So before you hit the SEND button on that next campaign, make sure your email checks out with everything on our Email Campaign Checklist below.
Persuasive email numbers moving up and to the right
Without question, email is one of the most essential tools for attracting new prospects and retaining existing customers.
As the latest Radicati Group Email Statistics Report discloses, in 2018, 281 billion emails were sent and received worldwide, each day. And by 2022, this impressive number is expected to rise to 333 billion emails sent every day.
More numbers that underscore the power and increasing reliance on email by marketers and organizations include:
- Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social | Monetate
- 57% of email subscribers spend 10-60 minutes browsing marketing emails during the week | ChoozOn
- Email is 40X more effective at customer acquisition than Facebook or Twitter | McKinsey
- 53% of marketers report ongoing, personalized communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact | DemandGen
- Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates | Experian
- 1 out of every 3 clicks within an email occurs on a mobile device | Campaign Monitor
- Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10% | Aberdeen
- Over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns | DMA
- Automated email messages average +70% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “ordinary” marketing messages | Epsilon Email Institute
- For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $44 in ROI | Campaign Monitor
- 76% of marketers see active growth in their number of email subscribers | Ascend2
The result of this rising dataset underscores the importance of email as an essential component of an effective marketing toolbox.
So before you push that next campaign, make sure everything checks out on this Email Campaign Checklist before you hit the SEND button.
What to always check before sending an email campaign
An email list can be of one the most important assets that an organization has. When resource investments are made to build a quality list, its value accrues quickly because the list:
- Provides a detailed inventory of the people you value most
- Enables the best access point to the most preferred method of communication
- Delivers efficiency and cost-effectiveness
- Built to your custom requirements
- Increases in value every time more names and detail are added
- Owned and can’t be taken away—like social media
Your list should be comprised of contacts, prospects and past customers that have engaged with you, purchased your product or service or have expressed some level of interest in what you offer.
icon-check-circle | List Selection
By continually experimenting with adjustments to content, delivery times, offers and seasonal opportunities, you can enhance the success of email campaigns over time. And when you find the right equation of variables that delivers positive results, you’ll have certainty about what to do more of more often.
Your email subject line is the first thing that anyone will see or read. So, make sure it’s written with a clear benefit with an action-oriented structure.
Avoid all caps, exclamation points, special characters and other SPAM identifiers that will diminish the opportunity of your email to arrive at your target’s inbox.
icon-check-circle | Pre-header
Many mobile, desktop and web email clients display a pre-header to tip you off on what the email contains before you open it.
Be sure to check for typos and ensure that your pre-header extends the subject line in a way that inspires action to click open the email.
icon-check-circle | Footer
Make sure it’s consistent with your brand requirements and all of the links work. If you need to, make minor modifications to your footer template that addresses the specific needs of your campaign.
icon-check-circle | Physical Location Address
icon-check-circle | Permission Reminder
And for those leads + prospects that are not auditable subscribers to your content, provide a link so that they can officially join your list in order to continue to get the great content you’ll be sending in the future.
icon-check-circle | Unsubscribe Link
icon-check-circle | Social Icons + Links
If you include active links to make your email look cool or think others will share it, it’s time to let that go.
The last thing you want a recipient to do is to click off your email and on to a public social media platform. This is a virtual guarantee that the email recipient won’t convert on the specific CALL-TO-ACTION that you seek.
Wasted social media clicks can be catastrophic for your conversion rate.
Consistently developing and deploying relevant content to a targeted online audience is one of the most effective ways to attract new prospects and retain existing customers.
As a result, creating, deploying and measuring good content must be a priority for any business that wants to succeed with online marketing.
According to the experts at the Direct Marketing Association | DMA, 25% of marketers are challenged to get content for their email marketing campaigns. These barriers can include:
- Writing Quality
- Image Quality
- Technology + Integration
- List Quality
- Domain Authority
Research confirms that if an email looks and sounds personal, it will usually perform better than a generic email. So when you include personalization, be sure to configure the merge variable with fall back replacement text.
