In the market, there are a lot of trends that have faded in and out, however, some strategies successfully stood the test of time, and email marketing is one of them.
In 2017, global email surmounted around 7.7 billion users, which will grow to 4.1 billion in 2021.
Also, the medium has an ROI of 122%, over 4x higher as compared to any other formats, including paid search, social media, and direct mail.
On top of that, an email marketing audit is crucial to make sure your campaign is on track with maximum profits. And here is how you can start with the audit.
What To Know About Email Marketing Audit?
Email marketing audits are the process that helps in analyzing each and every factor which influences the success of email marketing.
A thorough email marketing audit can help in pinpointing the issues with the timing, content, send list, etc.
Although a lot of markers tend to wait until the problem arises so they can initiate an audit.
It’s considered best practice that you audit the email program, at least do it once a year.
Even though it is going great, still do it. So when you’re doing the audit, it can help in limiting failure and improving the relationships with email subscribers as well as customers.
Is Email Audit For You?
An email marketing audit is a working methodology; its purpose is to verify the effectiveness of email marketing, including its process and strategies.
With the help of an email audit, here are a few things that can help :
- Testing performance of your email campaign.
- Identifying the problems and errors that need solutions.
- Guaranteeing doing the periodic checkup to your champaign
- Improving the performance of campaigns depending on audit and research.
- Grasping the weakness and learning, also knowing how to fix it.
So by doing the fundamental process, you can understand if your strategies are going to be successful. The key here is to identify the correct actions which can help in improving the effectiveness.
Preparation You Need For Audit :
The email audit process requires method, precision, and planning in order to get much more reliable results.
Because of this, you need to plan a series of all the preliminary activities before you perform the audit, which also it includes:
- Establishing the right type of adit, you need to conduct
- Planning the frequency of doing the analyses depending on resources allocated to activities, degree of need, and efforts.
- Defining the sample for analysis depends on the campaigns which encountered more issues or had lower performances.
- Make a to-do list, including every single flow, element, criticalities, etc., for examining much better and more carefully.
What Are The Types Of Email Audit?
One of the crucial parts of an email marketing audit is choosing the right type and how it can help you in getting the results.
Since there are different types of audits, you get help in testing the effectiveness of email, giving much more breadth and boosting the marketing boundaries.
Here are the main audit types that you can consider :
With the help of an acquisition audit, this can help you in verifying the email contains all the right elements so it can have potential contact, such as avoiding setbacks, registering easily, and an overly long or complex registration process.
A subscription button, single or double opt-in, confirmation times, etc., are some of the factors that are required to analyze, and this type of audit can help in that.
This method is basically for improving the unsubscribe process as it’s one of the best practices.
It can help in measuring terms of deliverability, transparency, and reputation.
If your users are going through a hard time when it comes to finding the button for unsubscribing, This will lead to consequences that are unpleasant, and it will end up damaging the reputation as a sender.
A further indispensable audit you can do helps in checking everything that comes within your campaign template and how it works in your favor or not. Also, it includes all the elements which are related to its fundamentals.
With an email template audit, you can cover key aspects such as the sender’s name, object, footer, CTA, etc.
Along with that, here are the top nine elements that you need to check when you are analyzing the template. It includes :
- Sender’s Name – The sender, must be clear to the recipient so they don’t end up reporting it as spam or junk.
- Subject- Make sure you have the right length; keep it specific, clear, personalized, and free of any spam words.
- Pre Header – Check your header is providing additional help and information, and alert when you open the email.
- Title – Make sure you are noticeable, clear, and present, and keep the communication easy to give the message.
- Body Of Email – Check the body if it’s too long or too short, also if it’s mobile-friendly and styling in line with the right type of branding.
- Call to Action – Ensuring that your email has the CTA b; it’s a visible and strategic spot. With that, you need to be sure it’s bulletproof, i.e., HTML, to avoid the image visualization issue.
- Pictures And Videos – You need to check if all embedded videos and images are functioning properly, including alt text and visible to the device. It’s not heavy while loading.
- Branding – Check if the company logo is visible, and make sure that its clicking is directing them to the website.
Return Path’s recent study shows that around a fifth of emails sent doesn’t make it to the right links worldwide.
If your contacts are missing the emails, then they are also missing the offers and news which is for them.
Any email that is not reaching the inbox can be considered as a potential lost sale.
