Email Marketing Audit — The Complete Guide

Elevated open charges, click-throughs, and gross sales: In order for you these outcomes, working an e-mail advertising and marketing audit may help you get there. That’s why I’ve teamed up with six e-mail advertising and marketing consultants that can assist you create an audit of your individual.

Collectively, we cowl:

What’s an e-mail advertising and marketing audit?

The Advantages of E mail Advertising Audits

The Anatomy of an E mail Advertising Audit

The best way to Conduct an E mail Advertising Audit

Ideas for Conducting an E mail Advertising Audit

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What’s an e-mail advertising and marketing audit?

An e-mail advertising and marketing audit means checking in along with your e-mail technique, campaigns, and general account well being. Like a common advertising and marketing audit, the primary objective is to see what‘s working and what isn’t.

However you can even discover any untapped alternatives for enchancment.

An overview of part of an email marketing audit

Picture Supply

That mentioned, just some audits will cowl each factor that‘s concerned with e-mail advertising and marketing in its entirety. You may run an audit to examine technical points like deliverability, workflow automation, and accessibility, for instance.

You might also audit a selected marketing campaign’s efficiency to see whether or not it is assembly its targets.

The Advantages of E mail Advertising Audits

I interviewed six e-mail advertising and marketing consultants to learn the way an audit has helped them and their lists. Here is what they needed to say about why e-mail advertising and marketing audits matter.

benefits of email marketing audits

Higher Open Charges, Click on-By Charges, and Gross sales

“I used to be tasked to enhance the open charges (OPR) and click-thru charges (CTR) of the emails my consumer was sending to their target market,” says Gabriel Gan, head of editorial for In Actual Life Malaysia.

The e-mail record Fan labored with had round 250,000 energetic customers.

“Utilizing e-mail audit greatest practices, my staff and I have been capable of pinpoint areas of enchancment and improve our consumer’s OPR and CTR from 10-15% to 27-35%,” Gan continues.

Apart from OPR and CTR, gross sales improved, too. Gan remembers “a rise of seven% in gross sales throughout Black Friday, in comparison with the earlier yr (100% to 107%).”

Discovering What Resonates With Your Viewers

“An e-mail audit is sort of a well being examine. It is a chance to see what’s working and what is not,” says Senior Content material Strategist Lia Parisyan. One space an audit may help you perceive extra clearly is what resonates along with your viewers.

“At one firm, we needed to check if questions within the topic line transformed higher than statements,” explains Parisyan. “We examined out this statement and located some segments most popular numbers and questions in topic strains whereas others have been swayed much less by numbers and extra by ‘easy methods to’ statements in topic strains.”

Gan cites an identical expertise relating to viewers resonance: “After I first began doing e-mail advertising and marketing, the emails they [the company] have been sending out had a distinctly ‘direct promote’ strategy within the copy.”

Gan explains that historically, this strategy is one of the simplest ways to get prospects. However “it wasn’t nice at scaling to a global, cross-generational viewers (20s to 40s) with a variety of tastes and wishes,” Gan says.

An audit helped Gan and the staff uncover this and create extra resonance.

Improved Engagement and Deliverability

“E mail audits have been invaluable for our logistic firm’s e-mail advertising and marketing,” says Onur Kutlubay, CEO at YouParcel. Kutlubay explains how audits “e-mail lists, content material high quality, segmentation, and supply practices” have helped YouParcel consider its e-mail advertising and marketing campaigns.

Kutlubay cites “a 20% improve in open charges and a 15% rise in click-through charges” after refining e-mail concentrating on and content material based mostly on the audit findings.

Parisyan additionally highlights that “an e-mail audit may help you determine and resolve deliverability points.” Lengthy story quick?

Fixing these points makes positive your messages get to the proper inboxes, which might enhance deliverability and engagement general.

Seeing the Large Image and Refocusing Objectives

“It is really easy to lose observe of [what’s working and what’s not] once you’re targeted on the small particulars of on a regular basis work — and let’s be sincere, e-mail advertising and marketing requires a whole lot of consideration to element,” says Anna Czechowska, e-mail advertising and marketing specialist at Uscreen.

In accordance with Czechowska, an e-mail audit exhibits you the failings of your campaigns and areas the place you’ll be able to enhance whereas highlighting the wins.

“You could be stunned what labored and what did not,” says Czechowska. Nonetheless, having the information out of your audit will make it easier to to “see the massive image and refocus on the proper targets.”

