“Hey, would you thoughts sending a follow-up e-mail?”
You are already barely maintaining together with your workload once you get the dreaded, last-minute e-mail request.
With every little thing else in your plate, you now have to pause to get that second e-mail out the door, after which play catch-up with every little thing else in your plate…
We all know you are always being requested to ship extra emails with much less assets.
And typically, it is unavoidable. When your corporation’ and subscribers’ wants change, you should be capable of adapt shortly to remain related or threat your e-mail advertising and marketing program struggling.
However that does not imply it needs to be so troublesome.
Enter agile email marketing.
Right here, let’s break down what agile e-mail advertising and marketing means, why it issues, and the way you should use it to scale and ship more practical emails quicker — with out breaking a sweat.
What’s agile e-mail advertising and marketing, anyway?
Agile e-mail advertising and marketing is a approach to be versatile and adapt to alter by specializing in knowledge and your subscribers’ wants whereas utilizing a modular course of so you may ship efficient emails quicker.
Earlier than diving deeper into agile e-mail advertising and marketing, we first have to say the agile methodology.
The agile methodology is a venture administration course of that began in software program improvement, giving groups the pliability to adapt and reply to modifications shortly. This fashion, groups may always enhance and innovate, staying on high of their customers’ wants and beating their competitors to market.
There are numerous methods this agility is feasible, however the three issues we stock over into agile e-mail advertising and marketing are:
- Specializing in buyer wants
- Making data-driven selections
- Collaborating throughout groups
So whereas agile e-mail advertising and marketing does not require utilizing the agile methodology, it takes its essence to create a extra environment friendly approach to ship emails.
In different phrases, agile e-mail advertising and marketing helps you prioritize your emails, will get all stakeholders on the identical web page, and maximizes your groups and assets to streamline your manufacturing course of. With teamwork and a transparent understanding of objectives, you will not bat a watch at last-minute e-mail sends or altering priorities.
Sound too good to be true?
Agile e-mail advertising and marketing does require a shift in mindset — as an alternative of planning the large campaigns you are used to, you will have to plan for iterative change in a test-and-learn setting.
For instance, as an alternative of mapping out and creating all of the emails in your complete welcome or onboarding journey, begin small with solely the primary e-mail. Do some A/B testing to determine what your viewers is most receptive to, optimize, and use what you study to proceed constructing out the remainder of your nurture journey — one e-mail at a time.
Your objective is progress, not perfection. However don’t fret, this shift is not all or nothing. Even the smallest steps towards altering how you consider emails and the workflow to turn into agile can have large payoffs, as I will clarify subsequent.
Why Being Agile is Essential to Success
Positive, e-mail professionals could appear to be magicians, however emails aren’t executed with the wave of a wand. There’s so much that goes on beneath the hood. 52% of marketers spend two weeks or more to finish a single e-mail from conception to hitting the ship button.
Supply: Litmus’ 2020 State of Email Workflows
To not point out, 55% of entrepreneurs are juggling at the least six emails at a time. So it is by no means “simply” another e-mail.
The normal e-mail advertising and marketing course of makes use of linear and interdependent steps. You possibly can’t transfer ahead with out finishing the step earlier than. For instance, it’s essential write copy earlier than creating imagery, or have design executed earlier than coding the e-mail.
Have a look at that course of! It is no marvel it might probably take a very long time to create and ship an e-mail.
However this tempo can damage your e-mail advertising and marketing program — or worse, your model status. Issues can change instantly … Assume pure disasters, a well being disaster, the socio-political local weather, guidelines and laws, and so forth. If you cannot adapt, your e-mail marketing campaign could fall flat and even offend and switch away your subscribers.
Empathy is essential, and being agile retains you attuned to your subscribers’ wants so you may pivot at a second’s discover — and hold your prospects for the long-haul. This additionally offers your work objective.
You understand you are at all times delivering the best worth work as an alternative of falling into the lure of the sunk value fallacy: persevering with work that is not related or price it anymore merely due to what you have already invested in it. Your work is now not about you, it is about your subscribers!
Even in case you’re in no rush, in case your competitor is simply someday forward of you, that may put you at a major drawback. An agile e-mail advertising and marketing workflow offers you better velocity to market which may be simply the sting you want for marketing campaign success.
Easy methods to Make Your E-mail Workflow Agile
So how do you go from a linear e-mail workflow to an agile one?
