10 Point Checklist Before Sending Your Email Newsletter

The List - Not my list, this one is Roseanne Cash's

We all need a list

A long time ago someone told me “what separates us from the monkeys is our ability to Pause“.  (It may have been more like, “Dude. . .think about monkeys for a second. . .” but whatever. . .)

The greater point was that we get a Stimulus from our environment just like all creatures. We Respond just like every creature responds. As humans we have the unique ability to Pause between Stimulus and Response, right? You get it.

The point of this quick note is to put a Pause in before we send our Email Newsletter. Why pause? So you can double check a few things before the note goes out to the dozens or hundreds of dozens of people you have on the list. This one is Ecommerce oriented, but I use it for all broadcast emails.

A 10 Point Checklist Before Sending Your Email Newsletter

  1. Is the Subject Line Clear, Relevant, Believable?
    Subject lines are a discipline unto themselves. Since you have to get this email out today, stick with 3 questions: Is the subject line Clear? Does it fit the rest of the email content (Relevant)? Does it pass the smell test and seem reasonable?
  2. Is a Call to Action Included?
    Is it clear what you want the prospect to do? It’s okay if the email has no call to action but should it? Think in terms of the client getting the email and saying “Who are you? What do you want? What do you want me to do now?” Be relevant.
  3. Does the email have 20+ clickable links?
    How many links are clickable in the email? The more the better. If you don’t include any, are you doing that on purpose? I’m all for testing. . .
  4. Have you optimized the email for Preview Mode?
    Assume your reader is looking at the email on their phone with the images turned off. How does it look? Can they complete the action you want?
  5. Consider the Last 5 emails you’ve sent – Does this one make sense?
    This is a trick to stay relevant. If you’ve been sending emails and they all look alike, are you acknowledging it? Is this coming from a robot? Any hints that there is a person behind all these communications helps with opens and click throughs. Test it.
  6. Is Tracking Set?
    Most services allow you to attach tracking for Analytics. If not, use a tool like Google’s URL Builder for tracking: URL Builder (and if you need a guide on how to use it, try this Using the Google URL Builder)
  7. Does the Footer Detail show attention to detail?
    I love this one because it proves you’re not a robot. Change up that footer once in a while. There are few who notice, but the ones that do tend to be your fans.
  8. Do the Landing Page makes sense?
    Click through the links. Do they take you  where you want to go? Does the landing page text match the offer? Make sure it all makes sense.
  9. If there is an offer, does it work as expected?
    This one happens to me all the time. The coupon code or offer doesn’t work as expected. Take a minute and test the code/landing page/link and make sure it works in checkout. Trust me on this.
  10. Have the internal expectations been set? 
    Is there a goal? Even a quick and dirty goal based on the last 5 email’s click through, ROI or other engagement metrics will do the trick here. We’re just trying to do everything “on purpose”.

Good stuff.