Ready to hit “Send” on that email in ClickDimensions? Check again! Whether you have 10 or 10,000 recipients, make sure to go through all of these items before sending mass emails so you don’t have to recover from making an email marketing mistake.
Text and content
- Replace default email template material and placeholder text. If you have the same email template for each newsletter, check that there’s no placeholder text that still needs to be replaced once the email template has been set up as an email send.
Backup values for dynamic content. It’s fairly simple to supply a default value for a FreeMarker field by adding text between double quotes. For example:
For seamless personal greetings in your emails, see this article.
- Social sharing and links to social sites. The ClickDimensions Drag and Drop editor now has an option both for sharing (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter) and linking to social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and blogs). Since one goal of email marketing is to engage individuals with your brand, make sure that they have the means to do so.
- An alternative to images. Images should have alternative text in case an email client blocks images.
- Consistency with the brand. Logo, color, fonts, images and overall visual design should be consistent with your company, as well as the tone and message of the content being delivered.
- Test your links. Check all links to ensure they resolve to the right web pages.
- Check forms, surveys, landing pages and linked documents.
- Check template on mobile devices.
- Check your subject line and optimize the preheader text. Check out this article for some great advice involving preheaders.
- Intent is clear. What is the purpose of the email? This should be explicitly clear without any second guessing required.
- Distinct call to action. The easiest way to get your recipients to do something is by providing a clear call to action. Need a form filled out? Add a button that links to a form. Is the email promoting an event? Add “Register here” or similar text.
- WIIFT. What’s in it for them? This is the question that you need to ask yourself with every message you send to your readers. Their time is precious and if your messages don’t benefit them, you may see an increase in unsubscribes.
- Marketing list. Make sure your email has the correct marketing list(s) and the recipients in the marketing list are the appropriate audience for that particular email.
- Unsubscribe methods. Your emails should always have an unsubscribe method, and you can’t send to more than 500 recipients without one.
Other necessary elements
- Plain text version of email. A plain text version of your email can improve your SpamAssassin score and allow your recipients to read your emails if they have HTML turned off for their email client.
- Copyright, disclaimers and privacy policies.
- Microsite/”View in browser” link.
- Test the email. Email send records have a Test button that allows you to send a test copy to email addresses in the Test Emails field. You can also test an email by doing a live send to a test list. Doing an actual send allows you to check your CNAME, dynamic content and any conditional statements you may have added to your template. If you do a live email send to test the email, you can simply clone the Email Send record (and be sure to remove the [CLONE]: text in the Subject!).
- Use clear “From” name and email address. The From Email and the Reply To Email Address fields should be valid email addresses.
- Email is sent at the time most likely to be read. This will vary according to many factors including your industry and the geographic locations of your recipients, but emails should be sent on the days and times that work best for your audience.
- Schedule the email 30 minutes or more after finalizing it. This one isn’t a hard rule, but it gives you time to cancel the email in case you catch something after you click “Send.” However, be aware that if the email is set to send immediately, there’s no way to cancel it.
- Approval. Who signs off on design? Product information? Legal requirements? Does senior management sign off before each send? You can set up a process to notify individual members of your team when an email send is created. See this article to learn how.
Measure engagement and capture response. ClickDimensions has some great features that allow you to generate reports on your emails. See: Email Click Report, Email Stats Report and Click Heat Map. (Tip: The data needed to generate these reports is also in your CRM as email events, sent emails and email sends, and you can create your own CRM reports with these records as well.) Don’t forget to check posted forms, posted surveys, and to track page views and visit records to see how they tie in with your email.
- Track bounces and unsubscribes.
- Check excluded emails. Take this opportunity to clean up your email lists, if needed.