Five Things to Check Before You Send Out Your Marketing Email
There’s so much talk about the benefits of email marketing, so it’s no surprise that most companies are using email to stay in touch with their customers. Compared to social media, email is a more personal medium that allows you to create a strong relationship with your subscribers. But there are a few essential aspects every marketer should check before sending out a blast, to make sure they achieve their mission. Read on to learn more and boost your results.
Is your email list clean?
Let’s start off with the most important aspect of all: your email list. When you write a letter, you first have to know who you’re going to send it to and if the address is correct, right? The same applies to email marketing: you want to make sure the email addresses you’ve collected are valid. Enter: email validation.
The more your email list expands, the higher the risk of bad addresses clogging it up. A good email validation service will help you get it back where it’s safe to use. You may ask yourself, why wouldn’t it be safe? Because Internet Service Providers don’t like it when lots of your emails bounce. To them, it’s a signal that you’re not a serious, legitimate sender, but instead someone who’s just hoping to reach some inboxes. Your sender score decreases, and that ruins your general deliverability. Furthermore, sending emails to invalid addresses may even get you blacklisted, and no marketer wants to be on a blacklist.
So, before you even start writing your email, make sure your list is spick-and-span. Let an email verifier scan it, detect unwanted contacts, and isolate them from the good ones. Yes, you may discover that many of your leads were bad, and your list may shrink all of a sudden. But you’re better off sending your emails to genuine people than to misspelled, fake, or risky email addresses, such as spam traps or temporary ones.
Does your subject line sound great?
Once you’ve used an email validation service to clean your list, you can start crafting your content. Sometimes, you just know the perfect subject line, so you write it down right away. Most often, though, you’ll probably write your copy first and then worry about the subject line. One thing you need to make sure of is whether it’s informative and entertaining enough for people to click on it.
How do you do that? There is one tactic that never fails, ask any copywriter: put down five or even ten different versions of your subject line before you choose one. Look at all of them and ask yourself: would I click on this? Of course, pick the one that really stands out. Also, you can ask your colleagues, family and friends which of the subject lines they’d be more likely to click. There’s a lot of value in asking for feedback from someone you trust before you send out your email.
A bonus tip: read your subject line, preview text, and the rest of your copy several times. There’s nothing more frustrating than hitting “send” and realizing you had a huge grammar mistake right in your subject. Or anywhere else in the copy!
Is your call-to-action enticing?
Writing a good call-to-action (CTA) can be as hard as coming up with a compelling subject line. Some marketers find it easy, because they just use the most common phrases, such as Buy now, Click here, or Sign up. While they can be effective, they’re not going to help you stand out in any way.
Again, try the exercise we recommended above: write several versions of your CTA and take some time to reflect on which one is the best. If you feel like writing unusual or humorous copy, go for it, as long as it fits your brand and it sounds enticing.
Equally important, when it comes to CTAs, is to ensure your link takes people to the right landing page. So test your email before you send it, click on your CTA on mobile and desktop, and see that the button leads you to the right place.
Links: are they functional?
Speaking of links, you want to check that all of them are functional and taking your subscribers where they need to go. As incredible as it sounds, we still see marketing emails that have broken links or no links at all on important buttons like the CTA. If email validation is the number one thing to put on your list, getting your links to be functional is definitely the second most important one.
However, pay attention to how many links you include in your email. The more you have, the higher the risk of Internet Service Providers suspecting spam. And you know what happens to spam, right? It ends up in that dreaded folder no marketer wants to end up in. So limit yourself to as few links as possible to increases your chances of reaching the inbox.
Does your email render well on any device?
Think about how irritating it is to open an email only to see that the copy is all over the place, and the image doesn’t even show up. If the next email you get from that sender looks the same, you probably won’t open a third one. That’s exactly how your subscribers feel.
Most people check their email on their phones nowadays. However, a good number of your subscribers will open their emails on a desktop or tablet, so your content should render well on any device. Testing is key: before you send your email out to your whole list, make sure it looks great on any type of screen. It’s better to have the chance to make some adjustments than to lose some subscribers along the way.
Charles has been working as a webmaster since 1998. Since then, he has had his hands in thousands of websites and has helped millions get online through a company he partially owns called Web Host Pro.