As a core part of the Data HQ team since 2004, David is an expert at unravelling complex data and making sense of intricate client requirements.
When you launch your marketing emails, are you often worried you’ve forgotten something?
There are a few practical tips and plenty of ‘pre-flight’ checks you can follow to make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes. Next time you’re ready to hit the button, avoid hovering nervously over ‘send’.
Here’s our ultimate email pre-send checklist. Never send another marketing email without it:
How will your audience receive your emails? Does it look like it was sent by a person at your business, or just your company overall? Make sure it fits with your messaging and the direction of the content.
How long is your email subject? Try to keep your subject lines as brief as possible to avoid them getting cut off. A good rule of thumb is 50 characters or fewer. And, does it incorporate a benefit or promise to your readers? You want to make sure it’s enticing.
Did you know that your subject line isn’t your only opportunity to influence your audience at this stage? Your preview text is a great opportunity to include a short, attention-grabbing supporting line. Make sure you’ve optimised this text, if appropriate.
Grammar and spelling
Always be sure to sense check and spell check your content. If you’re not confident in your proofing skills, why not read your work aloud? This will help you hear mistakes that you may miss by just scanning the text. Even better, get a second pair of eyes on your copy to avoid ‘copy blindness’.
Does your email provide opportunities for next steps or further interaction? Make sure you've given a clear indication where and how you want your recipient to engage with your email.
Are all your images displaying correctly? If they taking a long time to load in the email editor or in your inbox, you may want to reduce your image size. Also, make sure all your pictures are linked and have ALT-text for anyone who doesn't set their email inbox to open images by default.
Have you double checked all your links to ensure they are both functioning and pointing to the right destination? If not, send yourself a test email and then go systematically through each link.
Functioning dynamic content
Are you using dynamic tags in your email to add personalisation? If so, is it working correctly? You can usually test the personalised content in your campaign in one of two ways—either as a random recipient would, or as a specific recipient would.
Consider whether your launch is well-timed for your audience, not just when you’re ready to hit send. In general, Mondays are usually a no-go, and on Fridays your audience may be distracted. The most important thing, however, is to consider the schedule of your target audience and tailor it for them. Are they more likely to pick up an email in the morning or evening? Are they’re away from their desks during traditional office hours, for example?
Is your content overly pushy or promising too much? Check your email content against this list of common SPAM trigger words. It’s also worth bearing in mind that SPAM filters have become more sophisticated. Most can assess and judge the context in which you use these keywords. So, if some are imperative to your messaging, use them carefully and in a genuine, meaningful way.
It’s better to let people unsubscribe from your email marketing than risk joining their spam list. Your audience should always have a way to opt out. Ensure you remove everyone that unsubscribes or complains about your email from your mailing list.
Your data list and segments
Your marketing data is an essential piece of the email campaign puzzle—there’s no point sending a beautifully crafted and well-timed email to unreliable, poorly targeted or incorrect data. Ensure your email campaign is disseminated to a current, relevant, good quality marketing list to avoid damaging your domain or sender reputation. If your campaign requires more granular targeting within your list, then make sure you've already segmented your list and tailored your content beforehand.
If you’re working with a third party data provider, make sure they are supplying you trusted, up-to-date information that has been rigorously checked. At Data HQ, we only work with trusted and reliable data sources, and work hard to understand and support your end-to-end email marketing goals.
So, eliminate ‘send paralysis’ when you’re next launching a marketing campaign with this full list of pre-send checks, or let us remove the pressure by fully managing your email broadcasting in future.
Further reading: Data HQ's complete guide to email marketing
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