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Email Marketing, Strategy and Planning

3 essential steps to avoid being a one email wonder

Before we get started, I want you to take your right hand and reach it around past your left shoulder.

Got it? Ok good.

Now give yourself a pat on the back for sending your first email marketing campaign to customers.

Well done. You’re now on your way to experience the benefits that email marketing can bring to your business.

Customers will see your brand in their inbox. They’ll click through to your website. And hopefully they’ll buy something whilst they’re there. All is good with the world.

But before you put your feet up and watch the dollars roll in, there are a few things you need to start thinking about if you’re going to make this whole email marketing thing really work.

Read on for a list of steps that will see you progress from a ‘one email wonder’ to a successful email marketing professional.

1. Learn how to interpret your email marketing reports

After sending your first email, chances are you spent at least the next 5 minutes staring at your email report looking at who was opening it and clicking the links.

As you know, the email reports in Vision6 are presented in real-time and it’s amazing to see how quickly some people open their emails. But it’s still too early to learn much about your email’s performance so it’s best to come back at a later date.

I recommend waiting at least 72 hours before drawing any conclusions from your email report. Usually this is how long it takes 90% of the people who are going to open your email to do so.

Tip: You can learn more about the time it takes people to open emails from our Email Marketing Metrics Report.

When you’re looking at your email report, and particularly for the first time, it can take a couple of minutes to soak in the information on the page.

So let me just quickly explain the stuff that matters the most at this early stage.

User Statistics

Messages Opened: This shows you how many people opened your email. It’s a good indicator towards your brand recognition as well as the performance of your subject line in getting that all important ‘open’.

Contacts Clicked: This shows you how many people clicked a link within your email. It’s a good indicator towards the performance of your email design, content and calls to action.

Unsubscribed: This shows you how many people unsubscribed after receiving your email. It’s a good indicator towards the relevancy and value of your email content.

You can click on any of these statistics to drill down deeper and see specifically who has done what.

Tip: Check out this blog post to learn more about these email marketing metrics and what they mean for you.

2. Get a sense of how your email performed

Now you know what to focus on, you’re probably wondering how your results compare to others in your industry.

So when you have a minute jump on over to our Email Marketing Metrics Report where you’ll find this information along with a range of other helpful data.

Due to the large amount of information in the report, it only gets updated every 6 months. But you can still compare your performance each month by adding the Industry Stats widget to your Vision6 Dashboard.

Industry Stats

3. Clean up your email list

The next step (and this is super important) is to clean up your database and remove the permanently bounced email addresses.

These are the addresses where delivery has failed, usually because the address has been typed incorrectly or the mailbox no longer exists. The thing to note here is that these addresses will continue to bounce. If you keep trying to send emails to them, it’ll just be a waste of money and it can be quite damaging to your email deliverability.

Luckily though, it’s really easy to keep your list clean with Vision6. Just click on the Manage Bounces at the top-right of the Reports page and follow the prompts. Here’s a short tutorial video that walks you through it as well.

Manage Bounces

You probably would have also noticed in your email report that some people unsubscribed. This is normal and whilst it can hurt to see people leaving your email list, it’s not always a bad thing. Just keep an eye on this number with your future email campaigns. If it starts to go up you may need to revise your email content and the frequency of your emails.

For now though, you can take comfort in knowing that Vision6 automatically manages your unsubscribers for you so no action is required on your behalf.

What happens next?

Generally when you start out with email marketing it can be a bit of a guessing game to see what works and what doesn’t. By following the 3 steps above though, you’ll have put yourself in a great position to make email marketing work for your business.

And as you start work on your next email campaign, remember the things you learnt from your email report and make changes to optimise the performance of your future email marketing messages.

Posted by:
Matthew Johnson
EDM Specialist

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