Has your open rate taken a nose dive?
Looking for ways to add a little punch and pizzazz to your email marketing strategy? Then look no further, because I’ve got exactly what you need: The definitive email marketing checklist. The checklist is also variously referred to as email checklist form, email review checklist, professional email checklist, mass email checklist, email writing checklist, email service provider checklist, business email checklist or even email content checklist!
But first, do you have an email marketing strategy? Or are you like most people? Generally, when people think about sending an email to their email list, they think it’s a matter of simply writing the email, proofing it, and then hitting the send button. They then go off to play golf or sit down to watch their favorite TV program, while the money rolls in.
Sadly, there’s a problem with that approach…
The reality is if you just write an email off-the-cuff and send it almost immediately after, you’re just asking for problems. For starters, your email may not even get opened if your subject line doesn’t grab attention. If the email isn’t targeted, you’ll get aa few opens if you’re lucky. And if your links don’t even work, then you can definitely expect a very poor response.
So what’s the solution?
I’ve got the answer for you. In this article, I will show you a 6-step, 25-point, email marketing checklist which you need to check before you send out another email.
The Email Service Provider Checklist – Step 1: Develop and Nurture Your Email List
As a blogger or other online entrepreneur, your biggest asset is your email list. Start by developing, growing and nurturing your email list.
1. Build your email list
The question shouldn’t be ‘Do you have an email list?’ It should be, ‘How large is your email list?’ As I stated in this ground breaking article, Electronic Marketing: 12 Reasons Why You Need A Targeted Email List, without an email list for electronic marketing, you’re building your business on rented digital property.
2. Choose an email service provider
Next, you will need to get an email service provider who will provide a ‘home’ for your email list (if you haven’t done so already). You’ve got to realize that it is very important to start with a good and reputable email service provider. Check out this article for how to choose an email service provider (ESP). Is there such a things as the best email provider? You be the judge!
The Email Marketing Checklist – Step 2: Define Your Goals
Here’s some good advice. Don’t even think about writing one word until you define your goals for that particular email campaign. What exactly do you want to achieve? Ask yourself the following five questions:
3. What is your primary goal?
In order not to dilute your efforts, I will suggest that you have one primary goal on which to focus. For example:
- Getting someone to click on a link.
- Making a sale.
- Getting someone to fill out a form.
- Getting readers to call you.
- Getting readers to request a freemium.
- Getting readers to join your social networks.
- Those are some of the most common goals, but you may have a different idea in mind. Pick your main goal and move on…
4. What is your secondary goal?
Now you might have a secondary goal as well, which you’ll want to keep in mind as you craft your email.
For example, your main goal might be to get your readers to watch a video, but your secondary goal may be to get them to share the video with their friends and other contacts.
5. What kind of content will best help you achieve your goals?
Now that you know your goals, you need to figure out what type of content will help you meet those goals. For example:
- A product review
- A product comparison.
- A how-to article.
- A tips article.
- A list article.
- A video.
- An audio.
6. Will you send a single email or a series?
Here’s the reality: An email series works better than a single email if you’re trying to get your readers to make a purchase. If you want them to take a smaller step, like share a piece of content, then a single email will usually suffice.
7. How does your email help and benefit your reader?
We’ve been talking about your goals, but you need to be sure to also focus on your reader’s goals. To that end, be sure that each email you send benefits the reader in some way. Find a way to give them what they want, as well as what they need.
The Email Content Checklist – Step 3: Craft Your Content
Developing and creating the content includes creating an attention-getting subject line, as well as content that keeps your readers engaged and reading to the very end of your email. To that end, check these points…
8. Do you have a compelling subject line? Ask yourself these questions:
- Did you brainstorm at least a dozen or more possible subject lines?
- Does your subject line include a benefit?
- Optionally, does your subject line arouse curiosity?
- Is your subject line targeted to your audience?
9. Do you keep readers engaged with a great opener?
Here are different ways to open your email:
- Telling a story.
- Sharing a shocking fact or statistic.
- Talking directly about the reader’s problems.
- Talking about the solutions to those problems.
- Asking the reader an engaging question.
For professional email writing tip, check out this amazing blog post. It includes 8 sneaky but legitimate ways to build trust with your email subscribers. It also doubles as a guide to writing professional emails.
10. Do you engage readers emotionally?
TIP: If you don’t evoke emotion, then it will be harder to get the reader to take action later. Sharing a story is one good way to evoke emotion.
Your reader is always asking “What’s in it for me?” as they read your content. Be sure you share the benefits.
12. Do you offer a strong call to action?
You’ll increase your conversion rate if you tell your readers exactly what to do next. E.g.
- Click here to get started now!
- Click here to share this video with your friends!
The Professional Email Checklist – Step 4: Segment and Track
The next major step is to make sure that your emails are meeting your goals. To that end, check the following points…
13. Check that your email service provider (ESP) includes analytics.
Most major ESPs such as Active Campaign, Constant Contact, Convertkit, AWeber, MailChimp and MailerLite include analytics.
14. Segment your list if applicable and/or possible.
The idea here is to segment your list by interests and behaviors, and then send targeted emails to these list segments.
For example, create segments for each lead magnet and product you create. This segments your list by interest in a particular topic or product.
15. Check that your email is targeted to the audience/segment.
- Is my email written in a way to appeal to this specific audience?
- Do I talk directly to their pains?
- Do I write in a way that this audience will connect with and understand?
Some ESPs provide built-in tools for link tracking. If your ESP doesn’t provide this, then be sure to use a unique link for each email campaign.
17. Compare the metrics to your goals.
Once you’ve sent out your emails and are getting responses, then compare this data to your goals. If they’re falling short, tweak the email to improve responses.
The Email Review Checklist – Step 5: Final Touches
Now before you hit send, be sure to take action on these points…
18. Polish the content.
- Delete anything unnecessary. In other words, don’t insert “fluff” into your emails.
- Read it out loud to check that it flows smoothly.
- Add in tips, examples and even illustrations to add value to the content.
19. Proof the content.
You can do this yourself. However, another person will be better at spotting your errors.
Click on all links to be sure they work as intended and go to the correct page.
21. Check the spam score.
Most major ESPs let you run your emails through a spam tester to see what sort of spam “score” they get. High scores make it more likely your email will end up in the bulk/spam folder rather than in the inbox. If you get a high score, rewrite it to lower the score.
22. Send yourself a test message.
This lets you see how the email looks in your email client. If you’re sending HTML emails, check it on multiple devices (including your phone) to be sure the email is responsive and looks good across devices.
The Business Email Checklist – Step 6: Follow Up and Improve
23. Report and review
Check your dashboard on your software from your ESP to view your stats. Review your stats, and monitor the negative results and look for ways to improve.
To increase your open rate, you need to re-send to all un-opens. It’s usually best to do this within 24 hours. To do this, simply create a segment that matches the following campaign activity:
- Everyone who received your last email; and
- Who did not open the email
You then need to re-schedule the same campaign to this segment. For best results, I will suggest using a different email subject.
25. Rinse, repeat and improve
Email marketing is not just about setting up your campaigns, clicking the ‘send’ button, and walking away.
Part of improving your skills is learning from those who are really good. And Campaign Monitor has a fantastic email checklist. Click here to access the campaign monitor email checklist.
Your goal, as part of your over-all email marketing strategy, should be to get better at email marketing until you nail it. It was socrates who said,”the unexamined life is not worth living…”
The Email Writing Checklist – Now Your Turn
Do you have an email list? What do you consider to be an effective email marketing strategy? Do you have an email writing checklist you use? Or perhaps, an email newsletter checklist before sending an email? Please leave a comment below and join our conversation.