Are your emails critical?

  • Are your emails CRITICAL?

    We're big advocates of email marketing here at The Marketing Eye, and like every business, we constantly have to ask ourselves if our campaigns, and those we run for our clients, are as effective as they could be.

    Dave Chaffey, author of Total Email Marketing, devised the CRITICAL model as a useful checklist of questions to ask about your email campaigns.  

    CRITICAL stands for:


    This assesses the design of the email including its layout, use of colour and imagary, and the copy.


    Arguably, the most important factor. Use the following question: “Does the offer and creative of the email meet recipients’ needs?”

    Incentive (or offer)

    The WIFM factor for the recipient or ‘what’s in it for me?’ What benefit does the recipient gain from clicking on the link(s) in the email?

    Targeting and timing

    Targeting is related to relevance. Is a single message sent to all prospects or customers on the list, or are emails with tailored creative, incentive and copy sent to different list segments?

    Timing refers to when the email is received – time of day, day of week, point in the month, even the year. Does it relate to any particular events? There’s also relative timing: when it’s received in conjunction with other marketing communications (this depends on the integration).


    Are email campaigns part of your integrated marketing communications? Questions to ask include: Are the creative and copy consistent with my brand? Does the message reinforce other communications? Does the timing of the email campaign fit with offline communications?


    This is part of the creative and refers to the structure, style and explanation of the offer together with the location of hyperlinks in the email.

    Attributes (header attributes of the email)

    Assess the message characteristics such as the subject line, from address, to address, date/time of receipt and format (HTML or text). These can also influence deliverability of the message if they contain the wrong structure or keywords identified as spam.

    Landing page

    The effectiveness of the landing page in terms of communications’ consistency and simplicity.

    This easy to remember acronym serves as a useful prompt to make sure that every element of the campaign has been considered in the right amount of depth.  If you'd like to talk in more detail about the success or otherwise of your email marketing campaigns, please contact us.

Related articles

  • Read More

    How to send the right email every time with Dynamic Email from SharpSpring

    Email is one of the most effective pieces of marketing at your disposal. The ability to communicate your products and services directly to your target audience is a mouth-watering prospect. However,...

  • Read More

    3 new features come to SharpSpring!

    I recently attended the SharpSpring Global Summit where the world’s fastest growing marketing automation platform introduced three brand new features. The new features help bring SharpSpring in...

  • Read More

    Marketing Automation: What’s in a form?

    A person fills in a form on your website and you are sent a notification - job done, right? Probably not. You’d be surprised by the number of layers involved when someone completes a form on your...

  • Read More

    Are you forgetting these eight easy search ranking essentials?

    Are you forgetting these eight easy search ranking essentials?...

  • Read More

    Why there is a lot of love for SharpSpring

    In July, I wrote a blog post looking at 10 reasons to use marketing automation. What I should have called it is ‘10 reasons to love marketing automation’, because that seems to be the feeling in...

  • Read More

    Are your email marketing results above or below average?

    2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report Review...

  • Read More

    A picture is worth a thousand words

    Making use of a diagram, a chart or simply a photograph is a long established method of breaking up copy on a page and making the reader experience more pleasurable. In today's fast-moving world,...

  • Read More

    How important are email open rates?

    As a business that uses email in its own marketing strategy as well as the strategies of its clients, we are very focused on the statistics that our campaigns generate....

  • Read More

    Identifying your website visitors - wow!

    The website is now Rome for nearly every business - all roads must lead to it.  By driving visitors to your website, you enable them to find out more about your business, your offer, your people...

  • Read More

    Marketing automation - make your marketing work by itself

    We've all been on the receiving end of marketing automation....

Take the first step

To find out more about how we can help you grow faster, please get in touch. We'd like to hear from you.  Or try our instant marketing healthcheck, it's free!

Quick Contact

Quick contact


Contact us

T 01825 765617


Our offices

Full details of our offices in London and Uckfield more

Request a call