email newsletter

Welcome back to Behind the Scoop, a series that tackles the email newsletter challenges that every email marketer faces–whether they work on a large cross-functional team or are a mighty team of one.

I’m continuing to sit down with SendGrid’s Engagement Marketing Manager, Jill Guest, who is responsible for SendGrid’s client facing quarterly newsletter to gain her insight on how she perfects the newsletter process. Today, in part 3 of the series, we cover the steps that Jill and pros at SendGrid take before sending out The Scoop.

Check yourself…but also ask others

Producing clean copy that works within your email design builds trust and increases engagement with your recipients. Every time SendGrid’s email content passes through a new step, such as design, a member of the Content or Nurture and Conversion Team looks it over to ensure the pieces all still fit. Jill says that for those marketers who don’t have access to an editor or Content Team, they should at the very least enlist someone else to look over the copy and images.

Once the content and design have been reviewed together and it’s about time to schedule, Jill recommends having a visual/physical checklist of to-dos and checks to follow. Jill would know, she sends around 3-4 email campaigns out every week throughout the year!

“When you do something over and over, you fall into a pattern and confidence that sometimes causes you to rush through and miss small, but consequential details,” says Jill. “I know all the steps, but if I don’t slowly go through my checklist, inevitably, at one point we’ll miss something that we wouldn’t have if we would have followed the list.”

Curious what SendGrid’s pre-send checklist looks like? Listen in on our Email Marketing Mistakes webinar which includes a pre-send checklist, how to go about damage control, and other common email marketing mistakes that you should avoid.

Once she is ready to send, Jill then sends a test email to herself and then forwards it back to members of the Nurture/Conversion and Content Teams. Jill says a variety of perspectives is always better and provides the proper gut check before you send. Sometimes another team member may fit the profile of your audience more and be able to bring some new ideas to the table.

Browser testing 101

No matter what your checklist includes, make sure you are browser testing before you push send. Jill performs browser testing to ensure her email campaign appears properly on the more common browsers. SendGrid uses Email on Acid and Litmus to test email campaigns.

“I can’t underscore the importance of performing browser testing,” says Jill. “Newsletters usually have a lot more complex HTML features, images, and CTAs so newsletter testing should go through additional scrutiny than, say, a single CTA promotional email.”

When testing your newsletter, Jill advises checking for the following:

  • Mobile view
  • Desktop view
  • Different permutations of ISPs and device combination (Gmail, in Chrome or Gmail in Firefox, etc.)

Browser test your email campaigns based on the most common combinations of browser and devices on your recipient list. Read more browser tips and insights from Jill here.

Once Jill is satisfied with the results of browser testing, she schedules the campaign. Again, there is always a chance that something may not appear right and the more your recipient list grows, the likelihood of inconsistencies increases. That’s ok. You’re not going to attain perfect results 100% of the time, but following the steps above puts you in the best position possible for most of your recipients.

Now what?

Stay tuned for part 4 of Behind the Scoop where we cover how Jill and her team measure success and recipient engagement. And in case you missed parts our previous posts in this series we covered email newsletter planning, as well as email newsletter content strategy.

And if you would like to dive deeper into all aspects of email marketing including a sending strategy and more tips from email experts, download SendGrid’s Email Marketing Survival Guide.



Kelsey Bernius
As content marketing manager at SendGrid, Kelsey oversees all functions of the SendGrid Delivery blog including scheduling, writing, editing, and publishing. Her downtime is dominated by either her mountain bike or skis (depending on current weather forecast)–and mixing up a salty marg afterward.