The 7-Point Email Marketing Checklist

There are many different philosophies that can be applied to email marketing, and one is not necessary better than another. In fact, you may find that you have many different approaches you use at different times for different reasons in your own email marketing campaigns.

Despite how you craft your message, there are several items that combine to make what I consider a “must-have checklist” for every email marketing campaign.

Here are the 7 items that should make it onto your email marketing checklist and should be verified before you hit send on every campaign.

1.  You have your entire campaign planned out.

Before you start any email campaign, you should decide on the frequency of your emails, the topics and how they flow together, how you will follow-up, etc. This should all be figured out before writing one word of your first email.

2.  Your email is going to the right list.

If you have multiple lists, make sure that the email is being sent to the correct list. The last thing you want to do is send the wrong message to the wrong audience.

3.  Your message has an effective subject line.

Every email that you send to your list should have a descriptive and relevant subject line that will drive the curiosity of the recipient to open it. Just like your copy will go through several revisions, so should your subject line.

4.  You printed it out and reviewed it.

By printing the email message out and reviewing it on paper, you will be looking at it from a different perspective which will help you pick up errors that you might have missed on the screen. And you never know, some of your list may actually print out their emails to read so this will give you an idea of how your email will look like in hard copy.

5.  You have provided a plain text version of your message.

Most email marketing platforms will automatically convert an HTML email into a plain text version so that recipients who prefer plain text over HTML, or those accessing on a device that doesn’t display HTML, will still be able to see your message. However, since most of these conversions come up short on the formatting side, you should always go in and clean up the plain text version.

6.  All of your links have been tested.

You should always test all links in the email message to make sure they are correct and working. Nothing is more embarrassing than directing a recipient to a broken link. Chances are, once that happens, you will quickly lose their attention and willingness to click-through again.

7.  You tested your email for email client compatibility.

Just like you would test any web site for cross browser compatibility, you should test your email for compatibility with all of the major email clients. I use Salted Services’ Litmus for testing. It saves me a ton of time and clues me in on what my audience may be seeing.

What elements of your email message do you check consistently before sending? Is there anything not listed here that is a standard part of your process?

Image credit: iprole

Win an Annual Membership to Learnable,

SitePoint's Learning Platform

  • Anonymous

    Some great tips there, thanks for this article – I think many people will find it very helpful – there’s a lot of people out there who just simply don’t know what to do! Personally I just like to sign up to a couple of newsletters that would interest me, like Olympic Air, Aegean and DubLi. I don’t really care for – nor read – anyone elses, because in my book it’s just spam!

  • Elena

    sorry, but this looks like an extensive ad only – a quite useless wrap for a link of a ridiculously expensive provider
    there are much better choices for e-marketing service out there

  • http://www.madmacreations.com TMacFarlane

    I totally disagree — while I think I am among the most savvy email designers around, I just thought I’d go through the checklist & behold: I neglected to update the Subject Line with new copy I received this morning.

    Thanks so much for this!

  • http://www.b2bm.biz B2B Marketing

    I don’t agree with Elena. I think this article is straight to the point and gives a comprehensive checklist could be helpful to newbies as well as experienced marketers. May i add to the list that ‘tracking’ emails is essential and it is important to check that tracking codes are are setup before firing emails. A few more tips on email marketing:
    http://www.b2bm.biz/knowledgebank/email
    hope this helps..