Ask these 8 key questions before sending out your email

Even veteran email marketers get the jitters when they finally send the message they worked so hard to perfect.

A mistake in an email might not doom your campaign (though it could), but it’s natural to worry that you might have missed something—and catastrophize about the consequences.

[Report: Email best practices that will catapult your results]

If your answer to each of the questions below is “yes,” then your message is probably good go. If you reply to any with “no,” you’ll probably want to take another look at it. Here you go:

1. Has my message been thoroughly proofread?

“Any errors in your emails will damage the credibility and reputation of your business,” Mary Walton writes on the MailUp blog. “Proofreading can take time, and it may seem long-winded to go through your content again and again, but it’s vital to the success of your content. After all, would you want to buy the products or invest in the services of a business whose content was littered with mistakes?” Need help? Here’s a 14-point email copy checklist.

2. Will my subject line be noticed?

“While the subject line is often left until the last minute and doesn’t have a lot of thought put into it, almost half of all email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone,” Jomel Alos writes on Moveable Ink. “That’s a 50 percent chance of your lead-building email efforts going to waste if you don’t pay attention to your subject lines.” In his post, Alos provides six tips for crafting subject lines that can’t be ignored.

3. Am I using a segmented mailing list?

“Your subscribers aren’t all the same,” Sam Hollis writes on the AWeber blog. “By segmenting, you can easily send them content they actually care about. This personalization can lead to higher open and click-through rates, lower unsubscribe rates, better deliverability and more conversions than non-segmented lists. In fact, segmented emails can drive up to 77 percent of your overall email ROI, according to the Direct Marketing Association.”

4. Is my call to action compelling, clear and obvious?

“If you want to convert more customers and earn more revenue from your email campaigns, you need to create calls to action (CTAs) that resonate with subscribers,” writes Emily Carter at Campaign Monitor. “These actions might be reading an article, browsing through an online store, or making a purchase. An effective CTA is well-designed, persuasive, specific, and in line with the rest of your sales funnel.”

5. Have I done all I can to personalize my message?

“When asked to prioritize one capability that will be most important to marketing in the future, 33 percent of marketers answered ‘personalization,’” according to our friends at Campaign Monitor. “Furthermore, 74 percent of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement and that they see an average increase of 20 percent in sales when using personalized experiences.” To make sure you aren’t missing anything when it comes to personalization, check out “The Ultimate Email Marketing Personalization Checklist.”

6. Is my message optimized to be read on mobile devices?

“There’s no doubt about it: These days, your messages are most likely going to be opened on a mobile device,” we wrote. “The trend has been heading in that direction for quite a while, and it was confirmed in a study conducted by Return Path last summer of 27 billion email opens. As Email Marketing Daily reported: ‘Fifty-five percent of emails analyzed during the study period were opened on a mobile device — an increase from 29 percent identified in a similar study in 2012.’ Other studies have indicated the percentage is even higher.” Here are eight tips to make sure your message is mobile-ready.

7. Is my message unlikely to trigger spam filters?

“By keeping pesky spam emails away, spam filters increase user efficiency by sparing tedious manual sifting of legitimate messages and spam email deletion,” writes Technopedia. The article adds, “Even the best spam filters are unable to block 100 percent of spam messages and legitimate emails are often routed to junk email, or spam folders, as spam filters often misclassify legitimate emails.” Here’s more about spam filters and how to steer clear of them.

8. Does my message bring value to the recipient?

“The art of creating added value starts with the ability to see your business through the eyes of your customers,” Kimber Powers writes on the Vertical Response blog. “Consider what’s important to your target market and how your product or service will benefit them. What problem does it solve? How will it help them overcome obstacles or do their jobs better?” Here are six tips for providing value in your next message.

Kristen Dunleavy is senior content marketing manager of Movable Ink. A version of this post first appeared on the Movable Ink blog.

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