Enhancing E mail Listing Well being

“E mail audits are key to understanding the well being of our consumer’s accounts,” says Yair Barojas, advertising and marketing strategist at Mindgruve.

Barojas explains that e-mail audits assist them to “decide the constructions, methodology, and implementation which are at present in place.”

From there, they’ll discover any areas of alternative to enhance the general account and record well being.

Barojas mentions “segmentation, record improvement, information mapping enhancements, monitoring implementations, and automation, to connectivity between programs” as areas they examine to search out these alternatives.

Prioritizing and Nurturing Relationships

“E mail audits have been an enormous assist for Journey-Lingual,” says James Smith, founding father of Journey-Lingual. “They’re like a check-up in your e-mail record, making certain you are sending out your top-notch content material to those that care about it.”

Smith additionally emphasizes the significance of specializing in high quality moderately than amount and that eradicating inactive members helps them do that. “E mail audits have helped us lower down on all of the junk and concentrate on the individuals who take pleasure in our journey content material,” closes Smith.

The Anatomy of an E mail Advertising Audit

The precise elements of your e-mail advertising and marketing audit all rely in your finish objective. That mentioned, you could end up addressing all or a few of the following areas:

Efficiency Metrics

For any audit, it is sensible to get a abstract of the place you‘re at proper now. That offers you a benchmark to see whether or not your follow-up actions based mostly on the audit do or don’t work.

Reporting on e-mail efficiency metrics like open charges, click-through charges, conversion charges, and ROI provides you with a fundamental comparability. You’ll be able to then evaluate how your e-mail campaigns carry out earlier than and after the audit.

Listing Well being Evaluation

You consider the standard and cleanliness of your e-mail subscriber record. Studies normally embrace record measurement, high quality, segmentation, and any points associated to bounce charges and unsubscribes.

Content material and Design Evaluate

You analyze the e-mail copy and design for high quality, relevance, engagement, and consistency with the model. You may additionally wish to double-check that emails are mobile-friendly, accessible, and responsive.

For those who lack design expertise or technical chops, HubSpot’s Drag and Drop E mail Builder may help you create visually interesting emails.

Deliverability and Compliance Evaluation

You‘ll usually assessment e-mail deliverability points/challenges, spam complaints, and sender fame at the least. You’ll additionally wish to audit compliance with e-mail advertising and marketing legal guidelines and rules.

Automation and Workflow Analysis

You‘ll wish to analyze any automated e-mail workflows in step with your segmentation technique. If automation isn’t in place, you’ll be able to report on actions to take to enhance effectivity with automation.

You may as well discover alternatives to streamline the prevailing workflow.

Whether or not you audit one or all of those areas, you‘ll have to create suggestions and an motion plan. You’ll be able to then optimize what’s working in your e-mail advertising and marketing technique and repair what is not.

[Video: How to Master Email Marketing (2023)]

The best way to Conduct an E mail Advertising Audit

I requested consultants Parisyan, Barojas, Czechowska, and Gan how they run e-mail advertising and marketing audits. Collectively, we crafted this nine-step course of for working an e-mail advertising and marketing audit.

You’ll be able to apply these steps to a whole e-mail audit or a selected factor you concentrate on.

I’ve additionally factored in recommendations on working audits in-house or as an exterior useful resource.

How to Conduct an Email Marketing Audit. Define your scope and set goals. Build your audit team. Choose your audit tools. Data collection and legal review. List the areas you want to audit. Assess impact using email marketing metrics. A/B testing and optimization. Create an action plan and get approval. Implement an action plan and analyze the results.

1. Outline your scope and set targets.

“An important factor is defining scope. What’s the objective of the e-mail audit? Is it compliance? Safety? Enhancing conversions?’ Parisyan says.

“It may be multiple factor, however the extra exact you’re along with your scope, the much less doubtless you’ll lose focus or draw the audit out,” says Parisyan.

At this stage, Parisyan recommends selecting essentially the most impactful e-mail space to audit.You are able to do smaller audits. Select one variable. Enhance, take a look at, and sort out the following variable as a substitute of boiling the ocean,” Parisyan explains.

From my expertise with content material audits, I recommend ensuring that your e-mail advertising and marketing targets and aims complement the broader enterprise technique.

That method, you are focusing your exercise on areas that assist to attain the extra common firm targets.

I recommend requesting the whole lot you have to get the job executed sooner moderately than later, too. For those who get issues like permissions and documentation early, you’ll be able to keep away from delays attributable to chasing these down.

