You are about to send out a bunch of emails to potential clients. But, do you have all the links right, zero typos, proper audience segmentation, a catchy subject line, multi-device rendering, and more? To get this right, you need to ensure all your “I’s” are dotted by setting up an email marketing checklist of everything you need to consider for your email marketing campaign.
Let’s get right into it.
Your Email Marketing Campaign Checklist
1) Define your campaign’s goal (Very Important!)
There are two categories of email campaign goals we encourage people to set;
i) Individual email campaign goal
ii) In-house email marketing goals
i) Individual Email Marketing Checklist
Every email you are sending out has a purpose. It can be a newsletter, a promo, a discount, new product awareness, or a questionnaire. These kinds of emails need direct client engagement and seek to perform one function at a time, which is to call the client to action or be a reminder.
Ensure the email is clear on its goal by including banners in your email, having appropriate email titles, and even using images if need be.
ii) In-House Email Marketing Goals
In-house goals will determine which individual emails you send, when, and in what order. When setting your goals, use the SMART approach as a guideline to have as clear, measurable, time-bound goals as possible.
Your in-house goals will help you track whether your emails are getting clients, who are subscribing, click-through rates, who is opting out, and more analytics. Gathering this data will help you avoid sending emails blindly without knowing whether you are having successful email marketing campaigns or not.
Your in-house marketing goals is what you can present to your client if you are marketing for them. Simply stating that you sent a given amount of emails does not cut it when looking at whether an email marketing campaign was successful or not.
2) Proofread and Check Spelling, Grammar, etc
Image Source: businessdailynews.com
When marketing, people are always overly sensitive to the downsides of a product or service. A product can have a million advantages, but the downsides will always look magnified. You can have the best-engineered plane that isn’t preferred for its small legroom. Things such as grammar errors can have a similar effect, discrediting a well-thought-out product or service.
Proofread your emails before sending them out.
3) Segmenting your audience
You have to keep segmenting your audience to understand them and their needs better. For instance, it beats logic in sending a subscription email to a user who is already subscribed. If a client has already taken advantage of an offer, there is no need to send another email reminding them about the offer expiring soon.
The risk of not segmenting your audience can be a total loss of potential clients, with emails amounting to spam emails. You can use email contact filters to automatically group users and send different emails to different groups. Here are some examples of different audience segments you can have when sending emails;
- Subscription date
- Family status
- Email engagement level
- Purchase history
- Hobbies etc.
You can use contact filters to segment your audience based on the information they give out.
4) Subject Line
Every time you open your email, the first thing you do is look at the whole page and read the email subject lines to see which one you are likely to open. This is true for everyone else. Therefore, your subject line not only needs to be well thought out but relevant and inviting.
Subject lines are responsible for the number of email open-rates, and are perhaps your most important tool for your email campaigns. here are certain things you need to remember when creating an email subject line.
- Keep it short. Your recipient needs to read it at a glance when scrolling through the page. Furthermore, you want the subject line to be readable on small devices and notification bars.
- Include a pre-header that has a call to action without repeating what the subject line already said.
- Avoid “Overly Punctuated!!!!”, “CLICK”-bait words in “ALL CAPS” with “abnormal font$” and “g a p s’ in the subject line in desperation to get your email opened. Keep off words like “limited offer”.
There are certain strategies you can use in your subject line. They include;
- Using clear commands. For example “Save 30% on all electronics“, or “Members only free entry on Monday“
- Have fun. For example, “Not another reminder“.
- Be personal. For example, “Here is a birthday gift“.
- Include a valuable offer. “New Year’s gifts for your partner“.
- Scarcity (commonly used subject line). For example, “Only 10 slots left for summer camp“.
Remember, you can not use all the strategies at once. Use subject-line strategies appropriately. If you can achieve three words for every subject line, you will be good to go.
We talked about the pre-header above, but it is worth emphasizing. The pre-header almost works as the body of the email and should be sufficient to give the recipient enough information without having to open the email.
The pre-header works well when your subject line is short.
6) Plain Text Instead of HTML Email
Plain text emails have no special layout options, making them easier to open for most people and devices. HTML emails include images and different formatting options that are similar to web pages, making them less deliverable compared to plain text emails.
