10 Optimization Checklist Questions for a “Perfect 10” Email
If you are looking to improve your return on investment when it comes to email marketing, consider using an optimization checklist for every email you send. The process might sound tedious, but you’ll ultimately yield positive results quicker and more efficiently, ultimately using less time and resources to convert prospective subscribers and upsell existing customers.
Thankfully, you aren’t running a novel through this optimization checklist – just a concise, to-the-point email. Use these 10 optimization questions to check your next email before you hit send:
Is my subject line clear AND attention-grabbing? Because your subject line is the first thing recipients read, ensure your message is motivating and clear. Short and sweet subject lines (ranging around 50 characters or less) are a simple yet effective way to grab readers, especially for those using small screens. Email personalization also goes a long way in subject lines, like using a name or specific location to target specific readers. Be sure your subject line is clear in letting readers know exactly what is inside and what they can expect by taking this action. Want to make sure your subject line is the best it can be (and doesn’t read like spam)? Consider A/B testing your subject lines to figure out which one better resonates with your audience.
Is your “Sender” address an actual person? Recipients are usually more likely to open an email from an actual person’s name rather than a generic sender. For B2B emails, the sender’s full name and company name is a great way to boost open rates (example: John Smith, Company). For more informal correspondences, you can use a full name or even first name. A/B testing can also be employed here to see what “from” names best drive open rates. Your recipients may be more inclined to open emails from your CEO or account managers, so play around until you find what works for your brand.
Does your preview text make sense? Your preview text directly follows the subject line, so don’t let this space go to waste. Use preview text to give your readers a better idea of what is to come with a quick summary, such as “Your daily roundup of A, B, C” or “Learn from our experts about X, Y, Z”. Pre-header is your last chance to get your readers to open your email.
Is your branding consistent across all emails you have sent? Recipients who open your emails should know who is sending the email based on the look and design of your messages. To achieve this consistency, use the same imagery, color scheme, and tone for every email you send. Save time by developing and testing a template that incorporates your logo, company colors, and specific branding elements that connect to social networks, websites, and more.
Is your list properly segmented? This question should come as no surprise; segmenting your lists helps deliver the right messages to the right people. Though segmentation takes time and resources, your email is more likely to immediately reach the right reader, and your customers will appreciate your efforts. Segmentation can be determined by lifecycle stages of email subscribers. The core stages include: * Awareness: Your prospective customer realizes they are lacking a product or service. * Consideration: Your prospective customer clearly defines the issue at hand. * Decision: Your prospective customer determines a possible solution to solve their problem. These three categories will help segment your email list and send promotional emails in a targeted, personal way that helps them achieve their goals. Marketers can segment their lists by reader habits and actions as well. Consider interest level of readers, and target those who frequently interact with your content differently than those who rarely open or click through emails. Also, separate customers who have made past purchases from those who are still prospective buyers.
Can you prove you’re a credible source? Make sure you can deliver on the promise you made in the subject line by using short and easily digestible language to clearly state what you can provide to your readers. Take it a step further by providing data and resources that can prove how much your product or service can affect your readers. Some examples are: * If you offer a discount, clearly explain how much that discount is in numerical value, what the discount applies to, and any fine print. * If you offer valuable information, include credible sources so your readers know that your brand is trustworthy. * If you offer a resource, consider including free worksheets or downloadable guides that provide answers to any questions your readers may have. It’s always helpful to remind readers how and why they receive your correspondence. Recap how they opted-in to your list, and always provide the option for them to alter how and when they are contacted.
Is your call-to-action clear and focused? Every email should have a single focus. Whether you’re hoping readers will look at your new product or register for an event, boil your correspondence down to one primary goal to make sure readers know exactly what you want of them. In your call-to-action text, use specific action verbs like “Register Today” or “Buy Now” to encourage readers to take your desired action. Remain transparent by stating explicitly what your readers are getting out of acting and make it easy for them to complete an action with big buttons or clear instructions.
Did you include all your social sharing links? In the digital-age, growing and maintaining a loyal online audience is crucial for most brands. By including social sharing links, you make it quick and easy for readers to share your content. The benefit of social activity is that you can broaden your audience quickly and efficiently.
Can readers easily find the unsubscribe button? Not only is including an unsubscribe button mandatory for all your correspondence, but it’s a way for you to maintain sender credibility and ensure users have the best experience possible, even if they are leaving your lists.
Before you hit send, have you tested your email multiple times? Every element of your email should undergo some sort of testing, including the following: * Visual Style Tests: If your branding relies heavily on imagery, make sure all visuals appear across different email clients and devices. It’s important to also test how your email renders when your recipients choose to view in plain text. * Structure Tests: Consider playing around with layout to see how rearranging content improves clicks and actions. * Timing Tests: The time and/or date you send emails can make a huge difference in engagement. Before you send your next round of emails, test out different times and days to see which ones deliver the highest engagement. This might also help determine how you segment your lists.
In conclusion, it’s essential that every email you send is optimized. Email is one of your brand’s most effective marketing tools, so invest your time in making sure every email meets these 10 criteria before hitting send to see a positive boost in your metrics. Be patient – over time, this checklist will become second nature for you!