That stands if you happen to‘re in-house, but it surely’s very important if you happen to‘re an exterior useful resource since you’ll have fewer contact factors with decision-makers.

Skilled Tip

“If we can’t entry the consumer’s e-mail system, we interview key stakeholders to grasp the way it works and the place they want enchancment and assist,” says Barojas.

Barojas, who works agency-side, additionally recommends getting examples of “emails and any workflow paperwork” at this stage.

2. Construct your audit staff.

“Subsequent, who’s going to be in your audit staff? For those who’re fixing for safety, Do you have to contain authorized? Cybersecurity?” says Parisyan.

After you’ve got finalized your staff, Parisyan recommends assigning roles and obligations and utilizing challenge administration instruments.

Skilled Tip:

PM instruments may help you propose the e-mail advertising and marketing audit timeline, assign duties, and oversee progress from begin to end. Both method, challenge administration instruments are an effective way to keep away from having a number of spreadsheets in every single place.

And as anybody in advertising and marketing is aware of, spreadsheets can get messy quick.

3. Select your audit instruments.

“There are many [tool] choices. You could already be utilizing one,” says Parisyan. “Nonetheless, I wouldn‘t advocate switching instruments throughout an audit if you happen to haven’t vetted them. I might contemplate {that a} separate exercise.”

Parisyan additionally explains that third-party options are sometimes uncared for throughout audits. So, doc these, as they might have an effect on safety and compliance.

To remain aligned along with your core goal, Parisyan additionally recommends figuring out “the instruments you are utilizing, how, and to what objective.”

Skilled Tip

For those who nonetheless have to get a instrument in place, contemplate in search of one with an e-mail advertising and marketing audit template or guidelines in-built.

You would additionally search for a instrument that helps you observe your audit course of, though you should use a challenge administration instrument for that, too.

An example of an email marketing audit template

Picture Supply

For context, I do not assume the whole lot in content material advertising and marketing wants a template. Content material templates are how writing will get stale and predictable, for instance. Nonetheless, templates are essential in the case of processes.

Having an in-house framework or company SOP to observe will prevent time and make it easier to enhance with every audit iteration. It additionally offers you a visible information to observe as you’re employed by the nitty-gritty of your e-mail advertising and marketing audit.

4. Information assortment and authorized assessment.

“You may wish to make sure that the whole lot you are gathering complies with privateness rules reminiscent of GDPR and HIPAA (in healthcare),” warns Parisyan.

Whereas it‘s straightforward to miss this step, it’s vital to be sure you’re in step with e-mail advertising and marketing legal guidelines in particular areas and industries.

Skilled Tip

Apart from GDPR (Europe), CAN-SPAM (United States) is one other regulation you could have to adjust to, relying in your record. For those who‘re throughout the U.S., you must also adjust to state-by-state insurance policies.

Virginia’s Shopper Information Safety Act (VCDPA) is an instance of certainly one of these.

5. Listing the areas you wish to audit.

At this stage, you wish to record the areas most related to your objective after which audit these. For those who’re doing a full audit, Barojas recommends masking the next areas:

  • Account construction.
  • Audiences.
  • Campaigns and content material.
  • System connectivity.
  • Testing and optimizations.
  • Monitoring.

You would additionally concentrate on a smaller space, like rising your conversion charge for a selected e-mail marketing campaign. The conversion motion could possibly be clicking the decision to motion button. The related audit areas could possibly be content material and design.

In that case, you’d wish to audit the topic strains, design parts, copy, and calls to motion at a minimal.

Skilled Tip

Gan mentions auditing e-mail content material because it pertains to the broader buyer journey, which is: “Open e-mail inbox > open e-mail > scroll all the way down to the underside of the web page > click on the CTA button,” says Gan.

Gan maps out the extra particular buyer journey and touchpoints like this: “(start buyer journey) E mail topic line > preview textual content > e-mail header picture > headline > introductory textual content > product picture > product description > cta button (finish buyer journey).”

Gan explains that at every stage of this journey, the client might click on away, get distracted, or lose curiosity. So, to extend conversions, it’s best to purpose toretain consideration all the best way until they click on the CTA button.”

6. Assess impression utilizing e-mail advertising and marketing metrics.

Now your targets and which areas you’d prefer to audit, you have to assess them utilizing related e-mail efficiency metrics. This provides you with a benchmark so that you a) know easy methods to transfer ahead and b) have pre and post-audit comparability information.

