It never fails… about once a week, I get a beautiful email in my inbox labeled %%FNAME%% or a collage of blank images with no alternative text. Or I get it on my retina display with fuzzy images. Or I open it on my mobile phone and can’t read it because the mobile email wasn’t responsive.
Email is serious business… it’s a permission-based push notification that your business gets to shove in the face of your subscriber. Email inboxes are packed, and everyone is looking for an excuse to ease the load and unsubscribe. It doesn’t take much to get blocked, gets thrown in a SPAM folder, gets deleted before even getting opened, gets unsubscribed – or worst – be reported as SPAM.
The team at Email Monks is at it again, from advice on inserting video in email to this – a comprehensive checklist for email senders to walk through before clicking send!
It’s time for you to send out an email to your subscribers and you are afraid to press SEND because you are unsure if you have got it all right, but worry not it’s Monks to the rescue once again! With businesses stating that they will increase the use of email marketing, it’s imperative to have a clear checklist to be followed before hitting SEND. So here’s an exhaustive one for you!
This infographic and checklist assumes you have a great message ready to send… but I’d recommend some steps before you even get to this point:
- Is your content worthy, relevant, expected, and valuable to the subscriber? If it’s not – then don’t send it!
- Is your email preview going to drive the subscriber to open the email? Ensuring your subject line, preview text, and information are compelling is a must.
- Does your message have a strong call-to-action (CTA) that is clear and concise?
- Are you utilizing a beautiful, responsive layout on a mobile device or desktop?
- Are you using images, heading,s and subheadings effectively for subscribers to scan over the message easily?
- Did you check and correct spelling and grammar before sending it?
- Do you have email authentication properly configured to improve inbox placement?
Once you have the right platform and a great message, it’s time to do your last minute checks to ensure you’re email is sent properly!
Email Send Checklist
While this infographic does a great job producing a checklist for creating and sending email, don’t forget to ensure your email service provider (ESP) email authentication is properly configured for your sending domain! Without that, your email may never make it to the inbox.
Email Campaign Setup
- From Address: Use a recognizable from address and avoid ‘do-not-reply’ IDs.
- To and Reply-To Address: Set up a proper To field with merge tags and provide an appropriate address for replies.
- Subject Line: Keep it engaging, short, and personalized.
- Analytics: Utilize UTM campaign integration with Google Analytics for insights.
- Social Sharing Buttons: Include social sharing buttons.
- View Online Link: Provide a View Online link for better rendering.
- Unsubscribe Button: Make the unsubscribe link clear.
- CAN-SPAM Compliance: Follow CAN-SPAM regulations with accurate address information in the footer.
- List Selection & Hygiene: Maintain and clean your email list regularly.
- Segment: Segment your list for better targeting.
- Personalization Setup (Dynamic Tags): Use and test dynamic tags for personalization.
- Plain Text & HTML Formatting: Send emails in HTML and plain text formats.
- Spam Test: Check for spam folder placement.
- Schedule at Right Time & Date: Schedule emails appropriately.
- Throttle the Number of Emails per Hour: Ensure throttling to avoid issues.
Email Client Compatibility
- Automated Testing: Use automated tools for compatibility testing.
- Manual Testing: Manually test email client compatibility.
- Test on Popular Email Clients: Test popular clients like Apple, Gmail, Outlook, etc.
- Inbox Preview: Check the from address, reply-to address, and subject line in your inbox.
- Snippet Text: Provide a brief snippet text for mobile users.
- Responsive Email: Ensure the email is responsive for various devices.
- Johnson Box: Include the Johnson Box correctly.
What’s a Johnson Box?
A Johnson Box is a small graphical or text element typically placed at the top of a marketing email or direct mail piece. Its purpose is to grab the recipient’s attention and provide a quick summary or teaser of the main content or offer within the email or mailer. The Johnson Box is often highlighted with a different background color or a border to make it stand out.
Key characteristics of a Johnson Box include:
- Brief Content: It contains concise and compelling text that entices the recipient to continue reading the email or mailer.
- Highlighting: It is visually distinct from the rest of the content, making it easy to spot.
- Offer Details: It may include information about discounts, promotions, or important announcements.
- Call to Action: It often includes a call to action (CTA) or a link that encourages the recipient to take further action, such as clicking a link or making a purchase.
Johnson Boxes are a common design element in marketing materials because they serve as an attention-grabbing tool and can significantly impact the recipient’s decision to engage with the content or offer presented in the email or mailer.
- Test Links: Verify all links within the email.
- Personalization: Check if inserted tags work correctly.
- Image Alt Tags, Image Rendering: Verify alt tags and image rendering.
- Recheck for CAN-SPAM Compliance: Ensure compliance with CAN-SPAM regulations.
- Test Plain Text & HTML Formatting: Confirm correct display of both versions.
- Proofread: Review content for errors, tone, and length.
Remember to thoroughly review your email before sending it to ensure it meets these criteria. Good luck with your email marketing campaign!
The checklist walks you through the email delivery, email client compatibility, inbox previews, and open previews to ensure everything looks good and works right before you send!