5 Email marketing time savers

I’m sure many of you would agree with me that there are never enough hours in the day – time is precious to the modern day marketer and there is always more which we could be doing.

So here are a few email marketing time savers to help you reduce the time spent on day to day email issues.

1. The Seed List

By creating a seed list you are able to send your email campaign by a click of a button to a selected group of contacts before sending it to your actual email database. This enables you to test it across multiple inboxes and receive approval from those necessary. If you are using a system that makes you send a separate campaign, chances are you are spending many extra hours fiddling about getting tests out of the door.

2. Data Integration

There should be no need to spend time loading data for every send. For a one-off effort you should be able to define an extract from your system to your ESP, and then have this run on an automated basis, eliminating the chance of errors, and ensuring your data is always live. Not to mention the world of opportunities with trigger based emails this opens up for you.

3. Reporting Dashboards

The norm in the email marketing world is to have reporting at campaign level only. And once you get to a certain level of campaigns and tests this makes the reporting a major job.

When you dive into the deep analytics of your campaigns, email reporting can become a major task. When choosing your platform pick one  that provides all the data you need in one place. You don’t want to be using the old school method of copying figures from your ESP into your internal spreadsheets.

4. Content Feeds

Why manually craft content when you can automate it? GraphicMail provides you with the ability to pull content from the feed of your choice into HTML format within your email. This could be done with your Twitter or Facebook feeds, or even include the RSS feed from your blog to keep your subscribers up to date with all your latest content and news.

5. Segments

Different email systems have different ways of creating segments. We chose to make them a time saving feature so you can re-use them easily. For example, you want to send to all male customers, who have opened an email in the last year and have never purchased, we would have 3 saved segments that you simply tick. Then when we send the female version we untick the male segment and tick the female segment. This saves huge amounts of time over systems where you would need to create a new segment for each combination of those rules, plus it puts the data selections in the hands of less technical members of the team who are far more comfortable with ‘ticking’ than creating their own rules.


Email marketing reporting techniques

Reporting is more than just opens, clicks and the odd heatmap.

There is far more insight to be had which will directly lead to important discoveries to influence your upcoming campaigns.

Drill into segments

As I’m sure you already know, segmenting your emails to make them more relevant is an effective way to improve engagement levels of your campaigns. But why don’t we ever report by segment? With GraphicMail, you can break down any campaign, or series of emails by whatever segments you wish. This also helps you understand what segments you should be tailoring for. A simple set of examples would be to split your results by gender. Or maybe by the type of product they first purchased. As soon as you start seeing big differences in performance you can start coming up with hypothesis why, and test these out with a series of segmented emails.

Where is decline occurring?

Is your email marketing on the decline? Perhaps there is a drop in engagement levels relatively early on from new subscribers as they decide the emails are not for them. By running a GraphicMail ‘Lifecycle’ report, you can identify how quickly new subscribers are dropping off, and then start to plan out what special emails could help reverse this in the early stages of their experience.

Dashboards – data at your fingertips

Analysis often takes time, and as busy marketers you might always find something else to do before you allocate quality time to review statistics. This is where a good dashboard with all the KPI’s you need for email comes in. Configure it to your own needs and reporting periods, set a schedule and have it emailed to you so you can’t miss it. Chances are you will spot anything going wrong far quicker than before.

What types of email are working?

I bet you don’t just have one type of email you send. There will be a variety of themes and types of messages that you send. Traditionally, being able to report on the different performance of these is difficult as there is no aggregate function in most ESP’s. This is where the tag system in GraphicMail comes into its own. By creating tags and assigning them to your emails, you can literally segment your results by anything you want – from the topics in the email through to what the weather was like on that day! Only then can you start seeing patterns and differences between the types of email you send.

Data Warehousing

If you have a team of analysts within your business, the chances are that they will want raw data to work with, not the pre-prepared reports an ESP usually provides. Use a platform that has numerous ways to get data out via exports or APIs. Make sure you are getting you real-time updates into your data warehouse.


Understanding email engagement

Can you make head or tail of your “Email Engagement Report”?

One of the questions marketers often ask is; if I get 20% open rates for each email campaign, is it the same 20% or a different 20% each time? And how many subscribers never open an email?

The engagement report answers all of these questions by providing an open and click rate for each individual recipient based upon the emails you select. For example if a recipient has received 5 emails, but only opened one and not clicked on any, the report will show their open rate as 20% and click rate as 0%.

The report also shows the last time that someone opened and clicked on an email. This means you can either target those who have not opened in the last 90 days with a different message or even simply create a segment to suppress those that have not opened or clicked in the last 365 days.

Of course you don’t want to suppress those who have only recently signed up, so the report also outputs their first email and a count of how many emails they have received.

Additional data fields can also be added to the report to show how different segments are more or less engaged with your email marketing.


Segmented Reports – How to get greater insight into your customers

Segment Reports is a feature within your email platform that allows you to drill down on your email reports to see how each segment of your database is performing.

This can be done on an individual send or a whole series of emails giving you say the average open and click rate of each segment over the last 12 months of your newsletters.

Here are some ideas of who this could be used:

  • Male versus female – does one gender perform better than others? If so how should you tweak your emails accordingly and does any change you make show a closing of your ‘gender equality gap’?
  • Location – do you have a North/South divide in your list? Do customers around certain retail stores perform better?
  • Welcome Programme – do those people that received a Welcome email have stronger open rates on subsequent emails?
  • Re-activation emails – If you have re-targeted those non-openers can you now see an uplift in future email engagement?
  • Product Category – Do customers who have bought a particular category of product have higher click rates on emails where items in this category are included in the subject line?