Article first published in October 2016, updated June 2019
When it’s time to send out an email campaign, marketers feel a range of emotions. We’re proud of the work we’ve done to make the campaign come together and are excited about the possibilities. However, once we hit “send,” the campaign is out of our hands. Enter send fear.
Most marketers feel anxiety around hitting the send button. Is everything in the email up to snuff? Will the images render? Do all the links work? It’s enough to make the most experienced marketers break a sweat.
Why do emails give me anxiety?
Email sending anxiety is a very real issue, and, in fact, sending emails is considered one of the most common triggers for those suffering from social anxiety and productivity-related anxiety. The main reason behind email sending anxiety is the fact that there’s a pause between sending an email and receiving a response. That pause leads the sender to question themselves, their email, the content within it, the response to come—everything.
Now, you have no way of predicting how the recipient will respond, and, in email marketing, managing some of those “unknowns” is a lot simpler than you may think.
How do you manage email anxiety?
Managing email sending anxiety is just like managing most other forms of anxiety. This means the sender has to be proactive to put their fears at bay, like taking the time to write out their list of anxieties and addressing how to face each one. In fact, we’ll be doing that shortly.
Once you have an idea of what triggers the anxiety, you can head it off before it becomes a problem. Some triggers may include:
- Fear of typos—invest in quality editing programs
- Fear of broken links—try them before you add them to your emails
These solutions don’t have to be complicated, as long as you’re proactive about the situation at hand.
It’s time to banish email send fear. Today, we’re going to discuss six common email sending anxiety points and some tips to help you overcome them, so you can feel confident each time you click send.
Tips to beat email send fear
No matter what gives you anxiety about sending emails, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the fear. You can think of these tips as nightlights for a dark closet—they might not remove the fear completely, but they’ll provide the peace of mind needed to relax and send with confidence every time.
Understand the “why” of each email you send.
When you’re crafting an email campaign—whether it’s a one-off message or customer journey—ask yourself why you’re sending the email. What do you want subscribers to do when they receive it? Do you want them to read the message, click through to your website, or purchase a product? Understanding the “why” will help alleviate the fear of having the wrong copy, CTA, or end goal in mind.
Create a checklist.
It’s easy to mess up if you don’t have a checklist, and that’s truer than ever when it comes to email. Create a checklist to run through before you hit send. The checklist should include things like “check for broken links,” “add a subject line,” “send to Tina for proofreading,” or anything else that needs to be checked.
Get a proofreader.
Typos and grammatical errors can make even the best-looking email seem unprofessional, so many marketers live in fear of them. However, it’s very difficult to catch your own typos. Make sure emails have been proofread by at least one other person before scheduling.
If you mess up some element of an email, it’s not the end of the world. Remember, mistakes happen, and your audience will forgive you. If you make a larger mistake, it can always be addressed with a follow-up email.
6 common email marketing fears
In order to address your email sending fears, you first have to be able to identify them. From there, you can make a proactive plan to get around those fears. That said, here are six common email marketing fears that can lead to email sending anxiety and a few tips to help you combat them.
1. Fear of broken links
Broken links not only make your emails seem unprofessional, but they can also render them ineffective. No one wants to send an email with a broken link, especially if that link leads to a page that encourages subscribers to convert.
Take this example from Beachbody. They sent out this email to help move their 2B Mindset mentors from an ineffective community thread to a more interactive Facebook group in an attempt to address some concerns members of the LIVE group were having. The problem? The link to the Facebook group didn’t work!
Instead of being led to the Facebook group, Mentors were greeted with the following message:
While broken links are rather embarrassing, Beachbody was quickly notified of the problem and promptly sent out a revised email with the correct link.
How to break your fear of broken links: Take advantage of pre-send testing tools provided by your ESP. Send test emails to yourself and a colleague and click every link.
2. Fear of typos
Typos are simple mistakes. They usually don’t mess up your overall message, but they undermine your professionalism. Typos make it seem as though you didn’t proofread.
