Email marketing checklist

So you've got a NewZapp account, you've got a template, you've written your content, and you're raring to go. Let's make sure your emails look great every time you send with our email marketing checklist.

1. If you're copying and pasting content, keep it clean!
Whenever you copy and paste from an external source such as Microsoft Word or a website, you could be bringing additional coding into your email. Some email readers will refer to the code hidden behind your content instead of the text styles and colours that have already been pre-set for you on your NewZapp template.

For instance, Outlook 2007/10/13 uses MS Word as it's html rendering engine. The effect this can have on your emails is that content looks very different to how it looked when you were composing it, and in worst cases, actually disjoints or breaks the whole layout.

Here are a couple of ways in which to help you clean up the content that you want to paste:

  • Whenever you paste anything into NewZapp it will ask if you want to paste as plain text - always click yes! NewZapp will then clean the content of unwanted code as it pastes it into your email.
  • Whenever you copy and paste it is also recommend you use Notepad like a clipboard. Paste your copy into Notepad first and this will strip it back to basic text and of all coding. Then select all and copy again from the Notepad screen and paste straight into your email. 

2. Use descriptive links instead of full links or email addresses
If you include full links or full email addresses as text within an email, you run the risk of being caught in spam filters. This is because the filter detects that the link is not going directly to the link destination but via the NewZapp servers first in order to provide you with tracking data. To avoid this try using a descriptive link instead eg. Read more online, visit our website or contact us. Using a descriptive link can also help you create a much stronger call to action, generating higher click-through rates.

3. Be polite
No one likes being shouted at, so follow the basics of email etiquette and avoid SHOUTING YOUR SUBJECT LINE as a means to make your email get noticed (it won't) or SHOUTING ORDERS AT YOUR RECIPIENTS like CLICK HERE!!!! (they won't).

4. Size your images correctly
To make sure your email looks just how you want it, in as many email readers as possible, it's best to size your images to the exact size that you want them to appear in your email. Some email readers will ignore the fact that you have resized an image by clicking on a corner marker and reducing it and choose to refer the original size instead - which could be quite embarrassing if you're using that 2000 x 1000 pixel image from your A4 brochure that the printers gave you!

If you're a NewZapp customer you can either use the Image Editor within your account or size your images before you upload them. If you want to size your images before uploading to your account, you can use an image resizing tool such as Microsoft Office Picture Manager. If you don't have any image editing software installed then there are free tools available online.

5. Use a genuine and monitored from email address
Use a genuine and monitored from email address. If you've taken the trouble to invest time and money in email marketing, with presumably the purpose of engaging with your database and gaining new business, then anything they might want to tell you by clicking reply (good or bad) should be important to you.

No, you are not going to be bombarded with bounced email server messages, NewZapp catches any of those for you. Yes, you are going to receive some 'out of office' replies on this email address but if you use this address for other correspondence then consider setting up a rule on your inbox so that replies from your email marketing land in a folder of their own for you to review separately.

If you try using a non-existent from email address then your email is pretty certain to be rejected by the recipient's mail server. So resist the urge to use one that doesn't exist, it just won't work. If you don't want a personal email address as the sender, consider setting up a friendly, non-offensive email address like updates@, enews@ or newsletter@. These should be more readily received by recipients and email filters than sales@ or info@ and look a whole lot more polite than donotreply@.

6. Use a 'from' name that your subscribers will recognise
If your recipients don't know who the email is from, they're unlikely to open it. Within NewZapp you can set the 'from' name of your choice for every email you send. The question to ask is, do your subscribers know you personally or do they know your company, brand or product? We'd advise that you use whichever would be most recognisable to your subscribers.

In NewZapp you can use up to 128 characters, so you can have it all (if you want to) i.e. "John Smith at Smith Ltd".