Crafting the Perfect Email: 29 Essential Checks Before Sending

Navigating the intricacies of email marketing, where over 300,000 potential renderings exist, demands a meticulous pre-send checklist. The complexities of rendering across various platforms can impact your email’s appearance once it reaches your subscriber’s inbox. In this article, we delve into the significance of email checklists, outline the six crucial phases for sending flawless emails, and present 29 vital checkpoints that every email marketer should consider.


  • The definition and purpose of an email checklist
  • Why checking emails before sending is imperative
  • The six fundamental phases for sending a perfect email
  • How Litmus’ Ultimate Email Marketing Checklist can be your go-to guide

The Essence of an Email Checklist:

An email checklist serves as a pre-send review, acting as a guide and reminder to minimize errors. Its primary purpose is to help marketers avoid common mistakes by providing a comprehensive list of crucial components to review. These components cover the most essential aspects of an email, ensuring a thorough examination before hitting the “send” button.

Importance of Checking Emails Before Sending:

Have you ever opened an email only to find that a link isn’t working, images aren’t loading, or personalization is incorrect? These issues merely scratch the surface of potential mishaps. With email client updates occurring approximately every 1.2 days, numerous factors can affect your email’s display. Broken emails result in a poor subscriber experience, potentially damaging your brand and significantly impacting email performance. To preemptively address these challenges, reviewing email campaigns against a checklist becomes essential. This practice minimizes the risk of common errors and ensures a seamless subscriber experience.

The Six Phases for Reviewing Email Marketing Campaigns:

Phase #1: Planning and Strategy

Before diving into production, define your goals, audience, and campaign purpose.

  • Determine the goal of your campaign: Educate, encourage sign-ups, or win back subscribers.
  • Define success metrics: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, and more.
  • Segment your audience: Specify target groups based on prospects vs. customers, geolocation, or engagement activity.

Phase #2: Craft Your Content

Create compelling email content by focusing on copy, design, and development.

  • Personalization: Deliver relevant content to subscribers.
  • Calls-to-action (CTAs): Ensure strong and compelling CTAs.
  • Subject line, sender name, and preview text: Craft cohesive and engaging elements.

Phase #3: Enhance Your Inbox View

Optimize the appearance of your emails in subscribers’ inboxes.

  • Recognizable “from” name and address.
  • Friendly and active reply-to address.
  • Optimized preview text.
  • Verified sender logo via Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI).

Phase #4: Optimize Your Email Design

Ensure well-designed emails that engage and yield results.

  • Correct rendering across mobile, desktop, and webmail.
  • Visually appealing plain-text version with functional links.
  • Use of retina images for clarity.
  • Testing dynamic content and personalization with fallbacks.
  • No broken images and proper ALT text.
  • Testing in Dark Mode for color consistency.
  • Confirming merge tags and their fallbacks.
  • Check email load time (aim for under two or three seconds).
  • Email file size under 102KB (to avoid Gmail clipping).
  • Accessibility for screen readers and visual impairments.

Phase #5: Prepare Your Insights

Set up analytics to analyze campaign performance.

Check working links with appropriate tracking (e.g., UTM parameters).

Add and activate analytics code for the campaign.

Phase #6: Email Deliverability

Ensure your emails reach subscribers’ inboxes and avoid spam folders.

  • Verify explicit opt-in from subscribers.
  • Comply with spam laws based on subscribers’ country or region.
  • Include company contact information and a physical mailing address.
  • Check for spelling and grammar errors.
  • Include a functional unsubscribe link.
  • Conduct a reputation check for IP addresses and domain names.
  • Run a Spam Filter Test for authentication records.

By diligently following these six phases and the associated 29 checkpoints, you can confidently hit “send” while ensuring a flawless and memorable subscriber experience.

Download Litmus’ Email Marketing Checklist and make every email deployment a seamless process. The pre-send checklist is your key to reducing errors, enhancing email performance, and creating a positive impact on your audience.