When you start with a campaign, you want to have a predefined set of goals, a to-do list, and a purpose for the task. You must know what you want to achieve with that task. Without these things in place, you may start with your campaign, but it won’t help you in the end. It is imminent to have all the essential steps listed out to lay the foundation for your campaign. This is why in email marketing, we have something called the Email Marketing Checklist. In this article, we are going to discuss about that.
Table of Contents
- What is an Email Marketing Checklist
- Why do you need to have an Email Marketing Checklist
- Email Marketing Checklist to send better campaigns
1. Clean your Contacts
2. Remove inactive and unsubscribe contacts
3. Decide the target audience
4. Segment your audience
5. Decide on campaign goals
6. Optimize the content, make it readable
7. Personalize the content
8. Create a responsive template
9. Use the right images with alt text
10. Write an engaging subject line
11. Make sure there is a reply email
12. Use the contact/recepient name
13. Only use one CTA
14. Always test the email
15. Make sure all links are working
16. Schedule and send
What is an Email Marketing Checklist?
To help you understand this better, let’s take the help of an example:
You and your team have put together a marketing plan, and for that plan, you need a good email marketing campaign. Your email marketing campaign needs to have great content; all your contact lists must be managed and organized. In essence, you would have to organize everything you need in your email campaign and create a list of the work you are putting out. This is known as the Email Marketing Checklist.
As the name suggests, a checklist of the different steps and things will be required to run a successful email marketing campaign. Now, you might be wondering if you really need an Email Marketing Checklist. Well, the short answer is.
Why do you need to have an Email Marketing Checklist?
Have you ever cooked a good-quality steak? On the other hand, have you ever baked a cake? While the rhyming on those two questions is unintentional, the motivation behind it is obvious. Baking, cooking, and email marketing have one thing in common —a solid recipe. You can’t throw the meat into the fire and expect it to cook by itself. You need a strategy in place; you must know what sauces to add, what spices to add, or how much oil is required. Similarly, in email marketing, you need to have a defined standard that you need to follow for it to work properly. This is where marketing management becomes useful.
A good email marketing professional would never launch an email marketing campaign without an email marketing checklist. In fact, creating and following your email marketing checklist should be one of your email marketing strategies. An email marketing checklist could help you streamline your entire campaign and make things easy for everyone to understand and follow. With a proper email strategy and an email marketing checklist, anyone would be able to pull off a successful email campaign.
Email Marketing Checklist to send better Campaigns
Now that we have discussed everything about marketing emais, let’s look at some of the best practices for an Email Campaign checklist. Some email checklists may not have all the elements that we have mentioned here. Without further ado, here is an email checklist you may follow for your marketing email campaigns.
1. Clean your contacts
In one of our previous articles, we talked about managing your contact lists. As far as an email marketing campaign is concerned, it should be number one on your checklist. You may or may not have bounced emails, there may be spam, and some contacts may have changed their email ids. You could have invalid email ids on your list, and if you send email campaigns to these email addresses, your campaigns will bounce.
When the email bounce rate exceeds 5%, that is when you know that you need to start worrying. This is mainly because of the fact that Amazon SES tracks your email metrics such as opens, clicks, and bounces. If you don’t clean up your contacts, you could risk getting a sending pause where your account won’t be able to send emails anymore, or worse; you could be banned from their platform.
2. Remove inactive and unsubscribed contacts.
An extension from the point we made earlier, you must remove the inactive and unsubscribed contacts when cleaning up your contacts. Subscribers like these don’t contribute to your campaign. Instead, they cause an impediment. There are two scenarios to take into consideration when talking about inactive contacts. If you send an email to an email id that is no longer active, it will be invalid and cause a hard bounce. Too many hard bounces will have a negative impact on your campaign. On the other hand, if the contact has shown no interest in your campaign, has never opened your email, or has never even bothered looking at it.
