Creating and launching an email is no small task. There’s the content, the design, the build, and the contact list to develop, and then there are dozens of things to review, test and measure. It’s a long process, with potential mistakes lurking at every corner, but launching an email doesn’t have to be daunting. After being in the business for 13 years, we’ve got email campaigns down to a science. Below you’ll find some of our tricks of the trade. Use this knowledge wisely.
Stage 1: The basics
The first step in any campaign is to nail down the basics: Who is the email going to? What is its objective? What content will it include? The answers to these three questions will define everything else, so be sure to set these parameters early on in your planning. During this stage, you’ll establish your contact list, the campaign details (sender name/email and subject line), gather all graphics to use for your design, and, of course, have the copy proofread and ready to be dropped in.
Stage 2: Design
By knowing who your audience is and what the call-to-action will be, you’ll have an idea of what your design should look like. It’s good practice to have a design finalized and approved before moving on to the build stage. It’ll save you a few headaches if any changes come up.
Stage 3: Build
If you’re using an email builder template, this stage involves simply dropping layouts within your chosen template and inputting copy into the appropriate fields. No HTML required. You can always make style changes to a template. It will require a bit of coding, but email builder templates are fully editable.
If you’re of the daring sort who has decided to build a design from scratch, then now is the time to put those coding skills to use. Your approved design will be your guide and your graphics and copy gathered during stage 1 will be your riggings. Once a build is complete, drop it into the StoneShot app and prepare for some extensive testing.
Stage 4: Test
Proper testing is crucial to launching an error-free, seamless email. Each email provider has their own idiosyncrasies and presents a number of challenges for emails trying to reach users’ inboxes. Testing of a new email created from scratch will be more rigorous than for an email created from an existing template, whose design has already been thoroughly tested across email clients.
We can write an entire blog post on testing (and will be doing so soon), but here are a few of the things our team always checks:
- Email displays correctly across all major email clients and devices
- Links go to correct location and are tracked
- Title and alt tags exist and are correct for all images
- Salutation populates correctly
- Proofread content
- Attached correct contact list and checked for any potential bounces
- Email subject, sender name and email match what was outlined in stage 1
Send a colleague (or two) a test email or share link and ask them to also do a thorough check. Nothing beats a pair of fresh eyes.
Stage 5: Launch and evaluate
Five… four… three… two… one… launch! The email has gone out to your contacts, but it’s not over yet. Once an email launches, evaluation begins. The StoneShot app gives you all the information you need to find out how your email performed – how many opens did it receive? How many contacts followed your call to action? What time/day received the most activity? Learn from this data and use it to optimise future campaigns.
Remember, we are only an email or phone call away, eager to help and offer suggestions. A little support can go a long way when launching emails, and we want your campaigns to live up to their full potential.