Picking up where we left off in our Email Marketing 101 guide, it’s time to talk about creating and distributing email marketing campaigns.
With these two guides combined, you’ll have the knowledge you need to start sending effective email marketing campaigns in no time!
Once you’ve completed and agreed on the campaign brief with your team, it’s time to create the email itself. StoneShot follows a 6-step process to ensure you don’t miss any important details.
The first step of email building is creating the top-level information. Who is this email coming from and what’s the subject line?
Your subject line can make or break your email’s engagement rate, so keep it short and straightforward. If your company name is in the sender name or email, don’t waste space by repeating it in the subject line.
If you’re not sure which type of subject line your audience will respond to, you can A/B test your subject lines. Send out two versions of your email to different portions of your audience, each identical except for the subject line, and see which one gets the most opens during your testing period. Whichever subject line performs best will be sent to the remainder of your audience. For more info about subject lines and A/B testing, check out these helpful articles:
- 10 Tips for A/B Testing Your Subject Lines
- 4 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowded Inbox
- 5 Ways to Hook an Email-Skimmer
Tagging your content based on a pre-determined strategy is fundamental to organizing your campaigns and post-campaign reporting. You can tag your campaigns by product, theme or content topic, for example.
For more info on tags and creating a tagging strategy, take a look at these articles:
Next, drop your content and images into a pre-built email template consistent with your company’s brand guidelines. With StoneShot’s drag-and-drop email builder, you can drop in various layouts and edit copy, imagery, and CTAs.
Here’s an example of what a finished email might look like in the builder:
Thanks to the Apple watch and traveling business people, it’s no guarantee that your clients will access your beautifully designed email on a device that can display HTML.
As a security measure, you need to make a plain text version of the email to ensure your message can be easily absorbed no matter where your client is reading it.
StoneShot has a text-scraper tool that generates the text-only version with the click of a button.
4. Client List
Once your email is complete, it’s time to attach your recipient list.
You can build your list based on the content of the email itself and the email preferences your clients have chosen if you provide them the option. Is this a fund update email? Only send it to clients who are interested in receiving them. Event invite? Choose a combination of clients who have opted into event invites and warm leads.
A seed list is a secondary, internal list – usually comprised of your marketing peers or the sales managers whose contacts are receiving the email. Anyone on this list will get the email at the same time as your clients or prospects do, but any activity they perform won’t count against the overall campaign stats.
At StoneShot we thoroughly test your email templates across every device and email client, but if you still want peace of mind that it will work after your edits or you aren’t using a template from StoneShot, we recommend testing before the launch.
Test both the HTML and the text versions of the email to ensure they both deliver properly and look the same as they do in the email builder.
You can also test how it looks on different sized screens, like a smart phone or tablet. HTML emails can sometimes render inconsistently on different sized screens.
Once you’re confident that your email will look good wherever it is viewed, it’s time to press the big red button and launch your email into the world. Set the date and time, double check your subject, sender and recipient info is correct, and launch your campaign. No matter what time you send, it’s best to always schedule your launch at least 10 minutes in the future so you have one last chance to double check before it goes out. Congratulations, you’re officially an email marketer!
Congratulations, you’re officially an email marketer!
Now that you’ve done the hard work of creating and sending your message, it’s time to reap the rewards in the form of fresh, insightful data.
Some ESPs, like StoneShot, offer advanced reporting tools that let you compare any and all your email campaigns across your entire history. This allows you to quickly identify trends and easily improve your overall email efforts. It also allows you to dig down into the granular details of your recipient’s interactions, giving you the details of exactly who clicked where, when they opened and clicked, and how long they stayed on the email before clicking away.
Sometimes your email doesn’t reach your recipient’s email, which is called a “bounce”. This happens for various reasons, some of which are fixable. You can read up on the different types of bounces and how to minimize them here: Beat the Bounce!
The reporting stage is also where the tags we mentioned earlier come into play. When you are looking at your reporting dashboard, you can dive deep into your data to see analytics on specific kinds of content, strategies, or themes that can then be separated at a company, contact, or segment level. This is all thanks to the power of tag-based reporting, the most comprehensive way to organize your campaigns.
Which finally brings us to Engagement Scoring and Weighting. Engagement Scoring gives every activity your recipient makes with your email, from opens to clicks to event registrations, a weighted score to create a general engagement score against every client in your account. This essentially ranks your recipients’ interest in your communication so your sales team can determine the highest quality leads.
The top-level engagement score doesn’t always tell the whole story, however. A client may have a low engagement overall but when you look at their engagement score by tag, you may find that they are heavily engaging with a single, specific strategy. This would give your sales team plenty to go on when following up with this warm lead.
Easy access to a dynamic, real-time reporting dashboard gives you the ability to create more relevant content that will resonate with your client and increase your brand’s reputation.
Of course, this isn’t the end of the road. There’s always room for improvement in email marketing, and the most important part is continually monitoring your client’s and prospect’s engagement with your content in order to learn what’s valuable to them.
Continue testing different content, collecting data, and keeping the client’s needs first and you’ll always be a successful email marketer.
Want more? Check these articles out: