Your email marketing checklist for 2017

Posted by: Stafford Sumner


 

For years the experts have been predicting the decline of email. The experts are wrong.

Email is still, pound for pound, the marketing channel which delivers the biggest return on investment, $38 dollars for every $1 spent according to last year’s figures coming out of the US (VentureBeat).

Last year we sent out 72 million emails on behalf of our clients. That’s a lot of emails but barely scratches the surface when it comes to the number sent globally. And while we pride ourselves on the quality of emails we send, we still see so many emails being sent out by big brands and small businesses alike which fall far short when it comes to getting the basics right.

So we’ve set ourselves our own resolution for 2017, we want to help people send out better emails. Why? Because everybody wins, it’s better for you and it’s better for your customers.

To help you out, we’ve put together this checklist as a starting point. Go through it, be honest with yourself and ask the question ‘how good is my email marketing?’ Because we want to help you make it better.

Is your email marketing list kept up to date?

Let’s start with the most simple one, is your email marketing list or database kept up to date? You need to manage your unsubscribes, your bounces and your new subscribers to ensure your list is ‘clean’ especially if you send to multiple lists or to multiple sources. Ensuring your data is in the best possible shape is your first step to better email marketing.

Are you attracting new subscribers?

While it’s the quality of your data that matters rather than the quantity, it still pays to have strategies in place to increase the size of your database. Give your customers a reason to subscribe and then communicate with them intelligently to maximise engagement.

Do you know your customers’ preferences?

Understanding your customers is vital if you want to put the right message in front of the right people at the right time. How well do you know yours? What are their likes and dislikes? And most importantly what do they want you to talk to them about when you communicate with them?

Do you segment your database?

Engagement levels and conversion rates can increase by as much as 15% (Mailchimp) when you send to segments of your database. There are many different segments you can use ranging from everything to how your subscribers interact with your campaigns to their geographical location.

Do you know the best time to send your emails?

Alongside segmentation, the time you send your emails can have a massive impact on your engagement and conversions. A great way to find the best time to send is to run A/B split tests on your campaigns.

Do your emails work across multiple devices and different email clients?

90% of people will stop viewing content altogether if there are any issues with it – like not displaying correctly on different screen sizes or in their email client (Adobe). Every email we send is tested on desktop, phones and tablets as well as across the most popular email clients and yours should be too.

Are your emails concise, do they look good and do they have a clear CTA?

67% of people won’t read an email if it’s too long (Adobe). shape a short, sweet, to-the-point message with a clear call-to-action (CTA). Use strong imagery and concise text which pulls your customers into the CTA and sends them on to your website. Two-thirds of people prefer to receive image-lead emails rather than text-heavy campaigns (HubSpot).

Do you send your email traffic to well-crafted landing pages?

If you’re going to do all the hard work to send great emails then you should put the same effort into making sure the pages you’re sending your traffic to are fit for purpose and stand the best chance of converting your customers.

Do you send automated emails or use automated workflows?

If you’re not using a form of email marketing automation yet then you should be. From transactional emails for ecommerce stores through to sophisticated lead-generation models, automation (especially when coupled with dynamic content) will make your email marketing work smarter and harder for you.

Do you use dynamic content?

Dynamic content is a type of content that changes based on the preferences or past behaviour or your customers. It’s a great tool to make sure the messages and campaigns you’re delivering are relevant to the people receiving them.

Do you have good subject lines?

If you’re still sending emails with the subject line ‘January Newsletter’ then it’s probably best we have a little talk. You can read our top ten tips for writing the best subject lines here.

Do you run reactivation campaigns?

It happens, sometimes your customers will stop buying from you and stop engaging with your content. Figures released by HubSpot found an email list will experience a 25% ‘decay’ each year. This means reactivating customers has to form part of any serious email marketing strategy. Whether it’s a hook, like a deep discount, or a simple ‘We miss you’ email, you can re-engage up to 45% of your customers with an effective re-activation email programme (MarketingSherpa).

Do you check your emails before sending them?

Before you send an email check everything. Obviously you’ll want to check spelling and grammar but it’s just as important to test all your links, check all your prices, triple check your subject line and make sure your email is perfect. We’re all human and we all make mistakes but these risks can be mitigated with a rigorous email sign-off process like we have here at Jarrang.

Are you measuring your conversions?

We’re going to take it as a given that you’re measuring your open rates and your click-throughs but the metric that really matters is your conversions. Know what you want your customers to do before you send an email and then measure how successful that email is through the conversions.

It’s easy to send out an email. It’s much harder to send out a brilliant email. We send out brilliant email campaigns and have been doing so for 15 years. It’s what we do. Now let us help you do the same.

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About the author

Stafford Sumner

An expert in developing businesses through data-driven marketing, Stafford founded Jarrang in 2003. “I’ve worked with many organisations, helping them grow while enabling them to fundamentally shift the way they operate their sales and marketing processes for the better.”