Before you hit the SEND button on that next email campaign, make sure it checks out with everything on our email campaign checklist. Why?

Because today, competition for access to a prospect’s email inbox has never been more fierce. And in an environment like this, there’s a lot that you need to get right so that your investment in Email Marketing doesn’t go wrong.

Persuasive email numbers moving up and to the right

Without question, email is one of the most essential tools for attracting new prospects and retaining existing customers.

It’s a fact that more than 74 trillion emails are sent every year. And, according to the Communicator Email Benchmark Report, the numbers aren’t going down.

Radicati Group Email Statistics Report discloses that 281 billion emails were sent and received worldwide, each day. And by 2022, this impressive number is expected to rise to 333 billion emails sent every day.

Digital Marketing Program Effectiveness | TeamworkCom
Digital Marketing Program Effectiveness Rank | GIGAOM

More numbers that underscore the power and increasing reliance on email by marketers and organizations include:

  • 76% of marketers see active growth in their number of email subscribers | Ascend2
  • Over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns | DMA
  • Automated email messages average +70% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “ordinary” marketing messages | Epsilon Email Institute
  • 57% of email subscribers spend 10-60 minutes browsing marketing emails during the week | ChoozOn
  • 53% of marketers report ongoing, personalized communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact | DemandGen
  • Email is 40X more effective at customer acquisition than Facebook or Twitter | McKinsey
  • Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10% | Aberdeen
  • Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates | Experian
  • 1 out of every 3 clicks within an email occurs on a mobile device | Campaign Monitor
  • For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $44 in ROI | Campaign Monitor
  • Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social | Monetate

The result of this rising dataset underscores the importance of email as an essential component of an effective marketing toolbox.

So before you push that next campaign, make sure everything checks out on this email campaign checklist before you hit the SEND button.

Before you send, check this email campaign checklist

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icon-check-circle | List Quality

An email list can be of one the most important assets that an organization has. When resource investments are made to build a quality list, its value accrues quickly because the list:

  • | Provides a detailed inventory of the people you value most
  • | Enables the best access point to the most preferred method of communication
  • | Delivers efficiency and cost-effectiveness
  • | Built to your custom requirements
  • | Increases in value every time more names and detail are added
  • | Owned and can’t be taken away—like social media

Your list should be comprised of contacts, prospects, and past customers that have engaged with you purchased your product or service or have expressed some level of interest in what you offer.

icon-check-circle | List Selection

Be sure to select the right list for your campaign and consider setting up and A/B test to see how certain content or modifications to your campaign perform better than others.

By continually experimenting with adjustments to content, delivery times, offers, and seasonal opportunities, you can enhance the success of email campaigns over time. And when you find the right equation of variables that delivers positive results, you’ll have certainty about what to do more often.

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icon-check-circle | Subject Line

Your email subject line is the first thing that anyone will see or read. So, make sure it’s written with a clear benefit with an action-oriented structure.

Avoid all caps, exclamation points, special characters, and other SPAM identifiers that will diminish the opportunity of your email to arrive at your target’s inbox.

icon-check-circle | Pre-header

Consider writing and including a Pre-Header. This optional component is the short summary text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in an email application inbox index.

Many mobile, desktop, and web email clients display a pre-header to tip you off on what the email contains before you open it.

Be sure to check for typos and ensure that your pre-header extends the subject line in a way that inspires action to click open the email.

icon-check-circle | Footer

Most of your footer content should come from a template that was designed and configured to work over and over again on emails.

Make sure it’s consistent with your brand requirements and all of the links work. If you need to, make minor modifications to your footer template that addresses the specific needs of your campaign.

icon-check-circle | Physical Location Address

Your email should always include a physical sending address that can legitimately receive postal mail. This helps to aid sender transparency and makes it easy to contact your organization.

icon-check-circle | Permission Reminder

Consider including a permission reminder that acknowledges that the recipient is receiving your email that they have opted-in to.

And for those leads + prospects that are not auditable subscribers to your content, provide a link so that they can officially join your list in order to continue to get the great content you’ll be sending in the future.

icon-check-circle | Unsubscribe Link

CAN-SPAM compliance requires you to include an UNSUBSCRIBE link for those recipients that choose to be removed from your list. Make sure that this is obvious and confirm that the link works.

icon-check-circle | Social Icons + Links

Some claim it’s a best practice to include social links in your email. We would argue that it’s a really bad idea. Unless, of course, your goal is to convert the email recipient to go to a specific social media page.

If you include active links to make your email look cool or think others will share it, it’s time to let that go.

The last thing you want a recipient to do is to click off your email and on to a public social media platform. This is a virtual guarantee that the email recipient won’t convert on the specific CALL-TO-ACTION that you seek.

Wasted social media clicks can be catastrophic for your conversion rate.

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Consistently developing and deploying relevant content to a targeted online audience is one of the most effective ways to attract new prospects and retain existing customers.

As a result, creating, deploying and measuring good content must be a priority for any business that wants to succeed with online marketing.

According to the experts at the Direct Marketing Association | DMA, 25% of marketers are challenged to get content for their email marketing campaigns. These barriers can include:

  • | Research
  • | Writing Quality
  • | Image Quality
  • | Technology + Integration
  • | List Quality
  • | Domain Authority
icon-check-circle | Personalization
Research confirms that if an email looks and sounds personal, it will usually perform better than a generic email. So when you include personalization, be sure to configure the merge variable with fall back replacement text.

