Despite continued innovation and sophistication in regards to email marketing platforms and software over the past ten years, quality control measures remain largely unchanged with responsibility remaining in the hands of the email marketer themselves.
A few months back, the Email Experience Council (EEC), a leading email industry group, came under fire after repeatedly including errors in a series of email communications. It signaled a growing need for basic quality control in email marketing campaigns big and small, given the fact that even the so-called “industry ambassador” was making the same mistakes.
Some common errors and mistakes present in a surprising amount of email marketing campaigns include things like broken links, missing images, incorrectly coded subject lines, unsubstituted personalization fields, faulty unsubscription methods and duplicate messages.
The fact remains that a simple HTML message has links that must work, images that must load correctly, authentication mechanisms such as SPF and DomainKeys (or DKIM) that depend on appropriate technical configuration, various response addresses (from and reply to, possibly unsubscribe), character sets and content encodings that must match, and a list of recipients that may require data loading and suppression.
Still, most e-mail solutions leave all the heavy lifting in the hands of the sender, with essentially manual processes to boot. Things like link destinations, images, response addresses, and authentication can all be checked automatically, but a lot of the time it’s not.
This is when you, as the marketer, must adhere to basic quality control measures to not only make sure you don’t include silly mistakes that could jeopardize the credibility of your campaign, but to also make sure your campaign is as efficient and successful as it can be.
There are some things that software will never be able to be…100% accurate. It knows the rules but not humans. You should always be your last defense in quality control