When you’re about to launch a new email campaign, you’ve got a million things on your mind. You’re in a rush, you’ve got a deadline to meet and, often, you can’t escape the nagging feeling you’re overlooking something important. As we email marketers know all too well, there are few things worse in this world than hitting “send” and realizing, a millisecond too late, you missed something critical.
To help you minimize this risk, we’ve created a handy cheat sheet you can use to check against your campaign so you can hit “send” with confidence.
1. The Right Audience
To send the right message to the right recipients, you need effective list segmentation. The way you segment your list will depend on the nature of your message. For example, you might need to segment by age, location or purchase history. However you decide to slice and dice your list, start with a foundation of knowledge about your subscribers, so you know precisely who to place on which list.
2. Stand-Out Subject Line
Most of us get hundreds-sometimes thousands-of emails every week. With so many brands vying for consumers’ attention, you have to get creative to stand out. Data shows if you’re using a segmented list, a subject line longer than 50 characters is most effective. Relay personal and timely information in the subject line and, most importantly, tell-don’t sell!
3. Targeted Message
No matter what you’re selling, adjust your message to your audience. For example, if you’re an insurance company looking to target customers nearing retirement, you might focus on your brand’s stability and lengthy history. To attract young professionals, you might highlight educational programs you’ve developed to help new clients select the right policy. For each segment, you should also consider age-appropriate images. Pay attention to tone, jargon, image and level of readability to make sure the message resonates.
4. Responsive Formatting
Regardless of how compelling or expertly written your message, it has to render correctly on your customer’s device to be successful. Know which devices your audience is most likely to use to read an email (Desktop? Smart phone? Tablet?) and make sure your email design works for all of them.
Continuing off the previous checklist item, be sure to test your emails on several platforms and devices to ensure consistency. Make sure all text and design elements render correctly across these devices. Additionally, take a moment to test all the links to ensure they are functional and direct to the correct page.
6. Clear CTAs
The goal of your campaign is not just to tell a good story. You want your readers to do something. Whether you’d like your customers to make a purchase, share on social platforms or sign up for a specialized mailing list, don’t assume your readers will do this on their own. To make your email actionable, you need a clear call to action (CTA). Make your customer an offer, reiterate the benefits, add in urgency and then present an impossible-to-miss link, button-or both-to guide them on to the next step.
7. Easy Unsubscribe
It’s not just smart list management, it’s the law: you must include an easy way to unsubscribe in every email. If the unsubscribe is buried in small print, takes more than a click or two or makes the user hunt for their login information, your email may be tagged as spam.
By taking the time to compare your next campaign against this checklist, you can avoid mistakes and enjoy more positive responses.
Looking for more ways to boost engagement? Download our free case study to learn how one company increased open rates by nearly 13%!