For example, in an opening salutation with a first name merge variable, you want to ensure that there will be replacement text in your email if there is no first name in your database. Replacing the first name with “Hi There” might be a reasonable alternative.
If that doesn’t work for you, make your replacement alternative sound authentic, not robotic.
icon-check-circle | Grammar + Spelling
If you mess up, Grammarly underlines the content in question and even suggests correct spelling that you can enable with just one click. Sweet.
icon-check-circle | Text Only Version
- Dozens of proprietary, incompatible email readers chosen at the discretion of the prospect you want to reach
- Email application preview panes individually configured to display email content in every size and form
- Individual email applications configured to block display of images
To overcome these challenges, you need to provide a TEXT ONLY version of your content. This will ensure that if your message actually arrives at the inbox you targeted, the recipient will be able to read and convert on your content.
If you forego this essential content, you put your performance at risk.
icon-check-circle | Images
The result is that they serve as giant click buttons that can do wonders for increasing conversions.
icon-check-circle | Headlines
Make them linkable to increase your click conversions.
icon-check-circle | Call-to-Action Button
If you’ve spent all of the necessary resources to plan, develop, test and deploy an email campaign, you won’t be able to measure anything if your CTA button link doesn’t work.
It’s also important to specifically state the benefit of the CTA in the button text. Action-oriented words like get, save, share, and act are all examples of action verbs that help promote the email recipient to take the action that you are hoping for.
A great way to test email performance is to leverage the data you have on hand.
icon-check-circle | Segmentation
This focusing can help identify the elements of an email that should be adjusted to meet the unique requirements of a more narrow segment of a list. Modify and refine as required.
What could be more important than testing?
This critical requirement allows you to ensure that all of the essentials of your email are in place and performing as expected before you send it on to your list.
It also allows you to review the email with your team to ensure that everyone has signed off on both the content, presentation and functionality of the campaign.
icon-check-circle | Preview Email
icon-check-circle | Approval Audit Trail
We prefer providing each decision maker with a set of text that unambiguously states that the individual has approved the campaign—like this:
“The XYZ campaign and all of the components in it have been reviewed and approved for deployment. Please proceed.”
By requiring the decision-making team to copy/paste this text into a reply email, it removes any ambiguity about whether or not a campaign was approved for deployment.
Choose the date and time to send your email based on data. Ensure that it doesn’t conflict with other scheduled activities or email campaigns.
Consider that your leads + prospects will continue to receive Marketing Automation emails from previous workflow and automation activities that you may have already configured and deployed.
Schedule the deployment of the campaign on a date and time that has proven to be effective—such as late in the afternoon on a business day of the week.
If you’re unsure what’s an effective time or date, consider doing a few A/B tests with this variable and assess the results over a set calendar period. If the performance of a campaign stands out, consider refining the time/date delivery variable to optimize performance.
icon-check-circle | Performance Measurement
Once you’ve deployed an email campaign, hit the dashboard to review performance.
It’s a good idea to wait at least 5 days to report accurate performance. Most email campaigns traditionally peak in the first 24 hours after delivery.
They then decline with a long tail after about 72 hours. However, it’s not uncommon, especially for B2B campaigns, for a small number of conversions to continue over a 3-7 day period.
Enhance the opportunity for email campaign success
Data supports the fact that email marketing is one of the most effective and efficient online marketing techniques. Organizations that dismiss this media ignore an opportunity to consistently deliver the highest ROI for their marketing investments.
When used in context with a structured Content Marketing program that integrates Marketing Automation, email becomes even more attractive. And when you address all of the requirements in the checklist above, you enhance the opportunity for campaign success, more qualified leads and increased revenue. Who doesn’t want that?
Are you using a structured and repeatable checklist to ensure that your emails are optimized for delivery and conversions? Did we forget anything on our checklist that you think is critical? Let’s hear from you.