Despite having 20+ years of marketing experience behind me, I still get apprehensive before hitting send on an email marketing campaign.
I think most marketers feel this way. It’s because we know how important email marketing is and the results it can deliver, and the fact that once it’s out there, it’s very difficult to undo. The fact is, nobody likes to look foolish, and when you are sending emails to substantial lists, the opportunity for silly mistakes in front of a very large audience is huge.
Check This Out
Experience has shown me that the following areas are particularly prone to error and should always have a second pair of eyes glance over them before being released to a wider public.
- The Subject Line: There is never a good place for a typo or spelling mistake to occur in your email campaign, but the worst place is almost certainly in the subject line. It’s the one place that everyone who receives your email will see the mistake, and it will make you look unprofessional and slapdash.
- Dates: I don’t know if it’s the format of my calendar, the fact I skip between months too quickly or my eyesight (I really need to get them tested) — but if I’m going to make a mistake in an email, it’s nearly always the date. Remember, if you are sending internationally numeric dates, formats change, so it’s always best to spell out the name of the month.
- Time Zones: Again, this is very important if you are sending emails across borders and different time zones. Not everyone will be aware of the different time zones — so wherever possible, offer a few local time references. Be particularly wary around daylight savings. The dates when the clocks go back and forward are not the same around the world.
- Links and Landing Pages: Never assume a landing page will work — test it. This doesn’t mean you just need to scan it for typos and spelling mistakes. If there is a call-to-action (such as a subscription form or buy now button), test that to completion. There is absolutely no point in sending an email if the landing page doesn’t work, and you would be amazed at how many campaigns are sent without this being checked first.
- Segmentation: Email marketing success is very much about sending the right email to the right person at the right time. Send the wrong email to the wrong person and things could go very wrong. There may be no point in sending a promotional campaign to someone who has already bought your product. In fact, in some cases, it could be commercial suicide (especially when the offer you are sending is much better than the one the client enjoyed).
- Sales and Customer Support: It’s always worth giving your sales and customer support teams a “heads-up” before an email goes out. Nothing will make your organization look more unprofessional than a client speaking to a sales advisor about a promotion they have never heard of. Remember, sales teams don’t always read every email that marketing sends them (I know!) — so whenever possible, try and speak to them in person.
Email marketing is too important to get wrong. Yes, we all make mistakes (and we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff) but getting it right the first time isn’t so difficult. The moral of the story is: check twice, send once.
What’s the last thing you check before hitting send? Share your comments below: