What's the best way to spot check or test different email triggers?
To spot check pending recipients who are queued up to receive a given email, you can click on the Pending tab for any given rule. This allows you to preview which customers will receive a given email trigger with all of the various conditions and requirements for that trigger.
You can click on the Preview link in the pending recipients tab to preview the email that they will receive.
So for example to test the abandoned cart email, you can go in to your site, add an item to your cart, enter your email address. And then you'd have to wait an hour to see the email show up in pending recipients.
This will work whether the trigger is a draft or published.