Ultimate email campaign pre-send checklist
We’ve created a fun and comprehensive checklist to help email marketers maintain peace of mind, so you can focus more on designing engaging email campaigns and less on worrying about missing the little things.
Sometimes it can feel like there are a million and one things to think about when building an email campaign. From the pressure of coming up with a captivating subject line, to making sure you’re filtering on the right subscribers for your segment, sending a simple email is often more stressful than you’re given credit for.
Not only will this checklist help you check off all the pieces that make an email campaign successful before you send, it will also cover larger behind the scenes strategy for you, including tasks that improve your overall deliverability.
Audience: Who are you sending to?
The basis of your email campaign revolves around who you will be emailing. Which of your subscribers are you trying to reach, and what’s your goal for them? It’s important to know this going into building your campaign, because it will be key to ensuring you design an engaging email that’s set up to perform well.
- You’ve filtered on the right criteria for who you’re trying to email
- You’re not blasting your entire list
- You’ve excluded inactive and invalid subscribers (emailing these subscribers will impact your sender reputation and hurt deliverability)
- If including dynamic (live) segments that automatically refresh, make sure they’ve synced in time for your send
- If including static segments, check that you’ve removed duplicate contacts (unless your email marketing platform automatically de-dupes your segments, like Hive!
- You have a primary goal for your email (i.e. drive purchases, get subscribers to update their preferences, inform subscribers of a pop-up near them, etc)
- The goal is relevant to your segment (will this audience find this goal relevant and click through to complete the goal?)
Content: What are you trying to communicate?
Your content should be relevant to the segment you’re emailing, and align with your goal.
- The subject line is captivating enough to get subscribers to open your email
- The subject line is no longer than 70 characters
- The preview text supports the subject line and provides more insight into the email content
- The preview text is no longer than 80-90 characters
- The email text is personalized
- Headlines are catchy and match the subject line
- Copy is written in an actionable tone, and aims to achieve your email goal
- Paragraphs of text are no longer than six lines each
- There are no more than five paragraphs of text
- Each paragraph of text should be associated with one CTA
- There are no spelling or punctuation mistakes
- The email contains at least one image (relevant to the content of email)
- If using multiple images, there should only be one full-width image
- Images are less than 150KB each (to avoid spam)
- Images have alt text
- Every CTA button has a link
- All links are correct
- CTAs are actionable, with relevant copy (i.e. ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Learn More’)
- There is a link to your brand’s main website
- There are links to your social media accounts
Design: Is everything clear and on brand?
Being intentional about how you present your content is crucial in optimizing your email for engagement.
- The body text font size is no larger than 16px and no smaller than 12px
- Headers are bolded and at least 4px larger than your body font size
- The typeface is easy to read (sans-serif fonts are best for readability)
- The colour of the text contrasts the background of your email well
- The font type and colour scheme are aligned with your brand
- The email width is no more than 600px wide
- Content follows the upside down triangle rule, where the header text, full width image, paragraph text, and CTA are laid out in that order to drive clicks
- The layout is mobile friendly (especially if multiple columns are used)
- The email contains enough whitespace for the eye to naturally flow through the content
- Images are perfectly aligned with the same margins
- Text paragraphs align to smaller width margins than images
- There is only one CTA button per section
- You’ve sent yourself a test email and opened it on both desktop and mobile (and it looks good)
Technical: Are your email settings set up to let you send emails?
It’s important not to overlook the behind-the-scenes necessities required for you to be able to send an email.
- Your brand’s name and legal address are included in the email (legally required due to CAN-SPAM regulations)
- The reply-to email address is included and valid
- Your sender name is representative of your brand
- If you’re sending off a custom or subdomain, it’s been properly warmed up
Send segment hygiene
- You’ve excluded invalid (bounced or unsubscribed) subscribers from the segment you’re emailing
- You’ve excluded inactive subscribers (who haven’t opened any of your previous 10 emails) from the segment you’re emailing
Building an email campaign doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With this ultimate pre-send checklist, we’ve got the tiny details covered so you can focus on building an email that performs well.