You will first want to begin together with your viewers and put them on the middle of your campaigns, make data-driven selections, and collaborate throughout roles and groups.
With these tenets in thoughts, you may start constructing a brand new workflow that permits many components of your e-mail advertising and marketing course of to be both automated or executed in tandem, as proven on this agile e-mail workflow chart:
Prepared? Let’s dive into how one can go agile.
1. Get your workforce and instruments in place.
Essential to the success of agile e-mail advertising and marketing is your individuals and your instruments. With out this robust basis, you will extra possible face challenges with adoption.
Make an evaluation of the talents and instruments wanted so you realize who to faucet to affix you and how one can get emails executed collectively.
One of many cornerstones of agile e-mail advertising and marketing is cross-team collaboration, which suggests profiting from all kinds of current roles and expertise already inside your organization to create and ship emails.
That is proper: You do not have to rent new individuals or have a big, devoted e-mail workforce. As a substitute, by leveraging different individuals’s strengths and, if wanted, operating by way of e-mail advertising and marketing greatest practices to hone their craft particularly for e-mail, you may work effectively as a workforce. Be sure to talk your wants and get everybody on board, first!
The abilities you want will rely in your e-mail advertising and marketing program, however the principle ones to contemplate are:
In a single state of affairs, as an example, you may need to pull individuals out of your content material and web site groups to assist with copywriting, design, and improvement.
Instruments and Know-how
The second a part of an agile e-mail advertising and marketing basis is the instruments.
Make an evaluation of your present know-how and assessment the remainder of the agile e-mail workflow steps under to see the place your gaps are. Do you could have what it’s essential ship emails, simplify and automate steps in your course of, and collaborate successfully throughout groups?
On the very least, you want an e-mail advertising and marketing instrument and a collaboration instrument.
2. Align on e-mail technique.
Together with your workforce and instruments in place, it’s essential be sure that everybody — together with reviewers and approvers — is on the identical web page, setting your workforce up for achievement as you all work towards a typical objective.
A stable technique ensures copy, design, and improvement are aligned. With out alignment, there may be miscommunication and confusion. And this will sluggish you down or throw your e-mail off monitor, leading to much more work and time wasted. Not agile in any respect.
If placing collectively an e-mail advertising and marketing transient stresses you out, know that it does not should be difficult or intensive. So long as you could have these fundamentals, you are golden:
- Outline your e-mail’s objective, objective, and viewers.
- Outline your content material technique for getting opens and clicks.
- Outline the hierarchy of your e-mail’s copy and pictures.
Bear in mind the important thing to being agile is your subscribers. When their wants intersect with your corporation’ wants, you get… magic.
When you discover that your e-mail does not meet your subscribers’ wants, take into account altering your e-mail — or not sending it in any respect.
Steady enchancment is important to being agile, and you’ll re-center your e-mail round your subscribers by studying from the previous and current to tell your future technique.
You possibly can extract insights from business information or your e-mail advertising and marketing instruments to determine design enchancment alternatives or enhance segmentation, concentrating on, and personalization.
Now that everybody’s expectations are set and in sync, e-mail manufacturing can start.
3. Write, design, and construct on the identical time.
The time it takes to put in writing, design, and construct an e-mail provides up in a linear course of. After they’re every executed in tandem, it is like slicing manufacturing time by over 50%.
The key? Standardized e-mail design and a visible e-mail editor.
Creating each e-mail from scratch is a large waste of time. And if you wish to guarantee model consistency and scale back errors, standardized emails are the best way to go.
There are a couple of methods of doing this, so as of complexity:
- Snippets: reusable strains of code for generally used parts like HTML buttons or hyperlinks so you do not have to code the identical factor again and again.
- Partials: reusable strains of code for globally-used content material blocks like your header and footer so any updates made to them are routinely utilized throughout each e-mail.
- Templates: reusable coded emails with a set structure on which to easily add or substitute copy, photographs, and hyperlinks.
- Design techniques: a group of reusable e-mail elements with a information on how they are often combined and matched to create extra versatile — but nonetheless standardized — e-mail designs.
This does not imply it’s important to accept boring, ho-hum designs. You possibly can nonetheless be inventive in your imagery and in how totally different reusable elements come collectively to create an e-mail.
Standardized e-mail design and improvement not solely frees up your time for innovation, but in addition units the stage for having the ability to write, design, and construct on the identical time inside a visible e-mail editor.
