What Should You Include in an Audit Checklist to Optimise Email Marketing Campaigns?

By 20 November 2018 No Comments

Email marketing campaigns are a recognised and easily manageable way of successfully reaching your existing and future customers.

But how do you know if your campaign will be effective? With so many ‘moving parts’, mistakes can easily be made, causing high bounce rates and unopened rates, low click-through rates, and even a damaged reputation.

And failed email campaigns cost you money.

Make sure that each email reaches the right person, conveys the right message, and encourages the right action to take.

There’s a lot to take on board to achieve this – especially if you’re just starting out with email marketing. It helps to have an audit checklist that you can go through systematically and tick off each point for each campaign.

This will bring you the peace of mind that, when you hit SEND, your emails will deliver what you’re hoping for.

So what should you include in this checklist to ensure that all bases are covered?

To make it a little easier to digest, we’ve broken it down into three key areas in this latest post.

Let’s get straight into it…

Security, deliverability and open-ability

This is a good starting place. Security is a big concern for your customers; it needs to be a big concern for you too.

If there are any concerns from the recipient’s end, your email ends up in the junk folder and your name may go onto an unwanted list.

So here are a few important general items to check that apply to all campaigns:

  • Are you working from a clean, well-segmented, and up-to-date database?
  • Have you chosen a reliable and respected platform that follows acceptable security and delivery practices?
  • If the platform has performed a system upgrade recently, have any processes or technical details changed from before?
  • Is the DNS correct in both forward and reverse lookups?
  • Does the platform guarantee that sensitive information sent to or by you is kept private?
  • Is your mailing list properly protected with the right access privileges granted?
  • Are your landing pages (linked to your email campaigns) encrypted as necessary?

For each email you send out to your database, you will also want to check the following deliverability and open-ability items:

  • Is it compliant with the Spam Act (Australia), CAN-SPAM (US) or with other appropriate spam laws?
  • Is there a visible (and working) unsubscribe link in the email and a physical address provided?
  • Is your company name listed as the sender’s name?
  • Have you included a subject line that accurately describes what’s in the email and is appropriate for the recipient?
  • Have you avoided ‘clickbait’ words such as FREE, SALE, or BUY?
  • Have you set the most appropriate sending time for your target recipients – or will your email arrive in the middle of the night (their time)?

Content quality and conversion

The purpose of any email campaign is to encourage a specific action. It might be to download a resource, sign up for a newsletter, click through to a shopping page, etc.

Whatever it is, once you’ve ensured that your email is delivered and opened, its success or otherwise depends largely on the relevance and quality of its content.

Here’s your checklist for content and conversion:

  • Does the body text match the subject line?
  • Have you included your logo in the email (good for branding)?
  • If the mail is part of a subscriber opt-in, does the content match what the recipient signed up to receive? Is it relevant to them?
  • Do you capture reader attention within the first paragraph?
  • Is the content original and informative?
  • Have you kept it as brief as possible and on-point?
  • Is the text broken up into readable sections – no long paragraphs?
  • Have you used bullet points wherever possible?
  • Does it look and feel “easy to read” and uncluttered?
  • Is there a consistent font and style used?
  • Is it professionally written – without grammatical errors?
  • Is there a clear and well-positioned call to action?
  • If there is more than one call to action, is this necessary (usually one specific call to action is best practice)?
  • Is there a link in the call to action – if so, does it point to the correct URL?
  • Have you added links to your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and any other relevant social accounts?
  • Have you proofread your email?

Tracking and measurement

The best email marketing campaigns are not simply set and forget.

The checklists above help you prepare emails that are delivered, opened, read, and acted upon. But tracking and tweaking them will help you optimise campaigns and improve results:

  • What’s the open rate of your campaign?
  • What’s the click-through rate?
  • What’s the conversion rate? (If the click through rate is good, but conversion rate is poor, look at your landing pages rather than the emails.)
  • Are these rates consistent – or are there peaks and troughs depending on time sent/frequency of email?
  • Is the frequency of email the same as you promised when the recipient opted in?
  • How many unsubscribes are you getting – and what’s their main reason?
  • If open rates are low, have you tried different subject lines (A/B testing)?
  • If click-through and conversion rates are low, have you tested different calls to action (A/B testing)?

Check and improve your email marketing campaigns

The above checklist should help you gain confidence to kick-start email campaigns that have all the proven features of success.

Email marketing is no newcomer to the marketing scene. What works best has been tested over and over and is generally well known. Tailor it for your target audience, check that you’ve covered all your bases with the checklists, and you can sleep a lot easier.

Try “being the customer” and walking in their shoes through your email funnel from opt-in to purchase. This can help you identify problems/errors and improve content.

And, of course, choosing the right platform not only increases reliability and deliverability of emails but any problems will be flagged more readily.

To find out more about how your business can create high-converting email campaigns, contact our team on 02 9929 7001.

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