When it comes to email marketing, there’s nothing worse than realizing that your carefully crafted email campaign, sent to over 500k+ users, contains a typo in the copy or there’s a broken image that fails to render properly. Hitting send is already stressful enough, and trying to remember all of the things you need to check beforehand can feel overwhelming. Not to mention making sure you include legal disclaimers and follow proper email compliance rules on top of that.
To minimize errors and consistently deliver compelling emails to the right audience at the right time, utilizing a formal go-live checklist can be immensely helpful. Checklists are an invaluable tool for ensuring quality control, especially for large teams and email campaigns. Just like NASA had a 417-step pre-flight checklist for the Apollo 11 mission, which successfully landed Neil Armstrong on the moon, email marketing also requires a well-designed checklist that covers various aspects, from legal disclaimers to link verification.
In our email marketing projects, we have refined a comprehensive checklist based on our experience working with diverse customers, ranging from small teams to large enterprises across different industries.
Email Campaign Go-live Checklist
1. Is the email content ready to go?
- Subject Line: Do you have an effective subject line? Are there any typos?
- Preheader: Is it updated? Does it complement the Subject Line?
- Body copy: Is copy to-the-point and written in active voice? Typos?
- Images: Are images sized to spec with ALT text?
- Legal: Are trademarks/registered labeled appropriately? Do we have licenses/rights to all utilized assets?
- Links & CTA’s: Are CTA’s easy to see and appropriately linked? Do they have tracking/campaign tags?
- Sender Address: Is the company’s physical address in the email for CAN SPAM compliance?
Unsubscribe Option: Are there links to unsubscribe for CAN SPAM compliance?
- Disclaimers: Are necessary disclaimers present?
- Social Icons: Are icons appropriately linked and have tracking/campaign tags?
2. Is the email tested and quality-checked?
Data & Targeting
- Personalization & Dynamic Content: Does my target list have the information necessary for personalized content and dynamic content?
- Target Audience List: Does the target list reflect the appropriate filter criteria?
- Unsubscribes/Preferences: Have I removed all unsubscribes from the target list and honored subscription preferences?
- Suppression List: Is a suppression or exclusion list necessary and was it applied?
- Inbox preview: Have I reviewed test emails both in a QA tool and/or in my inbox?
- Mobile Test: Have I reviewed test emails on tablet and mobile devices?
- Email Clients: Have I reviewed test emails in a QA tool or on all widely used email clients?
- Personalization & Dynamic Content: Have I reviewed all of the content permutations to confirm content is generating properly?
3. Is the email ready to send? How will we measure campaign performance?
- Team Collaboration: Will this campaign impact other teams like Sales or Customer Service? Are those teams aware and ready to respond?
- Timing: Does this email campaign overlap with other campaigns? What is the impact?
- From email: Is the “from” email appropriate for this campaign?
- Analytics: What are the success metrics for this campaign?
· Deliverability rate: # delivered / # sent
· Open rate: # unique opens / # delivered
· Click-through-rate: # unique clicks / # delivered
· Click-to-open rate: # unique clicks / # unique opens
· Unsubscribe rate: # unsubscribed / # delivered
· Bounce rate: # hard/soft/block bounce / # sent
· ROI: defined by the business or campaign
· Conversion Rate
· YoY or other relative comparison
- Continuous Improvement: What can be optimized: targeting, send time/date, content, etc.?
It’s easy to underestimate what goes into delivering an impactful and engaging email campaign. Remember that through it all, the top priority is the customer experience. So on on top of quality checking all aspects of the email campaign to catch typos and broken links, engage other customer-facing teams internally to make sure all brand touchpoints are ready to deliver the best brand experience possible.