Have you ever seen an email that’s been sent accidentally multiple times? Have you ever seen an email personalised with the wrong person’s details? These things can lower a customer’s trust in a company and erode brand loyalty.

Creating a pre-flight checklist can stop the preventable little mistakes that can have a huge impact on response and derail the campaign everyone worked so hard on. Here are our tips on items to include in an email marketing checklist:

8 pre-flight checklist ideas

Tip 1 Get your systems setup first.
Don’t leave too long between subscription and contact because you weren’t ready. A ‘welcome’ email sent months after someone joined a list is worse than them not getting one at all.

Tip 2 Pay attention to detail.
Your subscribers will notice. This includes spell checking and grammar which surprisingly a lot of people don’t do.

Tip 3 Make it obvious who you are.
A witty/cool “from” name for your newsletter can look like spam to your subscribers. For example, if you’ve recently branded your newsletter with a fun new name, our suggestion is that it’s best to only use that name within the email itself and continue using a “from” name that reflects who you are. Most of the time it’s best to just use the business name.

Tip 4 Check personalisation and have good fall-backs in place if there is incomplete data.
If you’ve included a personalized greeting, double-check whether you have a first name value for every subscriber. And if you’re injecting some information into the middle of a sentence, make sure you check whether it will make sense if there’s no data or you use a generic fallback.

Tip 5 Test the customer journey of the email.
Go beyond just checking the email and ensure you’ve tested the path you are trying to get people to follow once they click through. Special tip for online retailers, test coupon codes to make sure they work!

Tip 6 Test how your emails look on mobile devices.
Responsive design is the ideal and if a designer isn’t available, take advantage of responsive templates. If that’s not possible, a good alternative is to make sure image file sizes aren’t too large to ensure they can download completely, and that the email scales to a smaller screen in a way that’s readable. A single-column layout often scales better than a multi-column layout.

Tip 7 Check every single link.
It is easy to accidentally break links or have typos in links while going through drafts. A broken link or one that doesn’t go where it’s supposed to will annoy someone who was interested enough to click through. They will not give you a second chance.

Tip 8 Check the subject line as the last test before sending.
Often people use placeholder subject lines while testing. It’s not uncommon to see those accidentally sent out so make sure you check it before sending. A follow-up apology email won’t necessarily restore your credibility so make sure you get it right the first time.

So, this is our list, but we would like to know what’s on your email marketing checklist? What are the essential things you check pre-flight? Please let us know those steps that you go through before hitting send to make sure the email marketing campaign is a success. We would love to hear from you.

  • http://www.reasonablygood.com Andrew Davey

    Great post – we find using a pre-send checklist helps us, we have some of the more spurious things in there, some are below that might help:

    • Spell check subject line
    • Page title tag correct
    • Check preview text
    • Images have correct alt tags
    • Cell background colours correct

  • http://www.campaignmonitor.com/ Anna

    @Andrew, thank you for sharing those – great additions.

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