What You Can Expect from an Email Marketing Audit

How important is an email marketing audit to the success of your emarketing initiatives?

Very — if you’re looking to continuously improve and enhance your email marketing results. An audit can help you evaluate your email strategies, opt-in process, content and messaging, design, platform, frequency, analytics and many other aspects. A thorough look at how your competitors are utilizing email marketing to boost their marketshare is also a great benefit.

Here’s a summary of what could be involved in a comprehensive email marketing audit.

  • Introduction and Background
    • Audit scope
    • Email marketing objectives
    • Target market & audiences
  • Email Marketing Audit
    • Review & document current email communications
      • Content for each type of e-communication
      • Opt-in process
      • Multichannel integration
      • Known challenges/obstacles
    • Competitor eMarketing Review
      • Review & document content, frequency, opt-in process, multichannel integration
  • Email Analytics Audit
    • Analytics summary for each type of e-communication
    • Observations and recommendations for each type
  • Testing Best Practices
    • Recommendations for testing methodology
  • Copy & Content Best Practices
    • Tips for improved content planning and copywriting
  • Email + Social Networks
    • How email marketing differs from social media marketing
    • How email marketing and social media marketing should work together
  • Viewing on Mobile Devices
  • Email Marketing Planning
    • Checklist for planning and monitoring email campaigns
  • Email Analytics Tracking
    • Metrics to track
    • Glossary of terms
  • Conclusion
    • List of top recommendations
    • Next steps to move forward

If you’re considering a new email marketing platform, this exercise should be included in your audit as well. Compile your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, and evaluate the features and benefits of the leading providers within your business category and budget. Last year, Forrester reported these vendors at the top of their list: Epsilon, ExactTarget, Experian CheetahMail, Responsys, StrongMail, and Yesmail Interactive. In evaluating any vendor, it is important to understand how they measure up in relation to your particular needs.

Following a comprehensive email marketing audit, you’ll need to consider the resources and expertise required to revise or renovate your current program, or build and execute a new, ongoing email marketing program. Keep in mind these critical deliverables:

  • creating the proactive plan
  • developing the on-brand creative and templates
  • developing the editorial schedule and writing each issue’s content
  • producing each issue
  • managing the subscriber databases (including building them up or building them from scratch)
  • distributing each issue
  • tracking and analyzing each issue’s results

As marketing professionals, it is in our DNA to strive for continuous improvement. An email marketing audit puts the indisputable facts on the table and arms you and your teams with the ammunition to make smarter decisions going forward. Email marketing is such a responsive medium — it’s easy to imagine just how impactful your email enhancement could be.

Side note: ExactTarget is JD’s preferred emarketing platform. Named “leader of the pack” by Forrester Research against the top 14 email marketing service providers, ExactTarget is the tool we use to power our clients’ campaigns with full-service email marketing services and personalized, targeted messages that drive engagement and ROI.

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