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The Email Marketing Checklists

Revisiting The Email Marketing Checklists: 9 Fail-Safe Measures to Put in Place

Email marketing gone wrong — we’ve been there! Revisit our in-depth email marketing checklists to refresh your memory and plug strategic gaps...

Your Easter campaign is finally live! You’re free to spend at least ten or so minutes looking at your iPhone. On your company page on X (formerly Twitter), you suddenly come across a screenshot of what looks like a familiar email. The post reads, “Look what the bot dragged in!” followed by monster emojis. 

The comments section is harsh and hilarious by turns. You slowly realize what’s going on. It’s one of your own Easter emails, and parts of it are totally unreadable. You forgot to test for Dark Mode compatibility!

Right now, the last thing you want to hear is how great email marketing is. Perhaps this isn’t even the first time. In your Christmas campaign the previous year, your AI-personalized emails referred to a segment of your subscribers as “Hey, First Name!” 

But let’s shut the closet, people! 

Email marketing failures can be small and great. Trust us, we’ve learned it the hard way. Sometimes it’s not even your fault. We get it. But your clients might not, and won’t. So if you feel email is failing you, you probably need to revisit each email marketing checklist in this post. 

Email Checklist 1: Plan Your Email Campaign 

You must begin with the beginning. “But we’re not Amazon. We’re just a local bakery. Do we really need to plan an email campaign?” 

You plan for your own benefit and then for the company’s benefit. You plan because you’re human and liable to make mistakes. So, it really doesn’t matter if you’re a small business owner or a mogul. You’re still a human who can’t always afford to rely on your memory alone. 

The planning process will include determining your campaign objectives (S-M-A-R-T goals), defining your target audience, and choosing the right KPIs. 

Email marketing checklist 1

Email Checklist 2: Build Your List The Right Way

It’s time to implement your plan. For that, you need email addresses to send messages to. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Don’t buy email lists: It’s illegal. Your ESP will penalize you. Plus, you’ll be breaching the rules of consent enshrined under the GDPR and the CASL.
  • Ask permission: If you have 100 email addresses, you don’t start building an email list of 100 subscribers. Ask people if they really want to receive emails from you.
  • Build user-friendly signup forms: Don’t ask the viewer to share too many details about themselves in exchange for their email address. 
  • Include quick checkboxes and dropdowns. Consider placing a progress bar. Keep the form short and simple. Filling it out shouldn’t take more than two minutes. Respect users’ time.
  • Add share buttons: Grow your list organically by adding proper share buttons at the end of your emails
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Email Checklist 3: Follow Design Best Practices

You’re not sending out cold emails to strangers. You’re sending emails to those who are willing to hear from you. So, you want to send emails that deliver aesthetic as well as marketing value. 

For that, you need to pay attention to email design. This means laser-focusing on the smallest details of your templates, such as button shapes, linear vs. angular dividers, GIF loop count, etc. 

Designing an email is only half the job. Remember, not all email clients support all kinds of templates. Put fallback measures in place accordingly. Optimize for image size. The bigger your images, the longer it will take for the email to load. Use widely supported image file formats, such as PNG and JPEG. 

Finally, test your emails. Test thoroughly across troublesome email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, and Hotmail. Test both for desktop and mobile viewing. 

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Email Checklist 4: Follow Backend Best Practices

Personalization is sacrosanct. We know you’ve heard that. But shit happens! You don’t want to take chances. So, if you’re new to personalization, start small. Don’t bother about a full-blown campaign right away.

Never forget to test your best tactics in relation to the metrics you’ve set for yourself. Then, optimize based on your results and apply your learnings across the entire campaign. Learn more about email personalization here. 

Another important aspect of email marketing is segmentation. Having a single subscriber list never works. You need to enforce AI-powered segmentation to send the right emails to the right segments successfully. The more granular your segmentation, the better. 

Speaking of lists, clean them out regularly. You don’t want to waste resources sending emails to invalid or non-existent addresses. 

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Email Checklist 5: Leverage AI Technologies

If someone just signed up to your newsletter, they’re expecting a welcome email soon. So you should automate your welcome campaign so that new subscribers receive welcome emails after signing up. 

Use intelligent AI-driven autoresponders to trigger emails in response to a wide range of user actions. Say someone downloaded a case study. This triggers a welcome email, followed by emails offering services, incentives, etc. related to the case study. 

Use generative AI to quicken content creation, such as preheaders, subject lines, CTAs, etc. 

Email marketing checklist 5

Email Checklist 6: Don’t Bug Your Subscribers

You don’t mean to, of course. But if you’ve set up triggers so that someone receives a promotional email twice a day, you’re just being annoying. 

Have you checked your subject lines, preheaders, headings, body copy, and CTA strips for errors? Are you literally silting up every inbox with multiple attachments in every email? 

What if your emails contain broken links so that clicking on a link sends the user to a questionable site? Do your emails often show placeholder texts? 

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Email Checklist 7: Follow Sending Best Practices

Don’t send business emails from a personal account. Even if you are a one-soul company, you must be professional. 

Include your name, company name, company address, and contact information in every email. Be transparent. Minimize the use of No-Reply emails. Allow the recipient to engage. 

Last but not least, include an Unsubscribe option and make it prominent and clickable both on mobile and desktop. 

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Email Checklist 8: Keep SPAM Filters at Bay

Avoid adding too many exclamation points, emoticons, and uppercase letters in your subject lines. If it doesn’t look good to you, it definitely doesn’t sit well with SPAM filters. 

Ditch anything that smacks of snake-oil salesmanship, such as spammy keywords (BUY NOW, SAVE NOW, MOON DEALs, etc.), link congestion, staying off-brand, sending too many emails, using cheap stock images, poor, hectic design, etc. 

These are not too many things to bear in mind. If you’re being honest and helpful, you’re good to go. Remember the goal: marketing for people, not people for marketing. 

Email marketing checklist 8

Email Checklist 9: Never Set And Forget

Our last email campaign checklist is perhaps the most important. If having ticked all the boxes, you never bother about how your campaign is doing, you’re napping on the edge of doom. 

Your subscribers are always on the move. The funnel does not sleep, content does not sleep, and the industry doesn’t sleep. Once your campaign is live, many things go green and red simultaneously. Constant vigilance is key. But to really drive it home, imagine the following scenario. 

You own a bakery specializing in French gateaux called The French Bliss. Its grand opening is on March 15, 2024. An email campaign announcing the dates and hours is now live. 

On March 15, your new bakery witnessed a satisfactory turnout. BUT you forgot to pause your campaign. Your customers will continue to receive the Grand Opening email for the next six months! 

What follows is a steady stream of SPAM complaints, general complaints, and unsubscribes. We agree that it’s a fairly watered-down analogy. But you get the point. 

Email marketing checklist 9

Check! Check! Check! Now What?

So you have the email marketing campaign checklist down pat. Next, implementation. 

If you have a full plate, taking over a full-fledged campaign on your own can be risky. Still, if you can do it all yourself, more power to you! You’re more informed now and hopefully more enthused. 

But if you can’t afford to have another failed campaign, and you realize that to mess up one of the most cost-effective digital marketing channels is like losing your last ace, feel free to show us your cards! 

We are a full-service email marketing agency with a team of more than 150 email pros. Share your project outline with us, or work with an ESP-certified expert dedicated to your brand. 

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A realist at heart and an idealist at head, Susmit is a content writer at Email Uplers. He has been in the digital marketing industry for half a decade. When not writing, he can be seen squinting at his Kindle, awestruck.

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