Plain text emails do not encounter the hiccups that HTML emails are likely to encounter such as blocked images. HTML emails are likely to be sent to spam compared to plain text emails.
There are situations where the HTML emails are worth the risk. For instance, if you are sending an email about a holiday destination, an image will do justice to your campaign, and that requires the use of an HTML emailing option.
7) Choosing the email content template
Choose a template that works best for you to keep you from having to come up with an email from scratch every time. Running a campaign is hectic enough to do emails from scratch each time. However, take your time to edit out emails appropriately for your next campaign.
Depending on the campaign you’re running, you can find free templates online, or make your own from scratch using CSS or HTML.
8) Polish Your Email Copy
Regardless of the template you choose and whether you use HTML or plain text, you need to polish your text to suit the reader. You have to be age appropriate and respectful with your language. You can be playful in certain contexts and you do not have to be too rigid. However, a reader who is above the age of sixty might not immediately get what you mean by “TGIF! 30% off on all drinks“.
Be clear and precise with what you are saying. Do not use passive voice, complex words, and overly long sentences in your wording. Be useful to the reader and remember you have a product or a service to sell.
You can use emojis, but be careful what context you are using them in. Try to avoid abbreviations that are limited to subgroups and niches as you risk losing some of your readers along the way.
Have a straightforward call to action in your email and avoid having more than one in each email.
9) Include a Call to Action
Your email has a main purpose, and that purpose is included in the call to action (CTA) section. You can have the call to action in the form of a button or a link. Most calls to action are in the form of huge buttons that are visible once someone opens the email.
10) Include Contact Details and Address
Do not forget to include a way for clients to reach you, including your address and contacts. This makes it easier for clients to reach out with inquiries, complaints, and FAQs or a personal connection.
11) Avoid Spam Filters
During your test email period, check if your email keeps landing in the spam folder as this will be the case with your target audience email if left unchecked. The reason your email might be landing in spam could be too many links or images that may be red flags to email providers.
12) Choose a Professional Email Address
Even without the email provider sending an email to the spam folder, the recipient can still regard it as spam when they feel it does not suit them. Having the right sender name can increase your email engagement as some people relate products and services to the company name.
For instance, Apple Inc. uses “Apple Mail” as its official send-from name. If one day they were to use “The Real Apple” without announcing any changes, there is a chance that the users will not open such an email. Refrain from changing your email name often, unless it is a security risk-related issue.
13) AB Test Your Email Subject Line
When creating a marketing email, you have a lot of ideas you would love to try out. To make it easier to choose the template that works best, you can send two variations of your email to small subsets of your audience and see which one works best by looking at the number of click-throughs each one gets. The email with the best results is the one you get to send to the majority of your audience.
14) Automate Email Resend to Non-Openers
Automation is one of the ways to make good of the hard work you have put into designing and spending money on an email. Furthermore, most people do not open emails immediately as they plan to do so later hence the need to resend. Automation saves you a lot of work and time that you can spend doing other marketing activities.
Other than automatically re-sending your email to non-openers, those who open your email should be catered to as well. This is where autoresponders come in to give guidance and acknowledge those who click on the call to action buttons. You can use email marketing software to perform such tasks to keep your email clients engaged.
16) Send a Test Email to Your Team
Even with the most robust email campaign checklist, you still need to double-check with your own team to see if the links are working and the call-to-action buttons are in place. The test email will help you uncover any broken links, how the email marketing automation is working, and whether the subject topic is short enough to fit in a phone or notification bar.
17) Verify the Send Time
When are your subscribers likely to open their emails? This is the time you should run your email campaign. You can re-target users at a different time of the day to keep your campaign on their minds as people tend to re-prioritize what is important.
18) Email Preview Across Devices
See how emails render on different devices by previewing the email on a PC, tablet, or phone. This will help you design your email better by resizing the CTA button, rewriting the subject lines, having a better preview text, and changing the image size if any is included. Remember, close to 50% of emails and links are opened on mobile devices today, a fact you would rather consider than ignore.
