quailty control campaignsWe recently delved into the benefits of having a quality control process in place for reviewing new content, campaigns, websites and other marketing collateral before hitting the big red “Go Live” button for the whole world to see.

Making sure an entire campaign is at its prime can be so crucial to its success. Here in the Quality Control department, we have compiled a running checklist of the top items we review, critique and analyze based on the mistakes we most commonly see before email marketing campaigns are sent out to client lists. Some of these items may seem obvious, but reviewing each detail carefully is what gives your campaign the boost of quality it needs to outshine your competition and reinforce your company’s standard of excellence.

The Email Message

This is it. Your campaign has been developed, and you are ready to announce it to the world. Email marketing is often times the frontline when launching a new marketing campaign, and your message is the first communication current and potential customers will receive. The very first item seen by all is the subject line in the inbox, so this needs to be catchy, enticing and not overly gimmicky. The last thing you want is for users to delete the email before even opening it.

Once the message is opened, review it top to bottom, every tiny detail. Do the graphics and content present your offer in the best possible way? Do the links in your template redirect correctly? Is it easy for the user to tell where to click and what to do next? Have your images been assigned alt text? Did you create a plain text version? Is the value of your offer clear and concise? Are you being overly promotional or giving a sales pitch? And of course, no spelling or grammar errors!

Key Email Items to Review:

  1. Overall Design and Development
  2. Subject Line
  3. Email Graphics
  4. Image Alt Text
  5. Links to Offer
  6. Plain Text Email
  7. Footer/Logo/Social Links
  8. Spelling/Grammar

The Landing Page

As the place where the conversion magic happens, this page needs to be spot on. Take the extra time designing and developing a killer landing page that clearly presents the value and advantages of your offer. Make it clear to the user how to get what they want. Plan out the meta data, page title, keywords and alt text on images to support your campaign goals. Decide if you want to run any A/B testing with different copy, form fields, graphics or other variables and be sure to test all testing pages. Fill out the conversion form multiple ways to ensure there are no hiccups in the overall process. And, again, no spelling or grammar errors!

Key Landing Page Items to Review:

  1. Overall Design and Development
  2. Meta Data, Page Titles, Alt Text
  3. A/B Testing
  4. Conversion Form
  5. Spelling/Grammar

The Confirmation Page

Now that you have captured the conversion, it’s time to deliver. This page can be simple in both design and content, but it needs to be clear how the user can receive what they signed up for. If it’s an immediate download, use a large button they surely won’t miss, and double check the document is downloading properly. If it’s something to be received in the future, provide clear steps on how to sign in for that webinar or participate in that social media give-away.

Be sure the flow and process make sense, make it extremely simple for the user to do what you want him or her to do and remember to add no-follow code to this page so Google and other search engines aren’t able to index this page. This prevents web users from receiving your offering without fronting their information first. Finally, no spelling or grammar errors!

Key Confirmation Page Items to Review:

  1. Overall Design and Development
  2. Download Link/Next Action Steps
  3. No-Follow Code
  4. Spelling/Grammar

The Follow Up

Buyers have entered into your sales funnel—now what? Most landing pages have an immediate email sent when a user converts on a form. Review this email and make sure all the links are functioning, especially if this is how the user cashes in on the promotion.

Then, a huge chunk of time can be spent reviewing the workflows are properly set-up and ensuring all of the offers align with your sales cycle, leading buyers down the funnel with the proper content. This is a huge monster in and of itself.

Even while testing these workflows, we follow the same basic principles of quality control in the review process. And, of course, no spelling or grammar errors (notice the trend?)!

Key Follow-Up Items to Review:

  1. Overall Design and Development
  2. Immediate thank-you/response email
  3. Workflows
  4. Spelling/Grammar

These quality control checklists are enough to cover the basics when launching a new email campaign. If you find something isn’t quite working somewhere in your process beyond perfecting the details, don’t be afraid to adjust the strategy, revamp the graphics, change up the email subject line or be flexible with the way you are presenting your offer.

What items should we add to our checklist? Let us know your additional steps in the comment section below!

photo credit: Blue Square Thing