By Michelle Voznyuk, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

Even with Halloween approaching, few things are scarier than realizing that marketing email you sent just went out with a huge mistake in it.

Maybe it was a spelling error. Or a broken link. Or maybe it had the wrong subject line (yikes!). Whatever it may be, these things happen. They happen because we’re human. And sometimes we miss things.

That being said, there are things we can do to help eliminate some of the errors that might slip through the cracks. Here’s a list of best practices for testing marketing emails, as you gear up to send out your next batch:

  1. Do the first pass (or few passes) yourself. This might sound incredibly obvious, but if you’re building out the emails, make sure you do a thorough review yourself! When we get caught up in the rush, it’s easy to get lazy and send that test email off to the rest of our team to review. But we shouldn’t put the responsibility on them to catch simple mistakes. We should always be reviewing it ourselves first. Their job is to catch anything we might overlook or provide suggestions related to funky reader experiences.
  2. Send a new test email every time there are new edits. Let’s say you review your test email and send it over to your team. They decide that one of the links should be directed elsewhere, so you go into your platform to update that link. Instead of calling it good and scheduling the send, you should ALWAYS send a new test email. You may feel this is unnecessary or annoying to your team, but they should always give signoff on the final version. This will also CYOA in case anything goes unnoticed.
  3. TEST ALL LINKS. This may not sound like rocket science, but it’s incredibly important. Make sure to test all links in your email, ESPECIALLY the unsubscribe link. One of the worst things you can do is send a promotional email to someone and give them no choice to opt out. Additionally, nobody likes broken links – it looks careless and does not reflect well on your brand.
  4. Double check your audience. Arguably more important than who you are sending your email to, is who you are NOT sending your email to. Be sure to check your audience across any other sends that might be going out that day and plan accordingly. Also make sure to always exclude anyone who has previously opted out of promotional communications. Forgetting to do this will get you put on their naughty list super quick.

So that’s it! Whether you’re relatively new to email marketing, or a seasoned veteran, we hope you find these tips helpful (even if it’s just to serve as a reminder). Remember to always follow your organization’s list of best practices, and to give grace to yourself and others when accidents happen – because they’re bound to eventually!

Let us know if you think there’s anything we missed! As always, we’d love to hear from you.