Because of this, you need to analyze the delivery of the campaign, as it’s one of the best and essential practices for making a successful email marketing strategy.
When you are doing the deliverability audit, and to make it effective, you need to consider all the factors that influence the delivery, including :
- Sender’s reputation
- Sender’s ability to recognize
- Relevance of message for the recipient
- HTML code failures
- Presence of spam words
- Choosing sending platform which is nonprofessional
- High numbers of spam reports
- Excessive weight in email
- Sending to the wrong address
The next type of audit you can do, understanding the level of interest that the campaign is generating the database contacts, can help you in determining if you are communicating in the right way or not.
Also, if it’s sparking interaction and facilitating the conversion, doing an engagement audit can help in revealing if there is an inactive cluster your contact database contains, which you can use for making your reactive campaign better.
This kind of audit can help in causing viable engagement; it is a tangible as well as analyzable metric.
It’s extremely important that you verify the email campaigns and make sure that you are complying with the privacy regulations.
So you can do the privacy audit; this can help you in checking each regulation update and verifying all acquisitions, as well as profiling processes, are 100% compliant.
What To Look At During Email Marketing Audit?
There are many things you need to consider when you are running an email marketing program, the more complex the campaigns, the more complex you are auditing is going to be.
However, you can consider common threads that run through almost every email campaign; with this, you can save time, and using factors can help in analyzing email audits better.
Email Workflow And The Processes
Companies on a large or medium scale have a variety of emails deployed on a daily basis, some are automatically where some are directed to customers, and some are pre-planned or detailed for new product releases.
As your email marketing grows, the more chances of risks you have, and this leads to error as well.
That’s why you should do the email marketing audit at the beginning, so when you look at the workflow, you can ask some of the important questions such as :
- Do you have written documentation that is related to the workflow?
- How does your average email campaign go from idea and turn into implementation?
- What phases do your process include?
- Is the process of your email campaign similar?
- Who is responsible for each piece of processor responsibilities entailed?
When you are picking apart the workflows, it helps you in :
- It allows you to identify the problems as well as inefficiencies
- It gives you a chance to streamline the hiccups and correcting if there are any errors.
- It gives you an idea of what resources you are working on, including tools and vital personnel.
Email Marketing Infrastructure
The next thing you need to consider is the basic technologies and physical setup that every company requires to ensure their emails are going to the right inboxes or not.
Also, when you are considering this, it includes :
- DNS records
- Dedicated IP address
- IP reputation
- Reply and response addresses
- Standardized and required links
Well, it is crucial that you check each of the items, also their place and functioning properly.
If not, then it can identify the email reputation as well as the tank the program together.
Email Design And Creative Elements
You need to pick the design and template which works ideally with the audience.
However, if your email is not working that well, then there are chances that you need to check the device or it might be a coding issue.
So you need to find the solution when you are doing an email marketing audit; here are a few of the questions that you need to ask such as :
- Does your audience prefer to have an image-based or plain text email?
- Do your images take time to load email?
- Is your image not loading correctly?
- How does your email look on a mobile phone?
- Does your design optimize for all email clients or devices?
Email Service Provider
Another important part that you need to consider when you are doing the audit is email service providers.
The technology evolves, make sure you are email provider is doing; here are some of the questions to ask :
- Are you generally happy with who your current email provider is?
- Does your provider offer you robust features?
- Are there any features you want that your provider doesn’t offer?
- Do you often struggle to do a single task because of an email service provider?
Quality Of Data
Even if everything is on point, if you are working with an email list and outdated, your email marketing will not work and be successful.
However, the email data decays much faster than you think; consider all of these statistics :
- 40% of email users change their address at least once within two years.
- 25- 33% of email addresses become outdated per year.
- 15% of email users end up changing email addresses one or more times a year.
Even though you check the email marketing data once a year, there are high chances that you can be late as the data might be outdated.
This is not just about reaching the customer and prospect, but using a bad email list can ruin your reputation of you as a sender.
Email List And Segmentation Of Audience
Aside from making your list better, you also need to do better segmentation of the email list.
As a marketer, you need to write email segmentation that can help you drastically with email marketing and improve the results.
In fact, a segmented email campaign helps in generating more than 14.64% open rates and 59.99% clicks instead of non-segmentation in campaigns.
However, there is no right or wrong way of doing the segmentation of email list; there are a few things that you need to investigate when you are doing the email marketing audit, it includes :
- When was the last time you switched to an email segmentation strategy?
