Spring Cleaning Time For Email Marketers

Before the summer craziness hits, take the time to review and clean up key email marketing areas that may have accumulated some crust and dust over the winter holidays. Let’s get started!

Survey the Scene – The first stop is a look back to assess overall program performance. Take a good look at your performance metrics and ask questions like:

  • Are there any new trends, or are things fairly consistent year-over-year?
  • What types of messages are performing well, or not so well?
  • What type of content are subscribers engaging with?
  • How do key categories of messages perform, such as transactional, promotional and data-driven triggers?
  • Have you changed creative? Has that shifted the response to new areas of content?
  • Are you driving enough conversions?
  • Has your testing been effective in driving learning and program optimization?
  • What devices are your emails being opened on?



This analysis should allow you to zero in on key opportunities and identify performance trends or issues.

After a thorough data review, you may also discover the need for ongoing real-time access to key metrics to share with a broader cross-channel team. Now is the time to establish a dashboard view of key metrics and to determine how often you want to share and review the data with your teams.

Data Dusting – Next up is a data audit focused on looking at subscriber list composition and actionable data attributes. This process will help you uncover key data to be used for targeting and segmentation. On the flip side, it can also make data gaps apparent and help outline data gathering opportunities to be pursued. For example, you may be missing Zip code, birthday or other implicit or explicit data that will help drive contextual messaging. The goal is to audit available and missing data, understand where it resides and put a plan of action in place to make it available for program use and testing across channels.

What’s Coming in the Door – There are two key questions to start with here:

1.    Do your acquisition efforts keep your program growing at a solid rate?

2.    Do your acquisition sources deliver quality subscribers who stay engaged with your program?

Take a close look at what sources are driving subscriber opt-in, eliminate poorly performing acquisition channels, and explore new subscriber sources.

Expand from there to maximize acquisition and look at how you can onboard subscribers from different sources in the most contextual way to drive engagement early and often. If subscribers have been acquired via text-to-join in-store, an onboarding experience that builds out their experience from the in-store frame of reference is a more relevant approach. Think about the early subscriber experience in relation to the new subscriber's contextual state and communicate accordingly to expand the relationship across channels.

Keeping Up With the Joneses – Checking in on the competition provides insight into user experiences and market expectations. It’s key to understand the value exchange and what type of data consumers are trading for value with brands. Take time to subscribe to competitors' email programs and evaluate onboarding and other programs to see how lifecycle experiences in your space are unfolding. Look for key areas of competitive advantage and test programs to improve performance and customer experience.

What Do You Need to Toss? – If subscribers are truly disengaged, a spring purge is in order. Before you remove subscribers, make every last effort to connect and understand the impact to your program performance by defining and segmenting inactive subscribers on an ongoing basis and tracking their performance from response to conversion.

Here's the good news: Investing in the effort to become more organized, efficient and effective will make spring cleaning much easier a year from now.

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