Keeping an eye on the performance of your email campaigns is crucial for maintaining your brand and getting good deliverability and conversion rates. When your campaign isn’t bringing in the results you’d hoped for, it might be time for an email marketing audit.
In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to run an email audit and offer tips on how to improve your email marketing.
What Are the Goals of an Email Audit?
An email audit takes a look at the basic key performance indicators (KPIs) and reviews your overall email marketing process to identify problems and find solutions that can improve your relationships with customers. Although many businesses wait until a problem arises before conducting an audit, you should audit your email campaigns at least quarterly—even if everything seems to be going well. Doing so can help make campaigns that are performing well even more successful.
Basic Email Checklist
The first step is to take a look at the format of your emails. They should follow these standards:
- “From” line. This should have a personal, professional name with your company domain included (i.e., @YourCompany, not @gmail or @yahoo).
- Subject line. Keep the length between 60 and 70 characters. Make sure it’s accurate; eliminate any words or punctuation (like exclamation marks) that sound spammy.
- Preheader. This should provide additional context about the email’s purpose.
- Headline. Make sure it is in a large, bold, readable font that gives subscribers an idea of what the email is about.
- Body text. Text should be clear and concise with short paragraphs and bulleted lists to improve clarity. The color scheme should be appealing and appropriate to your brand. Your content should focus on benefits rather than products.
- Call to action (CTA). This is what you want the recipient to do – make a purchase, submit a contact form, etc. The CTA should be in the form of a button and should emphasize urgency.
- Images. Images should be clear and relevant and should include alt text. Compress the image size to keep load times fast. Also, remember that many email applications, like Outlook, will not download images from untrusted sources. Do not include key information for understanding your email in the image itself.
- Branding. Include your logo and company name. Clicking on your logo should take subscribers to the home page of your website.
- Footer. It’s critical to include an obvious unsubscribe button. Include your contact information as well as clickable social media icons.
Let’s have a look at the other elements that influence your email marketing performance.
Quality of Your Email List
Every email marketing strategy begins with an email list. The better targeted the recipients of your email list for the subject of the email, the more effective your email campaigns will be. Often, businesses send out mass emails to their entire list without segmenting the subscribers based on interest. Not properly segmenting your list is an email audit red flag.
You have likely unsubscribed from brands that send an email every single day. This practice can be quite damaging for your email marketing strategy. Audit the sending frequency of your email campaigns to ensure that it is not too overwhelming for your subscribers. Give your subscribers the option of setting their preferences for the frequency of emails, so you don’t annoy them with too many. It’s also a good idea to keep a consistent sending schedule, so subscribers know when to expect your emails.
Compelling Subject Line and Preheader Text
If your subject line and preheader text are not compelling, this will hamper open rates. You need to capture your readers’ interest. There are numerous subject line testing apps available to help you enhance open rates.
Relevance of the Email Content
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. The Hemingway app is a free editing tool designed to help you polish your writing. It focuses on identifying common errors that bring down the quality of your prose: confusing sentence construction, overuse of weak adverbs, excessive passive voice, and the like.
Spam Triggers and Design Errors
Make sure your email is designed properly. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Keep the text-to-image ratio at about 80:20—80 percent text and 20 percent images.
- Skip the flash content. Most email clients simply don’t support flash content as it is considered unsafe for something as sensitive as email — and your email may wind up in your client’s spam folder.
- Images should have appropriate alt-text. Also referred to as “alt tags” and “alt descriptions,” alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image in your email if the recipient’s email application doesn’t load the image.
- Emails should be under 102KB or the email browser could clip your image.
- Your email should be easily read on different-sized screens.
- Make the unsubscribe button prominent.
If you don’t follow these guidelines, your emails will have a higher bounce rate, which will ultimately affect your sender reputation and email deliverability.
It’s difficult to know when it’s the best time to send emails, so it’s a good idea to take a look at past emails. Compare the time you sent them and their performance rate. Conduct an A/B test by sending your emails in two different time frames to get a better idea of what is working and what isn’t. Consider checking Google Analytics to see when your website has the most visitors. This can help you determine the best time to send your emails.
A Final Note
An email audit is an essential piece of determining whether or not your emails are helping your business reach its goals. If the process seems overwhelming or if you would rather focus your time on running your business, a virtual marketing specialist can take care of the process for you.