For example, in an opening salutation with a first name merge variable, you want to ensure that there will be replacement text in your email if there is no first name in your database. Replacing the first name with “Hi There” might be a reasonable alternative.

If that doesn’t work for you, make your replacement alternative sound authentic, not robotic.

icon-check-circle | Grammar + Spelling

Get help to check for incorrect grammar and spelling. If your email application or marketing automation platform doesn’t do this, check out Grammarly as your go-to editor. This great app reads your content as you type with a contextual spell checker while it corrects writing mistakes as you develop content.

If you mess up, Grammarly underlines the content in question and even suggests correct spelling that you can enable with just one click. Sweet.

icon-check-circle | Text Only Version

Delivering your message through email marketing requires overcoming many barriers. These can include:

  • Dozens of proprietary, incompatible email readers chosen at the discretion of the prospect you want to reach
  • Email application preview panes individually configured to display email content in every size and form
  • Individual email applications configured to block display of images

To overcome these challenges, you need to provide a TEXT ONLY version of your content. This will ensure that if your message actually arrives at the inbox you targeted, the recipient will be able to read and convert on your content.

If you forego this essential content, you put your performance at risk.

icon-check-circle | Images

Be sure to make the images in your email linkable. They are often the most prominent elements in an email.

The result is that they serve as giant click buttons that can do wonders for increasing conversions.

icon-check-circle | Headlines

All of the best attributes of images work for headlines too.
Make them linkable to increase your click conversions.

icon-check-circle | Call-to-Action Button

Make your Call-to-Action | CTA obvious and prominent. And check the link to ensure that it works.

If you’ve spent all of the necessary resources to plan, develop, test, and deploy an email campaign, you won’t be able to measure anything if your CTA button link doesn’t work.

It’s also important to specifically state the benefit of the CTA in the button text. Action-oriented words like get, save, share, and act are all examples of action verbs that help promote the email recipient to take the action that you are hoping for.

Include a Call-to-Action in every email | TeamworksCom
Make your Call-to-Action clear, obvious and action-oriented | TeamworksCom
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A great way to test email performance is to leverage the data you have on hand.

icon-check-circle | Segmentation

Consider a campaign strategy that uses a more narrow segment of your list. Dividing or segmenting your list based on specific attributes such as lead status, geography, date of last purchase, title and more can squeeze more value from your campaign.

This focusing can help identify the elements of an email that should be adjusted to meet the unique requirements of a more narrow segment of a list. Modify and refine as required.

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What could be more important than testing?
This critical requirement allows you to ensure that all of the essentials of your email are in place and performing as expected before you send it on to your list.

It also allows you to review the email with your team to ensure that everyone has signed off on both the content, presentation and functionality of the campaign.

icon-check-circle | Preview Email

Sending a PREVIEW email to all decision-makers is absolutely essential. Everyone in this small group needs to take the perspective of the email recipient and patiently check all content for accuracy, active links, organization branding, and voice.

icon-check-circle | Approval Audit Trail

It’s a best practice to require each person with decision-making responsibility for the campaign to sign off and approve the campaign via person-to-person email. This provides an audit process trail if any issues arise down the road.

We prefer providing each decision-maker with a set of text that unambiguously states that the individual has approved the campaign—like this:

The XYZ campaign and all of the components in it have been reviewed and approved for deployment. Please proceed.

By requiring the decision-making team to copy/paste this text into a reply email, it removes any ambiguity about whether or not a campaign was approved for deployment.

Test email before sending | TeamworksCom
Nothing is more important than email testing | TeamworksCom
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icon-check-circle | Avoid Delivery Conflicts

Choose the date and time to send your email based on data. Ensure that it doesn’t conflict with other scheduled activities or email campaigns.

Consider that your leads + prospects will continue to receive Marketing Automation emails from previous workflow and automation activities that you may have already configured and deployed.

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icon-check-circle | Push at the Right Time

Schedule the deployment of the campaign on a date and time that has proven to be effective—such as late in the afternoon on a business day of the week.

If you’re unsure what’s an effective time or date, consider doing a few A/B tests with this variable and assess the results over a set calendar period. If the performance of a campaign stands out, consider refining the time/date delivery variable to optimize performance.

icon-check-circle | Performance Measurement

Once you’ve deployed an email campaign, hit the dashboard to review performance.

It’s a good idea to wait at least 5 days to report accurate performance. Most email campaigns traditionally peak in the first 24 hours after delivery.

They then decline with a long tail after about 72 hours. However, it’s not uncommon, especially for B2B campaigns, for a small number of conversions to continue over a 3-7 day period.

Enhance the opportunity for email campaign success

Data supports the fact that email marketing is one of the most effective and efficient online marketing techniques. Organizations that dismiss this media ignore an opportunity to consistently deliver the highest ROI for their marketing investments.

When used in context with a structured Content Marketing program that integrates Marketing Automation, email becomes even more attractive. And when you address all of the requirements in the checklist above, you enhance the opportunity for campaign success, more qualified leads, and increased revenue. Who doesn’t want that?

And you?

Are you using a structured and repeatable checklist to ensure that your emails are optimized for delivery and conversions? Did we forget anything on our checklist that you think is critical? Let’s hear from you.

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