Buckle up, publishers, it’s Spring Cleaning time for your email marketing! Don’t worry, we aren’t going to police your keyboards with air dusters or wipe down your screens with microfiber cloths. This month we’ll be talking about a different kind of spring cleaning: the email audit.
Did you miss February’s series on Funnels? Click here to catch up!
While the term “audit” isn’t always popular this time of year, conducting an email audit has shown to greatly increase the effectiveness of email marketing. It’s a time to review your current process and shine light into areas that could use a little cleaning up. Below we walk you through our Top 5 Reasons to Conduct an Email Audit to give you an idea on why and where to get started.
Deliverability – Simply put, are your emails reaching your subscribers? Luckily, FeedBlitz takes care of a majority of this for you. We work tirelessly to ensure the highest sending reputation for or publishers on our end, with CAN-SPAM compliant emails, diligent bounce rate monitoring, and removing undeliverable addresses, our publishers have full control over items such as their subscriber list, content and mailing subject lines. Do you have a list populated with live, active subscribers? And provide content your subscribers find interesting, with appropriately titled subject lines? This all contributes to your deliverability and can have a lasting impact on your reputation as a publisher.
Pro Tip: Avoid phrases such as “ACT NOW!” or “Open right away!” in your subject lines. Emails shown to have titles containing these (and similar) phrases often find themselves in Spam or Trash folders, no matter how great the sending server’s reputation.
Subscribers – In theory having a large mailing list can sound great, but in actuality a medium-sized list of active, engaged subscribers is much more valuable. We encourage our publishers to remove inactive subscribers as often as they are comfortable in doing so. Not only does this have an effect on your open and click through rates, but it can keep you from being charged for subscribers who have an active email address and are receiving your emails, however they do not open them.
Reporting – FeedBlitz offers an in-depth selection of reporting and metrics for each of your mailings. To access these reports, login to your account, select your Mailing List and scroll down to Delivery and Metrics under Mailing Activity as shown below:
It’s easy to get lost when it comes to reporting data, so here are a few questions to get started when looking over your reports:
Did a particular mailing spark a higher open rate? If so, take a look at the subject line, was it different from others?
How about your click-through rates, did a particular email or set of emails incite more engagement from your readers, enticing them to click through to your website? This can help you shape your editorial content for upcoming mailings.
Sending mailings at the same time or different times? Why not test different times of sending emails to see if your subscribers prefer a particular time and are more likely to open and engage in your emails.
Why are readers unsubscribing to your mailings? Is it something you can address such as frequency (solution: offer a weekly delivery option) or content?
These questions are just a few to get started on evaluating your metrics. Consider your ultimate goals with your email marketing and work backwards to what actions need to happen from your readers in order for you to reach these goals. See what reports relate to these actions and go from there.
Branding – We talk a lot about branding on the FeedBlitz blog, but that’s because it is so important! Are your mailings in line with your current branding initiatives? Logo, tag line, fonts and colors all up to date? What about the look and feel of your template and subscription forms, is there something you could add or remove from them to improve their appearance and/or effectiveness? (We touch on this more in our #5 reason below.) Have you thought about the tone and voice of your emailed messages? Is this all in line with the current state of your website or blog?
*Note: If this seems overwhelming, pick one aspect of your branding (i.e. site colors) and make sure that is consistent throughout your email marketing. Use the Eye Dropper tool we mentioned here to provide consistency among colors.
Conversion – Whether you are emailing to encourage sales, grow your list or send readers back to your website, your goal is rooted in conversion and this is one of the most valuable attributes of email marketing. An email that garners a lot of opens is one thing, an email that engages the reader and incites a click through to your site, a forward to your friend, a share on a social channel or a direct sale is even better. Are readers clicking your links? Are all the links current and active in your template (think social sites, references to your website, etc.)? Could you put a Call to Action in a better location in your email? This are all worth testing to get the maximum results for your mailings.
And that, friends, is just a brief overview! An email audit can be as in-depth or as simple as you’d like for it to be, but the above are the main reasons and areas we encourage our publishers to focus.
Now time for some homework!
Sit down this week to pick one of the five reasons and apply it to your current email marketing. Go for more if you have time, but start with one and possibly tackle another one next week.
Identify one action you can take from that reason to improve your email marketing. Is it time to clean up your list? Edit your content? Update your logo?
That’s it. Pick one out of five and take one action on it!
Many companies, FeedBlitz included, will have an email audit as part of their service offerings. This is a great option if you do not have the time or staff to conduct a full, in-depth audit. (Think of it as hiring a maid to come in a do a deep cleaning to check the Spring Cleaning off your to do list!) If this is something you may be interested in doing, please reach out to let us know and get started.
Coming up next week, we’re going to take it a step further and explore the process of cleaning up your email list. We call it List Hygiene here at FeedBlitz, and our publishers have found great benefit in both removing unwanted email subscribers as well as using it to spark a re-engagement campaign.
Are you in need of an email audit but not sure where to get started? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.
Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!