With consistently high return on investment (ROI) email simply can’t be ignored.
Year-on-year, email has proven that it’s still a highly effective tool for digital marketers. With an ROI of 42:1
, email marketing outperforms nearly every other channel. However, email marketing can be difficult to master, and mistakes can have quite dramatic effects. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. Our four tips for successful email campaigns will help you pre- and post-send. Tip one – success begins before the send outAutomate and organise your pre-send workflow.
The efforts that go into what happens before we press send take up the most time and energy. Did you know that 53% of brands take two weeks or more to produce a single email
? This number increases even further when teams become bigger and more emails are in production at the same time.
With all this time spent, it makes sense to invest and optimise the processes that take place before the send out. Our pre-sending process consists of the following tasks:
- Email concept and planning
- Graphics and design
- Coding and development
- Data logic and setup within the email service provider (ESP)
- Testing and troubleshooting
- Review(s) and approval(s)
Now, that’s a lot of tasks to accomplish and, without proper processes, you will drive yourself mad with scattered feedback, back and forth copying and pasting between tools and last-minute
changes that lead to mistakes.
This is why a good pre-send process ensures an organised and automated workflow.
The following tips will help you smooth out the pre-send workflow:
Tip two – testing and reviewingTest every email, every time you send it.
- Planning – decide what your goals are and host a planning session before you begin creation. We also recommend using email briefs for every email and implementing a content planning tool. This ensures everybody within the team is streamlined and knows where to find all the details related to the brief or campaign.
- Designing – create design templates which allow quick creation of mock-ups and ensure brand guidelines are in place specifically related to email.
- Development – coding a single email on average takes up 3.8 hours of time. By using templates, you reduce the time required to build and the likelihood for errors. Secondly, integrate your email development platform with the send-out platform, this reduces the risk of manually copying and pasting code between the systems and it streamlines the process.
Inbox service providers (ISPs) and inbox providers – to programs used to receive emails – update on a regular basis, and they don’t notify you about this. These updates can cause your previously functioning emails to not render correct. Therefore, it’s always best practice to test your emails before a send out.
If emails that get sent out aren't tested, it’s then time to alter the workflow. Start by asking why aren’t we testing every email? Determine the ways to remove barriers that prevent testing. Does testing take too long? Is the gap between a production-ready email and sending too short to test? Most people care about testing but feel it takes too long, however, when you’ve taken the previous steps into account testing, most of the time, testing becomes a breeze.
Problems that a good quality assurance (QA) process can prevent are:
- Emails trigger spam filters.
- Emails don’t follow best practices for accessibility.
- Emails break in some internet service providers (ISPs) or inbox providers.
- Your subject line and preview text aren’t optimised.
- Emails contain broken links or lack link tracking.
- Images are not including alt-tags or take too long to load.
After you’ve conducted the final testing, you’re ready to review and polish up by dotting the Is and crossing the Ts. After this you gather the necessary approvals and proceed your send out. Tip three – gather insights, not informationNot all information is relevant, and not every insight is useful.
You should always analyse subscriber engagement and campaign performance. This enables you to learn and effectively adjust your campaigns but also inform the decision making within the company. However, do you really need to know everything
about your subscribers? Taking the time to identify what information is useful, what insight is actionable and what you did in the past can help to make the right decisions for the future.
Don’t try and find out every insight possible, locate the gaps in your strategy or grey areas that require clarity. Email analysis should start based on a question to which you want to find the answer. For example: Are there areas where a greater understanding of the customers’ knowledge or how to segment them would help? The answer to a question like this would improve your email campaign tremendously.
Start the post-send process by indexing these questions. If you are unsure which questions need answers, look back at the planning phase and your briefings. Are you able to effectively deliver what was planned? Also consider talking to other departments, see which questions they have and if you’re able to provide answers to those questions. Tip four – sharing is caring Break the silos and improve overall marketing effectiveness.
Once the pre-send and post-send processes are running efficiently, the results should provide valuable insights. Now it’s time to break down the silos within the company. Just as the saying goes; sharing is caring.
Sharing insights can do a lot for your company. A company can go further and faster if everyone is collaborating and sharing their insights on a common goal. So how can you make all of this work? The answer is with people.
The first question you should be asking is whether or not the departments within the company are currently sharing insights. If the answer is no or teams are not sharing updates on a regular basis, there is room for improvement.
Each department interacts with customers in a varying subset, time and location. This creates a different perspective as well as opportunities that other departments can make use of.
Let’s look at some examples of how email marketers could inform other departments:
Stand and deliver
- The email team can identify the most engaged – and high spending – customers via revenue per subscriber and lifetime value. From this segment, your paid ads team can create a lookalike audience to target more efficiently.
- After A/B testing upsell email messaging, there are different winners among each customer segment. With this information in hand, the sales team can tailor their focus and approach for different customer types.
- Emails that touch on some of the ‘soft skills’ your subscribers are trying to learn have engagement rates twice as high as tactical newsletters. Realising that these are compelling topics, your marketing team creates a panel discussion video series on those challenging topics.
- Customers that showed a higher interest in a particular product feature within emails had higher retention rates. Noting this connection, the product team puts more attention on this product feature during the in-app product tour.
By sticking to these four tips of email marketing campaign success you can boost engagement and ROI with every email you send. These tips may seem to be simple and straight-forward at first, but proper implementation will have a compounding impact for the rest of your digital marketing campaigns.
If you would like to hear more on email marketing check out our video
on the topic here, which will provide you with even more insights.
We also have a full guide to email marketing that takes you through the three pillars to email campaign success, the method we use here at Engagement Factory. You can download it here
To find out more or gain an even deeper understanding of how you can improve your digital marketing, contact Engagement Factory today