen by the subscribers, and that the notification at the top could disrupt that. It seems to me, however, that that is not much of a concern--it's easy enough to imagine what it would look like without that sentence in red at the top. The point about how the preheader shows up is a concern, to some degree. However, it doesn't seem that significant since the test message includes any message that's in the test comment (for instance we put a version number in ours) as the beginning of the preheader, even when we specify a preheader in the field designated for that. Couldn't your coding give priority to the designated preheader?  Otherwise it is very hard to check the preheader in a test.


For similar reasons, I agree that having "TEST" in the subject line somewhat disrupts the ability to assess how much of the subject line will be viewed in the inbox, but you can make a guess. Especially if all that is added is like 6 characters: *TEST*! Also, since there are so many variations on how much of the subject line is displayed, including email provider, browser vs email client, the individual subscribers settings, you can't really make that much of a judgment of what a subject line is going to look like anyway.


I get the first point about why it was originally there at the bottom with regard to the footer, but I sincerely doubt that very many people reviewing test emails concern themselves with that--at least in my experience they mainly pay attention to the body of the email. Many don't even "notice" the subject line!


But for me and most of the people who've been making the case for moving the message up to the top, the overriding factor is that too often the tests are overlooked/not responded to because they are assumed by the recipient to be the final send. Something is needed at the top to clue them in--otherwise testing is not very effective.

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