Employee Newsletters

Why You Need a Pre-Send Checklist for Company Email Newsletters

By Laura Horkey

Updated:

An email newsletter is one of the most effective ways to keep your employees informed, celebrate success, instill corporate values, and foster a sense of belonging. A pre-send checklist will ensure that you communicate everything you need while staying engaging and on-brand. 

It can be frustrating to spend time creating an employee newsletter only to find typos, broken links, and other easy-to-miss mistakes after you’ve already sent it to the entire company.

You want everything to be perfect, but everybody makes mistakes. You can avoid this predicament with some simple changes to your email newsletter creation process. The key is to have a process in place for email quality assurance.

By using a pre-send email checklist, you can ensure that all the key components of your email are present, correct, and clear. A pre-send checklist standardizes the proofing process and helps you thoroughly check your email before sending.

In this post, we’ll break down the key components of an effective email pre-send checklist and how to ensure quality emails every time you hit ‘Send!’

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Strategy Checks

A successful email newsletter has clear goals, a defined audience, and specific topics it needs to cover. This is your email strategy and it should be a priority item in your newsletter pre-send checklist.

Start every email newsletter with a plan. Be upfront about what the email is about and who it’s for.

Your pre-send checklist should pay attention to:

Email audience

Clearly addressing your audience is vital as it will determine how authentic your content feels and how it resonates with readers.

Who do you really want to reach? What do you need to communicate? What actions do you expect employees to take?

Consider unique employee newsletters for different departments or areas of the business. Or, design the newsletter with sections that reflect changes in those areas.

You can target your email content to only relevant recipients by using custom email lists. With ContactMonkey’s List Management feature, you can build your own email lists without having to wait on IT to do so.

ContactMonkey’s List Management integrates with your existing Human Resources Information System (HRIS) like Workday and ADP, as well as Azure Active Directory, so your lists will be automatically as your employees join and leave your company.

Topics covered

Make sure you hit all the topics you wanted to cover. Your email introduction should specify the priority topics and where they can be found.

This helps readers identify the parts of your newsletter that apply to them.

There could be sections with updates from sales, customer service, marketing, human resources, and more!

Based on your newsletter’s strategy and objectives, your email pre-send checklist should verify that you’ve targeted the right audience and included the key topics.

If you’re not sure how to write your email, you can use ContactMonkey’s OpenAI ChatGPT integration to help get you started. Simply provide a prompt describing what kind of content you’d like, and then edit the output text according to the audience you’re sending to.

Design Checks

Once you know you have a solid newsletter strategy, it’s time to check on your design. This should be a priority item on your email pre-send checklist with a focus on consistency.

When checking on design, your pre-send checklist should focus on:

Images, layout, and colours

These need to be consistent throughout your newsletter in order to create a cohesive reader experience.

Remember, a primary goal of internal emails is to inspire confidence amongst your teams and to unify efforts. That starts with a unified brand.

Branding

Make sure that all of your emails clearly come from your internal team and represent your brand. Stick with your company brand guidelines for colors, logos, images, and more.

With ContactMonkey this can be easily achieved when building Outlook or Gmail employee newsletter templates with the default colours feature. Ensure to set the default colours to match your brand:

Screenshot of custom branding options within ContactMonkey's email template builder.

Inbox Display

Email newsletter engagement begins before your recipients open it. First impressions matter and the way a message appears in an employee’s inbox affects open rates.

That’s why your email pre-send checklist must include a review of your inbox display. That includes:

Sender name

We’ve all received plenty of generic email marketing messages that come from a brand, not a real person.

To make your company-wide newsletter more personal, the sender name could come from someone in leadership or human resources instead. Effective leadership communications help employees connect with their employer, and prominently featuring a CEO or manager’s name is a surefire way to increase your email open rate.

Subject line

An intriguing subject line increases the odds of more employees opening your email newsletter.

An important email newsletter best practice is to keep the subject line short, sweet, and to-the-point. Try to be creative and spark some curiosity by teasing what the newsletter covers or conveying a sense of urgency.

“April 2021 Employee Newsletter” is an easy subject line to ignore. Let people know there’s something interesting or important inside. Usually, that’s a topic that directly impacts the lives of your employees.

Personalized subject lines addressed to individual recipients is another great idea. ContactMonkey enables you to quickly personalize your subject lines for all company emails.

Preheader text

There’s only so much room in the subject line. That’s where preheader text comes in handy. Its intent is to further explain what’s inside the email. That’s helpful when you’re sending a newsletter covering several topics.

If readers believe there’s something that’s relevant to them and their work, they’ll open it. Email newsletters live and die by relevance, and that’s true for internal emails as well as external ones.

Content Checks

It’s common for company email newsletters to re-use similar templates from issue to issue. This invites the danger of forgetting to update content from the email being copied.

That’s why content checks are a crucial component of your newsletter pre-send checklist.

This includes checking:

Links

If multiple departments or employees are contributing to your internal company newsletters this increases the likelihood of errors, incorrect links, and email rendering issues in Outlook and Gmail. Check all of your links to ensure they go to the right place.

Spelling and formatting

Spelling errors can creep in even after the copywriter sends in a polished final draft. All it takes is a designer reformatting something. Go through the text one more time after all the design, coding, and formatting changes have been finalized.

Accessibility

Accessibility within email newsletters is easily overlooked. Your email needs to have fonts, colors, and text that are easy to see and interact with.

Any call-to-action (CTA) buttons or links should be clearly identifiable, not buried in paragraphs or blending into the background. Emails can even be optimized for screen-reading software and virtual assistants.

Adding alt text to every image allows people to know what the image contains if the recipient has images disabled. This will also be read by screen readers so the visually impaired can understand your images.

To avoid the risk of using outdated content, just create a new email each time but with a single template. You can reuse the same templates from ContactMonkey without having to copy the previous content.

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Email Preview

Your email newsletters need to render correctly on dozens of smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.

It’s not just the newest models; they have to work on older ones, too.

Even if your employees all use Outlook or Gmail for business, there are different versions of these email clients. That’s why previewing your email should be a key action item in your pre-send checklist.

With ContactMonkey, you can get both mobile and desktop previews of your newsletters.

Not only can you view what your emails will look like on desktop and mobile devices, but you can even work on them in these views using the mobile design feature:

Screenshot of email newsletter being viewed in a mobile preview within ContactMonkey's email template builder.

Email on Acid’s email previews show you how email design renders on a wide variety of clients, devices, and operating systems. This means you can see exactly how a newsletter displays on all sorts of iPhones and Android devices, including how the email looks when opened in Apple Mail, Outlook, Gmail, and more.

Screenshot of Email on Acid dashboard.

A Pre-Send Checklist Perfects your Internal Email Newsletters

Creating perfect emails requires two primary steps. First, you build it. Then, you test it before you hit “send.”

After you build your company newsletter, putting it to the test with a pre-send checklist ensures you deliver email perfection to every employee in the company. ContactMonkey is the most respected and efficient tool designed for building engaging and effective company email newsletters.

Learn how to use an internal communications software to speed up your email design process. Book a free demo with one of our friendly experts and learn how easy ContactMonkey makes internal communication.

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