The Ultimate Checklist for Email Marketers

Want to up your email game and improve the ROI of your email campaigns? Meet the Ultimate Email Marketing Checklist, a (very) comprehensive guide designed for marketers seeking actionable best practices.

Your Email Strategy

Gain clarity on your campaigns’ goals, refine your email marketing strategy, and plan your journey to success.

Outline Your Objectives

Define the goals of your email campaign. Whether you’re trying to generate leads, nurture existing customers, or promote a new product, knowing your goals will help you create targeted and relevant content that yields results.

Identify Your KPIs

Align your objectives with specific metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. Define which KPIs you will use to measure your campaign’s performance and quantify your objectives.


Define Your Persona

To create emails that convert, you need to get a deep understanding of your audience. Who’s your ideal customer? What problems do they have? How can you help them? You can’t craft great emails if you don’t know who you’re writing to.


Plan Your Emails

Test the optimal times for sending emails to your audience. Are you getting better open rates on Thursdays? Should you send your emails at 10 AM or 5 PM? Find the right frequency to avoid overwhelming your recipients.


Select Your Sender

When your recipients receive an email, the first thing they check is the sender’s identity. So make sure to send your campaign from a professional email address and select a clear sender name, like Laura from Mailmeteor.

Also, if you send emails from a generic email address (such as [email protected]) but want the recipients to reply to another address (such as [email protected]), you can add a reply-to email address.


Your Email List

Build a clean, organic contact list, keep it up to date, and segment your audience to 10x your engagement rates.

Grow Your List

Don’t buy your email list. Instead, collect email addresses from people who explicitly gave their consent. Otherwise, you may end up damaging your email reputation. Building an organic contact list takes some time. But it’s worth the effort.

Here are some proven tactics to grow your list ⤵️

  • Offer valuable content on your website, blog, or social media to attract visitors
  • Provide incentives, such as discounts, exclusive content, or free downloads
  • Place prominent and user-friendly opt-in forms on your website
  • Organize contests or giveaways on social media platforms
  • Host webinars, online events, or workshops


Import Your Contacts

Once you have a high-quality collection of email addresses, you can import your contacts into your favorite email marketing platform, either through a CSV file or by copying and pasting your email addresses.


Verify Email Addresses

Before sending your campaign, use a verification tool (such as our BounceShield) to detect invalid email addresses by checking for typos and technical configurations (such as DNS, MX, and SMTP records).


Delete Inactive Contacts

Cleaning up your email list will increase your open rate and reduce your risk of being flagged as spam. At least once a year, scrub your list by deleting contacts that didn’t open any of your emails in the last 6 months.


Segment Your Audience

Don’t send the same email to your entire email list. Instead, divide your audience into smaller groups based on demographics, behavior, or purchase history. Then create targeted and personalized content for each of them.


Your Email Subject

Optimize your subject line to capture your prospects’ attention, improve your open rate, and get the most out of email marketing efforts.

Optimize Your Subject Line

Your subject line only has one job. Getting people to open your emails. A bad subject line can ruin your entire campaign. To increase your open rates, you can use our free email subject line tester and get AI-powered suggestions.

Here are some proven tactics to create a subject line ⤵️

  • Promise a desirable outcome
  • Create a curiosity gap
  • Leverage urgency
  • Be specific


Check the Length

Be concise. If your email subject line is too long, it may be truncated. And your recipients won’t be able to understand what your message is about. This is why we recommend using no more than 9 words or 60 characters. If you have a doubt, send yourself a test email and check how your subject line is displayed on mobile.


Stay Clear of Clickbait

Avoid misleading subject lines at all costs. People might open your emails, but they are more likely to flag you as spam or unsubscribe from your list. What’s more, this is strictly prohibited by the CAN-SPAM Act. So make sure your subject line reflects the content of your email.


Polish Your Pre-Header

The pre-header is a snippet of text displayed right next to your email subject in your recipient’s inbox. It gives your prospect a sneak peek of what’s inside your email. Use it to reinforce your subject line without repeating yourself. By optimizing this short text, you can dramatically increase your open rates.


Set Up Your A/B Test

Come up with some variations of your subject line and run an A/B test to determine which one yields the best results. This allows you to optimize your campaign based on real data. It will also lead to higher open rates.


Your Email Template

Create an effective, high-ROI email template to boost conversion and generate more clicks, traffic, or sales.

Write Great Copy

Want to create content that resonates with your recipients? Write like a human. Not like a robot. This means using a conversational tone, avoiding industry jargon, and focusing on your readers (instead of yourself).

Provide as much value as you can, find your unique voice to make your emails stand out from the competition, and watch your engagement rates soar. Empathy is the greatest marketing hack you will find out there. Make sure to use it.


