To make the most of email marketing, you’ll need to define your email strategy first. This checklist will help you keep track of all the necessary steps and elements in the process so that you achieve your goals with flying colors (and soaring open rates).

Emails connect marketers to their customers.
Illustration by LittleFox for Tele-mail

Email marketing checklist

1. Build your contact list

Before you send emails, you need to have people to send them to. There are a few ways you can go about building this list of customers and prospects:

  • Promote your contact list through other channels
    • Add a newsletter subscription widget to your most visited site pages.
    • Take advantage of social media. Consider using Twitter Lead Generation Cards, Facebook Page CTAs or adding a link to subscribe in your Instagram bio.
    • Leverage offline opportunities, such as purchases at physical stores. Shoppers can jot down their emails while they’re waiting at the register.
  • Incentivize subscribers
    • Offer product discounts and gifts like free white papers or reports in exchange for email addresses.
    • Use referral incentives with your current contacts to motivate them to share with coworkers and friends.

2. Make your emails more relevant

A recent study by HubSpot found that targeted emails are 90% more viral than untargeted messages, which means curating your subscription lists and email workflows will pay off.

Humorous email design by Codeflex for
Email design by Codeflex for
  • Segment your various email lists based on industry, contact behavior and/or demographics. This’ll make it easier to tailor the content in each email to the specific audience it’s being sent to.
  • Use email automation to engage your users with the right messages, at the right time. You’ll probably want to implement a welcome series, abandoned cart emails, and feedback messages, just to name a few.
  • Personalize your emails by adding the recipient’s first name in the greeting or subject line.

3. Create your campaign

Now that you’ve got a segmented list of subscribers, it’s time to choose a group of recipients and set up a campaign tailored to their interests.

  • Define your goals. Are you looking to spread brand awareness, drive purchases or share content? The format of your email and the statistics you track will vary based on your goals, so it’s important to determine these at the beginning.
  • Decide on your “from” name. Will the email be sent from your company, your CEO, or a specific team member?
  • Come up with a strong subject line and preheader that will drive recipients to open your emails.
  • Design your email. You’ll want to guide your reader with both content and visual elements. Here are some things to keep in mind:
    • Use brand visuals and be consistent with your brand identity.
    • Avoid large images and keep in mind the text-to-image ratio (60/40).
    • Make sure the content is readable, with clear CTAs.
  • Test your email:
    • Confirm that your message renders properly on different devices.
    • Check the display for different email clients. If you added a personalized name field, now’s the time to make sure it works properly.
    • Ensure your email design is responsive.

4. Track your performance

Although it may feel like it, you’re not done once you hit send. One of the most important aspects of email marketing is tracking the performance of each campaign and seeing how it measures up.

  • Record major email statistics (open rates, click rates, bounces, spams, blocks, unsubscribed, etc) to set benchmarks and spot any unusual results. Make sure to also compare and record how the campaign measured up against your goals.
  • Once you have enough data, compare the performance of different campaigns to find the time and email frequency that works best for your business.
  • Test different elements in your campaigns, such as swapping out visual assets or changing the placement of the call-to-action, and track the results to discover what works and improve your metrics.
Email marketing monster

5. Look after your contact list

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you’re regularly refreshing your contact list.

  • Remove blocks, unsubscribes and spam complains after each campaign.
  • Send a reactivation email every 2-3 months to engage inactive contacts.
  • Remove inactive contacts every 3-6 months.

These are the basics to quick-start your email marketing strategy. If you want to learn more email tricks and tips, and keep up to date with the latest trends, consider signing up for Mailjet’s email newsletter (see what we did there?).

Or, if you’re ready for a custom email template, launch an email design contest today!


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This article was written by Mailjet. Mailjet helps bring your Marketing and Development teams together on one platform to build, send and optimize all your marketing, transactional and automated emails.