Some frequent e-mail metrics embrace click-through charge, open charge, bounce charge, and record development charge. However let‘s follow our instance objective of getting extra record members click on the decision to motion button on an e-mail marketing campaign.

The metric in that occasion is conversion charge. Right here’s how one can measure it.

“To calculate the conversion charge, I divide the quantity of people that accomplished the specified motion by the variety of emails delivered and multiply the reply by 100,” says workers author for HubSpot’s advertising and marketing weblog Erica Santiago.

So the formulation would appear to be this:

(Number of people who clicked the call to action button ÷ Number of total emails delivered) * 100

Skilled Tip

“To measure the conversion charge of your emails, you will have to combine your e-mail platform and net analytics,” says Santiago. “You are able to do this by creating distinctive monitoring URLs on your e-mail hyperlinks that determine the supply of the press as coming from a selected e-mail marketing campaign.”

7. A/B testing and optimization.

“When doing all of your audit, step one is figuring out the areas which it’s essential to look into. The second step is to check,” Gan says. Gan recommends following two predominant guidelines on your A/B testing:

  1. Set e-mail A because the incumbent. Set e-mail B because the contender.
  2. Solely change one variable at a time.

“For instance, in e-mail B, when testing open charges, solely tweak the topic line and never the preview,” says Gan.

That is as a result of “When you have multiple variable that has been modified from the previous e-mail, it is nearly unattainable to find out which new addition you made has contributed to the development in OPR/CTR.”

Skilled Tip

Apart from A/B testing campaigns, you’ll be able to dive into the e-mail campaigns your self.

“I take a look at emails on completely different gadgets and in numerous e-mail purchasers. I attempt to actually get into subscribers’ sneakers, e.g., by becoming a member of our e-mail sequence,” says Czechowska.

She explains that this helps to get a first-hand perspective of the “precise expertise for our e-mail viewers.”

8. Create an motion plan and get approval.

Now, you have to put your entire e-mail advertising and marketing audit findings into a transparent and logical motion plan. In my expertise of working audits, I like to recommend outlining an motion plan in sprints.

For those who do not do that, the information could be visually overwhelming, which makes it exhausting to know the place to start out.

I might additionally say to frontload the actions that may have essentially the most impression in your targets. That can improve stakeholder and staff buy-in.

After you have a transparent plan of motion, you could have to current it to stakeholders, decision-makers, and/or senior staff members to get approval.

Skilled Tip

“To get stakeholders to take motion in your suggestions, format your evaluation on your viewers,” says Parisyan.

For instance, executives are busy.

So, “A brief slide deck with vital stats and findings may go greatest. Or you’ll be able to name a gathering to debate your findings and proposals if that is what stakeholders want.”

In brief, Parisyan recommends realizing your viewers in order that your suggestions get carried out. That is as a result of doing the audit shouldn’t be sufficient. Convincing stakeholders to take motioncalls for equal focus and championing.”

9. Implement an motion plan and analyze the outcomes.

When decision-makers have accredited your motion plan, it is time to implement the findings out of your e-mail advertising and marketing audit. You’ll be able to then analyze the outcomes of your audit suggestions.

It’s best to contemplate revisiting Gan’s A/B testing recommendation and guidelines right here — solely altering one variable without delay and persevering with to check and enhance in iterations.

However implementation and evaluation do not imply the work is over. You additionally wish to create a system for ongoing monitoring and reporting to trace progress and make changes.

Skilled Tip

“As soon as adjustments are signed off, march ahead, monitor what’s occurring, and preserve documenting,” says Parisyan. “Having a report will allow you to conduct extra vigorous audits sooner or later and keep away from testing the identical speculation once more.”

Ideas for Conducting an E mail Advertising Audit

Wish to run a profitable e-mail advertising and marketing audit? Here is what the e-mail advertising and marketing consultants I interviewed recommend.

Break it down into manageable chunks.

“The variety of issues to assessment could also be overwhelming at first, however breaking it down into smaller steps will assist,” says Czechowska.

Czechowska suggests first defining your targets that can assist you break issues down. “You could wish to concentrate on some areas greater than others — e.g., deliverability or record segmentation technique,” she explains.

Inside that, there could possibly be “a selected downside that requires your consideration, reminiscent of excessive bounce charge or low engagement.”

Bear in mind, it’s not a solo job.

“Even if you happen to’re at a small firm, contain others. Past constructing collaboration and tapping into different folks’s expertise, involving others helps you catch stuff you may miss,” says Parisyan.