- What was the strategy which is accurate to your email segmentation?
- How can you be more specific in your segmentations?
When your email is opened, you need to rely on a copy to share your points and inspire others to take action.
So the next thing you need to do is email copy analysis, as it’s an important part of your audit. Take a look at what is giving you better results, including :
- Are there commonalities between the emails which are performing well?
- Is there any length of text or email copy working well for your topics?
- What tone do your best emails have?
- Does your audience prefer longer or shorter paragraphs?
With any aspect of the email marketing strategy, this can go into a rut if you are not caring about the subject line.
It’s important that you focus on the subject line as it actually holds a lot of importance. Your subject line can help you in sign handling the make as well as break the open rates.
The best way is to analyze the subject lines, export them to a spreadsheet and sort each of the campaigns, so you know the open rates.
Sender Address And Names
The next point to look at is the sender’s name and address. If you are not analyzing the success of different campaigns, and know which one is working better for you, then it can help in determining and understanding how trustworthy the sender is.
Why Do You Need To Conduct Email Marketing Audit?
An email marketing audit can help in understanding how your campaign is working for you and how it’s successfully achieving the goals you planned for the brand.
Here are some of the lists that can help in understanding why you need an email marketing audit, including :
To Check Security
When you have the email marketing audit, it can help in checking whether you have all the settings which ensure the safety of information transmission as well as improve the quality of the email mailing list.
To Check The Reputation
With the help of an email audit, you can also identify the sender’s reputation and if it’s okay or not. This Can be done by counting the number of hard and soft bounces you have.
It also includes spam complaints and blacklist status etc.
You can do the audit to see if your emails are going to the right audience and landing in their inboxes.
Not just that, it is also for knowing if your emails are reaching the primary folders to the right audience or not.
To Check The Effectiveness
You can do the email marketing audit; this can help in tracking if your campaign is bringing you the revenue, CTA clicks, and email revenue that you desire to have.
To Check The Content Quality
Figure out the content quality your email contains, including whether the subject line, preheader, or body is engaging enough or bringing more opens and clicks.
With the help of an email audit, you can be specific and understand what needs to change in order to be effective.
What Factors To Know About Email Audit?
Many factors help in understanding what you can use and what can help in understanding better when it comes to effective email audits.
Some of the criteria that you have to keep in mind when you are dealing with an email marketing audit include:
The Current Trend In Email Industry
The first thing you need to understand is the current trend, also the shared elements required to be relevant in a particular industry, depending on the latest trends.
This information can help in bringing much more good results to you.
However, depending on what brings you the results, even though it’s not in trend but helping you, well, you can still keep this in your mind.
CTA Contribute To Better Performance
The audit experts are required to look at the CTA and the kind of email marketing suits, also driving more subscribers to visit the website.
It could be buttons in the round, CTA’s using the narrative in a first-person, specific color in CTA text, etc.
The Right Design Instill Trust
Even the glimpse of your email needs to be built on credibility and instill trust in your subscribers.
The audit can help in verifying your brand guidelines are met.
What Are The Foundation Stones Of Email Audit?
The most frequent question is know how you are going to gauge email marketing performance.
It includes different foundation stones, it includes :
A subscriber list is an important part of your email marketing; this is going to be the first concern that determines if your email list is built organically or purchased.
The purchased list can help in seldom performing, can help in charts of the email metrics, and also help in explicit consent to send any marketing email communication.
This is why you need to pick the prominently signed-up form and help in promoting information resources that can be downloaded in gated content.
Email marketing will not work if you don’t have the right set of people to connect with. The audit checks can help in listing emails and ensuring they have been segmented based on the criteria.
Here you require to take into account industry and business type.
Sender Name And Email Address
Have a trustworthy sender name and email address; this is important as you are not sending from an email that is not recognizable to your customers or has no-reply email address.
When you’re using the no-reply email address will evoke the feeling of the sender having the least interest and subscriber, this can impact your email performance.
Many email marketers are required to follow the approach of sending a batch and blasting five days a week.
But one of the damages is called email marketing practices, that’s why to choose the right frequency and know when to send an email.
Who Is Involved While Doing Email Auditing?
In order to make email auditing effective, you need to know who needs to be involved during email auditing.
