You need to use an email marketing checklist. No matter what anyone says, email marketing is still one of the most successful ways to reach your audience. Email brings in $38 for every dollar spent. That means you have a 3,800% ROI, which is what makes email marketing so attractive.
The problem is, you can’t hide with your email marketing. If you make a mistake, you may have just sent that mistake out to hundreds or thousands of people. And there's no undo.
Having an easy-to-follow email marketing checklist is a great way to make sure you limit your mistakes and show your subscribers your best self.
Let’s get to it!
Getting Started With an Email Marketing Checklist
Before you start putting your fingers to the keyboard, there’s a bit of preparation work you need to put in. These steps will save you a lot of time in the long run because you’ll be better prepared to write converting emails.
Have a goal in mind
You should always have an intention for the emails you send. What goal are you looking to achieve with your email marketing?
Are you trying to sell a virtual product? Are you trying to raise awareness of something? Maybe you’re trying to drive traffic to an eCommerce website.
Regardless of your goal, you need to have that goal in your head at all times when you’re crafting your campaign. It is an important point of your email marketing checklist.
Determine your audience
Part of having a goal is having an audience. You never want to send the same email to everyone. You should have a clear cut audience in mind before you hit that send button.
When each person subscribes to your list, you should track the referrer, how they opted in, and what the goal is for that individual.
Segment your list
When you’re determining your audience, you want to segment each subscriber into a specific list so you can send them the best emails. Think about it this way. Let's say you published a blog post about vegan recipes and got some new subscribers from it. You wouldn’t want to send them a bunch of emails regarding steaks and burgers, right?
Keep track of each subscriber on a micro basis so you can market to them in the most effective way possible.
Preparing Your Emails
Now that you have a bunch of lists with the best possible audience in each, it’s time to start working on your email. Before you go and send anything out, there is some backend work you want to do to position yourself for success.
Yes, I’m talking to all of you still using your @aol.com emails. It’s time for a change!
Have a professional email
You need to have a professional email that you use for business purposes. Make sure it’s a @yourwebsite.com email. Doing this will make you look like a professional, and people will be more likely to open their eyes and ears for you.
Going along with the professional email is your photo. When someone receives an email from you, they don’t want to see you holding a bottle of tequila from your trip to Mexico. Make sure you have a professional photo that screams, “I am awesome at what I do!”
Make sure to include a signature
Email signatures are essential to any email marketing checklist for a few reasons. First, the best signatures help drive conversions. We’re putting emphasis on “best.” A lousy email signature will hurt you more than not having one at all.
The best email signature will do a few things. It will personalize the email and show people that you’re a real person. It will help keep you out of the spam folder because you need to input a physical address. Your email signature will also provide an opportunity for you to use a call to action.
In your email signature, you can put a link where people can schedule a call, shop, or whatever it is you’re looking to accomplish.
Follow all necessary CAN-SPAM laws
Even though you're emailing to subscribers, you still need to watch out for rules and regulations. Make sure you have a clear “unsubscribe” button that provides people with an easy way to opt-out.
Do not make any lofty promises in your emails, either. If you’re selling coaching or services, don’t try to bait your subscribers into doing anything. That can get you in hot water quickly if your call to action doesn’t line up with what you’re saying in your email. Keep it clean.
Spend a lot of time on your subject line
We cannot stress this enough. You should spend more time on your subject line than the body of your email. It doesn’t matter what you put in your email if it never gets opened. Make sure you’re testing plenty of subject lines and spending a lot of time on the psychology of the subject line.
In our experience, we’ve learned that short subjects do the trick. Avoid spammy language here and don’t use emojis or capital letters unless you want to end up in spam.
Designing and Crafting Your Emails
Finally, we can talk about building an email that will make a difference in your campaign. By now, we’ve set the stage, and you should have an email account that is built to convert subscribers. Let’s talk about some of the finer details you need to know to get people to click through.
Build or buy a high converting email template
Depending on what email service you use, you might be able to buy high converting email templates from them. If you don’t have that luxury, you could always design it yourself (like a real marketer!), just kidding.
Or maybe not.
Anyway, it’s essential to test your email templates and don’t let them become your religion. If something isn’t working, know enough to change it.
When you’re sending emails at scale, you’ll need to template them to some extent. But make sure that it’s converting before you start using it for all of your emails.