“When you have pictures in your emails or graphics, possibly seek the advice of your designer. See if they’ve any suggestions,” Parisyan continues.

You may as well join your gross sales and customer support groups to “see how the language tone and size of your content material compares with their messaging.”

Advertising Strategist Yair Barojas agrees.

“Lean on further staff members who might have expertise with different areas you have to encounter in the course of the audit, reminiscent of builders or analytics,” says Barojas.

Attempt an expectation take a look at on your messaging.

“This isn’t as frequent, however you’ll be able to strive an expectation take a look at,” says Parisyan. The take a look at entails exhibiting somebody an e-mail headline and asking them what they assume the e-mail might be about.

To eradicate affirmation bias, Parisyan means that you do not present members the e-mail copy. You’ll be able to then learn the way folks actually really feel concerning the headline with out them realizing what the e-mail copy is about.

Parisyan additionally recommends interviewing prospects “in ‘the inexperienced'” and to “take into consideration integrating them right into a beta testing marketing campaign” as one other technique to take a look at and tailor your messaging.

Account for variations in methods and campaigns.

“Every firm handles documentation and e-mail technique otherwise, so do not draw back from reaching out to the consumer with questions,” says Barojas. He additionally explains that each audit is exclusive, too.

So, “being versatile is as essential as being well timed.”

Czechowska additionally references marketing campaign variations.

“Do not measure each e-mail towards the identical requirements,” says Czechowska. “Take into consideration what you contemplate successful for every of your campaigns — it’s going to be completely different on your weekly e-newsletter, and e.g., an deserted cart sequence.”

Use quantitative information and qualitative suggestions.

“For an efficient e-mail audit, my tip is to think about quantitative information (open and click-through charges) and qualitative suggestions (buyer responses),” says CEO Onur Kutlubay.

By this “holistic strategy,” Kutlubay’s firm has been capable of tailor emails “for higher engagement, resulting in elevated ROI and extra happy prospects.”

Kutlubay studies a rise in open charges and click-through charges, particularly. However that is not all.

“This mix of qualitative and quantitative enhancements generated a 25% development in email-driven income, demonstrating that investing in e-mail audits can result in substantial features,” says Kutlubay.

Take away inactive subscribers.

Founder James Smith recommends taking a data-driven strategy to your technique, together with in search of “any inactive members” of your e-mail record.

“First, eliminate the inactive folks in your record. Then, tailor your content material to what your viewers likes,” says Smith.

Doing that may make it easier to concentrate on delivering high quality content material to the people who find themselves essentially the most engaged so you’ll be able to nurture these relationships.

Kutlubay additionally focuses on record well being throughout e-mail audits. By way of the impression, Kutlubay’s bounce charge was decreased by 10% after a “cautious record cleanup.”

A/B take a look at typically.

“There is a notion that after you arrange your e-mail record and create a template on your emails, you’ll be able to ‘set it and neglect it,'” says Head of Editorial Gabriel Gan.

“However now, with the facility of A/B testing, with only a few rounds of testing your headlines, visuals, copy, provide, name to motion, and so forth., you’ll find out what your viewers loves, do extra of it, and enhance your conversion charges twofold or threefold,” Gan says.

Gan recommends testing typically, noting down your findings, and bettering on every e-mail iteration till you discover out what works and what does not.

Discover outside-of-the-box options.

“The standard technique is to ship your e-mail on the busiest instances of the day (when individuals are more than likely to examine their emails),” says Gan. “But when that is what all people else is doing, your e-mail will doubtless get misplaced within the shuffle, so it’s a must to assume when it comes to your buyer’s mindsets as nicely.”

Gan explains that for retail merchandise, “night time simply earlier than dinner or simply earlier than bedtime is probably going the proper time.” However for productiveness hacks or every day information, “updates are doubtless higher early within the day earlier than work.”

You’ll be able to apply this non-conventional pondering in your audit suggestions.

E mail Advertising Audit: Do Extra of What Works

Operating an e-mail advertising and marketing audit can present invaluable insights into your campaigns and e-mail accounts normally.

You may have the whole lot essential to create a transparent motion plan aligning your e-mail advertising and marketing exercise with broader enterprise targets.

Whether or not analyzing a selected space like record well being or working a full audit, following a examined framework cuts out the guesswork. Begin doing extra of what‘s working and fewer of what isn’t with our expert-led e-mail advertising and marketing audit course of.

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