Best Email Marketing Checklist: 15 Expert Best Practices

Read time: 13 min
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Best Email Marketing Checklist: 15 Expert Best Practices
Try Publicate For Free Today
Read time: 13 min

Once you hit send on an email campaign, there’s no turning back. That’s why you stare at it so long before you get to that final step. An email marketing checklist can help you review everything before you send it out to the masses so that you can reduce the chance of mistakes.

We’re going to share what a professional email checklist looks like, as well as how an email builder can dramatically help you save time, prevent errors, and enact all of email marketing’s best practices.

Let’s go!

Guide Index

What is an Email Marketing Checklist?

An email marketing checklist is a list of tasks and reminders that should be considered when you create and send your email marketing campaigns. By checking the list closely, you can structure strong and effective campaigns that are both beautifully designed and engaging.

From curating a catchy subject line, scheduling your send, reviewing analytics, and every must-do step in between, an email review checklist helps ensure that nothing of importance falls through the cracks.

Marketing professional writing a checklist by a tablet
Picture from Unsplash

Why Use an Email Marketing Checklist?

The answer to this question is as simple as thinking of why you use a calendar or make your own to-do list for your work responsibilities– so you don’t forget anything!

An email marketing checklist prevents the feeling of dread when you send out an email to masses with a missing link, misspelled word, or even worse, to the wrong audience list.

No matter how you choose to design your email campaigns, there are many factors that need to be considered, such as:

  1. making sure it’s responsive across device sizes
  2. preventing it from being marked as spam
  3. adding alt text to images
  4. inputting the right image size
  5. adding your brand’s color palette and typography
  6. and more.

While there’s so much to remember, an email builder can make all of these efforts seamless. Email builders provide you with hundreds of professional designed pre-built templates to choose from. They also have a saved brand style kit option, built-in image editor, and analytics at your fingertips.

All of these features (and more) help you create, send, and analyze your email campaigns and inherently include email marketing’s best practices, so you don’t have to spend time second guessing your own work.

What Checklist Should You Follow Before Sending Emails?

With so many things to consider during an email campaign, it’s no surprise that your email marketing checklist itself will be robust.

We’ve compiled a few key pointers from across the board to help you devise the checklist that works for your needs.

1. Set a Goal

Before you even start designing or thinking about your email campaign, it’s vital to set a goal/objective for sending the correspondence in the first place.

Not only will this help you to design and write your email communications, but it also directs what analytics are worthwhile to review. Examples of email objectives include: lead nurturing, onboarding, cross-sell or upsell, improve customer experience, inform employees, etc.

2. Include Branding

Whether you’re sending an external marketing email campaign or internal communications to your employees, it’s important for your readers to be able to immediately recognize your brand. This builds credibility, trust, and loyalty.

For emails, this means having your typography, color palette, and logo included. With an email builder, you can save your brand kit so that every email you send will immediately include these elements.

3. Determine Your Audience

It’s true that not everything is meant for everyone. With the influx and volume of emails that your audience is likely already receiving, you want to ensure that what you send to them is timely and relevant to who they are.

For email marketing campaigns, segmentation can help achieve this. You can segment your audience in various ways, including: demographic, sign-up date, customer journey, location, engagement level, purchase history, and psychographics, etc.

4. Select Word Wisely

When writing your email content, avoid using spam words. Spam words are a red flag to automatic spam filters, which will place your email communications into a junk/spam folder rather than your recipient’s inbox.

Some risky situations include: excessive punctuation, all caps, weird fonts, and word combinations like “100% satisfied,” “limited time offer,” “earn extra cash,” “free trial,” etc.

5. Review Preview Text

When you look at your email inbox, you can see sender names, email receival times, a subject line, and a small line of text below the subject line. That small line of email description is called your preview text.

If you don’t choose what to put there, the email provider will likely pull words from the introduction of your email. But, you can come up with something better and engage yourself, so use the space wisely as it operates like a first impression.