Personalize Your Email

Forget bland, generic emails. They will bore your readers and put them to sleep. Instead, add a warm, human touch and make your content uniquely relevant, by inserting personalized elements, such as their name, company, or location.


Set Up Your Fallbacks

If you add some variables to your email (like your recipient’s name), your emailing platform will replace it with the corresponding data. However, if the platform can’t find that information, it will replace the dynamic content with a blank space. So instead of “Hi Marc,” your email will start with “Hi ,”. Which looks a bit fishy.

To avoid this, you can set up a fallback variable. Fallbacks act kind of like placeholders. In this example, you could choose “there” as your fallback. This way, when you write an email to a prospect whose name is not in your database, the message they receive will start with “Hi there,”.


Include a CTA

Add a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage your recipients to take the desired action. Your CTA could be a button, a link, or a question. Experiment with different types of CTA. Leave some blank space around your CTA. And use action-oriented language.


Format Your Content

Your email should look like it’s easy to digest. Start with a short sentence. Break big chunks of text into small paragraphs. Turn your paragraphs into bullet lists when you can. Add bold on your key points. And pick a font that is easy to decipher. By formatting your content properly, you will make it more enticing.


Optimize for Accessibility

Make sure to optimize your campaign for accessibility. Avoid all image emails. Add some alt text to describe your images. Choose a font size that is big enough. And use a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.


Proofread Your Email

Once your email is ready, check for typos and grammatical errors with the help of a spell checker, like Grammarly. Make sure your writing is easy to understand with the Hemingway app. And hunt broken links down.


Preview Your Email

Now let’s check how your email template will look in your recipient’s inbox. Make sure everything looks perfect. Are your personalization variables working properly? Are your images displaying correctly?


Send a Test Email

Everything looks perfect? Then it’s time to send one last test email. First to yourself. And then to your team. Check how your email looks across multiple devices and email clients. Make sure your design is responsive. Test your links one last time. Read your email out loud. And voilà! Your campaign is now ready to be sent.

Your Email Deliverability

Avoid triggering the spam filters and increase your odds of landing in your recipients’ inbox. Not in their junk mail folder.

Provide a clear unsubscribe option. This is mandatory if you want to comply with GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and other relevant regulations. You can use a preference center to allow subscribers to manage email frequency and preferences. For legal purposes, your message must also include your postal address.


Minimize Your Spam Score

Use a spam score testing tool to optimize your emails before sending them. Minimize elements that trigger spam filters, such as spam words (free, urgent, prize…), ALL CAPS, and excessive exclamation marks!!!


Leverage Email Throttling

Sending a lot of emails at once can hurt your email deliverability. However, you can reduce the risk of triggering spam filters by using email throttling, an advanced feature that allows you to add a delay between each email you send.



Implement DKIM, SPF, and DMARC authentication to make sure your emails are recognized as legitimate by Email Service Providers (ESPs). This will reduce your chances of being marked as spam.


Monitor Your Email Reputation

Keeping tabs on your email reputation is crucial to grasp how service providers view your sending practices. Although the specific algorithms of providers like Gmail and Outlook aren’t public, you can use tools such as Spamhaus Reputation Checker or Google Postmaster Tools to gain insights into your email reputation.


Warm Up Your Account

If you start sending hundreds of emails from a new email account, you will quickly end up in spam. Instead, warm up your email account to build up your email reputation and bypass the spam filters.


Use a Custom Tracking Domain

To track email opens and clicks more efficiently, you can set up your unique, brand-centric domain name. This ensures your recipients trust the links they click on your emails and improves your deliverability.


Your Email Performance

See what worked and what did not. Collect feedback and data points to improve your upcoming campaigns and get even better results.

Treat Unsubscribe Requests

If a recipient clicks on your unsubscribe link or sends you an email asking you to remove them from your mailing list, make sure to honor their request and update their preferences to avoid being blocked or marked as spam.


Monitor Your Bounce rate

Regularly check the bounce rate of your campaign. High bounce rates, especially hard bounces, can negatively impact your email reputation. Make sure to remove invalid or inactive email addresses.

Check Spam Complaints

Keep an eye on your spam complaints. Being flagged as spam by your recipients hurts your email deliverability. Make sure to remove the users who marked you as spam from your list and focus on sending relevant content.

Keep the Conversation Going

Did someone reply to your email? Don’t ignore them. Responding to your contacts is part of maintaining a “normal” activity on your account. This can improve your email deliverability and improve your customer satisfaction.

Analyze Your KPIs

Lastly, take some time to review the performance of your campaign. Did you achieve your initial goal? Is there room for improvement? Compare your KPIs with those of other campaigns and use this feedback as a learning opportunity.