Personalize the email
The key to success with email marketing is your ability to show your subscribers how much you care. If you don’t personalize the email, you’ll have a hard time doing that.
Gone are the days when you could send out a “to whom it may concern” email and get an 80% conversion rate. You’ve got to put in a little more effort than that.
Make sure you’re using variables that include personal information like their name. If you want to go the extra mile, you could even have specific points based on how they initially subscribed to you. That goes back to the segmentation section we discussed earlier.
Keep it short and sweet
There are a million and one different studies done of the highest converting length for an email. That said, there isn’t a right or wrong way to fill in the blank space in your email. We would suggest keeping it as long as it is necessary to convey the message. Brevity and clarity are key.
The reason you want to keep the email short is that people have a short attention span. If you want people to download an ebook, you should say so within the first few lines. That way they know the purpose of the email.
We see so many people write novels that hide the actual intention of the email. Not only does that not work, but it’s also a tremendous waste of time.
Your subscribers don’t care that you were at Yosemite National Park and had an epiphany. Then you decided to write an ebook while sitting next to a waterfall. No one cares.
They want to know why you’re emailing them, what you have to offer, and what it will do for them. That’s it.
Preach the benefits for the subscriber
You need to focus on how your offer will change their life. Once again, they don’t care about you as much as you think. They don’t care that you have 15 years of experience, a Ph.D., a TedX talk, and two million subscribers on Youtube.
All they want to know is, “what do you have for me?”
Spend less time talking about yourself in your email body and more time talking about the benefits for the sub.
Have a clear and concise call to action
Besides your subject line, your call to action is the next most important string of words or buttons. You need to think a lot about what you’re asking and how you plan to do it.
It’s funny, but most people make the mistake of having a soft call to action or none at all. Imagine reading through an email about a bunch of fantastic stuff but not knowing what to do next. Many marketers do this, and it’s crippling to your success.
Don’t be afraid to be blunt and straightforward with your audience. Tell the people directly what they need to do and how fast they need to do it. You’ll be surprised to find that people respond more to this strategy.
Optimizing Your Emails
Now that you’ve got yourself a great looking email, it’s time to tweak it to make it perfect. Remember, you’re on a first draft right now, you can do better than that!
Make sure everything looks great on all devices
It’s no secret that mobile optimization is critically important right now. In 2019, mobile accounted for 43% of email opens. You don’t want to miss out on that audience by having email copy they can’t read, links they can’t click, and images they can’t see.
After you have your email template created and ready to go, check it on all your available devices. If you’re using a reputable email service provider, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem with this.
Check that all links work
The last thing you want is for someone to send you an email back saying that one of your links doesn't work. This is where panic starts to set in. You’re thinking about the fact that you sent 30000 emails out, and each of them contains a broken link.
You start to question your ability to be a business owner; you’re rethinking your life choices, you're eating an entire tub of ice cream. We know how it goes.
All jokes aside, you obviously don’t want any broken links, and mistakes happen. Make sure you go through and check each link before hitting send.
Stay Out Of Spam
Here are some personal tricks that we’ve learned over the years. If you end up in the spam folder or even the “promotions” tab on Gmail, you’ll experience a tremendous drop in open rates. Your goal should be to stay out of the spam folder, and here’s how you can do it.
Don’t include too many links
Google made an algorithm update in January 2019. For this update, it changed the way that they categorize something as spam. Basically, they cracked down on a lot of spammy looking emails and made it much more difficult for them to have success.
One way to get flagged as spam is to have too many links in your email. Every email you sent gets scanned by Google for certain triggers that make the algorithm think it's spam. Links are one of those. Limit yourself to two or three links per email. That includes your signature, as well.
Avoid spammy language
Let’s be clear here. If you put free, sale, offer, 50% off, buy this, or anything similar to that in your subject line. You’re screwed. Your email will go right to spam, and no one will ever see what amazing content your email holds.
You need to warm up your leads first by drawing them in with an intriguing subject line rather than a straightforward salesy one.
Don’t bounce too many emails
This tip goes for the people who are buying lists for their email marketing. We’re not saying don’t buy lists but beware of the consequences. If you get a list of 1000 emails and 200 of them bounce. Not only will you get flagged for spam, but you might also lose your domain email.
If you bounce too many emails that tells Google that you’re a spammer because you don’t know who you’re sending emails to. Be careful with buying lists.
Whew, you made it! Feel free to take this email marketing checklist and use it next time you fire up a campaign.