Then you are fighting a long-lost battle; you need to stop and concentrate on the one that could be useful for you. This is when you need to remove these inactive contacts from your list; you have worked hard for this campaign. You don’t deserve a hard bounce, and you don’t deserve a contact that ignores your hard work. Similarly, you need to remove contacts that have unsubscribed to your campaigns. These contacts will only occupy the space and limit you from advancing your campaign.
MuxEmail automatically removes inactive and unsubscribed contacts from your list so you don’t have to go through the hassle of cleaning up your unsubscribed contacts from your account.
3. Decide the target audience.
You came up with a brilliant plan for an email marketing campaign. You have the content ready, the lists ready, and you have done all the work necessary for your campaign. You don’t have one crucial thing. We are talking about your target audience. Before you begin your campaign, you must understand who your target audience is. Your campaign must always be relevant to your target audience. A campaign without a target audience is like shooting in the dark without an aim.
Thus, not only are you wasting an arrow, but you are also wasting the time that you could utilize to get more from your customer engagement—Au contraire when you have a proper target audience. The strategizing part becomes easy, it is easier to write the content, and the content delivery part becomes easy too. Once you have that down, the rest of the campaign is more or less a breeze. So, always have a proper target audience in place for your campaign. The content that you give your audience will depend on this heavily. People born between 1981 and 1995 (Millennials) may not be interested in reading the content meant for people born between 1996 and 2010 (Generation Z).
4. Segment your audience
Once you have identified your audience, you have to break up your email list into different segments. This will help you customize the content for your campaign accordingly.
If your audience is millennials, then you may want to separate them from your email list and put together a segment that is only relevant to them. Similarly, you may have segments based on their age group, generational differences, area of residence, etc. It is up to you how you would like to put them in segments. All you need to do is divide your audience into segments. With MuxEmail’s, Tag & Segments feature, we have already got you covered. You need to give some conditions based on age, geographical location, etc. And it will automatically segment your subscribers for you.
Segmenting your audience is as crucial as deciding your target audience. After doing both of these things, you will still have another something to take care of — your goal.
5. Decide on campaign goals.
You have created a campaign, managed your contacts, curated your content, and figured out your audience. All of this will be for nothing if you don’t know the end goal of your campaign. Even if you want a one-week campaign and not a long campaign, there still needs to be a defined goal. Without a plan, coming up with strategies for the campaign would become very difficult. To explain this further, here is an example that should help get the point across:
Marketing is a lot like fishing; if you catch the big fish, you will feed yourself and your family. If you are unable to catch a big fish, you need to try catching a small fish because having no fish means there will be no food for you. Here’s the question; how will you catch a fish? You would need to know all the different fishes that swim in the water. Then you need to decide the fish that you are going to target. Depending on the size of the fish, your goal and your strategy will vary.
This is the same thing for a decent email marketing campaign. Your goal will depend on the audience you have chosen, and your strategy will depend on your goal.
6. Optimize the content, make it readable
You created an excellent plan, defined your campaign goals, and had your target audience decided and segment, now you need good quality email content. Your content is like the bait that you use before hooking a fish. Your content is your bait. A good bait will get you the biggest fish in the water; a bad bait will be ignored. This is how email marketing works. You need to have content that not only tells the story for your brand; it also helps you convince customers to buy your product.
That is the fundamental purpose of having a campaign; you want more and more people to see your brand, its purpose, its objective, and that they may benefit from all of this. For your subscribers to see value in your products/services, content plays a significant role. On the other hand, you need to make sure your content isn’t very wordy. You must keep it short, meaningful, relevant, articulate, and crisp. More importantly, the content should be appealing and easy to understand.
7. Personalize the content
Content creation is just one part of email marketing; the other part is personalizing it. The content you are sending to someone has to be something relevant. A person who lives in the UK may not be interested in a sale that is happening in Egypt. Similarly, you must be aware of your customer, and you must understand what is relevant and create the content accordingly.
