Ultimate Email Marketing Checklist (27 Things to Remember)

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With email marketing, sending out an email without double-checking it can lead to dire consequences. Not double-checking could send an off-target email to thousands – it can lead to a cascade of unsubscriptions, lackluster results, and a pile of unnecessary headaches. It’s a scenario too real for many marketers.

This is where an email marketing checklist becomes a must. A checklist like this is a list of things you need to double-check. This can include checking the grammar, tone of voice, links, etc. It’s a list of things you must double-check before sending an email.

With email marketing checklists, every brand will be different. However, they will follow some standard guidelines with their twist. Below, we’ll detail a generic checklist to help you double-check every email you send.

Email Marketing Checklist

1. Design Check

  • Brand Recognition: Ensure the email aligns with your brand identity.
  • Message Focus: Keep the main message clear and prominent.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Test on different email clients (Outlook, Gmail) and devices (desktop, mobile).
  • Sizing: Check text/font sizes, image resolutions, and multimedia elements.
  • Color Visibility: Ensure colors are suitable for all devices and easily readable.
  • Plain-Text Version: Create and optimize a plain-text alternative.
  • Call to Action: Make it noticeable and easy to interact with.
  • Template Customization: Remove placeholder text and customize the template.
  • Essential Links: Include unsubscribe options and a link to view the email online.
  • Social Sharing: Add appropriate social media links, if relevant.

2. Content Value

  • Provide genuine value to the reader.
  • Clearly state the benefits or purpose of the email.

3. Proofreading

  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Ensure product or service descriptions are accurate.
  • Verify accuracy in the email subject line, preheader, and plain-text version.

4. Campaign Logistics

  • Define the objective of the campaign (education, signups, sales, etc.).
  • Confirm the target audience and list segmentation.
  • Use a recognizable sender name.
  • Set a working “Reply To” email address.
  • Ensure personalization tags have appropriate fallbacks.
  • Establish a consistent sending schedule.

5. Technical Aspects

  • Confirm all links and buttons work and lead to the correct places.
  • Ensure images have correct links and alt text for accessibility.
  • Test the level of personalization.
  • Verify subscriber opt-in and adhere to spam laws.

6. Pre-Send Review

  • Run through this checklist before sending each campaign.
  • Optionally, use a tool like Google Docs for real-time editing and tracking changes.

How to Use an Email Marketing Checklist

Having a generic email marketing checklist is excellent. However, designing your own is way better. Below, we’ll give you a quick guide on making your email marketing checklist.

Step 1: Know Who Checks What

First, you need to create a “sign-off” process. This process will go through you if you’re doing the email marketing campaign yourself. But you must know who will check what if you work with a team.

For example:

  • Who will check the copywriting?
  • Who will match the service or product information?
  • Who will check the email for legal compliance?
  • Who will contain the design, links, and user experience?
  • Who will oversee all of the checks before the email gets sent?

For teams working together, this is something you must think about. Once this is sorted, you can move on to the following step.

Step 2: Know What Needs to be Checked

After identifying who’ll carry out the checks, it’s time to decide what needs to be checked. The specific checks will vary according to your organization and the type of campaign, but here are some general areas to consider:

  • Design Checks
    • Ensure the brand is easily recognizable.
    • Verify that the message is clear and focused.
    • Check compatibility across desktop clients (e.g., Outlook, Postbox) and mobile devices.
    • Confirm correct sizing for text, images, GIFs, and videos.
    • Assess the visibility of colors on all devices.
    • Provide an optimized plain-text version of the email.
    • Make sure the call to action is clear and accessible.
    • Replace the default template or placeholder text.
    • Include functional unsubscribe links and a link to view the email online.
    • Add appropriate social sharing/connecting options.
  • Value Assessment
    • Confirm that the email content offers real value to the reader.
    • Explain the benefits for the reader (“what’s in it for them”).
  • Proofreading
    • Check for spelling and grammatical errors in the email copy.
    • Ensure accuracy in product descriptions.
    • Verify correctness in the email subject line, preheader, and plain-text version.
  • Logistical Considerations
    • Define the campaign’s objective (e.g., educate, increase signups, encourage purchases).
    • Confirm sending to the correct list and segment.
    • Verify the ‘From’ name and ‘Reply To’ address.
    • Set up fallbacks for personalization tags.
    • Establish a clear sending schedule.
    • Assign specific pre-check responsibilities.
  • Technical Aspects
    • Include a functional unsubscribe link.
    • Verify product/stock availability.
    • Ensure all links and buttons direct to the correct places.
    • Check that all images are correctly linked and have explanatory Alt text.
    • Test the content and level of personalization.
    • Confirm subscriber opt-in and compliance with international spam laws.