In such a situation, the senior email marketer tends to have a much more strong knowledge of different industry topics,
However, they are not the experts in everything, so you can ask the assistance from your agency partners, colleagues or consultants.
Along with that, here are some of the places which will help during the audit process. It includes :
- The IT department can help; it comes with DNS required for email authentication.
- A content marketer can be suggested for better articles in order to better customer education.
- Designers and graphics artists can also double-check; it also helps in visual branding against the style guide.
- Marketing analysts can help in providing information about what happens when subscribers visit the website.
- Sales can help in understanding your email strategy for helping in better nurturing leads.
With the help of all departments and different people, it can help in getting better results. Also, you need to share the roles smartly in order to be effective.
What Are The Purpose Of Email Auditing?
Email marketing audits are essential processes that ensure you are using the right strategies and helping in getting the best out of it.
An email audit can help you identify the errors and problems that your campaign might have. Along with that, you can focus on what you can do to make your company’s overall performance strong.
It gives the chance to fix the issues before it causes further damage and improve your campaign results in the future.
An email Adit can also be a great way to get the digital house in order, helping in determining everything is going smoothly, including email engagement.
Here are some of the vital information you can consider when making necessary changes to prevent issues and errors in the future; it includes :
Content Creating, Campaign, And Templates
The three important parts of your email marketing campaigns are
- Content creating
- Email marketing campaign
- Email templates
Well, for creating top-notch content, you need to strike a balance between creating content as well as seeing through completion.
It’s crucial to know the workflow, including how you are creating an email, and during this audit process, you need to consider the following points :
- Checking the desired tone, role of who is crafting, and time it’s needed.
- Understanding who is sending and using the domain of the company in the From field.
- The subject line as well as the preheader of your email.
- Knowing the call to action is in the right spot.
- Having a professional email structure consisting of blocks in the right order.
The next is to check the effectiveness of the email marketing campaign; it includes the points like :
When you are working in a solo email market, you might have a track of what campaigns is delivered over a year and how they succeeded.
If you are working for an organization on a bigger scale and it includes the various teams and sending emails from their same MAP. Well, you can track the business as usual, or a BAU campaign is sent.
You are also required to note all the outcomes and who is winning. Also, you can do the A/B test.
Apart from that, here are some of the important columns you need to add to the spreadsheet :
- Name of email campaign
- Deployment dates or date
- A list of segments and targets
- Total delivered email
- A/B testing of the subject line
- Low bounce rate
- High bounce rate
- Expectational open rate
- Rate of conversion
- Rate of subscribers
- The ratio of clicks opens
- Unique click-through rates
- Expectational open rates
With this report regarding the campaign, including automated for the whole year. Also, it pends on the metrics you want to add to your email marketing audit.
You can remove the column according to what you prefer and remove it.
The next is to understand accurate email templates, so you need to design elements that have been accounted for. Put anything in its necessary parts like a footer or object with relevant information, design the cta button, remove spelling errors, etc.
Infrastructure. Segment And List
The next thing you consider when you are doing the email marketing audit is to check if your email has the right infrastructure, segmentation, and lists.
It helps you in making strategic designs about creating new content for specific groups and targeting your existing members.
The first is the right setting in your email infrastructure. The technical side is important; consider the points like :
- IP reputation
When it’s done, you need to consider whether the segmentation and list are effective or not. The one available is not enough, or you need to plan more, divide segments and test it.
Ask yourself questions like :
- Which one is your main segment and marketing program can be divided into different criteria; however, it’s important to have the main focus,
- Is your new segmentation what your campaign needs?
- What is the performance of metrics of your every segment?
- What improvement can help in bringing results for you?
Database, Engagement, Privacy, And The Deliverability
You need to understand the database you have, and is there anything specific about the timeframe they changed?
You can use the marketing automation database; there are marketing automation platforms and email service providers that can help you; here are some of the important factors you need to consider :
- Total unique contacts
- Total marketable contacts
- Total emailed contacts within 3, 6, or 12 months.
- Total email delivered
- Total new contacts
- Total contacts reduced
- Total marketable contacts with zero activity within the last 3, 6, and 12 months.
Next is listening to the pulse of contacts which is a crucial part of your building contact base. This will allow you better insight into the interest and levels they are in certain campaigns.
It helps in understanding the insight about your inactive clusters within a group; if some emails have not been responded to because they are not interested, then making them reactivate will make more sense.
- Apart from this, you require to have an understanding of the contact miss emails as it’s a potential sales.
