Kevin George
March 28, 2019

7  Email Audit Tips And Why You Must Audit Your Campaigns

Marketers are often asked about the effectiveness of their email campaigns. It is surprising that 70% of brands are unable to measure the ROI of their email marketing. This means that they are not sure whether their email campaigns are healthy or not.

The answer to this dilemma is an EMAIL AUDIT.

Although ‘audit’ is one of the most dreaded terms for any marketer, it is good practice to get your emails audited at regular intervals. An audit report will let you know the shortcomings in your email campaigns and suggest iterations.

Email marketing comprises of several complex and dynamic elements. But, the good part is that there are some components that stay constant for every email campaign.

You may also want to read: 10 Most Common Email Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

What Should You Audit In Your Email Marketing Campaigns?

Let’s have a look at those most important elements to be audited, that influence your email marketing performance.

1. Quality of Your Email List and Segmentation

Every email marketing strategy begins with an email list. The better your email list, the more effective your email campaigns will be. Often, marketers send out mass emails to their entire list without segmenting the subscribers. Lack of segmentation raises a red flag during an email audit.

For example, eCommerce email marketers should segment on the basis of age, sex, and geographical location. Moreover, you can employ artificial intelligence (AI) to micro-segment by past purchases, resources downloaded, and previous interaction of the subscriber with the brand. Through an audit report, you can get insights into the best segmentation parameters based on your industry and type of business.

Pro-tip: Prune your email list regularly to maintain proper list hygiene and enhance deliverability. 

2. Sender Name and Email Address

Your ‘sender name’ should be recognizable and trustworthy. Why else would your subscribers open your emails? Have you received an email with a no-reply address? It evokes a feeling that the sender is not interested in hearing what you, the subscriber, have to say. As a result, the email performance gets hampered. An audit report will shed light on how you can make your sender name and email address more effective according to the business type and industry.

For example, eCommerce or retail brands can have the brand name as the sender name, whereas service-based companies without a strong brand identity benefit by including an individual’s name.

Take a look at these images.

Codecademy uses an individual’s name with an emoji in their from name while Cotton On uses the brand name, where ‘Kids’ represents that the email showcases apparels for kids.

Pro-tip: We recommend you use something like contact@xyz.com or marketing@abc.com as the sender email.

You may also want to read: Email Marketing Is Still The Best – Especially For SMBs

3. Subject Line and Preheader Text

Email marketers struggle to bring higher open rates quite often. If your subject line and preheader text are not enticing, the open rates will be hampered. Audit these two elements and check whether you are following the best practices.

Here’s a nice subject line example from Moo. It raises curiosity by using a question that kindles the subscriber’s aspiration.

See the screenshot below.  (Brand name is concealed.)

That’s a preheader fail. You should make the best use of the space for preheader text instead of writing “View the email online” or coding text like the screenshot above.

Hershey’s presents a good example of an intriguing preheader text that can enhance the open rates.

Pro-tip: For best results, personalize your subject line and use a preheader text that is a continuation and elaboration of the subject line.

4. Email Copy

Your click-through rate and subscriber engagement depend on the relevance of the copy. You can audit the email copy of the top performing email campaigns to determine what kind of copy works the best for your target audience. Generally, brevity with context brings the best results.

Moo demonstrates this aspect pretty well. The copy is to-the-point, supported by attractive visuals.

Pro-tip: It is a good idea to use the essence of humor and emotions in your email copy. Try to make the copy informative and at the same time interesting. 

You may also want to read: 9 Easy Email Hacks To Increase Open Rates

5. Email Design

Email design should be audited for spam triggers and design errors. Check for the following aspects:

  1. Branding guidelines should be followed.
  2. The optimum text to image ratio is 80:20.
  3. Emails should not be too flashy.
  4. Visual elements should always have suitable alt text.
  5. Make your emails accessible.
  6. Emails should be under 102k.
  7. HTML code should not be copied from Microsoft Word.
  8. Always add an unsubscribe button.
  9. Place the call-to-action button in such a way that it is easily noticeable and tappable on mobile devices.
  10. Avoid adding any shortened links in the email.
  11. Design a responsive email that renders well on all devices, irrespective of the screen size.

If you fail to follow these best practices, your emails will have a higher bounce rate, which will ultimately affect your sender reputation and email deliverability.

Pro-tip: Email design should be visually appealing and in line with the popular design trends, but do not overlook the importance of flawless rendering. (Always test your emails before sending.)

Here’s how your email design audit would look like:

6. Send Time

The best time to send emails is subjective, according to the industry and type of business. Audit the send time of your past emails. This will help you determine the appropriate time to send emails and drive better performance. Additionally, we advise you to send an email campaign at two different time frames and A/B test your email campaigns to get a better idea on what time should you send the email.

Pro-tip: Use Google Analytics to check the time(s) your website has the most visitors. You should consider this data to send emails at that time, as your prospects are apparently at their most active.

7. Sending Frequency

Several brands I have subscribed to, send an email every day. This practice can be quite damaging for your email marketing strategy. Audit the sending frequency of your email campaigns to make sure that it is not too overwhelming for your subscribers. You can ask your subscribers to set their preferences for receiving emails so that you do not annoy them with too many emails.

Pro-tip: Maintain a consistent email sending schedule so that your subscribers know when to expect your emails.

You may also want to read: How Machine Learning Can Improve Email Marketing

Wrapping Up

An email audit is a focused tactic that helps the marketers to identify the areas that need iterations and perk up your email marketing knowledge.

So, if you want to figure out whether your email strategy is aligned with the business goals, an audit of your emails is a must.

According to Helen Keller, the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. Audit gives you that vision.

Over to you, fellow email geeks!

Do you have your email marketing audit in place? Has it enhanced your email campaigns? We would love to hear from you and learn about your experience.

Kevin George Cartoon headshotKevin George is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks – one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies. He specializes in crafting interactive emails, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes and jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing tips and best practices at his email marketing blog.

You can connect with him on Facebook here, on LinkedIn here, or you can follow/tweet him @imkevin_monk

Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_convisum‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

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