It can be hard to know when you're really ready to send your campaign, and how to determine the success of that campaign after you send. This all depends on your business, your content, and your audience, so it's not an exact science. But there are some things to pay attention to before and after you send that can help your campaign performance.
In this article, you'll find recommendations that can help you get the most out of your email marketing.
Before You Send
We know pressing that Send button can be intimidating, no matter how many times you've sent to your list. It can help calm your nerves if you know you've done everything you can to ensure a successful campaign.
Here are some things to check before you send a campaign.
Review Your List
Go to the Recipients step of the Campaign Builder to confirm that you're sending to the right people. Make sure you've selected the correct list and that you have permission to send to those subscribers. If you're sending to a segment, review the conditions and subscriber count to make sure you've set up your segment correctly.
Review Your Campaign Setup
Go to the Setup step of the Campaign Builder to make sure you've set up your campaign properly. Review your subject line, campaign information, tracking options, and social share settings. Turn on Conversations in your MailChimp account if you want to track replies, or make sure you have access to the From email address for your campaign to receive direct replies to your campaign.
Proof Your Content
Go to the Design step of the Campaign Builder to proofread your campaign content one more time before you send. Review the text for typos, make sure images are the correct size and include alt text, and check for any spammy words or phrases that might affect your campaign delivery. If you're using merge tags in your campaign, review the default values in your list.
After you've checked all of this yourself, we recommend you ask a friend or colleague to look over your campaign, as well.
Check for Broken Links
On the Design step of the Campaign Builder, double-check that all the links in your campaign are valid and point to the correct URLs. Use our built in Link Checker to scan for broken links, and click each link yourself to make sure they point to the URL you want. Also make sure you've included the required unsubscribe link in your campaign.
Preview and Test
After you've thoroughly checked your list, setup, and content, use our preview and testing tools on the Design step of the Campaign Builder to make sure your campaign displays as expected. If you're a paid user, try our Inbox Preview tool to see what your campaign will look like in different email clients.
Send Your Campaign
Crossed all your t's and dotted all your i's? Great! After you've completed this checklist, you're ready to hit that Send button.
After You Send
It's important to evaluate your campaign statistics after every campaign you send, so you can determine how the performance of a campaign compares to what's normal for your organization. Use your campaign reports and list statistics to track trends and return on investment (ROI) over time. Although this won't help you improve your sent campaign, it'll give you the data you need to make informed email marketing decisions in the future.
Here are some things to consider as you evaluate your sent campaigns.
After you've given your subscribers a few hours to respond to your campaign, it's a good idea to monitor delivery in your campaign report. If you notice a large number of emails aren't being delivered, your campaigns may be getting blocked by firewalls or spam filters.
Monitor your engagement for each campaign, as well as engagement over time, to get a sense of how your content resonates with your subscribers. Consider statistics like opens, clicks, forwards, and social performance. Connect your store to track additional statistics like total orders and revenue.
Determine Top Locations and Send Time
Pay attention to the top locations in your campaign reports and overall list statistics to see which regions respond best to your content. If you've sent your campaigns at different times, determine if there's a particular time of day that seems to get the most opens, clicks, and purchases.
Assess Your Revenue
If you have a connected store and track your e-commerce activity, or include products in your campaigns, we'll show you your sales in your campaign reports. Use this information to assess your ROI and inform future campaign decisions.
Monitor Unsubscribes and Bounces
Monitor your bounces and unsubscribes over time so you can intervene if there are issues with your list, campaign content, or delivery. If you notice a lot of unsubscribes, your permission may have gone stale, or something in your campaign content could have caused more people to unsubscribe.
If you notice high a high bounce rate on a campaign, we'll store bounce reasons in your campaign report for 30 days after you've sent. Each bounced email typically includes an "SMTP Reply" that explains why the message bounced.