We use emails for business all the time. Transactional emails to share pricing with a prospect, as a meeting follow-up, or as a notification that an item has shipped are common.
Email campaigns differ from one-off emails and can make or break important company initiatives. And they don’t just happen: Hitting the right target at the optimum time with the perfect message is no easy feat. Email campaign management's many moving parts can be confusing to execute and oversee.
This article focuses on email marketing, helpful strategies to improve email campaign management, some good email marketing tools, and how to measure your email campaign’s success.
The basics of email campaign management
You can’t get far with a marketing strategy if you don’t understand how email campaign management fits into the mix.
First, there’s brainstorming and planning the goal and timeline of the campaign. Then comes crafting the subject line, message, call to action, and setting up the drip campaigns or the automated workflows. Kicking off the campaign by sending the first email is the next step, followed by the other emails in the series. Finally, marketers must evaluate email campaigns via metrics to determine their effectiveness.
This is a quick summary of an email campaign. Managing the process, however, is more challenging than it seems at first glance.
9 strategies to enhance your email marketing campaigns
Effective email campaign management takes an ongoing commitment from the facilitator. While automation can be a big driver of success, a campaign is far from a set-it-and-forget-it initiative.
Here are nine proven strategies to help your email marketing campaigns run more efficiently and return better results.
1) Plan effectively with an email marketing calendar
Everything involved in digital marketing takes planning, and email campaigns especially benefit from it. Knowing who, what, when, and why is vital in planning a successful email marketing campaign.
Why?: Prime your email marketing strategy for success by deciding on a clear, measurable campaign goal.
What?: Your designated marketers must choose what goes into the campaign. Plan the number of emails, the content, graphics, and the call to action (CTA).
Who?: Deciding who to target is another campaign element. New clients? Current customers? Former clients? Only clients in a specific state?
When?: When will the emails begin and end, and how much time should lapse between them?
2) Choose a project management tool
Agencies live and die by the tools they use, so picking the right project management tool is a pivotal part of building high-performing email campaigns.
The right tool(s) should offer:
Visual task management tools (like Kanban boards and Gantt charts)
Seamless team and client collaboration and communication
Robust integrations with your existing tech stack
Time tracking and invoicing features
Auto-scheduling for recurring or repeating tasks
Looking for a tool that offers all this and more in a single platform? Teamwork is your new go-to. Learn more about why our end-to-end project management tools are purpose-built for agencies like yours.
3) Align your email campaign strategy with your other marketing channels
Email marketing campaigns should never be silos. They need to look and feel cohesive with your company’s brand and complement the tone and goals of your other marketing channels.
Consider your company’s website, social media pages, blogs, advertisements, and other marketing channels when you’re creating your email design and writing the email content.
Using pre-built email templates, cohesive graphics, and the same tone (whether professional and efficient or friendly and casual) ties your emails to your brand with little effort. Email campaigns should lend to the company’s brand and be easy for your audience to identify.
4) Take advantage of automation for your email campaigns
Marketing automation software helps save time and get more done in many work areas, including your email campaign management.
There are several ways to use marketing automation in your email efforts, such as:
Populating the “from” and “to” fields of the email
Hinging the next emails based on the open rates of the previous one
Stopping a campaign if it hits the goal (for example, if the recipient fills out a form or makes a purchase)
In addition, automation can be the catalyst for putting the campaign in motion; this is called triggering.
Triggering sets an action as the “trigger” for starting a campaign. Some common triggers are visiting the website, downloading a piece of content, or making a purchase. A trigger email campaign sends the recipient a series of emails tied to their actions. These can increase customer engagement and build loyalty for the brand.
5) Segment your email lists to increase personalization
Have you ever gotten an email from a company and thought they wrote it especially for you? That’s segmentation success, my friend.
The more narrowly a company segments its audience using certain demographics, the more it can pinpoint its message to address that audience’s unique pain points.
Companies that don’t handle list segmentation well may send emails that completely miss the mark with folks. And, once customers feel like you don’t understand them, it’s difficult to regain their trust.
While there are many segmentation options for marketers, some common ways to segment emails lists are by:
Client type: Is the contact a new client, old client, former client, or have they never been a client?
Geographical location: Are you running a promotion or selling a product that’s only relevant to a certain region? Segment the list by zip code, city, or state.
Client size: Although we’re sure you love all your clients, huge clients may need different information from small businesses. Segmenting your client list by company size or annual billing keeps your marketing messages on point.
