The Top 25 Questions You Must Ask Before Sending Any Email Newsletter
By Denise Keller
As a small business email marketer, your newsletter can be considered in many ways to be the face of your entire company to a large number of your customers. You can ensure that your newsletter is coherent, correct, and adheres to readability and legitimacy standards by properly answering these 25 questions.
- Is your call to action powerful and clear or does your email offer too much confusing or contradictory information?
- Have you checked your email through simulators and emulators to ensure that it is easily readable on every possible screen between the tiniest smartphone and the largest desktop LCD?
- Have you multipart MIMEd the email so that it can display as an HTML as well as a plain text, depending on what browser or device the subscriber is using to read it?
- Are your alt image tags clear enough so that any subscriber with images off can make sense of your email?
- Have you color coded each image block so that the images off subscriber can understand that there was supposed to be an image there?
- Is all of your most important and engaging information and offers placed clearly above the fold?
- Have you spent the same amount of time crafting just your subject line and preheader as you have to compose the rest of the content of the email newsletter?
- Are your social networking links placed in the upper right hand corner of the email newsletter template and use the standard and highly recognizable logos of Facebook, Twitter, et al.?
- Do all your links work and do they go to the desired point in the page through anchor linkage?
- Have you ensured that the overall tone and style of the email newsletter is informative and entertaining without the slightest hint of hype or hard sell?
- Does your email’s layout harmoniously match the logo, colors, and style of your landing pages, advertisements, and social networking presences?
- Has your subscriber been informed in this newsletter to ensure that the sending email address is in their whitelist so that it doesn’t end up in the junk folder by default?
- Have you incorporated a link to your Preference Center so that the subscriber can easily provide valuable personal information to assist your segmentation efforts, and can cater the frequency and other elements of your newsletter to their wishes?
- Has every single word been meticulously proofed to ensure that it is spelled correctly, forms a coherent, grammatically correct sentence, and most importantly is accurate?
- Have you cross-checked your email newsletter copy against lists of widely acknowledged spam words to ensure a high level of deliverability?
- Is every aspect of the email compliant with the Federal CAN-SPAM Act?
- Does your newsletter focus on providing authoritative information, attractive offers, and reputable policies in order to engage, retain, and satisfy the requirements of your subscribers?
- Is your email newsletter written in such a way that it focuses on a single, obvious offer, or are you obfuscating your presentation by incorporating a number of confusing options?
- Have you provided a channel whereby your subscribers can inform you of their opinions about your newsletter and the facts contained within, or can complain about something you’re doing which irritates them?
- Can your reader choose to unsubscribe successfully in three clicks or less?
- Has your subscription list been segmented thoroughly in every possible way including demographically, geographically, and based on the subscriber’s previous online behavior patterns?
- Is each segment being provided with dynamic content particularly tailored to their preferences and requirements?
- Have you implemented a thorough process whereby your subscribers’ behavior as pertains to your site is fully tracked beyond the click-through?
- Do you have a suitable analytics program in place and most importantly can you clearly understand what all those numbers and charts are actually telling you about your subscribers?
- Are you testing every possible element through A/B Split or Multivariate testing methods?
Running this checklist before you hit Send should be a prerequisite for all business email marketers. It seems like a lot to remember, but after following this list for a while, you’ll answer these questions and do these things automatically.