Email anxiety is real - getting nervous right before you send an email marketing campaign is incredibly common. It always seems like no matter how well you prepare, there’s something you’re missing, or something that’s gone wrong. You might proof and edit for typos, but accidentally include a broken link, for example. These are all errors that would be easily avoidable if you had a checklist. Email marketing checklists have five key ingredients - timing, campaign details, content, lists, and testing. Follow these five steps and you’ll find yourself sending with confidence, and then you can sit back and watch the results roll in.

Get the timing right

You can start simply with timing. While it may seem self-explanatory, setting a send date and time is an important part of beginning an email marketing campaign, especially if time sent is key for reaching your customers.

Schedule this time in your calendar, making sure that it doesn’t conflict with any other sends. If it does, plan ahead to make any necessary amendments to ensure people don’t get overloaded. With this covered, you’re setting the stage for a smooth campaign.

It’s all in the details

Once you’ve sorted out your timing, focus on the details of your e-mail campaign. This is where most people trip up - by trying to send an e-mail quickly, you can often miss out key details. Check the subject line for typos and that your custom fields for personalisation are working correctly. Does the subject line make sense, and really sell the email content? Don’t forget to make sure your pre-header and footer have been updated.

Always include the physical address of your business in the footer, as it’s a legal requirement in many territories. The last three steps are more technical - have you updated the permission reminder as needed, included an unsubscribe link and linked to the correct social networks? If so, you should be in the clear.

Be a content queen

Once you’ve got the details sorted, you can focus on the main content of the email. Check for typos and readability first - these are the things that can put off a potential customer. Following this, check all your links (background images, headlines, CTA buttons). Make sure you’re including alternative text for images should your subscriber's email client not be set to display images. It always looks bad if you have to clarify something with a second e-mail, so try and get everything in from the beginning!

Finally, make sure your email has the right level of personalisation. Even something as simple as addressing your sender by name can dramatically improve engagement rates, so make sure your personalisation fields are up to date and working correctly. Give it all one last quick glance, and you should be good to go.


Here’s where you get to the nitty gritty - before you send the email out, you need to check your lists and do some testing. Do you need to suppress any? Does your subscriber list have all the fields you need for the levels of personalisation and segmentation your campaign requires?

Test it out

It’s important as well to not only send yourself a test email, but to perform a full inbox test of all email clients to ensure your email is displaying correctly. Are you A/B testing the campaign? If not, this is the stage to be thinking about it. If there are any things you’re unsure about from previous stages of the checklist, think about whether A/B testing could help you find an answer.

These five steps are simple, but they’re the basis of any professional grade email marketing campaign. If you have these basics covered, you can say goodbye to email anxiety, hit send with confidence, and watch the results of your hard work come rolling in.


By Sateja Parulekar, head of product marketing at Campaign Monitor

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