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Email campaign planning – don’t neglect it

April 30, 2015

As with anything if you don't have a plan in place then you are leaving yourself open to failure. Compared to other channels email is fairly inexpensive and as a result often less planning and care is taken when building and sending campaigns. However people still expect outstanding results every time.  With a little planning and thought from the start then every campaign has a better chance of success.

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Have clear obectives

Firstly you need to set clear objectives. There is no point embarking on an email campaign without setting clear objectives. Otherwise how do you know  the campaign has been a success ? How can you do any split testing if you don't know what you are measuring or what you are trying to achieve. How can you design the creative if you don't know what the call to action is or the ultimate goal ? I often hear of people creating regular campaigns just because they have always done it but with no clear objective of what they are trying to do.

Have a reasonable timescale

Don't try and rush things. The creative is not the only part of an email campaign. Campaigns often get left until that last minute and then rushed out or split tests run in the minium amount of time. Give yourself plenty of time and work backwards from when you would like to send the main campaign.  Then work out when you need to send your split test.  Then when you need to finish internal testing ? etc etc
 
Have a clear, concise message

Be clear about what you are communcating to the reader. This goes hand in hand with having clear objectives. If you are creating a campaign to promote washing machines then don't confuse the issue by including offers for microwaves and freezers. Think about  keeping the content and using it for a different campaign. Creating content is the hardest part of creating a campaign so use it wisely. Better to have 3 clear concise campaigns spread over 3 weeks than one campaign with a mixed message and lots of content.

Plan to test

Everyone knows they need to test their campaigns but often don't plan how they are going to test or factor in the time to do it. Ideally you should have a fresh set of eyes looking at the final tests of a campaign. How long does it take to get the test signed off ?  If you have deadline for your main campaign and want to split test then you need time for the split test to run to gather usable results. This may involve doing the split test 24hrs before or even earlier.  All these need factoring into your timescales.

Doing all of the above is not a guarantee of success but as an old instructor of mine once told me, remember the 6 P's
Proper Planning Prevents P?*$ Poor Performance.

Posted by Simon Hill
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