6. Subject Lines Matter

Just like preview text is a first impression, a subject line is like a handshake. It should be direct, strong, and impressive. Subject lines jump out in a recipient’s inbox and can be the difference between the email being read or being deleted.

7. Double Check Links

The last thing you want is to send out an email with a link to a 404 error page or the wrong webpage altogether. It’s a painful reality that can happen easily if you overlook your links. You can avoid this by manually checking each link in your email or by using URL software.

When you use an email builder, you can preview your email across different device sizes within your own browser window, offering a great moment to check links before sending.

8. Format Fearlessly

Content and design work together to make for engaging and effective emails. That being said, there are specific factors to remember so that your email is accessible and legible for all readers.

The rule of thumb for font size is 12 points to 18 points, and remember to add padding between margins, headlines, and text so that your email doesn’t appear overwhelming and crammed.

Again, email builders take the worry out of this concern because the templates are pre-built with these considerations already.

9. Sharing is Caring

Increasing your exposure is a great benefit to email campaigns, but that can only happen if you give your readers a chance to share your message! To do so, add social media buttons into your emails so that your audience has the opportunity to amplify your communications across their own channels.

10. Copywriting is King

As good as the design is, your words matter just as much. Be sure that what you’re writing is informative, easy-to-read, and accurate. High quality content leads to relevance, trust, and garners the attention your email campaign deserves.

11. Send Consistently Without Clutter

Consistency and frequency allow your readers to look forward to hearing from you. A consistent cadence can set you up for success, but overdoing it can create the opposite effect.

A good way to gauge the right frequency is to consider why you are sending an email before you do so. Put yourself in your subscribers shoes to consider whether or not the reason/value for your email is warranted at this moment in time.

12. Select Your Provider Purposefully

A reputable email service provider impacts how your emails get into the inbox of your subscribers. It’s valuable to consider your email service provider’s deliverability rates, analytics capabilities, integrations, ease of use, and automation capabilities.

Did you know that you can use an email builder that’s incredibly intuitive to build your emails while still sending with the email service provider you’re most comfortable with, such as Gmail and Outlook? With direct integrations, you can browse your emails from an email builder directly in your favorite email service provider.

This way, you don’t have to spend time export and uploading templates or relearning an entire software for your email marketing campaigns- it’s as simple as what you’re already using day-to-day.

13. Add Call-to-Actions

A call-to-action is a button within your email that follows copy and leads your readers to take an action. It is all intended to satisfy the main goal of your email. You want everyone who opens and reads your email to click on that button. To drive the mouse click, remember to use strong action verbs, make it personal, and design it so that it is noticeable.

14. Proofread Carefully

As you finish up your email campaign, you may be anxious to get it out into the world. Before you get too click happy, take the time to review it closely for any grammatical errors or mistakes.

It’s also a good idea to have another set of eyes look over your work because when you’re staring at something too long, it becomes easy to read over the error.

15. Monitor the Results

At the end of the day, no matter how amazing you think your email campaign is, the results will speak for themselves. That’s why it’s of great value to receive email analytics so that you can actually see the fruits of your labor and make adjustments, if needed.

Email builders come equipped with the metrics you want to know, such as open rates, click-through rates, and a heatmap to show you exactly how each section of your email performed.

If you’re new to email creation or an advanced expert, you know that your email marketing checklist is always expanding. The assistance of an email builder saves you time, money, and mistakes because it already takes into consideration most, if not all, of the email best practices you’ll want to achieve.

Additionally, the drag-and-drop functionality means that you don’t need to be a coder or designer to create professional and branded email campaigns.

Paper airplane send illustration against brick wall
Picture from Unsplash

Before You Hit Send…

Your email proofing checklist is your ticket to making sure that you are sending out fully baked email newsletters and campaigns. With an email marketing checklist as your ticket, you can get to your final destination with an email builder as your vehicle.

Email builders are equipped with best practices and the smallest details already considered and built-in. In turn, you get to dedicate your time to crafting your message and optimizing your design, rather than having to be bogged down while stressing to remember the nitty gritty details.