Thanks to limitations posed by the Covid-19 outbreak, marketers weren’t able to have in-person meetings, host special events or execute real-time, live activations last year, which is one reason why consumers consistently found their inboxes flooded with brands reaching out to them digitally. While the worst of the pandemic may be behind us, email marketing is still booming in 2021 because businesses are still seeing solid returns on their investments in it.
Aside from leveraging the latest trends in personalization and interactivity, however, marketers need to also be aware of certain standards of quality and value that today’s consumers expect brands to uphold when sending email content their way.
To ensure the most essential aspects of a marketing email are accurate, of high quality and effective at inspiring recipients to open the communication, read it and take action, see the advice from 13 experts from Forbes Agency Council below, where they discuss specific aspects of any marketing email that must be double-checked before hitting send.
1. Check The Spelling And Accuracy Of The Recipient’s Name
The spelling and accuracy of the recipient’s name is often sorely overlooked. There should really be personalization within the template beyond this—including company name, position, industry role and more—and the database should be thoroughly checked to make sure the incorporation of these elements reads seamlessly for every recipient. – Elizabeth Jean Poston, Helios Interactive, A Freeman Company
2. Send A Test Email And Check It Across All Devices
The “send test email” feature is there for a reason. Use it and double-check it on all devices, especially mobile ones. Regardless of their nature (formatting, design, grammar, spelling, links, buttons, readability and so on), you can only troubleshoot issues if you see them as a user. This is, after all, a mobile-first, user-centric world we live and work in. – Frank Rojas, Qode Media Inc.
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3. Always Check The Accuracy And Functionality Of All Links
Always check your links. Whether they involve a logo, a landing page, a button, content or anything else, ensuring your links are correct and working is key to success with email marketing. – Ilissa Miller, IMiller Public Relations
4. Proofread Specific Elements As A Standard Operating Procedure
It’s important to proofread for misspellings, broken links, grammatical errors, unintentionally offensive language, accurate subject lines and more. All of that could and should be documented as a standard operating procedure and referenced before hitting send. Creating and referencing your company’s SOPs before sending marketing emails will save you from facing crisis management issues later. – Brent Payne, Loud Interactive, LLC
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5. Eliminate Insider Language, Acronyms And Industry Jargon
Is it written for your target? In other words, do you need to get rid of insider language, acronyms and industry jargon? Also make sure it’s written in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Is it easy to read? Easy to understand? A marketing email should be just an email. – Michael McFadden, eAccountable
6. Make Sure It Has A Call To Action That Supports Your Goal
Is there a call to action? What are you wanting the reader to do after reading this email? The CTA might be to reply to the email to set up a call, to click a link to download a whitepaper or to just read the entire email and not subscribe. But whatever that goal is, think through it before you click send and ensure the email is set up with that goal in mind. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
7. Don’t Forget To Review And Optimize The Preview Text Field
One of the most overlooked (and important) fields is your preview text. This one line is the first thing that shows up below your subject line before the viewer opens the email. If it’s not filled out, most email viewers will take the first line of your email, which may not be what you want people to see. Use this field and watch your open rates skyrocket. – Darrell Keezer, Candybox Marketing
8. Ensure It Reaches The Right Inbox By Checking Your Segmentation
One of the most important things to check before sending an email is the distribution list. Too often, marketers send an email and think that everyone is interested and will engage. That is not the case. Databases have endless opportunities for segmentation to ensure your emails reach not just any inbox but the right inbox. Check your segmentation before sending any email to ensure optimal engagement. – Elyse Flynn Meyer, Prism Global Marketing Solutions
9. Create A Seamless Reading Experience For Your Audience
No one has the time to decode a lengthy email. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and emulate an email you wouldn’t mind reading through. Keep the language concise, embed links right into your email, add imagery if appropriate and provide a clear call to action. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing
10. Ensure Content Is Reader-Focused And Delivers Applicable Value
Make sure the content is reader-focused and respectful of your recipients’ time by delivering applicable value. That can take many forms, from answering common questions to proposing a solution for an audience pain point to identifying trends or potential problems your audience may not be aware of. Make your recipients glad they invested the time to read your email and leave them wanting more. – Scott Greggory, MadAveGroup
11. Make Sure Your Subject Line Is Clear And Compelling
Your entire email hinges on whether the subject line is enticing enough to get someone to click and view the entirety of what you are sending out. You can have the most mind-blowing content in the world, but a dull or vague email subject line will directly impact your open rates and sink your campaign. – Stefan Pollack, The Pollack Group
12. Double-Check The Optimization Of Elements That Affect SEO
Beyond the obvious, such as correct spellings and attributions, the most important things to double-check are related to optimization. Ensure photos are doing double- or even triple-duty by creating accessible, SEO-packed captions and meta descriptions and linking the images to relevant products/services. Links should also open in new tabs, away from the email, to encourage reader exploration. – Evan Nison, NisonCo
13. Clarify The Unique Value Your Email Provides To The Reader
We live in a very noisy information age. Finding the right engagement opportunities has never been trickier, and digital channels have become even more crowded. So, before you hit send on a marketing email destined for an inbox that is inundated with more marketing emails than ever, ask yourself, “What unique value does the email really provide to the reader?” If the answer is unclear, think about pausing. – Omar Hussain, Defy Communications
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Author: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member