For marketers, that moment before hitting “Send” on a big email blast can be more than a little nerve-wracking. Did I make any mistakes? Is this the best possible version of this email? Apart from good, solid proofreading, you may feel like you can do nothing else but send it off and hope for the best.
We’ve put together a short, to-the-point checklist that will give you peace of mind when sending out marketing emails. After going through these five questions, you can feel confident that the content you’re sending out is optimized.
1. Is this the best possible subject line?
According to Jay Baer, 35% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. That means that this tiny little piece of text is extremely important to the success of your campaign, and you shouldn’t treat it like it isn’t. Don’t send out an email with some hastily put-together subject line. Spend a good chunk of time brainstorming possible candidates, and only send your email when you know you’ve found the best. Keep in mind that the best subject lines are informative while still being attention grabbing – a perfect balance of motivational and reassuring.
2. Is this the correct list to be sending to?
This is such an easy mistake to make, but it has some of the farthest reaching consequences. ALWAYS double check that you’re sending to the list you intend to, or you may end up with thousands upon thousands of disgruntled leads who will report you as spam or simply ignore anything further from you.
3. Have I tested this email on a smaller percentage of the list?
Testing is the lifeblood of marketing, because without real data to back you up you’re really just guessing about things. Before sending out an email to your entire list, you should try out a few variations on smaller groups of recipients. Many marketing email services have this capability built right in and will give you easily digestible information about each test: delivery rate, open rate, click-through rate, and so forth. Once you’ve tested, choose the winner and send it out, feeling confident that you’ll get the best possible results for your efforts.
4. Do I have a call to action in the body of the email?
What’s the point of sending out a marketing email if there is not desired action for the recipient to take? With few exceptions, it’s important for you to include at least one call to action in the body of your email. This could be a link to follow, a button to press, a video to watch, a number to call, or even a request to reply to the email itself. Make your call to action obvious and easy to carry out, or you’ll lose people from sheer confusion.
5. Is the unsubscribe process simple and unconvoluted?
It may seem counterproductive to make it easy for people to unsubscribe, but it’s really in your best interest to do so. Due to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, you are required by law to include “a visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism” in all of your emails. But you shouldn’t just do the bare minimum; for example, it’s extremely annoying to click an “Unsubscribe” link only to be brought through a series of convoluted questionnaires before being allowed to actually remove your email address from a list. It reflects badly on your company and makes it much more likely for future emails to simply be reported as spam. So before sending off that email blast, take a quick peek at your unsubscribe process to be sure it’s as easy to use as possible.
Though there are many other facets that will affect the success of your email marketing campaign, the best thing you can do is be very deliberate with what you send out. Use this checklist, and remember – you should always be checking your results to see if there’s any way you can further optimize your emails.