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4 tips for successful email campaigns

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. The bottom line is that email marketing can be difficult, and even disastrous if you get it wrong.

Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.

This blog will cover our tips for a successful email campaign to help you on your way before the inbox and after the send.

Tip 1 - Success begins before send

Automate and organise your pre-send workflow

The efforts that go into what happens before we press send take up the most time and energy – 53% of brands take two weeks or more to produce a single email - and it only increases when teams become bigger and more emails are in production at the same time.

With all this time spent before a single email is sent, it makes sense to invest in your processes before you hit send. Our pre-sending process consists of the following tasks:

  • Email concept and planning
  • Copywriting
  • 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. Here are some quick tips for each step:
    • Planning - decide what your goals are and host a planning session before you begin creation.
    • Designing - use templates to speed this process up and avoid errors (we can even create them for you!)
    • Coding - coding, on average takes up 3.8 hours of time per email. So reuse code, copy paste similar emails and just adjust as needed.
    Tip 2 - Test, Test, Test

    Test every email, on every device, with every setup - every time.

    Inbox Service Providers (ISP’s) and Inbox Providers change the way how emails render without giving you a notice upfront. Therefore it’s always a best practice to test your emails before a send-out.

    If not every email that gets sent is tested, it’s time to alter the workflow. Start by asking why you’re not 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 and luckily this doesn’t have to be the case. When testing, you only have to look at five core problems:
    • Your emails trigger spam filters.
    • Your email doesn’t follow best practices for accessibility.
    • Your email looks off in some Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) or Inbox providers.
    • Your subject line and preview text aren’t optimized.
    • Your email contains broken links or lacks link tracking.
    • Your images are not including alt-tags or take too long to load.
    Tip 3 - Gather Insight - not information

    Not all information is relevant, and not every insight is useful.

    You should always analyse subscriber engagement and campaign performance. They enable 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 you find the right data 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, and then slowly adding more. 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 by indexing these questions and addressing them. If you are unsure which questions need answers, look back at the planning step and your email brief.

    Tip 4 - Sharing is caring

    Break the info silos, 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 your 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 which each 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:
    • 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 upsells 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 feature in an email have higher retention rates. Noting this connection, the product team puts more attention on the critical element during the in-app product tour.
    Stand and deliver

    By sticking with these four tips of email marketing campaign success you can boost engagement and ROI through every email to your customers. These tips may seem to be simple and straight-forward at first, but have a compounding impact for the rest of your digital marketing campaign.

    If you would like to hear more on email marketing check out our video on the topic here - I guarantee you will find something of value.

    We also have a full guide to email marketing that takes you through what we personally use at the three pillars to email campaign success. You can download here. To find out more, or gain an even deeper understanding of how you can improve your digital marketing, contact Engagement Factory today.

  • Engagement Factory
    We are Engagement Factory - a customer engagement agency to the core. We help our clients transform into true customer-centric organisations by combining strategy and insights, fuelled by creativity and technology.
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