In the moments before sending an email to a large list I’m often struck by ‘the fear’.  For me ‘the fear’ is the ‘fight or flight’ response email marketers experience just before sending an email to thousands or millions of people. You may be familiar with it!

It’s triggered by the thought of getting one of the many components of an email wrong. Are you sending the right content? Are there any spelling mistakes? Is it going to the correct list?

Thankfully, I always manage to quell my fear by running though an email several times and checking every last detail. It can sometimes take a while, but it’s always a check worth doing.

To help you deal with your own pre-send jitters, I’ve put together a list of my top five questions to help you put the fear aside.

Do I Have the Correct, Up-To-Date, Clean List?

It may sound obvious but the first major check is to ensure you’ve selected the right list. If you have a lot of lists it can be easy to get the wrong one. Make sure your subscriber count tallies up and that your list is up-to-date, with all your most recent subscribers included in it.

Check that your list is clean (no old or inactive addresses) and only contains opted-in subscribers

Am I Sending Relevant Content?

Make sure the content your sending is going to be of interest to everyone on your list. Don’t just batch send a niche message to your entire email database.

For example, if you’re holding a special event for all your London based clients, don’t send the invite to clients in other cities.

This can be easily achieved by creating a London segment of your email list (filtered by address or telephone area code).

Am I Sending the Most Effective Content?

Split testing is a sure-fire way to send your most effective content. In one of our own recent tests we garnered a 113% increase in click-thoughs with a simple change to our subject line.

But subject lines are merely the tip of the split-test iceberg. Design, copy, layout etc… all factor into creating an effective email.

Test frequently to make sure your content’s packing every punch possible.

Does My Email Display Correctly?

Here’s a biggy that’s crucial not to overlook.

Your email will be read on a multitude of different devices, each with their own rules and quirks on how they display email.

Test on as many email platforms as possible to verify your design looks great, no matter where it’s read.

Why Am I Sending This Email & Does It Make Sense?

Alright, alright. Technically that’s two questions, but that’s a bonus, right?

Ideally you should ask the first question “Why am I sending this email?” before you even start thinking of your content.  Are you selling products? Educating? Sending event invites? What end result do you want your email to have and how will you achieve this?

A great way to see if your email’s hitting the spot is to do a five second flash test with a friend. Show them your email for five seconds, then take it away. Ask your friend what they thought the email was about, and what they would have done next after viewing it.

After passing the five second test, it’s also a good idea to ask your friend to do a final in-depth check for any embarrassing spelling/grammar mistakes.

Asking yourself these questions before sending an email will make you feel far more in control. In my experience pre-launch nerves never dissipate entirely, a blessing in disguise as it always keeps me on my toes.

If you don’t get the fear before launching you’re either:

•    A certified email marketing genius
•    Not paying attention

Make sure it’s not the latter!