3 Things to Double-Check Before You Hit Send on That Email
These details may seem like common sense, but they're often easily overlooked when sending out marketing emails.
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You're so proud of this email. The design is outstanding, and the copy is so convincing, it would convert the Dalai Lama himself. So, why wait? You hit "Send" and watch your open rate updating by the minute. People are loving it. One of your subscribers even replies to congratulate you. Oh, wait… they're writing to let you know your main link is broken.
Has this ever happened to you? It's happened to us at ZeroBounce with one of our weekly newsletters. You probably see other organizations failing to double-check basic components of their emails before hitting the "send" button.
We all need reminders so we can avoid mistakes and improve our outcome. Hence, here are the things you should examine carefully once you finish crafting your marketing email.
1. Test links and your template several times.
Obviously, you want to make sure your main call-to-action links to the right page. We now do this obsessively whenever we're getting ready to send a new email. But also, checking all the other links should be at the top of your mind.
Your social media icons, your "View in browser" and "Unsubscribe" links and any other links you may have sprinkled in your copy -- do they all work properly? You can test them manually, or, if you need more reassurance, use a tool like Litmus.
Apart from links, Litmus also investigates whether your email renders well on all devices. A study by Adestra showed that 70 percent of people delete poorly-formatted emails within three seconds, so you can't afford to overlook this.
Are you working with duplicate templates that you edit when you need to write another email? That saves a lot of time, but things can still go wrong.
As Brooke Freedman of Litmus explains, "even sending an identical email at different times in the year can lead to problems. Email service providers and spam algorithms are changing all the time, and you'll want to make sure the same templates look good across all devices and email clients -- every time you hit send."
2. Examine your reports and email-list quality.
If you use an email verifier periodically, your list is most likely in good shape, so you can email confidently. However, inspect your reports and see if anything has changed recently.
What is your bounce rate? Do you notice a significant drop in your open and click rates in the past few weeks? Have you gotten any spam complaints?
HubSpot shows that email databases deteriorate at an average rate of 2.1 percent per month. That's enough to affect your sender reputation and cause your emails to land in the spam folder.
Nonetheless, there are measures you can take against data decay.
As the CEO of email marketing platform MassMailer, Siva Devaki lives and breathes email. His take on the topic? "Find a good email verification system to check your list for accuracy. Pruning bad data is crucial to your email success," Devaki told me.
"Also," he advises, "before sending out a new campaign, make sure your content doesn't come across as spam. Research email compliance rules in your target countries and follow them to the letter."
3. Triple-check your copy.
"Why you shouldn't by followers on Instagram." This was the subject line of an email I got last week from a large organization. Homophones can be deceiving. They read the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. How come we see such confusions even in emails coming from high-authority sources?
"Spelling mistakes are always a no," says Joanna Wiebe, talented copywriter and author of Copyhackers. Then, she offers an unusual perspective. "I've heard people say: Well, people notice those mistakes and open emails because of them," Wiebe told me. "Corporations say that, but there are better, smarter ways to write an email subject line to get someone to open it. If you're resorting to misspelled words in subject lines to get opens, you may have bigger problems. We want quality opens, not just a ton of curiosity clicks," adds the copywriter.
So, consider using a grammar and spell-checking tool to ensure your copy is mistake-free. Also, before the final send, get feedback from your team. At ZeroBounce, we test our emails by sending them several times to a group of six people. Not only does this help to avoid any broken links, but also typos and other errors.
One more thing ... does your email engage?
Let's wrap things up and look at the most important things to check before sending a marketing email:
- test your links and templates for accuracy and functionality.
- make sure your content doesn't look spammy and that you follow all email compliance rules.
- take a close look at your email marketing reports, and if your list needs cleaning, run it through an email verifier.
- copy and paste your email into a spell checker and get feedback from your team, as well.
Apart from these essential aspects, take a moment to assess how much your email manages to engage.
I asked Joanna Wiebe what matters the most to her and her team when communicating with their subscribers. "We want everything about an email to signal trust and personal connection," Wiebe answered. "So, our first filter is this: does this read like a friend or coworker has sent it to you? And then: on finding out it's not a friend or coworker who sent it but a business, would they still trust and like us?" added the creator of Copyhackers.
Would you trust and like your brand if you read your email? Food for thought.