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Stop! 9 Things You Need to Do Before You Hit "Send" on That Email

150860613Ah, the email campaign... it’s the marketing tactic that can often make marketers and consumers alike squirm, thanks to some less than pleasant email marketing behaviors by some brands.

However, a few companies don’t have to ruin it for the rest of us. In fact, despite the SPAM, email marketing is alive and well...as long as it’s done right.

According to Merkle, 74% of consumers actually prefer to receive commercial communications via email.

The key with email marketing is to make sure you’re delivering professional, welcomed communication, as well as checking and double checking your emails before they’re sent to avoid embarrassing mistakes like broken links or spelling errors.

About to send an email campaign? Before you hit “send,” send yourself a test email, and double check the following...

1) Double Check the Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing your audience will see when your email lands in their inboxes, so it’s important that it captures their attention and entices them to open the email. Double check your subject line to make sure it’s clear and compelling. Also avoid words like “free,” “help,” “percent off” and “reminder.” Finally, keep it under 50 characters.

2) Double Check the “From” Name and Email

Did you know that emails from actual humans tend to have a higher open rate than emails from companies? Unless the email has to come “from” your company, try using an actual person’s name and email in the “from” field. If you’re in doubt about this for your audience, A/B test it!

3) Double Check Your Dynamic Tags

Using dynamic tags in email – such as first name, company name, location, etc. – is a great way to make your emails seem more personal. However, there’s nothing worse than receiving an email that says “Hi [First Name],” so double check that the dynamic tags in place are working correctly.

4) Double Check Your Call to Action

First and foremost, do you have one? Without a specific goal, you’ll never know whether or not our email was successful. If you do have one, be sure to check the link to make sure it’s not broken and the related landing page to make sure it’s functioning properly.

5) Double Check Your Content

While you should of course check for spelling errors, grammatical errors and broken links in your email before you hit send, it’s also important to double check your language in general. Be sure you’re using actionable language; strong, vibrant vocabulary keeps the reader interested. Also, write in second person; using “you” keeps things natural and conversational. Finally, be brief; get your message out in as few words as possible.

6) Double Check Your List

Have you segmented your list to target the correct group of your leads/customers? Accidentally sending the email to the wrong group of people could end up costing you lots of subscribers if they opt to unsubscribe because the email isn’t targeted to them, so be sure to double check your list(s) before you hit send.

7. Double Check That You’re Meeting CAN-SPAM Requirements

While this might be the part of your email campaign that you think matters the least, it actually matters quite a bit...unless you’re looking to get into legal trouble. HubSpot wrote a handy blog post on this very topic, so be sure to check it out and make sure your email is in compliance.

8) Double Check Your Design Across Devices

Email campaigns look different on different mail clients and different devices, so it’s important to test yours across a variety of platforms and devices before you hit “send.” While it may not be possible to test across every platform ever, test them across the most popular clients and devices to find a design that works well. And just in case, include an option for readers to view your email on the web.

9) Double Check the Plain Text Version

The email client you use should have an option to create a plain text version of your email. This often overlooked feature of your email client is important because some email clients and devices don’t render HTML, which could make your email appear very confusing to some readers if you don’t format the plain text version. Check out this infographic HubSpot created on this very topic.

Once you’ve checked about double-checked these nine things, you’re ready to send your email. Good luck!

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