In his thought-provoking book,“The Checklist Manifesto,” Atul Gawande walks through vivid examples of how both the airline industry and the medical field radically reduced errors and improved safety issues by using a simple checklist. Since reading his book, every time I board a plane I envision the pilot and co-pilot working their way down that checklist to ensure that everyone on my flight makes it to our destination. Atul Gawande convinced me, and countless others, that every industry, every person, and every project would benefit from a checklist.



Typically multiple people are involved with the email planning, design, copywriting, development, testing and approval of an email campaign. Most often, these same people have several emails and supporting landing pages progressing at the same time. Trying to keep everyone aligned can be daunting! It makes sense to work from a centralized list — giving each member the ability to check off their completed task, leading to a streamlined process, stronger collaboration, and most importantly a reduction in errors and improvement in quality overall.



To give you a solid foundation to build on, we took our experience and knowledge with email marketing and content marketing to create an Email Marketing Checklist. The first five steps involve organization, collaboration and a lot of listening. All of this is needed to get to know your audience better to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time — the purpose of email marketing. As you build your checklist or tailor the one we’ve drafted for you, allow the members of your team to have a voice in what needs to happen. Obtaining input will break down barriers, find missing tasks and set timing accordingly.



The second five encompass the action of composing, building and testing each email campaign. Litmus, our partner with email rendering and analytics, has made it easy to check off and approve each of these actions with their Custom Checklist feature. For example, the image below shows the custom checklist we utilize for our monthly newsletter “From your Email Horticulturists.” You’ll notice that a few of the last five tasks from the Email Marketing Checklist are applied here. We’re able to mark each task as complete, as well as see who completed which task.



Because of the checklist process, we’re learning more about our audience as a team. We’ve stayed on track with our email campaigns, content, measurement and ongoing education for continuous improvement. Our clients are benefiting from the expanded communication and collaboration.

You can do the same. Get started on your checklist.