Most email marketers have had the same nightmare of sending out an email with a massive error at some point in time. We’ve all been to that terrifying place at some point in our careers where that nightmare becomes a reality. We check our replies and there it is, someone on the recipient list has pointed out our blunder.
Some of these “oops” moments come across as a harsh lesson to endure. Most of these mistakes could have been avoided by thoroughly testing your emails but often our workload overwhelms us and mistakes do happen from time to time. To reduce the chance of these embarrassing mistakes in the future, use a checklist before every send.
A good email campaign is a specific type of delicacy. It’s full of flavor and has many ingredients, but it can quickly turn inedible without a systematic recipe or just one mistake. Once an email is sent, it’s a done deal; there’s no turning back or making changes. If you are building your brand reputation, the process of crafting and sending email campaigns is nerve-wracking, agonizing over content, targeting, subject lines, and CTAs. Fortunately, avoidable mistakes are the one aspect you CAN control.
With a checklist in place, you can ensure simple mistakes are avoided. However, the list is only a guideline. You can use it religiously or create the order of your operations for the next email campaign pre-send review. It’s also helpful for any new members who join your team, it’s a valuable part of the onboarding process and beyond. Pre-send email checklists let you follow the best practices of email design and quality assurance.
Here’s what we recommend including in your checklist:
1. Inbox Display
The inbox display allows you to review the preheader and subject line. This is your recipient’s first impression, and nothing else matters if you don’t get this right. You’re optimizing for opens by creating a compelling first impression for the content to come. It’s time to ensure that everyone on your list can interpret your message once your inbox preview is optimized for opens.
2. Email Accessibility
Your emails will only deliver results if they are opened. Similarly, if subscribers can’t read or consume them, they won’t meet your objectives. Missing this step means wasting a considerable portion of your list. Your quarterly report and your company will suffer, too. Proper email accessibility ensures that your emails are designed to be compliant for all readers regardless of physical or cognizant abilities.
3. URL Validation
Using a URL validation tool enables you to see all of your links in a single view and displays any error messages automatically. You can confirm that each one works properly and edit them right away if errors occur. You can even recognize the UTM tracking tags to ensure you get proper credit for your message’s results!
4. Image validation
Outlook is infamous for displaying images in ways other than you intended them to! The Image Validation step is an excellent example of why several people call this a find-and-fix tool. It lets you choose the frame and tells you which frame is set to display your GIF thumbnail. Additionally, it alerts you that the images are too large and also compresses them for you.
5. Spell check
This tool checks every aspect of your email, starting from preheader text to body copy and more, for uncomfortable errors. While your copywriter might have done this before completing their work, mistakes have a way of creeping in as hands change and edits are made.
6. Domain blocklists
This is not just about your domain, It’s about all the domains you link to within your message. It could affect the deliverability of your email if any of them are blocklisted. Moreover, you don’t want to be guilty of sending your subscribers to a harmful site. The Deliverability checker validates the domains against four diverse services.
A spam test runs your email against more than 20 different filters. You can get a list of fail/pass results along with any particular filters that failed the message. It’s about knowing what will happen to your message before sending it.
8. Email previews
It’s time to see the complete picture since all the behind-the-scenes stuff has been appropriately handled. Previewing screenshots of your emails is an essential step in the pre-send checklist process. This step comes at the end because if you make any change during the first part of the email QA process, it can impact how the message displays on the receiver’s device. Also, you can get a false sense of security by seeing a beautiful preview. A perfect and well-designed message is insignificant if it’s not delivered, viewable, and opened. Email Previews are actual live clients and not merely screenshots. You’ll see and experience exactly what your subscribers do.
This list provides you with the steps to avoid sending campaigns with mistakes, as even the most seasoned email marketing veterans can sometimes indulge in it unknowingly.
Correcting a spelling error in a blog post or fixing a broken link in a tweet is relatively straightforward. However, making a mistake in an email isn’t always fixable. We all make mistakes because we’re human. Sometimes these mistakes won’t negatively impact your brand because they are more curable than others, while other times, you might not be that lucky.
Most mistakes are permanent when it comes to email. There are no “un-send” buttons anywhere. These mistakes can be very costly since email has the highest ROI among digital channels.
Every email, even the pre-tested templates, must be tested before every send to avoid any errors. The Email Marketing Checklist gives tips for avoiding common email mistakes and leads you through creating great emails. It covers how to optimize your design and inbox view, create content, define your audience and goals, and get your email delivered.
If you seek some professional help to jumpstart with email marketing, then let Sootra Consulting guide you. All you need is to ask or send us your business information or email requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org. So, let’s start talking!
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