Every marketer makes mistakes, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing. Fortunately, you can avoid most mistakes with a solid email marketing checklist. Follow the steps in the following email pre-send checklist to make sure you’re sending error-free emails.
1. Should you be sending this email?
Before you get too deep into the quality assurance process, take a step back to think about the big picture.
Sending too many emails leads to more spam complaints and less engagement which is bad for your sender reputation. That’s why every email needs to have a purpose. It needs to create value for your subscribers and align with your business goals.
So before you send an email, determine what value it provides and how it will help your business.
2. Are you sending it to the right people?
Personalization will improve the performance of your campaigns. Good personalization relies on audience segmentation. By segmenting your audience into different groups, you can ensure that you’re only sending each campaign to people who will be interested in it.
One way to do this is to use website visitor identification to collect better data on your visitors. Visitor identification software enables robust demographic segmentation by collecting data like the age, gender, geographical location, income of your website visitors—even if they don’t submit a form on your website.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on your email engagement metrics. Make sure that you’re not sending emails to unengaged subscribers or to emails that bounce. Over time, low engagement rates and high bounce rates can hurt your deliverability.
3. Are there any spelling or grammatical mistakes?
Nowadays it’s easy to check your grammar by using tools like Grammarly. However, it’s a good idea to double-check everything yourself before you hit send. Change the font or copy and the content somewhere else, like Word or Google Docs, and read through it again. This will help you catch typos and other email mistakes.
Also, remember to double-check your headlines, dates, times, capitalization, and italicization.
4. Will subscribers open the email?
Optimizing all the components of your email that subscribers will see when deciding whether to open it is an essential factor of email marketing success. Here are the three things you’ll need to check.
Check all the “From” details of the email campaign: the email address it’s sent from, the name, and the reply-to address. Emails from a person, rather than from an organization, generally have a higher chance of being opened.
B. Subject Line
ake sure your subject line and preheader are updated and/or personalized for the different segments of your audience.
The subject line is one of the first things your subscribers see, and it can make all the difference between a high open rate and an email that falls flat. The average email open rate was at 18 percent in 2020, so it’s likely that most of your list won’t open your email even if you do everything right.
Make sure you get the most out of every email with a great subject line. The best subject lines are usually short. Try to keep it under nine words and under 60 characters.
C. Preview Text
The preview text that comes after your subject line should work together with your subject line to get your recipients’ attention. Use it to give the reader a taste of what the email is about.
(For more tips, check out our guide on how to write a marketing email.)
5. Is the email compliant?
Don’t let your email marketing campaigns get you into legal trouble. Know the rules for email marketing in your country and the countries you’ll be emailing.
For example, you need to add the physical address of your business at the end of every email.
Take a look at the following checklists to ensure your emails follow the rules:
6. What are you testing?
A/B testing is a great way to determine what messaging, subject lines, offers, and other attributes work best for each of your audience segments. If you’re testing your emails, you’ll need to know what you’re testing and what KPIs you’ll use to measure the results. Then, make sure you’ve set up the necessary tracking to collect that data.
For example, if you’re testing calls-to-action to see which is more effective, you want to use UTM tracking or something similar to see which one generates more conversions.
7. Are your links working?
Verify your links, including social media icons and links, to make sure each one goes to the right place. This is especially important if you duplicate past emails (e.g., a newsletter) and update them with new copy and links because you’ll need to be sure you don’t leave any of the old links by accident.
8. Do your images and dynamic content look right?
Are all your images displaying correctly? Is your dynamic content showing properly? Check these elements of your emails in different browsers, email clients, and devices because each of these variations can lead to errors.
9. Has someone checked your work?
A good rule of thumb is to always have a fresh pair of eyes read through your email before you send it. Often, a friend or colleague can immediately spot mistakes that you missed after spending so much time with the same content.
The easiest way to do this is to send a preview email to yourself and a couple of other people on your team for a quality check.
10. Is it scheduled properly?
If you’re scheduling a campaign to be sent in the future, make sure you set the date and time correctly. You use send time optimization to deliver your emails at the best time for each subscriber.
If your email marketing provider doesn’t offer send time optimization, you can use visitor identification software instead. That way, you can collect data on where your subscribers are located.
Then you can segment them by time zone and schedule your emails accordingly.
No Email Mistakes? Time to Hit Send!
Once you’ve run through this email marketing checklist, you should be ready to hit send with confidence. These quality checks take some time, but they’re worth it to avoid that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you realize you sent an email with a critical error.