Nov 16, 2007

Before You Hit Send, Consult Your Email Checklist

Karen Gedney’s got some good advice here about using an email checklist before you hit the "send" button. You know, to prevent those embarrassing mistakes (like sending 5,000 "Happy Thanksgiving" emails on Christmas—not that I’ve ever done that before).

Some things Karen recommends for your checklist:

  • Test your subject line for readability in multiple email programs
  • Do the first 15 characters contain the main hook?
  • Did you remember a call-to-action in the content?
  • Does the link point to the correct landing page?
  • Check how your email appears in different email programs (ahem, very easy to do with MailChimp’s Inbox Inspector)

And many more really good points. Be sure to check out the full article here:

MailChimp’s Pre-Delivery Checklist

If you’re like me, you probably get a little nervous when it’s time to click that send button. It’s kinda scary sending something to thousands of people.

That’s why in MailChimp, we’ve got the Pre-Delivery Checklist. It’s a screen where we stop the flow, and give you a chance to review what you’ve done before hitting that send button:


Here are some of the things I’ve screwed up with my campaigns I recommend you check before you send:

  • Are you sending it to the correct list? Particularly important if you’re an agency sending on behalf of multiple clients. Or, if you just want to send to your test list, make sure that it’s selected here (and not your "real" list).
  • Is tracking on? By default, MailChimp has it on, but for some reason, people like to turn it off while they’re sending themselves tests (I have no idea why). Make sure you turn tracking back on if you want it.
  • Are you using the correct email template for the campaign?
  • Did you remember a plain-text version of the email?

If we had our way, the little chimp’s arm would poke out the Pre-delivery Checklist screen and
give you a gentle slap on the face. Just to get your attention.

One last tip (from our customer service guru, Dan): Don’t click the "Send Now" button. If you’re a nervous nellie like me, always use the "Schedule for later" button. Even if you’re ready to send the campaign now, schedule it for 30 minutes in the future. That’s because as soon as you hit "Send" you WILL suddenly remember all those things you forgot to do (on Karen’s checklist). Now you’ve got 30 minutes to "go back in time" and fix things.