When’s the last time you cleaned out your closet?
If you stopped in panic, or are thinking, “Ahava, why are you ruining my holiday buzz?” don’t worry. Today isn’t really about your closet. Rather it’s about the end of the year, taking stock of what you have and figuring how to do better in 2017.
Lately, quite a number of clients have asked us to audit their email campaigns. Different from a content audit, we’re actually looking at how emails perform overall, as well as the content. From those analytics we can determine if a client’s email strategy is working or if it needs refinement.
Want a do-it-yourself on how to do this? Keep reading.
DIY Email Auditing
The first thing is to look at your strategy. Then look at your analytics over a specific period of time. Months, quarters and half a year are all good time measurements, depending on how often you send out email.
Second, look at what performed well and what flopped. Don’t feel bad about your lowest email—you’ll probably learn more from that one than the ones that were successful. Once you set up a method to determine patterns, you should have the information you need (we like an Excel spreadsheet for this-allows for shuffling the data like we were in Miami).
Next, look at when you’re sending out emails, including dates and times. You will understand when your audiences are receptive and paying attention.
There may be other metrics that are important like:
- How many times people opened an email
- If they shared it
- Click through rates, and so on
You should determine what you want to measure so you can move forward.
3 Things you should Consider:
- Are you getting your audience right? It could be that you think you’re talking to one audience, but you’re actually talking to another. Consider sending out a survey, or emailing people on your list to ask them if they’re getting the information they need. You may want to look at your questions on your unsubscribe page–do they give someone enough detail to accurately describe why they unsubscribed? Change them so you can gather the information you need about your audiences.
- Too much? Are your emails long and boring? Do they give too much information? Are you cramming months of publishing into one newsletter? Are you sending too many, creating email fatigue for your audiences? Remember, people have the attention span of a goldfish. Keep them short and sweet.
- Boring stories? I learned at Content Marketing World from Ann Handley that every word in a sentence needs to keep the reader moving to the next word. Are your emails exciting? Are they educating your audiences? Are you giving them special offers?
Auditing emails can be a tedious process—kind of like cleaning out your closet. But once you do it, you feel so great because you know how to improve for the next time.
(I clean out my closet twice a year: fall and spring. If I haven’t touched it in a year, it goes in the donation pile. True story.)