19) Avoid Bombarding Your Subscribers with Mails
Even if you have a legitimate message, how you put it across may place it in the spam category. While email marketing needs a good level of consistency, you should refrain from bombarding your clients with emails. The more emails you send to one person, the more you will start looking like a scam.
Sending too many emails is not the solution to email deliverability as some would think. If an email is considered spam by the email provider, it will still go to the spam folder regardless of how many times you resend it.
If you send too many marketing emails, there is a chance you will increase the unsubscription rate.
20) Include a Share Button
A share button makes it a lot easier to increase your marketing target base. There are certain services and products that people do not often subscribe to or buy individually. Vacations, furniture, school admissions, medical tests, and concerts are things people like sharing with others before settling on a decision.
21) Check Your UTM Parameter (if you’re running any)
UTM parameters help you track email performance during your marketing campaign, which is a great tool for checking whether you are meeting your marketing goals.
22) Review Accessibility Elements
Your email should be received and understood by everyone, without harm or limitations. By everyone, we mean people with color blindness, sensitivity to flashing lights, eye- problems, language barriers, and more. Here are some ways you can ensure everyone receives the message you are putting forth;
- Use contrasting colors and avoid using analogous colors
- Use a large enough font
- Avoid flashing GIFs
- Use age-sensitive content and have age confirmation on the CTA button in case of a sensitive product or service like an alcoholic drink.
- Balance text and images
- Use semantic elements like the <h> and <p> tags
- use appropriate spacing between lines
- Avoid using justified copy in an email.
- Use a good font
- Have clickable link
23) Write down Learnings and Takeaways
While this may not directly apply to your current project, it will help you on your next campaign. Writing down things you need to repeat and those you need to avoid will save you time and improve your workflow in the future.
When you use an email campaign monitor, there is a chance it will have a history of your previous templates that you can compare over time to see your progress.
24) Monitor Your Email Bounces
Monitor which of your emails were sent back by the recipient mail server. After seeing what your bounce rate is, you can take action to improve the situation. You can get permissions from your subscribers about certain actions, or you can let them control permissions, if any. If you avoid spammy elements, you are less likely to get email bounces and your conversion rates will go higher. Use a spam filter testing tool to see which of your emails are likely to be spammy. by giving you a spam score.
25) Verify Your Unsubscribe Link Works
While we are all about ensuring customer satisfaction as an attainable goal, not all will want to stay subscribed to your service or product. Ensure the unsubscribe link works for those who would like to opt out at any time.
26) Send Out or Schedule Your Emails
Once you have done all the work coming out with personalized content and the best email for your product, you need to send it out for it to meet its purpose. While this may seem obvious, with many emails to send and schedule, most people can forget to press send and schedule an email instead. Ensure you have a list of the emails that need to be sent or scheduled and reminders for the same.
27) Get Rid of Invalid Email Addresses
Mistakes happen and at times, you can have typos that lead to invalid email addresses. If you do not get rid of emails that do not work, you may have a lot of dead weight to deal with in your future campaigns. If you have an entire email list with half not working, that may start costing you money by increasing your CPM cost.
Frequently Asked Questions About Email Marketing Checklist
a) What are the five T’s of email marketing?
There are five things all email marketers need to include in their campaign strategy. They include;
These five things are meant to drive results for email marketing platforms.
b) What are the four P’s of email marketing?
Similar to the five T’s mentioned above, there are four things that will increase the click-through rate. They include;
- Product: The item or service you are proposing to clients
- Price: What buyers are likely to pay
- Place: Where the service or product can be accessed, be it online or otherwise
- Promotion: Further product or service description, its accessibility, and how frequently it is available (in the case of an offer).
c) What is required for email marketing?
Before setting out on an email marketing mission, every marketer needs to consider the target audience and the strategic goal for getting the audience involved. Furthermore, the marketer needs to have a plan, an email marketing budget plan, and an email contact list to make the marketing viable.
d) What is an email checklist?
An email checklist is the number of items you need to review before hitting the send button. This list includes social and technical aspects that ensure you send the email properly to meet its purpose.
To have a strong brand personality, you need to get some things done right, and one such thing is email marketing. Email marketing creates a productive way for your audience to interact with your products and services. To ensure you achieve your marketing goals, an email marketing checklist is a must-have.