Step 3: Create Your Email Marketing Checklist

With the responsibilities and specific checks established, the next crucial phase involves creating a practical and user-friendly checklist. A downloadable email campaign checklist, preferably in a versatile format like Excel, is highly recommended.

Here’s how you can create an email marketing campaign checklist:

  1. Section-wise Organization: Divide the checklist into sections based on the different areas of responsibility, such as design, content, logistics, and technical aspects. This approach makes it easier for individuals to focus on their specific areas of expertise.
  2. Detailed Task Breakdown: Provide a detailed breakdown of tasks within each section. For example, the design section includes verifying brand consistency, ensuring message clarity, and checking for cross-platform compatibility. This level of detail helps in leaving no stone unturned.
  3. Responsibility Allocation: Next to each task, allocate a column to assign specific individuals or teams responsible. This transparent allocation of responsibility ensures accountability and helps track each task’s progress.
  4. Status Tracking: Include a column to update the status of each task, such as ”Not Started’,’ ”In Progress,” or ”Completed.” This real-time status update provides a quick overview of the campaign’s progress.
  5. Notes and Comments Section: Adding a space for notes or comments following each task can be incredibly useful. This allows team members to provide context and feedback or raise concerns directly within the checklist.
  6. Deadline Column: Include a deadline or expected completion date for each task. This helps maintain the campaign’s schedule and ensures timely execution.
  7. Review and Approval Sign-offs: Incorporate a section for final review and approvals. Here, senior managers or department heads can sign off on the completed tasks, providing an additional layer of quality control.

Following these steps, you create a comprehensive, detailed, dynamic email campaign checklist tailored to your organization’s needs.

Step 4: Start Using The Email Marketing Checklist

Now that you’ve created your email marketing checklist, it’s time to implement it. When using it, remember these tips to maximize its effectiveness:

  1. Collaboration and Real-Time Updates: Utilize Google Docs to allow your team to work on the checklist simultaneously. This approach ensures everyone can access the latest version, fostering a collaborative environment. Real-time updates allow for immediate adaptations to any campaign changes.
  2. Version History for Accountability: Use Google Docs’ version history feature. It tracks every change, including who made it and when. This provides a clear audit trail, which is crucial for maintaining team accountability. It’s invaluable for resolving discrepancies and ensuring accuracy in your campaign.
  3. Accessibility and Convenience: Leverage the cloud-based nature of Google Docs for easy accessibility. This ensures that team members can access and update the checklist from anywhere, at any time, enhancing the efficiency and responsiveness of your email campaign process.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll turn your email marketing checklist into a dynamic tool that enhances your marketing efforts’ coordination, effectiveness, and accuracy.

Let Us Take Control of Your Email Marketing

With this email marketing checklist in hand, you should be well-equipped to move forward with your email marketing campaigns. With this checklist, you’ll be able to reduce mistakes, boost engagement, and, most importantly, ensure email marketing is effective.

However, perhaps this checklist isn’t something you want to use. We understand. Email marketing isn’t easy. If that’s you, why not reach out to us? We at Mailbox Labs specialize in email marketing and have created tonnes of tried and tested checklists that have made businesses thrive.

If you’d like to see how our services can help you, book a free 30-minute consultation today. Here, we’ll detail how we can help. For a better email marketing future, start today by booking a free call.

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