Email Newsletter Checklist

A checklist to help you send error free emails that your customers will love.

1. Email Creation

👪 Is your email personalized?
An email that is personalized to the recipient has higher probability of engagement contributing to better conversion rates. Receiving an email that is personalized helps take away the feeling of being part of a mass email list. If you have the information, make sure that you personalize your emails.
✍ Is your email signature relevant?
Email signature section in the footer offers yet another space to promote content and draw the user's to your website or blog. Having an advertisement in the signature can work wonders in terms of monetizing your list. Just ensure that there are no heavy images and the content itself is relevant.
📜 Have you included the reason why the recipient is receiving your email?
Users often forget the fact that they have subscribed to receive your emails and therefore may report your emails as spam if they do not understand why they have received your email. Providing a simple note on why the recipient is receiving your email will help reduce such instances.
📌 Have you included your registered physical address in the email?
According to the CAN-SPAM act, the registered physical address of the sender should be mentioned in the commercial emails you send out. It is a good practice as well increases the credibility of your brand or company. Ensure that your registered address is available in the footer of the email.
🛡 Is there an easy way for the recipient to unsubscribe from your emails?
If a subscriber wants to stop receiving emails from you, It is best to facilitate that by giving an easy method using which they can opt out. This is not only required to maintain a good sender reputation but is also a legal requirement under many regulations. Ensure that you make available an unsubscribe option in your email that can be easily found by your recipient.
🔗 Are the social media icons linked correctly?
In the recent past, Social Media has quickly become an inevitable alternative for providing social proof. The trust of your users can grow multifold when they witness well maintained social media profiles for the brand. Link to your profile on popular social media channels with proper URLS.
🏷 Have you replaced all the placeholder content in your template?
Most templates come with placeholder content designed to make them more appealing and they might not be relevant to the audience you cater to. If you are using a template, ensure that all the placeholder text, images and values are replaced with relevant content.
✨ Is the email well formatted?
A badly formatted email, despite having engaging content might get ignored due to a bad UI. Formatting the email for visual appeal is critical in improving its readability and engagement. Maintaining consistency in font, capitalization in headings, paragraph spacing and alignment are just some quick things you can do to ensure your emails looks great!
💸 Can the sponsored content in your email, be identified easily?
While you can easily disguise ads or content from sponsors as the intended content. It becomes extremely important to distinguish sponsored content or ads especially if there is a conflict of interest. Your subscribers may feel cheated if the promoted content is not differentiated with original content and may unsubscribe from receiving your emails. Ensure that the promoted/sponsored content or ads are clearly distinguishable from the original content in the email.
💡 Have you checked for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors?
Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in your emails can quickly pull down your reputation and cause ambiguity in your messaging. Subscribers might also start questioning your credibility and expertise. Ensure that the content you present in the email is free from simple spelling / grammar errors by running it through a spell checker/ grammar correction tool.
🖇 Have you added all the attachments?
One of the most common errors committed while sending out an email is to forget the attachment. Sending another email with just the attachment, will cost money and may cause the recipients to see a threaded email with fragmented information. Double check to ensure that your emails indeed contain attachments if it is meant to.
🖼 Do all the images have Alt text?
It is not uncommon for a lot of recipients to turn off default loading of images. This will not only make your emails look bad but also cause the recipient to see blank spaces in place of your images, if you do not include proper alternate text. Ensure that you provide a description or appropriate comments to be shown in case your image does not load.
🏷 Are all your mail merge tags correct?
Mail merge tags, if placed inaccurately, might completely distort the email presentation. It could also lead to the subscribers losing trust and panic, considering the email to be a phishing attempt. A non-personalized email gets better reception than a failed attempt at personalization, and using incorrect syntax is one of the major contributor for mail-merge attempts going wrong.
🎯 Is the subject line misleading?
Some marketers tend to optimize engagement by providing deceiving subject lines which maybe completely irrelevant to the email content. While this click-baity approach might get good email opens, you run the risk of losing the trust of the subscriber and your email may end up as spam. Ensure that the subject line of the email resonates with the email content.
👀 Have you run the email through a spam checker?
Email clients categorize an email as spam by analyzing the content of the email. It is essential to run the content of the email through a reliable spam checker and understand if the email content seems spammy or any specific keywords in the email are likely to contribute to the email being categorized as spam. Do this check to reduce the chances of your email landing up in the spam folder of your recipient's mailbox.
🌐 Can your subscribers view your email in the browser?
Sometimes, the email content might be truncated or rendered in an undesired manner by many email clients. A very good way to counter this issue is to provide a link to view the email in browser. This will ensure that your recipients get the best viewing experience while you get more traffic to your website.
2. Email Testing

