Email Checklist: Before You Send

Before sending out your email messages, run through our email checklist to make sure that your email message is ready to go.

The Musts

  • Spell-check.

    If you are using the WYSIWYG editor, you can use the built-in spell checker. For information on using the spell checker in the WYSIWYG editor, see Spell Check Your Message Using The WYSIWYG Editor.

  • Check for grammar mistakes.
  • Revise any unclear sentences.
  • Shorten the copy when appropriate.
  • Place alt text behind any important images.
  • Make sure you have a text version of your email that has been tweaked accordingly.
  • Check for a working unsubscribe link and physical address: CAN-SPAM musts.

    For more information on CAN-SPAM compliance, see CAN-SPAM Act.

  • Use a recognizable from name.
  • Rethink your subject line. Is it compelling and non-misleading with the most important words mentioned first?

    For information on writing a good subject line, see Effective Email Subject Lines.

  • Make any offer deadlines clear and visible.
  • Send test versions (both HTML and text) to yourself and others.
  • Click on every link in your email. Do they go to the right place?
  • Test the entire call-to-action process. Can you actually register, buy, etc. smoothly with the desired outcome?
  • Identify and make sure you'll be sending to the right list. Make sure those contacts are opt-in only.

The Best Practices

  • Make sure your from address is that of a real person/department and not a do-not-reply.
  • Include a call-to-action pre-header and a link to your online version.
  • Highlight an appropriate link in the navigation bar to stand out.
  • Optimize your preview pane.
  • Make sure calls-to-action are as high up in the email as possible.
  • Is the call-to-action mentioned more than once? It should be.
  • Consider placing whitelisting instructions in your header or footer if appropriate.
  • Offer contacts the option to manage their preferences.
  • Set up an A/B split test. Test the subject line, time of day, day of week, from name, offer, CTA - whatever makes sense.

    For more information on A/B split testing, see A/B Split Tests.

  • Segment your list for more targeted messaging if possible.

    For more information on segments, see Segment Builder.