The Hostway Blog

Email Marketing Checklist

Email marketing is one of the best ways to generate sales. The Direct Marketing Association predicts that email marketing's return on investment (ROI) will clock in at $43.52 for every $1 spent in 2009. With numbers like that, who wouldn't use this low-cost, high-return marketing channel?

Here's a checklist to help you start and manage your email marketing campaigns:

Create Your List

  • Collect email addresses by asking for them online or collecting them manually offline.
  • Confirm each registration by sending an email soon after the address is received.
  • Display your privacy policy and assurances that you won't share information with any third parties.
  • Remove all duplicate entries from your list.

Devise a Campaign and Prepare Your Web Site

  • Determine which product or sale you will promote.
  • Evaluate your Web site. Is it ready for the promotion?
  • Create a specific landing page for the promotion or product you're highlighting in your campaign.

Write and Design Your Email

  • Make sure your headline stands out and clearly communicates your primary message. If you're offering a sale, that should be the headline. If you launched a new product, that's your headline.
  • Write the body of the email like a letter and focus on the customer's needs, not your company.
  • Keep the offer and call to action above the fold. Many people won't scroll down.
  • Include a strong call to action. Ask your prospects for the sale.
  • Use a bold design that immediately grabs people's attention.
  • Insert tracking code to measure the success of your email campaign.
  • Comply with the CAN SPAM Act—include your address and an unsubscribe link.

Prepare to Send

  • Write a subject line that commands attention and communicates your primary message.
  • Avoid "spammy" words in the subject line. A few of the worst offenders are "free," "$$$," "guarantee, "affordable," "cheap, " and "apply now."
  • Make sure the email address you're sending from is a company email address.
  • Look over your list one last time to make sure all subscribers who've opted out in the past have been removed and all new subscribers have been added.
  • Send a test email to as many different email clients as possible. Make sure your email displays properly in all the most popular clients.
  • Test all the links in your email to make sure they're working correctly.
  • Follow the entire path you're sending customers down to make sure everything is working correctly.

Now you're ready to deploy your email marketing campaign!