Before you send emails to your subscribers, you need to develop the email campaign. What text and images will you use? Why send an email, and most importantly what are you looking to get out of your email campaign?
As a precursor of your email campaign, it’s imperative to have your strategy put in place. Read this post to check the 5 elements of an email strategy.
1. Why send this email?
To have an effective email campaign, you need to clearly see every step from start to finish. Identifying why you actually send the email is your first step.
Ask yourself: Why is this email valuable to the recipient? Why they should know about this?
You also want to avoid sending it to the wrong people. Ask yourself as well: Who from my list doesn’t have to know about this?
2. Planning your campaign
After you identified who is going to receive your email it’s time to plan. Specify an answer to each question in the following list.
- What are the goals of this campaign? Awareness? Website Traffic? Grow Social Media Community?
- What tone and style are you going to use in your writing? Formal or informal? An urgency tone or a calm tone?
- What segment of your audience are you going to send it to? To males, females, or both? To existing clients or to new subscribers?
- What is the message, layout, subject line, preview text, and CTA’s of your email?
- Which elements of your email are you going to A/B test?
3. The Email Copy
After the subject line, the email copy is the most important element of your email. Follow these email copy guidelines and you should be all set for a good email:
Email Copy Guidelines
- Email copy should bring value.
- Must be engaging.
- Be short and straight to the point.
- Make it about their needs.
- Be easily scannable through use of headers and bolded text.
- Have one single goal and action for the recipient to take.
- Have eye-catching CTA’s.
- Read this post to learn the best practices for each email element: subject line, email copy, email design, CTA, and images.
4. Test your email
Apart from A/B testing, you should also test the actual email deliverability.
Many marketers don’t follow this step. How the email looks in your Email Service Provider (ESP) might be different from what the user sees.
Therefore, I recommend creating test accounts on the most popular email services (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL, Zoho, Mail.com).
Use those test accounts to send your marketing email to see how it looks for each ESP.
Is any spam filter is triggered? Are the links clickable and working?
5. Sending the email
Now it’s time to send the email.
But wait. You should verify if every element is matching with what you have initially planned.
And… one more thing. If you are going to A/B test any element then you have one more step to perform.
How to perform A/B Testing
Send two variants of the element you test to 20% of your email recipients. Wait 24 hours and then send again the winning variant to the other 80% of your recipients.
If everything seems to be in place just send the email to your selected audience.
Tip: To find the right time to send the email do this: Scatter your emails at different times of the day on different days of the week. It will help you find the right timeframe to send the email to get maximum open rates, clicks, conversions.
6. Analyze results
You sent the email, you started getting some metrics maybe even some results.
A good practice is to wait at least 48 hours before you start collecting the data. Other marketers even check their email data intermittently within an interval of 24-48-72.
Checking the metrics and understanding how the data can influence your next campaign requires an entire post on its own. Here is a great post from CoSchedule explaining all you need to know about email metrics.
Don’t fall into the trap of avoiding creating a strategy and a plan before you send the email.
It’s imperative to understand what you are looking to get out of the email campaign. You need to see every piece from above as well as the whole picture.
It’s a thin line between having an effective email and one that doesn’t deliver results. But above all is paramount to bring value to your subscribers. Without delivering valuable content you’ll end up not having who to send your marketing emails to.