We’ve all heard the business public relation disasters that occur because someone forgot to double or triple check email communications before they go out to the general public.
There are the stories of someone sending an email blast out to customers that contained private information about the company that was meant for just in-house employees. You may have heard of companies that forgot to spell check and ended up sending an email that meant the exact opposite of what they intended.
This email marketing checklist is a starting point to make sure that you don’t end up in an email marketing disaster hole. Print it out, modify it, add to it, but please … establish your own set of “barriers” that you climb over before sending out a massive email blast that could ruin your day.
Email Marketing Checklist
▢ Have you deleted ALL the default template content (pre-headers, alt-tags, etc) that came with your email template? You don’t want to end up promoting MailChimp to your clients because your forgot to remove an alt-tag of a generic image.
▢ Have you READ ALOUD the content of your email? Reading aloud can help catch grammar and style mistakes.
▢ Do you have REALLY LONG sentences in the content area of your email? Remember that short sentences, that are jargon free, are easier to consume by readers of your email.
▢ Did you run spell check? No, I’m serious, did you ACTUALLY run spell check? Fine, go run spell check. (If you get the sarcasm you will see the importance of running spell check.)
▢ Is all the information in your email accurate? We aren’t referring to JUST the factual content of your email but also that all the email addresses inside your email (reply-to), the mailing address/contact information, even the owner’s name of the business. Make sure it’s all correct and you aren’t relying on an old “copy.”
▢ Are all links in the email clearly identifiable as a link? If they are NOT identifiable as a link, how are your readers supposed to know you want them to click on the links?
▢ Is your message focused? Remember to give the reader of an email a focused call-to-action or a singular task you desire them to perform. It is a known truth that if you do NOT ask your readers to do something, they will not do anything. If you ask your readers to do many things, they will not do anything.
▢ Is your brand easily recognizable in the email? Have you included your logo? Are you using the same color palette that you use on your website?
▢ Do you have a way, and have you implemented, a way of tracking analytics INSIDE the email?
▢ Do you have a method setup on your website to track the users that visit the site FROM the email?
▢ Have you scheduled a moment in time (in the future) to analyze the email metrics? It is a good idea to set aside some time 7-9 days after sending the email to deconstruct the data from the email to help you plan and improve the next email.
▢ Is your email list “up-to-date” with opt-in regulations as well as all new subscribers added to the list and all unsubscribers and bounced emails removed?
▢ Are you sending this email to the CORRECT email list? For those email marketers that have multiple lists, it is important to be sending the emails to the corresponding email list.
▢ Have you tested your email subject line to see if it possesses a strong “call-to-open” action?
▢ Have you test-sent your email to multiple addresses that access email on multiple devices: mobile, web-based, desktop, HTML-version and plain text version?
▢ Have you included BOTH an HTML and a plain-text version of your email?
▢ Does your email contain the focus of the email and/or a clear call-to-action within the FIRST 50 characters of the content of the email?
▢ Does your email include a link to view the email as an online webpage? You might be surprised at the number of users who can’t see everything in an email newsletter, either due to their personal settings or a corporate firewall. Having a web-version of every one of your emails you send is important.
▢ Have you included links (and icons) to your social networks? How are your email readers going to follow you in other locations if you don’t let them know about your other networks?
▢ Do you have a clear and FUNCTIONAL unsubscribe link in place?
Hopefully this checklist can help you avoid an “email disaster” and can also help you continue to grow your email list. Do you have any specific checklist items you do before sending that we didn’t list here? Let us know in the comments below.