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Before You Send That Marketing Email...

Before You Send That Marketing Email... Blog Feature

May 2nd, 2014 min read

Before_You_Send_That_Marketing_Email...If you were to ask the average person what their biggest fears are, it's likely that their response would include spiders, heights, public speaking, snakes, flying, or something along those lines.

But what would a marketer say?

Unlike the average person, a marketer's worst fears involve things like rogue tweets, under performing campaigns, and the dreaded email error

After all, the only thing more unsettling than the feeling you get when you realize you sent out an email riddled with grammar mistakes or broken links, is the feeling you get when you realize your boss is going to find out (dun, dun, dun.)

To ensure that you right the wrongs before you blast out your next marketing email, we've come up with a list of everything you need to check, and double check.

Audience:

Just because you have the ability to send out your email to everyone in your contact database, doesn't mean that is the best approach to take.

 Avoid being trash canned by segmenting your list to include only the contacts that the content applies to. 

When segmenting your contact lists consider the following:

Persona

If you don't already have buyer personas in place, we advise you to get started with this comprehensive kit. If you do have personas in place, it's likely that you're already aware of their personal details and the specific challenges they face. This information should be used to help you determine whether or not they are a good fit for the email in question. 

Sales Cycle Stage

Does the email you about to send appeal to people at the top of the funnel or bottom of the funnel? 

Different stages of the sales cycle require different types of content in terms of subject, format, and complexity. By separating your leads into TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU lists you can ensure that the content they receive will proactively work towards moving them down the funnel rather than confusing them.

Behavior

For improved click-through rates, consider segmenting your lists based off the way in which customers and leads interact with your existing content

Let's say a segment of your list has downloaded several social media related ebooks. With this information in mind, it would be safe to assume that this same list would see the value in your newest social media ebook. 

Other factors to consider when segmenting your email lists are age, gender, location, job title, industry, and interests. 

Content:

When it comes to creating the actual content for the email, there are a few things you'll want to take into consideration.

Headline:

First things first, start with a powerful subject line by asking yourself what would make you click. Your subject lines should be straightforward, no nonsense, and benefit oriented. 

Body:

As for the bulk of your content, well, it shouldn't be bulky at all.

In order to ease readability and increase the likelihood that recipients actually make it through the entire email, stick to concise sentences, and if applicable, bullet points. 

You want to be sure that the main marketing message is explicit and the value can be easily extracted. 

If you're including links within your text, be sure to test them. Broken links translates into lost opportunities. 

Spelling & Grammar:

To avoid denouncing the credibility of your work, it is absolutely necessary that you read through, edit, and read through it again. 

Something as simple as mixing up their and there or affect and effect has the ability to turn a reader off, which is essentially a lost opportunity for your business. 

Quick tip: I've found that reading my work backwards allows me to focus on each individual word, which makes it easier to identify mistakes.

Reporting:

Before you move forward, it's important that you have a plan for measuring the success of your email.

In order to gauge the effectivity of your marketing email, set SMART goals in advance to serve as a point of reference once the results start surfacing.

Make sure that any and all of the actions that are prompted by the email have a measurable metric attached to them. This will not only help you make sense of the impact the email had, but also provide you with valuable insights that can be used to improve future emails. 

Have a plan for reporting the following metrics ahead of time, rather than allowing them to become and after thought: 

Click-Through Rate

The CTR refers to the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within your email. This metric specifically provides marketers with information regarding the relevancy of their message.

If recipients chose to click the links, it's likely that the content resonated with them enough to encourage this next step which implies that the email was well segmented.

CTRs will vary based on the type of email that you are sending so if you're comparing your results with past emails, be sure that the email is within the same realm. 

Conversion Rate

While the CTR refers to recipients who simply clicked on a link, the conversion rate takes things one step further. Not only did these people click on a link, but they also carried out the desired next action, for example, filling out a form.

While clicks are important, conversions are what you should really be striving for. Considering conversion rates depend on the ability of the email content to entice the recipient in combination with the quality of the landing page that follows, it is important that you are analyzing this metric from all angles. 

Other valuable metrics that you'll want to consider when reporting the successes and failures of your marketing email should include open rate, bounce rate, email forwards/shares, and perhaps your boss' favorite three letters, ROI. 

Photo Credit: SumAll

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