Making the Year End Email Marketing Review

At the year’s end everyone needs to look back on their email marketing efforts to see how successful their program was and if it wasn’t as successful as they were expecting, then what steps should be taken in order to make the program successful.

The main points to be looked upon are:

* Key performance metrics
The first step in the process of annual review is to note down the newsletter or campaign’s annual result in a spreadsheet. All important statistics such as clicks, referrals, complains, unsubscribe, bounces, spam, etc., should be included in the spreadsheet. After assembling the results must be used to calculate the overall averages. By this the best and the worst performing message can be calculated for every metric. Beyond standard metrics like click through, open, and bounce rates, corporate newsletter publishers must also look at metrics which are more appropriate for achieving the company’s objectives and goals. The major metrics which should be looked upon based on objectives are open rate, click to open rate, click through rate, deliver rate, bounce rate, referral rate, unsubscribe rate, spam complaints, net subscribers, subscriber retention, unique clicks, unique clicks on certain recurring links, website actions, orders, downloads, transactions, total revenue, conversion rate, average order size, and average price per email.
* Content
The content of the actual messages should be analyzed. Every aspect should be relevant and should also involve creativity. The style, tone and the length of the subject line should be reviewed. It is very important to include the company’s or brand’s name in the subject line or easy recognition by the reader, otherwise the email will land in the spam folder. If the format of the emails is being changed constantly, the samples must be compared to see which one is more effective. If personalized emails have been sent, observe the results to see whether the attempt was successful or not.
* Recipient feedbacks, web site analytics and surveys
An email account can be created to receive feedbacks containing both negative and positive comments, which can be reviewed upon at the end of the year. If the number of feedbacks received isn’t adequate, the feedback procedure must be made easier. Another problem could be of not creating a motivating personality which could make the subscribers to respond. Readers surveys helps in finding keys which can be worked upon in the next year. Analyzing the website statistics also helps a lot. If there are articles present on the website, figure out which ones interest the readers the most. If the website sells products, check out for the product categories which are visited the most and produce the most revenue and orders. Also ponder upon the offers which draw the most attention from the subscribers.
* And finally comparison between internal and external benchmarks

The co-marketers can share information in an organization which produces more than one campaign or newsletter. This helps in benchmarking the key metrics. The company’s performance can be compared to the industry averages to see whether the program is going according to the plan or if it needs attention immediately.
After the internal audit has been done and the review has been completed, it is now time to make an improvement plan for the future, which should include:

* Analysis and reporting
* Testing
* Creativity
* Maintenance
* List building
* Personalization and segmentation

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