For a brand whose marketing messages can get in front of thousands of people, the impact of a “small” mistake can be enormous. Think about it, not only is there a chance of making a bad impression (or a real brand damage), but mistakes can also have a direct influence on conversions. So as a marketer you want to reduce the number of possible (high impact) mistakes.
I have been involved in creating hundreds of email marketing campaigns and possibly reviewing even more in my consulting and training courses over the course of 10 plus years in email marketing. Yes every marketer makes mistakes and it is easy to overlook one just before pressing the send button but a lot of these are unnecessary. So here are some points of Quality Assurance to go over before pressing send.
Check your list and selections
Are the right people about to be emailed? Always do a head count. Make sure the right list is selected and updated for the send. The size of the selected list should be equal to the number you expected it to be – if you have an agency doing the sends for you: Include that number in the briefing. Check!
Beware of technical problems and incorrect links
Check the technical part of your campaign. Make sure that your email displays well in all email clients like gmail, outlook as well as in mobile email clients. Also check if there are no problems with the HTML code and make sure the proper landing pages are in place, properly linked from your email. And very important, the full order process is up and running.
You can imagine that an email that has faulty links or products that aren’t live yet can seriously hurt your emails bottom-line result.
Watch your instruments
All tracking of clicks and opens should be enabled. And do you also have tracking set up for measurement beyond the click? We want to report on the right KPIs. Without the data, managing your email campaign is like flying in the dark. Make sure all the measurement and tracking is in place and you planned some time to review your email marketing statistics after sending. Check!
All elements are there
All the necessary elements are present in your email. A clear unsubscribe link and a link that allows people to update their preferences and email address. They should be able to look at the email with an online version.
But most important, explain people how they can contact you, if they have questions, a complaint or want to buy something! It is best to offer links, but the reply address should also be monitored for people trying to contact you. Make sure other “standard” applicable elements, like social sharing are included and working.
To make emails more attractive and relevant to individual subscribers, often dynamic content is inserted in the email. Make sure all fields are properly filled and formatted and that all the dynamic content works well. If you don’t know anything about the items segmented or personalized (e.g. Is the right account manager inserted? Is the right product image shown?), make sure you have someone at hand that does have that knowledge to look it over.
Fields used for email personalization, like when you insert company name or first name always need a fall back (e.g. Dear client,) for the instance that these fields are missing or left blank.
Sleep well and enjoy your email marketing activities
There are quite some things to check before your email campaign is fully fault free. A checklist can help to guide you each time you launch an email campaign. I made an example email marketing things-to-check checklist that you can download, but do add your own items!