COMMENTARY: The following article comes to us from GroupMail, simply the best emailing program we've ever come across. Authored by Tom O'Leary, it has some good tips for effective writing, editing, and a final check and re-check of your email:
We've all sent an e-mail at some point that we wish we hadn't. Usually, the moment of clarity comes just after the "send" button is activated. For an e-marketer, that's one click too late. In order to ensure that your e-mail message is ready to send, it is important to develop a final inspection checklist for your business e-mail campaigns.
Everyone uses a checklist of some form. Pilots certainly do before they take off to 30,000 feet. Architects do before they build an 80-story building. Web developers do before they launch their new site. The fact is, no matter how many times you do something, it is important to check that everything is done each time. Actually, routine tasks require the most checking, because when we are too familiar with a process we tend to go into autopilot mode. We think that we can do it with our eyes closed. But that is when mistakes happen; when we close our eyes for one second too long; when we allow our momentum to automatically carry us to the "Send" button.
An email checklist is very easy to create. The difficulty is training ourselves to break old habits and use it consistently. Here is a sample checklist that could be considered before sending an email marketing campaign:
- Is my "From" field correct for this email list (some marketers have different "From" names depending on their audience)?
- Is my "Subject" relevant to the email list that I'm sending it to? Is the Subject formatted correctly (headline format, caps for all first words)?
- Is my subject spelled correctly? Is it worded well?
- Is the group list that I'm sending the message to correct?
- Is my message clear and relevant to the group list that I'm sending it to?
- Are all links within the message working correctly?
- Are all graphics included in the message loading properly and quickly?
- Is my call to action obvious?
- Are all words spelled correctly?
- Is my contact information correct?
- Are the details in the message accurate and up-to-date?
- Are my merge fields inserted correctly throughout the message?
- Has somebody else checked the message?
- Have I sent a test message to myself yet?
The list could go on and on depending on the specific message elements that are routinely included in your e-mail campaigns. The point is that with a checklist like the one above, it is less likely that you will click "Send" and regret it. Don't be a butterfingers, create your e-mail checklist today... and save the day!