An 8-Point Email Marketing Checklist You Need To Use Before you Hit Send

A simple, 3-step email marketing checklist to massively increase your open rates, eliminate errors and get your customers out of their inbox and onto your site.
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Two of the most terrifying words imaginable when it comes to sending a broadcast email.

If you’re reading this description, you’re probably aware that email marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can use in a digital marketing campaign. But mistakes can be costly and painful.

The Internet doesn’t forget!

If you blast out a broadcast email to your list of prospects or customers, your only option is to send a follow-up email with a correction or clarification. Yuck.

This can dilute the impact of your campaign and can be annoying to some subscribers (which often results in a higher unsubscribe rate).

You don’t need me to tell you that you want all your email campaigns to be sent without errors, content to be displayed properly with perfect formatting on all devices, and no broken links.

Fear not, fellow digital marketing nerd. We’ve got you.

We’ve run into this problem so many times, that we decided to create an email marketing checklist to help you before you press send on your next email marketing campaign. 

The best time to use this checklist is when you need to send a new email campaign (whether it’s a batch or automated email) and after the final copy has been written.

In this post, you’ll learn how to do a simple check that can be performed in under 10 minutes total but that will catch 99% of the common errors in email marketing campaigns.

Let’s get going!

1. Build Your Email List

Start building an email list with information about your customers. These people are already interested in your product/service and your company. These people already trust you and want to hear from you. 

You can create lists from existing customers or you can create campaigns to generate email addresses. For example, you can offer free shipping, discounts, free resources, training, or guides in exchange for their email address.

2. Eye-catching Subject Lines

The subject line is the main title of your email. Your subscribers will decide whether or not to open your email based on the subject line. You want to make sure your email subject line is eye-catching, personalized, and doesn’t look too promotional.  You can also consider using emojis in your subject line.

If you aren’t sure what makes a great subject line, you can start doing a/b testing to see what campaigns work the best.

For example, you can send the same campaign with two different subject lines, and see which subject line gets the most open rates.

3. Personalizing Email Copy

You need to write emails in a way that makes them easy to quickly scan. You need to strike the right tone and make sure it is personalized. Here’s one of my favorite emails that I love reading:

I love how she gives value to her audience and makes people want to read the content! 

Makes you feel like, “I needed to hear this today!”

A powerful tactic to increase the engagement and conversion rate of your emails is to personalize the email content to each subscriber segment.

4. Mobile-Friendly Design

Assume people will open all of your emails on their phones. This should be obvious by now, but we’ve seen major companies send emails that are impossible to read on mobile devices.

Beginners usually mess this up when they try using a fancy, untested HTML template. 

Just stick to the templates provided by your email service provider.

If you're wondering what email templates would look good for your business, check out our list of email marketing templates.

5. Call-to-Action (CTA)

The CTA is how you get your subscribers to take action on your emails—it’s probably the single most important thing in the body of your email. There are two simple rules we follow for email CTAs.

Rule #1: ALWAYS include a CTA

Even if you’re just sending a warm-up or welcome email. Always get your users to take action.

Every time someone opens an email and you don’t ask them to do something, it is a wasted opportunity to get results for your business.

ProTip: Even asking people to reply to your email is a valuable CTA—this helps improve your deliverability.

Rule #2: Try to include a single CTA (especially if it’s a sales email)

This is one many people get wrong—they assume that more CTAs = more opportunities to convert.

Humans are interesting creatures: they prefer not to decide at all —so don’t make it harder for them.

Having too many CTAs can cause analysis paralysis. That’s what happens when people are so overwhelmed with options that they choose to choose nothing instead.

A single CTA greatly simplifies things for your subscribers by giving them a single decision:

  1. Take action
  2. Delete the email

ProTip: Using a single CTA doesn’t mean that you only ask subscribers to take action once. We usually repeat a CTA several times in a single email. 

For example, here’s the CTA for our presale warm-up email:

6. Use Grammarly to check for simple grammar and spelling mistakes

Open the email compose window in the email service provider. Check if Grammarly can load in the text editor of your email service provider. 

You will know because there will be a Grammarly icon in the bottom right corner of the text field. You can fix simple grammar errors, spelling, and mistakes before you hit publish.

7. Check the email in Gmail’s web app.

From your email service provider, send a test email to your own Gmail or Google Apps email address. Make sure your browser window is in full screen and check that the email subject isn’t truncated.

Next, verify that the email’s preview text does not include file names (this can happen sometimes if you include logos in the header of the email and don’t include any copy before the image.)

Check that the email meets the following criteria:

  1. The alignment matches the one used in the email editor.
  2. The font family, style, size, and color matches the ones used in the email editor.
  3. Images load properly and have the proper dimensions and aspect ratio.

Use the Check my links Chrome extension to check for broken links. To do that, click on the extension and wait for the queue to reach zero.

If the “Invalid links” indicator shows a value of zero, then there are no broken links in your email. If there are broken links in your email, they will be highlighted in red. If that happens, you will need to go back to the email editor and fix the broken link.

Finally, open every link in the email to make sure that each of them is linking to its correct destination URL or landing page. 

8. Perform a mobile sanity check with Gmail’s mobile app

Open the test email with the Gmail mobile app and double-check that it meets the following criteria:

  • The alignment matches the one used in the email editor.
  • The font family, style, size, and color matches the ones used in the email editor.
  • The test is of an appropriate size and it’s easy to read.
  • The text blocks are not wider than the mobile screen.
  • Images load properly, have the proper dimensions and aspect ratio and have been resized to fit the mobile screen.
  • If there is any text on the images that need to be read by the recipient, make sure that it is large enough to be read without the need to zoom in.

Mistakes happen to the best of marketers, but we hope this email marketing checklist helps you send your emails with confidence. Don’t forget to download it below!

An 8-Point Email Marketing Checklist You Need To Use Before you Hit Send

A simple, 3-step email marketing checklist to massively increase your open rates, eliminate errors and get your customers out of their inbox and onto your site.

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