- With deliverability analytics, it should be essential for successful audits.
- It also verifies that you are not violating any privacy regulations.
- Check each and every update and make sure the acquisitions process for the users and profiles that have 100% in compliance with the laws.
Steps For Doing The Email Marketing Audit
To start with the audit, you need to have the right steps, which can help in understanding what to look at first, and also reduce the chances of mistakes and errors, ensuring you get the benefit of the whole process.
Well, it includes steps like:
Step 1: Analyzing The Content Creation Process
The first thing that you need to do while you are conducting the email marketing audit here you need to understand the workflow and figure out the email created for the concept to realize.
Here is what you need to check when you are at this stage; it includes :
Monitoring who takes part in an email campaign and how long it will take to create it.
A simple email template can be easily made using a drag-and-drop editor within hours, yet it will take time to craft the fundamental campaign.
It depends on the campaign’s size, you might require more staff, and it will slow down your process.
Make sure that your email includes all three blocks; it includes a header, body, and footer.
- The header should add the logo of the company or the menu bar,
- The body requires it to be easy to scan as well as outline the key offer.
- The footer of the email requires the distinct unsubscribe button, key contact information along with social media icons.
The next line you need to take care of is from the field. Also, you need to specify who is sending the email address as well as include the company domain.
So you need the customers to know from whom they are hearing right now.
The Subject Line & Pre Header
Limiting the subject line to 60 or 70 characters, also you need to keep it personalized and link with a preheader,
This can help in bringing much more sense together, along with providing additional information regarding the content in the email.
Call To Action
Limiting the number of your CTA should not contain not more than two and make it much better so it can urge them to do the action you want them to do.
Pay attention to your images; you need to have alt text encoded; it will help if the actual image fails to load.
Make sure you are changing the format and keeping it PNG, and the size should be under 200 KB; it will help in loading it faster.
Step 2: Check Your Infrastructure
Next to that, you need to consider the technical side of email marketing; this helps you understand how your emails will do and their overall effect. Well, it includes different aspects such as :
There are a lot of services and reports that you can find, and it helps you understand the reputation.
It includes email feedback loops ( reports of spam complaints ISPs forward to the sender), and Microsoft Smart Network Data Services ( It’s a free service showing how subscribers are rating the emails). Sender score audit as well as blacklist checking tools such as MXtoolbox and Spamhaus.
Links In Your Email
Check the links in your email and see if it’s still valid and updated.
Also, the unsubscribe button allows the users to easily opt-out and see how your sharing likes are working as well as forwarding the information.
Make sure your email does not contain any shortened links.
Spam filtering services can recognize such links and find them suspicious, as it masks the real like you are redirecting the audience.
Next is to figure out the deliverability and check if there are any issues regarding the deliverability of your email to the audience.
Also, see if there are any issues, such as hard or soft bounce, or might be hitting the spam traps.
Your Domain Name Service is the backbone when it comes to your email marketing, so make sure you are always correcting the emails in order to maintain a high sender score.
Also, avoid domain hijacking and phishing attacks.
Next is making sure SPF records are working in an exact manner; since your emails require to be verified according to to set DKIM records and SMARC settings, highlight the domain deals with the emails which are doubtful in nature.
Step 3: Come Up With Plan For Improvement
It’s important that you have the plans ready for improving email marketing practices.
Also, the changes might depend on what is causing the problem. Knowing the root can help in coming up with much better and more effective plans.
You are required to be ready to do A/B testing. Here you can do tests of different variants of sender names, subject lines, placement, and CTA design.
After you are done improving the content of your email, you need to work on one technical side in order to make it effective for an email marketing campaign.
Well, it includes points like :
- When you find authentication mistakes, you need to examine your couponing settings from your email service providers, or you can contact the support team.
- In order to improve the sender’s reputation, you must clean the mailing list you are using and get rid of bouncing addresses. Along with that, check the blacklist status and reduce the chances of hitting the spam trap.
- Providing users the easy way if they want to opt-out, It helps in preventing the emails from getting flagged as spam.
- Make sure your unsubscribe button is in the footer, check links that lead to the form, and offer the opportunity to unsubscribe from certain types of emails.
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I am certified and awarded Email marketing expert. I’ve spent the last decade reading and writing marketing books and blogs as well as my articles helps people to start their Email Campaign from scratch or boost their existing business.