A personalized content will appeal to more of your audience. When personalizing the content, you may take SEO, customers’ geographical location, behavior, and many other factors into account.
Personalized content increases your open rates and conversion rates significantly. Remember, your email subscribers are real human beings, so curate your content like you are talking to a person. Don't just treat them like numbers. In fact, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.
8. Create a responsive template
47% of all emails across all demographics are opened on mobile phones. A whopping 81% of people prefer to open emails on a smartphone, and 21% of people prefer to open them on tablets.
Having a responsive template is crucial for your email marketing campaign to succeed, as you do not want to miss out on such a large audience.
With MuxEmail,andall your emails are responsive and you can also preview them to see how your email campaigns look like on a mobile device.
9. Use the right images with alt text.
The images that you have on your email tell the story of your brand. You want the right image to tell the right story. Your images must also contain the alt text that is relevant to the image. If you use an image without alt text or one that is not relevant to your brand, it may not help you in your campaign. This is an important point that you need to take care of.
10. Write an engaging subject line.
An email subject decides whether your email will be opened. There are two types of emails in your customer’s inbox. One that has landed on the inbox and one that has landed in the spam messages. The difference between these two emails is a brilliant subject line. An email without a decent subject line may end up in the spam box. Most people don’t even check their spam. This is why you must make sure to add a good subject line. Check out this article for tips to create attention grabbing subject lines.
11. Make sure there is a reply email.
There are two things you have to do when sending an email campaign:
- Have the option for the customer to reply to the emails
- Have a few reply emails typed and ready.
No-reply emails are the worst. Check out this article to find out why the are bad along with some alternatives to no-reply emails.
Without a reply option, you wouldn’t be able to engage with the customer. Reply emails will also boost your customer interactions.
We have already discussed why a no-reply email is bad. With MuxEmail, you can put in a reply-to email address while creating your broadcasts while still sending emails from a personal account.
12. Use contact / recipient name
When listing emails, make sure to add the contact name or the recipient. This will help you understand who would be receiving your emails. Otherwise, you might send the wrong emails to the wrong places. Organizing the list with the recipient’s name is mandatory. It will avoid confusion, keep you focused on the campaign, and it will be easy to track your leads using their recipient names.
13. Only use one CTA
The Call-To-Action (CTA) is an important part of the campaign. Your CTA button needs to be presented properly in your campaign. A bright-colored button could help on a dark background.
While adding the CTA button, always remember to have only one CTA button. A CTA button shouldn’t be confusing, and having two might confuse the customer. You don’t want to confuse the customer; you want them to understand what you are explaining in the simplest way possible.
14. Always test the email.
Testing an email is a legit strategy to check for spam and the validity of the email id. This is how it works:
Imagine during a campaign you mistyped an email address, and it ended bouncing back to you. That will spike up your bounce rate. All you really need to do in this scenario is test the email before sending it; if it bounces, then the email address has a problem. Similarly, it can also help you understand if you risk sending a spam email.
On the other hand, it is always safe to test the email on different devices. It will help you understand the perspectives of different. If there are any issues with the alignment of text or the images, you will be able to notice and rectify them during this test.
15. Make sure all links are working.
Checking the links of the email that you are sending is a simple but effective strategy in email marketing. This makes it an important addition to the Email Marketing Checklist. Could you imagine sending an email to a customer only to realize that the links aren’t working fine? That couldn’t be nice for your email campaign.
16. Schedule and Send
The last checklist would be scheduling and sending. Thanks to the advent of technology, you can now pre-design your campaign to send them later. This not only helps you increase your engagement but also prepares you for reply emails and respond to queries.
With MuxEmail, you can easily schedule to send emails to your recipients using our Send Later feature.
Make sure to save this article so you can cross each item off your list once you complete it.
Following this checklist will go a long way for your email marketing campaign’s success. What’s more, is following the checklist eases your burden while planning your email marketing campaign and gives an organized structure to it.
Oh, and if you do follow our checklist, don’t forget to share your results with us!