How to avoid Oops! moments when sending email campaigns [Checklist]

Article written by Claudiu Murariu

When it comes to sending a message to a client base with hundreds of thousands of emails, even the most experienced marketers are bound to lose a heartbeat.

Did I do everything OK? Did I include all the required information? Is this the right email list? Too many email campaigns go wrong by pressing the send button too soon without answering a few questions first.

That’s why, we came up to the conclusion that going through a checklist before clicking the big send button – which, here at Padicode, we like to call the button of no return– is mandatory. We guarantee that following these few great tips will never again make you wish for a big UNDO button.

1. Am I sending to the right email list?

Double check when choosing the email list that you need! Our advice is to name your email lists, by describing their clear purpose. You can also use letters or numbers in case there are lists with similar names. Here are a few examples:

  • A. Blog Subscribers
  • B. Product Customers
  • C. Event participants

Here is an apology coming from for sending an email in Turkish to the wrong list. Too bad those who already unsubscribed because of the blunder didn’t have a chance to read the apology:


2. Am I sending the right campaign?

It’s the same thing as the question above. This mistake is most commonly made when sending email campaigns to segmented lists or when having to deliver many campaigns in a short time.

Things can easily get confusing. So:

  • Give clear names to the campaigns you have to send in order to distinguish between them
  • Preview two times the campaign before sending it
  • Make sure you ask yourself question #1

Real list or test list? To make sure you don’t send the email campaign to a real list compared to a test list, we prefer not to maintain test lists. We use the “send preview” functionality from email service providers and send to individual email addresses.

Here is an example of apologizing for sending a baseball email campaign instead of a basketball one, as the user expected to receive:


3. Will the campaign look good to everybody?

There are specific tools you can use to check the appearance of your campaign, but it’s always a good option to send an email to your own accounts on different major providers, both web services and email clients:

  • Gmail
  • Yahoo
  • Outlook
  • Thunderbird
  • Outlook Express
  • iPhone
  • Android

Email design got stuck in the 90’s. You still need to use tables, the styling is somewhat limited, images are most of the times not displayed by default and you need to accommodate many clients. This did not stop Sony from creating this amazing campaigns that look good under all circumstances:


4. Are the links inside your email campaign working?

404 pages. Sound familiar? Always double check the links from the email you send. You can never be too careful about this.

If, by any chance, a link in your newsletter doesn’t work, clicking “view in your browse” will save the day. If possible, use dynamic linking as provided by the email service provider.

That’s why you need to pay special attention to the “view in your browser” link. Using the same email template as we do and not updating that link before each campaign, will get people to open in their browser older emails than the ones that are sent to them.

5. Does the campaign look good in text mode?

No, text mode is not dead yet. In fact, text mode can sometimes bring better results than HTML newsletters.

Furthermore, to make sure that even the text version of your campaigns look good, the email must be:

  • Easy to read and scan
  • Appealing
  • Not sent as an attachment

6. What is your chance of being marked as spam?

The content of your email campaign might trigger flags from major providers or email clients and mark you email as spam. Depending on your email service provider, there are tools which help you check your email scores and what should you do to stay away from the junk folder.

make sure your email does not look like the ones that keep popping in your spam folder and make sure you avoid common spam words or phrase.

7. Is your subject line good enough?

When choosing the subject line for your email campaign, bear in mind that it must attract and convince people to open your email. A fake, distant subject line is guarantee to send your email right in the Trash folder. Before deciding on a subject line, consider:

  • What is your target client like?
  • What are you trying to tell your clients?

Choose subjects that people can relate to, try to be emphatic, ask questions and resonate with their feelings and frustration.

But, sometimes all you know about client psychology and email marketing hits you in the face when you read about Obama’s “Hey” campaign. The “Hey” campaign surprised many people and it proved that keeping is simple is a valid way to go.

Amelia Showalter, director of digital analytics, conducted extensive AB testing in finding the perfect subject line. The “Hey” campaign brought $690 millions of dollars with only one email marketing campaign.

8. Is your unsubscribe link visible enough?

So, you have permission from your subscribers to send them emails. Regardless, nobody likes to have their inbox filled with constant emails with all types of information they may or may not need. That is still spamming.

Don’t force people to stay subscribed. Make sure your “unsubscribe link” is visible. It shows you respect your clients. At the end of the day, email contacts are kept with relevant content delivered in a timely manner and not by hiding a link.

9. Did you proofread?

Not proofreading your texts is a common mistake. You need to be professional! We know you’re in a hurry, so are we, but never ever stop to ask yourself this question: did I proofread?

This way you will avoid getting unsubscribe messages because of grammatical and spelling errors. Remember: there are many grammar nazis out there.

10. Did you include a call-to-action?

Some email campaigns don’t even have this basic feature. Somewhere in the email, preferably in multiple locations, you should invite the person reading the email to do something: visit your website/blog, like your Facebook page, download something.

Make sure it works and that the landing page has the same message/offer as the email so the user does not get confused.

Best of luck in sending amazing email campaigns. Don’t forget to go through our checklist!

Editor: Evelina Catoi

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