As a small business owner, you’re used to overseeing many moving parts. To keep things running smoothly, you have tools, systems, and processes in place — and email marketing should be no different.
Roughly 333 billion emails are sent every single day, and the average office worker receives 121 emails every workday. As a business owner, you could be emailing hundreds — if not thousands — of potential customers each week. Just how are you supposed to keep a 10,000-foot view of all of these campaigns?
That’s where email campaign management comes into play.
Email campaign management is, in the simplest terms, a way to keep tabs on all your email marketing efforts from a single place. Typically, your email automation software should offer oversight into each of your campaigns, so you can effectively communicate with your audience. Below, we dive into what email campaign management is and cover a few best practices.
What Is Email Campaign Management, Anyway?
Email campaign management is the practice of keeping a high-level overview on all email marketing campaigns. Typically, campaign management is built into your email marketing software so you can gauge email deliverability, engagement, and timing across all campaigns.
Proper campaign management involves a number of email marketing operations — from growing your list to designing and sending each campaign. When developing your email campaign management strategy, there are a few things you’ll want to watch out for:
- List management: Campaign management starts with strategizing how to grow your list — maybe you’ll offer enticing opt-ins or embed a pop-up form on your website. Once a new subscriber joins your list, you should add custom fields or tags based on their individual traits (such as their geographical location, relationship status, or job title).
- Email design: To quickly build and send email marketing campaigns, you’ll need a platform that makes it easy to design your emails. Choose a platform with plenty of pre-designed email templates that you can easily customize through a drag-and-drop email builder.
- Scheduling and deployment: You’ll need to ensure various marketing campaigns are spaced at least a few days apart so you’re not bombarding your list with too many emails. In addition, your marketing automation tools should allow you to send or schedule emails in advance to help with timing.
- Audience engagement and reporting: Your email marketing platform should allow you to track engagement across all your subscribers so you can see who opened, clicked, or chose to unsubscribe from your emails. Hopefully, your email service provider comes with built-in reporting functionality to make this easy to track.
Email Campaign Best Practices: The Dos and Don’ts of Campaign Management
Email campaign management is part organization, part human psychology. You need to organize your email list so it’s easy to personalize e-blasts and segment campaigns based on individual interests. At the same time, you need to use psychology to get into the minds of your subscribers, learning when to deploy each email, what to write, and how to design it to boost your conversion rate.
When developing your email campaign management strategy, keep these dos and don’ts in mind:
1. Don’t Keep Multiple Email Lists
Here is one of the biggest mistakes small business owners and marketing teams make when launching their email marketing strategy: They create multiple lists. For example:
- You host a webinar, and save attendees under a list titled “Webinar Attendees.”
- You create a downloadable PDF, and save new subscribers in a list titled “Checklist Subscribers.”
- You host a holiday party, and save invitees to a “Friends and Family” list.
All of these individuals should be saved under a single list. Here’s why: When you create multiple email lists, you run the risk of sending subscribers duplicate content. For example, if you want to send your monthly newsletter to all subscribers, but have an individual on both your Webinar Attendees and Friends and Family lists, they may receive that email twice. Plus, if you subscribe to a platform where the pricing structure is directly correlated with your total number of subscribers, you will end up paying more for these duplicates.
2. Do Segment Subscribers Through Custom Fields
To help keep subscribers organized within a single email list, you’ll need to use custom fields.
You can make custom fields based on virtually any demographic, interest, or customer data point. Using the same example listed above, you could make the following fields:
- Source: A field titled “Source” could be based on how someone joined your list, such as attending a webinar or downloading your checklist.
- Contact type: A field titled “Contact type” could refer to the relationship between you and the subscriber, such as friends and family, new customers, leads, vendors, or employees.
Custom fields allow you to easily segment your email database without creating additional lists. For example, if you’re speaking at an upcoming conference, you can use custom logic to send a campaign to subscribers whose “Source” field equals “Checklist” or “Webinar.”
3. Don’t Forget About Timing
One of the best things about campaign management is it allows you to deploy multiple campaigns simultaneously, or within a short period of time. However, when it comes to email marketing, don’t forget that timing is everything. You don’t want to bombard someone with multiple transactional emails in a single week — your unsubscribe rates will spike.
Think about the following scenarios:
- Create a welcome series: A welcome series is an automated workflow sent to subscribers after they join your list. Rather than sending three emails in three days, send email one automatically, then emails two and three several days apart.
- Promotional emails: Email marketing is a wonderful tool when it comes to boosting ecommerce sales. However, if you recently sent an email blast about your new fall product line, perhaps wait 1-2 weeks before you send another promo about hosting a webinar. (Pro tip: This is where segmentation is helpful! Send your webinar blast to “potential customers,” helping to move them down the sales funnel, and send your new line to “current customers,” to encourage them to make a repeat purchase.)
4. Do Use Metrics to Determine Engagement
When it comes to email marketing, you shouldn’t (just) make decisions based on your own, gut instinct. Instead, use built-in reporting metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate to determine which subject lines, templates, and landing pages get the most engagement.
The best email marketing apps have built-in reporting dashboards, allowing you to track engagement in real-time. You can use these metrics to find the optimal design and copy for your audience, including:
- Subject lines: Your open rate is directly correlated to your subject line. Therefore, experiment with A/B testing where you send one subject line to 25% of your list, and a second subject line to another 25% of your list. Whichever subject line gets the higher open rate should be sent to the remaining 50% of your list.
- Call-to-action (CTAs): If you have a high open rate (18% or higher), yet your click-through rate is incredibly low, you may need to take a hard look at your call-to-action. Experiment with a new, branded email design (rather than a plain-text HTML email), shortened text, or even moving your CTA further up in your email.
Use Gumbamail for Effective Email Campaign Management
Email campaign management allows you to keep an eye on all campaigns, no matter how many business emails you send. An effective email campaign management strategy should take into account how you organize subscribers, grow your list, schedule campaigns, and use reporting to optimize your messaging.
For effective campaign management, make the switch to Gumbamail. Gumbamail is the user-friendly email marketing platform that works directly with your existing Gmail account. With Gumbamail, you can easily create custom fields, choose from 800+ pre-designed templates, schedule emails in advance, and track engagement through a built-in reporting dashboard. Ready to see how Gumbamail’s marketing tools can transform your email efforts? Download the free plugin today.