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10 Questions to Ask Before You Send an Email

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Email Marketing

4 min read

Wait! Don't click send yet. Before you blast out an email newsletter to your subscribers, there are a few last minute checks you need to perform. Answering these questions will help you avoid mistakes and keep your subscribers interested. Now ask yourself...

1. Is there anything that might be caught in a spam filter?

If your email contains content that may be flagged as spam, your deliverability will suffer. Subscribers may not even receive your email at all. Make sure your subject line doesn't contain any spam trigger words. Email clients are now sophisticated enough to analyze the content in your email as well. So don't include a lot of spammy words in the main body of your email either. Don't try to send videos through email, as they will almost always be blocked. Instead, insert a screenshot and link to the video.

2. Does your main goal stand out when reading the email?

In order to gain conversions, your email needs to point subscribers to one action. It should be very clear what you want your subscribers to do: sign up, complete this survey, purchase now, visit our website or download this white paper. A clean, concise email will not confuse or bore subscribers so they will be more likely to read your content and respond. Make sure your call to action is prominent and straightforward. Make it simple for subscribers to take the action.

3. Have you segmented your email list?

It's possible that this email doesn't apply to all your subscribers. Even if you don't personalize each of your emails, there are often certain subscribers you may wish to omit. For example, if you are sending out a coupon which is only valid in the U.S., filter out your subscribers who live in other countries. Simple segmenting cuts down the number of irrelevant emails your subscribers receive. This practice increases satisfaction and reduces unsubscribes. Personal targeting makes for higher open rates, higher conversion rates and increased revenue. The technology needed to personalize emails for each subscriber is readily available. Try it for free here.

4. Did you do a final read-through for errors?

A spelling or grammar error makes your email look sloppy and unprofessional. Re-reading the email is a very simple task, yet many email senders neglect to check for any final edits. Errors happen to even the most careful email marketer! The good news is they are easily avoidable. A great way to find errors that you may have missed is to send a test of the email to other employees and see if they spot anything.

5. Have you sent a test email to yourself?

This technique, hands down, is the best way to review your email before sending. Read and test every part of your email. See if the images display properly and confirm that all the links work. But don't just check for errors. See if your content flows and makes sense. View your email on a variety of mobile devices and make sure that it is properly responsive.

6. Do you have a compelling subject line?

The subject line is one of the most important parts of any email. Your subject line needs to be something subscribers won't just ignore or delete. It should be concise and should give subscribers a good idea of what is contained in the email. Avoid spam trigger words and all capitals. Give subscribers a reason to open the email. What will they learn by opening the email? What discount will they have access to? Provide a benefit or temptation in your subject line.

7. Is it a good time to send?

Review the day and time before you send. Check your old email campaign data to see which send times received the best response. If you usually get higher open and click through rates on weekends, perhaps you should schedule the email for Saturday instead of today.

8. Have you included a valid unsubscribe mechanism?

It is against the law to send emails without an unsubscribe mechanism. Make sure you have included the mechanism in a prominent location, and make sure it functions properly.

9. Are the standout points the ones you want to be front and center?

Read through your email quickly, as if you were skimming it. Many customers only look at an email for a few seconds before deciding whether they are interested or not. What are the points that stand out to you after a quick read? You may be surprised to find that the points that stand out most prominently are not the ones you had intended. Maybe one of your headings is too bold and distracts from the main content. Or perhaps one of your images draws immediate attention to the wrong part of the email. If you can't quickly read over the email and pick out your main points, consider revising your content or design. Draw attention to the most important points. If you can't identify them, your customers will not be able to either.

10. How would I react if I received this email?

If this email made it to your inbox from another company, what would you think of it? Pretend you have never seen it before and analyze its effectiveness. Does the subject line make you want to open it? If you opened it, where would your eyes go first? Is the content compelling? Is there any potentially offensive content that might make you unsubscribe? If you find the email less than satisfactory, consider revising it.

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