In 2017, an estimated 269 billion emails were sent each day and that means the emails you send need to stand out in the inbox of your recipients in order to get read. However with ever-increasing workloads with limited resources, email marketers are not finding the time to work on strategies to make your email more relevant and thus opened by your recipients.
Here are 5 tips to streamline your workflow and free up more time to invest in higher value activities.
1. Invest in an Effective Campaign Planning Tool.
Once you have your overall marketing strategy in place, it’s vital to map out the execution plan, so everyone is privy to their responsibilities, topics to be covered, deadlines, measurement plans, etc. An editorial calendar is a planning tool that ensures team alignment.
Many teams use Google Calendar for this process. There are many editorial calendar templates you can download for free. In Google calendar, you can just select “Create New Calendar” and fill out the fields. You can then upload your editorial content calendar and add in your publishing schedule, responsibilities, keywords to be used, CTAs, etc., to the relevant days. You can quickly set up recurring events and also assign different tasks to colleagues by inviting them as guests. Once you have filled in the plan, you can share the editorial calendar with all of the necessary team members. The entire team will now be privy to the dates and details of the entire daily, weekly, monthly publishing schedule.
Further details such as targeted keywords and audience, suggested CTA, due date, and synopsis can be added to the description box of each new event you create on the calendar. However, you might not want too many cooks on the editorial permission list. It could get a bit too crowded for comfort. Whatever level of permission you decided to give your team members, having a single screen view of the whole plan helps to coordinate efforts and share in finding solutions for any challenges.
Another editorial calendar that is extremely popular is Trello. The beauty of an editorial calendar is that content creation can occur without needing to send a single email, as you can see the workload at a glance. Trello ensures a seamless publishing process. Different Trello cards allow for managing drafts, assets, and illustrations with both internal and external contributors and stakeholders with checklist features. You can track and measure the success of your email campaigns in one place. Everything is housed in one easily accessible calendar.
2. Embrace the Necessity of Checklists
The most frightening moment of any email campaign is having to push the send button. You know you want that email to be well received, and if there are any typos or mistakes, it could potentially damage the relationship with your current and future customers. Having an extensive pre-launch checklist to review every aspect of your email campaign is a best practice failsafe that can catch any errors.
You can draw up a word-based checklist using Microsoft Word or download a checklist template for use in Excel. Checklists help you to review every aspect of the email you are about to send out—including the recipients, the content, creative, and campaign details. You can double check everything from editing, formatting, length of copy, pain points covered, etc.
3.Explore Content Creation Tools
For many companies, there is pressure on the team to create content consistently, and productivity can be enhanced with the use of content creation tools such as Taxi for Email. Taxi allows you to create brand approved predefined templates and allows non-coders to populate email content efficiently. Taxi also integrates seamlessly with many of the major email service providers. With content creation tools, you can quickly create email campaigns at scale with fewer mistakes.
4.Dive into Email Rendering Test Tools
According to Email on Acid’s Email Marketing Insights survey, ensuring that email renders correctly across email clients was cited as the biggest pain point among email marketers. With the dozens of email clients in a multitude of screen sizes, it would take hours to ensure that an email’s content appears flawless across all of these clients. Email on Acid and Litmus are two services that offer a host of rendering tools that reduce the testing process time and help you to send out higher quality emails—saving you hours.
You only need to send one test message to either of these services to find out if your email campaign has rendered properly. You receive screenshots of what your email looks like for different recipients, so you can make changes before sending out the campaign. You can also easily check that all of your links are working for your landing pages and that CTRs are being tracked and measured.
5.Leverage a Campaign Approval and Review Solution
If you have a large team, email campaign signoff can be a huge source of headaches. Filling your stakeholders’ inboxes with revision after revisions of emails and collating all the responses can consume time better spent on creative and strategy. This can be particularly tedious when you have multiple versions of a campaign that you need approved.
A collaborative approvals solution like Campaign Workhub keeps you and your stakeholders literally on the same page without the constant barrage of emails. Instead of sending emails to your stakeholders, you send them over to the approvals software and stakeholders make their comments, annotations and review decisions all in one place.
Email Campaign creation can be an arduous experience if you aren’t using streamlining tools to assist with ideation to deployment. When it comes to large companies, with multiple teams, working on email campaigns, can be a complex and time-intensive process. Along the way, you have to be prepared to handle the multitude of mistakes that will inevitably occur—slowing down the process even further. When you streamline the process using planning, checklists, rendering, content creation, and review/approval tools, you will be sending out a superior quality email campaign that has included colleague and stakeholders in the entire process.