As a marketer, you want to avoid typos at all costs, but your own typos are very difficult to catch. It’s been scientifically proven that we have difficulty seeing our own mistakes, making the process of finding and fixing typos all the more frustrating.
How to break your fear of typos: Before sending an email, read it out loud. Go slow and focus on every word. One common technique is to read the message from the end to the start in reverse order because this can help you catch typos. Some folks even like to print the email out, if that helps. Because your own typos are so difficult to catch, you should also send all emails to multiple proofreaders before sending.
3. Fear of elements not rendering
When you create an email, you make a lot of decisions about design. You use compelling imagery, pick out fonts and colors, and make sure the email is on brand. All of these elements contribute to the overall look and feel of your message, so you want to make sure everything renders correctly.
In this example by Adobe, the first email shows a broken image, which is indicated by the small square with the tear in it next to the “all apps” text. On the right, you can see the image in all of its beauty. As a buyer, you aren’t going to find an email without the image very compelling. However, once the image is included, it gives you an idea as to what can be created, as the text below it suggests.
Thankfully, it’s possible to get a good idea of what emails will look like before hitting send. You can send test emails to several different email clients to see how everything renders, then troubleshoot from there.
How to break your fear of rendering issues: Send test emails to different email clients through your ESP or a service like Litmus.
4. Fear of bad results
There’s a lot of excitement that happens when we send out emails, especially if it’s a new campaign. Perhaps a new email strategy will result in the highest open rate in the company’s history, a ton of new sales, or heaps of helpful feedback.
Even though there’s great potential for a new campaign, it’s easy to get caught up in fear of bad results as you wonder whether your email will do its job. Sometimes, the anxiety around bad results can be so intense that marketers opt never to send any boundary-pushing campaigns at all.
How to break your fear of bad results: Permit yourself to try things out. Understand that email marketing is all about refinement. Not every email needs to be a smash hit and gaining insight into what doesn’t work is just as helpful as insight into what does.
5. Fear of bad data leading to poor personalization
Personalization is extremely powerful. In fact, email campaigns with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, and marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns. It’s a no-brainer to send someone the right message at the right time with content that’s perfect for them.
However, marketers worry that their data is imperfect and that their personalization efforts will fail because of it. For example, if they want to send an email with dynamic content that shows a different image to men vs. women, they need to ensure their data is correct.
How to break your fear of bad data: Update your signup forms and ensure your integrations are working correctly. If necessary, use Campaign Monitor’s custom API to make sure the right data is passed through.
6. Fear of sending to the wrong list
Today’s marketers care deeply about having strong, quality email lists. Your lists matter, and you never want to send the wrong email to the wrong group. After all, that breaks the promise you’ve made to your subscribers that you’ll always send them relevant information that matters to them.
Here, we have an example from Shutterfly, who mistakenly sent a “congratulations on your newborn” campaign to their entire customer base instead of those that had been targeted: new parents who recently made a baby-related purchase.
As wonderful as new babies are, this is a very sensitive subject, considering many parents lose their baby prior to or during the birthing process. Since it was such a touchy subject, social media picked it up rather quickly, which got the brand’s attention, who then sent a massive email apology letter.
Source: Campaign Monitor
To ensure you send email campaigns to the right lists, make sure your lists are well labeled, so you never confuse them. Additionally, you should make sure that “checking the list” is part of your email sending pre-flight checklist. Lastly, ensure you exclude potential list members you may not want receiving the email.
How to break your fear of sending to the wrong list: Make sure your email lists have descriptive names, so you don’t confuse them. Each time you send an email, double-check the list you’re sending it to.
It’s natural to feel anxiety before sending out email campaigns.
Don’t let send fear stop you from breaking new ground when it comes to your email marketing. If you use these tips, you’ll be able to alleviate your fears and feel confident each time you hit send.