6) Audit and clean your email list regularly
As you operate your email campaign strategy, natural changes in customer data will occur. Email lists become outdated because people leave jobs, new people get hired, companies go out of business (or get sold), etc. Your email marketing efforts will only be as successful as your contact information is updated and accurate.
Continuing to send emails to people who have unsubscribed or to invalid email addresses causes all kinds of unsavory issues. Your company’s email service provider may start thinking your emails are spammy, which can negatively impact your deliverability.
Your company’s email health is too important to risk with messy lists. It should be a top priority to watch for contacts who aren’t opening your emails and plan to either re-engage them or remove them from the list. You should also remove the ones who unsubscribe and the ones that bounce.
7) Provide clear CTAs (and A/B test them)
It’s so tempting to get two or three (or more) points going in the email copy. After all, if the reader doesn’t respond to one, maybe they’ll like the other one, right?
Emails and CTAs should be like a well-designed road. The next move should be obvious. Multiple CTAs are the equivalent of several unmarked forks on the road. Which one should you take?
Don’t confuse your audience this way. Simplify taking the desired action by using clear, actionable CTAs.
CTAs should be:
Noticeable: Place the CTA in the top third of the email in a different color than the rest of the email is ideal.
Clickable: Use a button graphic, so it’s easy for the audience to understand they should click it to get what they want.
Clarifying: “Click here” doesn’t tell the audience what they need to know. Use “Learn More,” “Register now,” “Download Now,” or a similar informative word or phrase.
Mastering CTAs is a work in progress. It pays to do A/B testing for different wording, colors, sizes, and placements to see which ones resonate best with your subscribers.
8) Track and analyze the right campaign metrics
Identifying key performance metrics (KPIs) that are important to measure your email campaign’s success is an often-overlooked part of email campaign management.
Decide which analytics tell you what you need to know. You don’t have to choose just one. For example, click-through rates and form completion rates work together to give you a picture of the email campaign’s effectiveness.
Make sure you’re examining the analytics closely. Otherwise, you could be wasting time building campaigns that aren’t delivering results.
9) Optimize your asset management
Using company assets to create a lucrative return on investment is why we come to work! Email campaign management means using human resources and other tools (like an email marketing platform) to accomplish this goal.
A project management tool is a valuable marketing solution to make the most of a company’s assets. With clear stakeholders and robust communication, it helps keep important information from falling through the cracks and going undone. It also pinpoints bottlenecks to be addressed faster and offers transparency, which keeps team members from doing double work.
Are you missing the project management piece of your marketing stack? Check out Teamwork for a full-throttle solution that keeps projects on track and everyone informed.
What’s the best way to measure the success of an email campaign?
You may design what you think is the best email campaign in the history of your company, but how do you know if it succeeded? Here are some of the best ways to measure its performance.
Return on investment (ROI)
This metric showcases the bottom-line result of the email campaign’s success: how much bang you’re getting for your buck. According to Marketer Email Tracker, every $1 spent on email marketing has an ROI of roughly $34-$44 (£32-£42).
ROI = (Net return on investment / Cost of investment) x 100
Landing page bounce rate
If your audience is clicking your CTA but not staying on the landing page, or “bouncing” off, you may need to redesign it with a more compelling message. This issue may also signal that your CTA and landing page aren’t well-aligned.
Bounce rate = Total single-page visits / Total sessions
The percentage of website traffic originating from your email campaign gives key data on how successfully it performed.
Email conversion rate
What percentage of email recipients converted to prospects by filling out a form? If the number is high, the campaign was a hit.
Email conversion rate = (Number of conversions / Total number of delivered emails) x 100
Email list growth rate
You want your email list to grow over time. You will have people drop off and unsubscribe, but you should replace them with new subscribers. If your list is flat or decreasing, your email campaigns aren’t performing well.
Email list growth rate = (New subscribers - Unsubscribers / Total number of contacts) x 100
People may opt-in to your emails, find them irrelevant or irritating, and mark them as spam. Too many spam complaints can damage your email’s health, so you'll need to address them promptly.
Unsubscribes aren’t automatically bad, as they boost open rates. However, a high unsubscribe rate can signal you’re not targeting your audience well and need to tighten up your approach.
Unsubscribe rate = (Unsubscribes / Delivered emails) x 100
Manage successful email campaigns with Teamwork
By employing these strategies, companies can achieve higher results through email campaign management initiatives, increase their email deliverability, and segment their email lists to improve their personalization efforts. Automation plays a key role, as does the right project management tool.
Teamwork is an intuitive project management tool that can keep teams on track with numerous projects, including email campaign management. Learn more about how we can save your team time and keep them focused on high-value actions.