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MailChimp like any other email marketing system, while not difficult, has some complexity that can become dangerous when part of a routine. That’s why pilots have a checklist. It’s to make sure the pilot actually checks everything before hopping in and taking off. Sending an email campaign is like taking off. If you forgot to check something, it’s too late once push the send button. So, to help out those and myself who use MailChimp (or any other email marketing system), I thought I’d provide a 20-point checklist for email marketing management:

  1. Check Form Data for your list to make sure all non-recipient facing segment questions are hidden (otherwise these will be exposed when they click the “update subscription preferences link in the standard MailChimp footer)
  2. Create the appropriate list segment to ensure relevance
  3. Create a unique campaign name that will help you remember what it was about in the future
  4. Check the reply-to-email – is this the correct email address (the typical issue is sending a campaign to a large list with a personal email for replies – not good)
  5. If target segment is greater than 500, create an A|B Split campaign (2 versions of the subject – one with most opens wins) – 20% for 24 hours is recommended
  6. Check Merge Tags – (for first name, use *|TITLE:FNAME|* to ensure Title Case (first letter capitalized)
  7. Check “add Google Analytics tracking to all URLs”
  8. Determine whether campaign should be communicated socially (e.g. general announcements are good candidates for Twitter)
  9. Select best template (if creating from scratch – be sure to save to templates for future use and time savings)
  10. Make sure “Monkey Rewards” are set appropriately
  11. Spell Check HTML version of message
  12. Check Header Message (the short message above the header and body)
  13. Check Social Media Links for accuracy
  14. Send Test to yourself and stakeholders
  15. Get acceptance from other stakeholders
  16. Check that HTML version has been copied to Text-Only version
  17. Re-read your HTML email one more time looking for grammatical errors and opportunities to improve. If any changes are made, I recommend re-reading again until no changes are made.
  18. Re-check the list – are these the appropriate people to receive this message. Have you forgotten any one? Are there people who should not receive this message?
  19. Re-read subject lines
  20. Send your campaign
I hope this saves you some day!
If you want to learn more about pushing the limits of MailChimp – read this post