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Important Tips for Your Email Campaigns

Email is easy to create, build and deploy but there’s a few strategic steps to take before hitting send.

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These are a few mistakes I’ve made through my experience with email marketing. I’m pretty darn proud to say that out of all my email deployment experience I’ve only sent out two emails with mistakes outlined in the first two tips and I consider them to be minor. I’ve sent out a personalized email only to discover the trailing comma after deployment and also sent out an email with an expired sponsored ad.

Tip #1: Avoid Personalization (or at least limit it to lists that have collected first name data)

A few years ago I sent out an email for a full service client who asked for a personalized email. This means the subject line read, “Christine, save 25% today only!” The downfall to using personalization in this campaign was that the mailing list didn’t have first name data, leaving a blank space replacing the missing first name.

My suggestion in avoiding this mishap is to limit the use of personalized emails completely, or only send to lists that have collected first name data. I have a work around for clients who absolutely must send a personalized email here.

Tip # 2: Overwrite Images with Expired or Bad Copy

Last year I sent out an email with an expired sponsored ad. Hey, it happens sometimes. If you ever catch yourself in this jam, don’t worry. Apologize and fix it immediately by simply overriding the image with another or updated advertisement with the correct info. You can do this by connecting directly to your server via FTP and dropping the new file (same file name) and overriding the old. The image will automatically populate for all subscribers when they view the email, giving your client some peace of mind. You’re probably thinking, well that’s logical. Of course it is! But sometimes in the heat of the moment, under super-duper pressure of an irate client your mind flusters and you’re at a complete loss of how to fix the mistake.  So here’s hoping this blog post finds you in that moment of super-duper pressure.

I haven’t discovered a way to override images with MailChimp since they don’t have a resource folder of hosted images for members to access (unless I haven’t discovered it yet) and you can’t connect via FTP info to an image folder.  Keep this in mind when sending email campaigns with MailChimp.

You could always override the URL placed in the code view of MailChimp and host the images yourself. I’d double check on this suggestion and read their terms of agreement because you certainly don’t want to violate any terms.

Tip # 3: Collect Data Early

Don’t forget to consider growth. Don’t be scared to ask for lots of information early. Don’t be scared or intimidated to ask for information like:

  • first name
  • last name
  • postal code/zip code
  • geographic information like city, province and state
  • gender

These demographics will be very important to you later if you want to start segmenting emails out. You might even want to create group information such as where the subscriber is coming from. Did they sign up from your YouTube videos? How about your website? What about a specific contest offered to college students? Ask beforehand and make it a required field to subscribe to your mailing list. This information will prove to be valuable down the road and we’ll discuss why creating groups is valuable for your email campaigns in a future article.

Tell us about any important tips you have for us to consider for email campaigns. Leave your comments below!

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