It’s easy to forget about quality assurance (QA) with all the time pressures to get your emails out the door. Easy despite the fact that it is one of the most important steps in the creative process. Easy to forget that after having invested tons of time, energy and dollars in designing the perfect campaign, the simplest of errors can trip you up.
Which is why we wrote this post on how to do effective email campaign QA:
Have the creative proofed by a fresh set of eyes
It’s a well-known fact: the more time you spend working on a project, the less likely you are to spot the little details. Your brain fills in the blanks and mask even the most glaring mistakes (like in the headline). So, the project lead is definitely the worse person to do the final sign-off.
Best to work with a professional proofreader or editor. No budget? No problem… Give the job to the person on your team who knows the least about the project. That person will review your email with a fresh perspective and “virgin” eyes.
Eliminate distractions – concentration is key!
Close the door to your office, or put on your headphones, activate airplane mode on your smartphone. Close your email, messenger and collaboration apps or activate do not disturb. You only thought should be: concentrate!
In quality assurance, distractions not only make the process longer, but the number of errors will skyrocket as a result. That’s why you need to take every step to ensure total optimal concentration.
Create an email QA checklist… and stick to it
Different types of email messages and different clients or projects each have their own particular challenges. That’s why you need to set up personalized checklists for each one to make sure you cover all the bases. Don’t forget to break down each one of the validation steps: the more detailed, the better, with fewer errors creeping in!
When QA becomes routine and repetitive, we may be tempted to drop the checklist altogether. BIG mistake! The checklist is there to remind you of that pesky little detail that might slip through the cracks.
Test all the possibilities – and see what other will see!
Your email will be viewed in a multiplicity of environments: on a desktop computer to a handheld device. The OS may be Mac or PC, Android or iOS. Not to mention the various email application and web browsers. Unfortunately, you’ll need to check how your email displays in each one of them!
Fortunately, there are some great tools, including Litmus, that will allow you to see how your email messages render in dozens of possible environments.
Learn from your mistakes to avoid repeating them
So, you found a major coding error in an email? Good on you! You’ve noticed a typo that keeps showing up again and again? Congrats! Now cut these gaffs off at the pass! Learn to catch them earlier in the process so they never make it through to QA again.
Add a special note to your checklist. And most important of all, sit down with the person who made the mistakes in the first place, so they can get better at their job!
A well-designed QA process greatly reduces the risk of errors in your email campaigns. But despite your best efforts, nobody’s perfect and mistakes do happen…So, it’s important to learn how to create an effective Oops! email.