Email Marketing Checklist–12 Steps to better email marketing

by Jeff Rutowski on March 8, 2012

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work and turn on your computer? You check email. So do most people. In fact, people check email constantly whether they are at work or not. The cell phone companies are making big profits on our data plans that deliver our emails to our smart phones. Email marketing is not dead–it’s alive and well, thank you.

The experts always tell me to keep my bullet point lists down to five or so but I couldn’t get an effective email marketing checklist down to only five items. In fact I have listed 12 checklist items but there are probably 14-15 items in this article. So, here goes:

When you send out an email as a part of your email marketing program, it’s important to make sure your email has everything it needs to meet various requirements including the requirements of your overall marketing plan and creative strategy.

Before you craft your email message, decide what type of message you want to send. Are you sending educational content? A promotion? Industry news update? A Newsletter? Something else?

While many marketers think that educational content is king with their email audience, your email recipients think otherwise. They want industry news as well as promotional information. So mix it up. Plot the content of your email program on a marketing calendar.

Once you have your topic, it’s time to craft the email itself. I recommend that you create a basic email template that contains all of your standard requirements, notices, signatures, social media links, etc.

Important Commercial Email Elements
1. Subject line accurately reflects the body and content of your email message;

2. Your From and Reply To addresses are accurate and identifies the person or the business that initiated the message;

3. The email discloses clearly that the message is an advertisement;

4. The message includes your valid physical postal address;

5. The message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out from receiving email from you in the future; and

6. Be sure to include the FTC consumer notice regarding any affiliate links that are contained in your message.

Critical Marketing Components for Email Programs
1. Do you have a squeeze page with a form to collect prospect information?

2. Have you created a compelling subject line and opening sentences? You maybe have 1.5 seconds to grab your recipient’s attention as they scan their email box. Did you use any of the 12 most persuasive words in the English language in your subject line?

3. Have you validated your email marketing message against your overall marketing plan and creative strategy? Consistency of your message is vital to developing your relationship with your email prospects.

4. Do you have an email auto-responder sequence set up to automate your email responses to people who are opting in or responding to your messages?

5. Did you check to make sure all of your hypertext links are working? Studies show that email recipients are very likely to click on relevant links contained in email messages. Make sure that yours work.

6. Are you preparing to follow-up on this email with a second, a third, a twentieth email? Are you combining your email marketing program with a direct mail program to improve effectiveness?

Finally, before you send any marketing materials out, it’s important to proofread your copy for errors before it goes out. Then, have at least one other person proofread.

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