Between our business and our clients, I send 8-10 newsletters a month or more. I’ve done so for years. Over the years I’ve built an enewsletter checklist. I always find that it prevents at least a couple problems for each newsletter, so using this checklist is an essential part of my routine.
Even if one enters information into a newsletter that is provided by someone else, it is important to make these checks:
- Is the subject line accurate? This is important to check especially if you have copied the newsletter over from a previous newsletter.
- Make sure the “send from” email is correct – it should actually be an address to which people can reply. Otherwise use an email such as “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
- Make sure any leadins (usually in upper left) are updated.
- Do a spell check.
- Read the entire newsletter out loud as an additional proofreading measure; this is vital.
- If a date and time are mentioned in the newsletter, check to see that they are accurate. Check registration due dates and times, event dates and times and if mentioning that an event falls on a particular weekday, that the name of the day actually matches up to the correct numerical date.
- Make sure the newsletter answers WHO WHAT WHY WHEN WHERE if applicable.
- Check all links from a newsletter test that is actually sent to you – not just in the newsletter edit screen.
- Verify that everything that should be linked is linked. For instance, if you mention that an RSVP is required, is there a link to the site on which one may RSVP?
- Make sure there are alt tags on all images.
- Verify that the text version of the email looks pretty fair. Quite often MailChimp inserts spaces between urls and punctuation, and both MailChimp and Constant Contact need to be “beautified” in the text versions.
- Are any descriptions in post and social cards accurate, including correct meeting dates, etc.?
- See that all header images are updated (for instance, is any date/time info embedded in the image, and if so, has it been updated).
- Personalize email, if applicable, with Mailchimp or Constant Contact codes.
- Did you put share buttons on the newsletter?
- If using a newly designed template, scan the entire design as seen in your inbox to confirm that it is free of visual flaws. It is good to test the design by viewing it in several commonly-used email client programs such as Outlook, Hotmail, Thunderbird and Yahoo.
- Before scheduling, ensure that the email list is correct and not a test list.
- Is the scheduled send time correct not only in terms of date, but time? Did you remember to specify “AM” or “PM”?