As soon as a template has been defined for your email, then you have already got the specs for the copy that must be written and the pictures that have to be created. Then, it is a matter of plugging them into your e-mail template.
Loaded together with your e-mail snippets, partials, and/or template, a visible e-mail editor instrument can then empower everybody to work on their a part of the manufacturing course of on the identical time and collaborate alongside the best way.
Photographs may be created based mostly on the content material define in your e-mail advertising and marketing transient from step two, whereas the copy is being written. Copy may even be written inside your visible e-mail editor to assist guarantee it’s going to match contained in the design, making copy edits a breeze.
Even when you do not have a visible e-mail editor, improvement can start with placeholder photographs and textual content. With everybody on the identical web page on technique, there is not any want to attend for design and replica first.
4. Gather suggestions in a single place.
With e-mail technique alignment throughout all stakeholders, the assessment course of ought to be much less painful. Nonetheless, juggling suggestions may be troublesome coming from totally different individuals throughout totally different instruments. What if there are contradicting feedback? Otherwise you miss an necessary piece of suggestions altogether?
This time-saving tip is straightforward: Consolidate everybody’s suggestions in a single place.
Cease sending particular person screenshots or take a look at emails. Share one e-mail take a look at with stakeholders in a single location so everybody’s collaborating collectively.
First, you will have to seize the URL within the “view in browser” or “view on-line” hyperlink of your e-mail. You may also create a web-based model of your e-mail to share. The necessary factor is that you’ve an e-mail the place individuals can take a look at hyperlinks and interactive parts.
Then, decide a single spot — not an e-mail thread — to share your e-mail for suggestions. This could possibly be as a part of a gaggle message in your communication instrument or as a single job in your venture administration instrument.
You may accumulate suggestions in those self same locations. Otherwise you may discover it quicker and simpler to create a separate spreadsheet to trace suggestions, conversations on particular feedback, in addition to progress on implementing suggestions.
The important thing factor is that each one reviewers and approvers are collectively and may see one another’s suggestions.
There are additionally instruments made particularly for collaboration the place you cannot solely share a dwell model of your e-mail, but in addition go away suggestions straight on it, examine off when modifications are made, and monitor approvals.
5. Analyze & share insights.
After your e-mail is shipped, see the way it’s performing so you may evolve to satisfy your subscribers’ wants. Within the agile methodology world, you may take into account this the top of a dash, working in small increments to enhance the success of your emails.
The e-mail advertising and marketing metrics it is best to have a look at relies on your objective. Your e-mail advertising and marketing instruments will present at the least the fundamentals — opens, clicks, and unsubscribes — and will even present deeper engagement-level metrics like how lengthy somebody spent studying your e-mail (learn charge) or how many individuals shared your e-mail (ahead charge).
When you’re tempted to skip this step, do not.
E-mail evaluation tends to be what individuals skip in the event that they’re brief on time. Onto the following e-mail, proper? In the long term, although, this hurts your e-mail advertising and marketing program.
It is perhaps arduous to imagine, however analyzing your emails will truly prevent time. It is what makes agile e-mail advertising and marketing work within the first place. When you keep in mind, I discussed that being agile depends on knowledge, whether or not that is inner (e.g. e-mail efficiency) or exterior (e.g. the information).
Information is how one can hold a pulse in your subscribers’ preferences, and the way these preferences may change over time.
It offers you the ability to say no to the emails that do not matter. In any other case, you are taking pictures at nighttime and losing time on emails your subscribers do not care about. And this impacts your organization’s model status, and backside line.
Ultimate Ideas on Going Agile
Bear in mind, even attaining some agility in your e-mail workflow has its rewards, like giving your workforce a while again or having the ability to shortly flex to your subscribers.
Whereas there’s nothing mistaken with the linear e-mail advertising and marketing course of —finishing one step at a time — you will not be capable of transfer as quick in in the present day’s ever-changing setting. To rise above your competitors and make sure you at all times meet your subscribers the place they’re, you want velocity and effectivity. That is the place agile e-mail advertising and marketing is available in.
Be sure to have the appropriate workforce and instruments in place with everybody on the identical web page on technique. Then you definately may be off and operating to create nice emails very quickly.
So the following time somebody asks in case you can ship simply another e-mail, you may confidently say ‘No’ (as a result of it is not the appropriate match in your subscribers), or embrace it with open arms (as a result of it is the appropriate match in your subscribers). Both method, it will not be your workflow holding you again.