If you’re thinking about getting into email marketing for the first time, there’s a lot out there for you to know, a lot of planning to do, and a lot to take in. It can seem--from the outside--like it’s impossible to get to even the beginning stages of your first campaign. This might be why too many brands and marketers seem to just jump into the deep end right away, heedless of the pitfalls. Site Impact’s experts know that that’s a good way to spend a lot of money and not make a lot in return. With that in mind, to cut through some of the noise, we’ve put together the definitive pre-launch email campaign checklist, to simplify the first campaign you send out.
Knowing who your audience is will help you to decide a lot of factors in your first campaign and even throughout the life of your email marketing efforts. From creative to the tone and format of your content, to more advanced email techniques like personalization and more targeted segmentation, identifying your audience is a cornerstone of email marketing performance and the first thing you need to do.
Know what you want to specifically accomplish with your email marketing program. Whether it’s to just increase engagement with your brand, or drive a specific volume of sales, knowing what you want to get out of your email campaigns generally--and from your first campaign specifically--is vital to success. Formulate a list of goals you want to achieve, including how you’ll gauge the success and progress towards those goals.
Your first campaign will set the tone for your future campaigns, so you’d better set your best foot forward. Invest the time to develop a good creative--a good format and a solid, recipient-friendly palette, graphics, and so on--along with high quality content. Take your time on this, but of course don’t let it become such an obsession that you never hit the point of actually finishing. You should have a few different emails ready to go before you launch your very first campaign, so that you can act quickly on the initial success you have.
If it’s your very first campaign, the data you have may be limited; if you’ve bought data or leased a list, you’ll have that to rely on, and of course if you’re sending your email to existing customers, you have that--but what we’re really talking about here is your data for sending purposes. Make sure that all the email addresses you’re sending to are accurate and valid, and that everything is able to move forward without a lot of hard bounces (emails just not landing in inboxes) or soft bounces (people reporting your emails as spam/deleting them unread).
Test everything. Use test email lists to see what kind of response your copy and creative will get. Test that your emails will render properly on all devices that are likely to access them. Test that any and all links work, that everything is the way that it should be--any pixels you’ve included are going to function the way they should, anything aimed at capturing data will happen properly, and so on. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, so testing before you ever send is an incredibly important step. It’s so important, in fact, that a lot of email marketing platforms give you the ability to test on the platform itself, before you ever send your first email.
Of course, you can break these steps into smaller sub-steps, and in the process of getting your email marketing underway, there are other processes and development that you will have to take care of. But this checklist will catch the biggest pitfalls that can come up in launching your first campaign, and make sure that you start out strong. Contact Site Impact to hear how we can take all the worries and stress out of launching your very first email campaign.