Some say that the key to success lies in meticulous attention to detail. Whether we deal with simple tasks or tricky ones, whether we are building something brand-new and grandiose or just creating a regular blog update. We need to have our eyes wide open to catch even the slightest faux pas. This rule works on every occasion at all times. Launching an email marketing campaign is no exception.
Planning everything down to the last detail involves a whole host of variables. And, checking, and re-checking everything are its fundamentals.
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The checklist is one of the most helpful tools out there. Quickly and without much hassle, it points out to our mistakes when we believe that everything is perfect. It is just a lifesaver when it comes to tasks with a significant number of things to take into consideration.
Planning an email marketing campaign is one of those cases. So today, we are going to focus on the pre-launch checklists that will save your email campaign from the catastrophe.
Let’s assume you have already determined the marketing strategy. In essence, an email marketing campaign pre-launch process has three main parts to monitor. They are design, content and technical part. Let’s consider each one thoroughly.
Everything begins with the content. Before immersing yourself in choosing coloring, layout, typeface and all other design stuff, you need to make up your mind and determine what to include in your next newsletter.
Here you need to choose not only the text but also images and graphics. Also, it is vital to not overlook some other crucial details like, for example, your physical address. You may ask: “Why do I need my physical address in the digital email newsletter? It leads to my website or landing page. My email newsletter has nothing to do with it, and digital contacts are more than enough”.
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However, it is not a matter of preferences. If you want to act legally, then you need to obey rules imposed by the CAN-SPAM and GDPR, the established requirements for commercial messages. If this took you by surprise, then our thorough checklists are certainly for you. They will make sure that nothing has slipped through the cracks.
- The name of the company is included.
- The subject line is strong and thoroughly picked up.
- The subject line is no longer than 70 characters.
- The pre-header features the alluring message.
- The pre-header line is no longer than 80-90 characters.
- The email is personalized.
- The headlines are bold and catchy and match the subject line.
- There are no more than five-six chunks of text.
- The text is jargon-free and appropriate for the targeted audience.
- There is no contextual spelling mistakes and punctuation mistakes.
- There is no tautology and redundancy.
- The chunks of text are short yet informative and appealing.
- An actionable language is used when it is needed.
- The date is relevant.
- Smart content is added.
- There are no more than one big image and four-five small ones.
- The images ideally support the text.
- The images are royalty-free and can be used for commercial purposes.
- The images are credited if necessary.
- The images are supplied with alt texts.
- There are links to corresponding articles or products featured inside chunks of text.
- There are buttons if necessary.
- The CTAs are actionable and attention-grabbing.
- There is a backlink to the landing page.
- There is a link to the main website.
- There is a forward email link.
- There is a link to the web browser version.
- There is a link to a plain text version.
- There are anchors to subsections in the email newsletter.
- There are links to social media accounts.
- There are links for sharing the newsletter with friends via social media platforms.
- There are links to digital contacts including Skype, Telegram, Viber, etc.
- There is an Unsubscribe link.
- There is a physical address.
- There is a copyright line with a relevant date.
- The text is re-read at least once.
- The text is spam checked.
After fixing all the issues with the content, the time has come to put everything in its proper place.
The design has great importance. It is here where all the chunks of text transform into easily digestible pieces. It is here where headlines start to catch an eye, links start to pop out, and CTAs start to look very clickable. It is here where you can apply some psychological tricks to improve email conversion rates. In brief, the design stage is a part where regular content morphs into a marketing masterpiece. And everything should be done inside a small container. There are many things to take into account; let’s consider them in our checklist.
- The font size is no more than 16px and no less than 12px.
- The letter-spacing is standard.
- The typeface is readable.
- The color of the text stands in contrast to the background.
- The coloring fits the mission of the email newsletter and evokes the desired emotions.
- The background is clean and does not distract the attention.
- The graphics nicely blends in.
- The social media icons are relevant and correspond with the overall theme.
- The layout is no more than 600px wide.
- The layout is carefully divided into sections both horizontal and vertical.
- The layout is mobile friendly.
- The use of whitespace is well-balanced.
- There are gaps between the columns and rows.
- There are vivid but not irritating gaps between the headlines and excerpts.
- All the dummy text and default content have been deleted.
- There are no placeholders only the actual data.
- All the chunks of text are in their proper places.
- The text is easily scanned.
- The most important content strikes an eye right away.
- Offers are highlighted.
- All the links are easily recognizable and stand out from the content flow.
- The CTAs instantly draw attention.
- All the headlines perfectly fit inside each cell.
- The images correspond with text blocks.
- All the images are perfectly aligned.
- All the images stay inside the layout.
- The content is well-formatted.
- The hero image does not take up the entire screen.
- The leading message occupies the central part in the header.
- There is a logotype or any other piece of brand identity.
- The header includes brand, navigation, lead message, promo image, and CTA.
- The footer includes copyrights, contacts, address and other business information.
- The design of the email newsletter is aligned with its web version and the main website.
Last but not least, the technical part is nearly as important as the previous two stages. Its checklist is like a club bouncer that won’t let in all those who are not of legal age; or, in our case won’t let the email newsletter template without mobile-friendly layout to ruin everything.
The technical part covers different things starting from the checking whether you remove all the unsubscribed readers from your list and ending with a reminder of sending an email newsletter to your inbox. So let’s enlighten the crucial moments.
- The sender details are correct.
- The name and email address include your company’s details that are consistent all the time.
- The reply-to address is provided.
List of subscribers
- Those who unsubscribed have been deleted from the list.
- The inactive were removed, and an email list was updated.
- The targeted audience is chosen correctly.
- The personalization tokens are added.
- The dynamic content is set correctly.
- The tracking codes are added.
- All the links are manually checked.
- All the external links are anchor-specific so that readers get into the exact place on the page.
- The promo codes are relevant.
- The sponsor codes are relevant.
- All the images are optimized.
- All the images are linked to the corresponding articles. And the links are alive and relevant.
- All the credits are provided. And the links are alive and relevant.
Code and Design
- The web version is aligned to the email newsletter.
- The landing page is aligned to the email newsletter.
- The layout is browser compatible.
- All the tags are closed.
- The CTAs are purely coded.
- The code is valid and tested.
- The email looks good in different email providers.
- The email does not weigh a ton.
- The server, i.e., your website, landing page, etc., works.
- The goods are in stock.
- All the extra functionality (sign up, order) work correctly.
- The email is manually checked across all the popular dimensions starting from huge monitors and ending with cell phones with 320px wide.
- The plain text version looks fine.
- The email newsletter with turned-off images looks fine.
- The email was checked at least twice.
- The test email was sent to your inbox.
- The A/B testing was done.
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The checklist of the email marketing campaign is the one that saves us from catastrophes helping to build flawless campaigns. Whatever you are up to, do not forget to stop by and glimpse into these important carefully assembled pieces of information. They always stand behind all those moments that begin with the phrase “Right, this one I forgot!”, providing us with an opportunity to fix everything in time.