🔎 Have you proofread the email?
It is always advised to check your email copy at different stages. Doing quality check multiple times will ensure that the newsletter is free from spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, design, formatting or information inconsistencies. It is strongly recommended to proofread the email before sending out the actual copy.
📨 Have you sent a test mail to yourself?
It is very important to preview the email in actual clients before sending out the newsletter to your audience and one of the best ways to do it is to send the email to yourself (or your team). You can immediately identify errors, understand how the newsletter is being rendered and most importantly, correct any slip ups before sending the mail out to your entire subscriber base.
📱 Is the email looking fine in mobile clients?
In recent times, content consumption on mobile has increased multifold. There is a good chance that your subscribers may be reading your emails on mobile phones or email clients than yours. A badly rendering email might lead to your email getting ignored and sometimes might even cost you the subscriber. Ensure that your emails are rendering well or at the least, gracefully degrading on maximum number of devices and clients.
👁 Is the email tracking set-up properly?
If you are planning to track engagement on your email campaigns, make sure it is configured properly. Check the analytics panel after sending a test email to verify if the tracking code or the tags used for the email tracking are working as expected.
3. Email Sending

📋 Are your sender details correct?
The sender's name and email are one of the first things visible to the email recipient. Marketers often send out emails from incorrect aliases or incomplete sender addresses only for the customers to ignore the email, or worse, mark it as spam. Ensure that your sender identity correctly represents your company or brand.
⌛ Is your mailing list the updated one?
Using an out of date subscribers list leads to anticipating subscribers not receiving your message. Not sending the newsletter to newly subscribed users will create bad first impressions which might cause the users to not engage with your content. Ensure that your newsletter is being sent to the most recent version of your mailing list.
🙅 Are your unsubscribed users removed from the sending list?
Sending an email to an unsubscribed user would lead to disastrous outcomes ranging from a spam complaint to legal implications. It is always advised to keep the unsubscribed list updated and take extra measures in ensuring that the newsletter is not sent to users who have preferred not to receive it. Furthermore, this will lead to rapid deterioration of brand reputation.
😴 Have you excluded inactive subscribers?
Over time, users may lose interest in engaging with your email content. This can be determined by analyzing the user behavior. If any user is not opening your emails for a fairly large amount of time, it is safe to assume that the emails are either landing in the promotional folders/spam box of the user or the user may be ignoring your email. It is good to have a strategy in place to either re-confirm subscription of inactive users or to simply remove them from your list.
✨ Have you cleaned your email list?
Email lists often get corrupted with duplicates, disposable emails, emails with incorrect syntax, emails with typos in the top level domains etc. When emails gets sent to these email addresses, it results in bounces, eventually hampering your sender reputation. It is always a good practise to clean the email lists before sending a newsletter in order to avoid unnecessary bounces.
💬 Is a reply-to address provided in the email?
If you send emails from do-not-reply addresses and do not provide a email address to which the subscriber can respond to, all replies will bounce back to the sender. This results in lost opportunity to engage the users who are willing to write back to you either for feedback or to give business. Always ensure that you have a reply-to address explicitly specified.
📄 Have you included a plain text version of your email?
Sending HTML emails without a plain text version of the email often raises the alarms of the spam filters and would potentially result in the email ending up in the spam box. Furthermore, if the email client couldn't render the HTML version, it will be shown as the blank in the absence of the plain text version of the email. So, the user experience is compromised when the HTML only email ends up in mailing clients which couldn't render it. It is strongly advised to include a plain text version in addition to HTML version in order to ensure better user experience and to stay far away from spam filters.
🛡 Have you added an unsubscribe header?
Providing an easy way for your users to unsubscribe, significantly reduces the probability of the email ending up in the spam box. One of the ways the email clients understand this is by scrutinizing the unsubscribe headers in the email, so it is always advantageous to the sender to include the unsubscribe options in the email headers. This is advised despite the presence of the unsubscribe link/option in the body of the email as it will help the email not get classified as spam. It will also help the users not go through complex process for unsubscription, which in turn will reduce customer complaints.




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