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Email Marketing Audit: The Best Guide You’ll Ever Find

Rida Ali Khan

So, you’re telling us that you’re giving your best efforts to pull off successful email marketing campaigns, and the results don’t do justice, yet, you haven’t considered running an email marketing audit? 

Frog sips tea while passing a sarcastic comment. 

No, no, this is a judgment-free zone, and we’ll help you get through this. 

The solution is that it's high time that you run an email marketing audit. Because doing so, will help you identify unnoticed flaws and loopholes in your email campaigns. Also, it’ll keep you up with the new trends in the market. 

So, grab a chair as we’re about to tell you everything about running an email marketing audit the right way. To begin with, let’s discuss exactly what an email marketing audit is. 

What Is an Email Marketing Audit? 

In simple terms, an email marketing audit analyzes and assesses all the components that formulate and influence an email marketing campaign. 

There can be different types of email marketing audits, such as audits for performance, accessibility, deliverability, design, code, compliance, automation, etc.  

Now, let’s talk about why it is so beneficial and necessary for you to run one. 

Why Should You Conduct an Email Marketing Audit?

Email marketing audit may seem like a tedious task, but once you understand how beneficial it is, we’re sure you’ll schedule it twice or thrice a year. 

An email marketing audit allows you to pinpoint problems with your email campaigns, such as rendering issues with your email design, bad email list hygiene, etc. This further enables you to improve your email’s deliverability and engagement rates. 

One of the most underrated advantages of conducting an email marketing audit is that it allows you to keep up with the email marketing trends in the market. 

For instance, we’ve considered open rates to be one of the metrics for good email engagement for many years. But in September 2021, Apple Mail introduced its Mail Privacy Protection, eliminating open rates as a measure of email success. 

As a result, open rates should no longer be considered while tracking engagement rates and creating automation flows. 

Lastly, an email marketing audit enables you to provide your users with a much better and more secure user experience. Impressive, right? Now that we’ve established how great this is, let's discuss what you should include in your email marketing audit. 

11 Things to Consider in an Email Marketing Audit

11 things to consider when doing an email marketing audit. 

Moving towards some actionable steps, let’s talk about the things you should consider while conducting an email marketing audit. 

But before that, we must clarify that these components are not listed according to their priority level. They all are equally important and deserve the same time and attention. 

1. Email’s workflow 

Sit back and analyze the steps in your email workflow. Are they designed to push your customers further down the sales funnel? If yes, are these workflow steps being appropriately implemented? 

Also, analyze whether you have the same workflow steps for every campaign. If yes, then this is something that you’d want to reconsider and change. 

2. Email marketing infrastructure

Email marketing infrastructure refers to the basic elements that play a vital role in your email’s deliverability and performance. Such as IP address and reputation, DNS record, DMARC, reply and response addresses, MTA (message transfer agent), etc. 

You must ensure that all components that make up your email’s infrastructure are functional and in the right spot. 

For example, you can consider changing your sender’s name if your email campaigns are not performing as expected.

3. Relevant email list 

It’s super important to ensure that your email list is of good quality. This factor can be divided into two major categories: 

a) Checking whether or not your email list is well segmented.

When we talk about the relevance of your email list, we want you to check how well-segmented your email list is. Email list segmentation results in a 760% increase in revenue, so you can understand how necessary this is. 

You can segment it based on your subscribers' age, gender, and interests. This enables you to send relevant emails to the right people at the right time. 

b) Analyzing whether your email list is outdated or not.

On the other hand, you must ensure that your email list is not outdated. This means checking whether the receiver is still actively using their email address or not. After all, you wouldn't want your time, energy, and money to be wasted on an outdated or incorrect email address, no? 

4. Subject lines 

One thing that makes your subscriber click open your email is your subject line.

Try to write catchy, precise, and relevant email subject lines. If you are already doing so and the email is still underperforming, try thinking of another way to make your subject lines more appealing. Such as adding a promotional discount within the subject line etc. 

5. Automation process

If you haven’t yet paid heed to email automation, it's high time you start doing so. 

Email automation plays a significant role in streamlining your workflow steps and efficiently bringing out the best results. 

When it comes to re-evaluating your automation practices, you must ensure that you don’t have the same process for every campaign. Also, check whether the tool that you’re using is bringing the desired results or not. 

6. Accessibility

Email accessibility is far more than a good gesture; it has become necessary.  

In fact, you’d be shocked to know that there are estimated to be 300 million people with colorblindness and 2.2 billion people with near or distant vision impairment worldwide. Imagine how many people have a visual impairment in one way or another. 

Hence, you must ensure that your emails are accessible because this could be one of the reasons why your email campaigns are underperforming. 

7. Email copy

Your email copy speaks on your brand’s behalf. 

So, if your subscribers are not engaging with your emails, there’s a high chance that this area might need a little tweaking and innovation. 

You can check if your email copy clearly communicates your message and doesn’t include jargon words. Also, make sure you’re writing in small paragraphs and providing negative space for your message to be understood. 

8. KPIs and metrics

Another thing to consider is the KPI and metrics on which you base the success or failure of your email campaign. 

As we mentioned earlier, open rates no longer contribute to a campaign’s success or failure. Similarly, different email marketing KPIs and metrics will need to be added or omitted while evaluating your email campaign’s performance, such as click through rates or conversion rates.

9. Email design 

Your email design plays a pretty important role in attracting customers, keeping them engaged, and encouraging them to convert. 

A lot more than you think it does. 

So, ensure that your email designs are doing justice to your message and are in sync with current trends or not. Also, don’t forget to check that you (or your team) creates mobile-friendly email designs only. 

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10. CTA buttons 

Call To Action (CTA) buttons play a huge part in converting your emails. 

They are the signals or invitations for your subscribers to take action in your favor. Meaning they push your subscribers further down the sales funnel. 

If your CTA buttons are not prominently displayed and well-described, they will fail their purpose. That’s why you must carefully reassess whether the design, labeling, or placement of your CTA buttons needs to change or not. 

11. Time and frequency 

Imagine spending so much effort and money on your emails just to realize that you’re sending them at the wrong time. 

Yeah, let’s not do that. 

The time and frequency at which you send your emails contribute a lot to how your emails convert. 

For example, if you’re sending one email for every holiday and are not getting the response you deserve, try sending a couple more emails for every important event. 

So, these are the 11 components you need to focus on while running an email marketing audit. 

However, there’s one thing that you must keep in mind, i.e., you must observe or analyze each factor one time while keeping the other factors constant, as scientists do during experiments.  

This will enable you to identify the problem areas in your campaigns much more efficiently. 

Moving on, let’s discuss when is the best time to run an email marketing audit. 

When Should You Run an Email Marketing Audit?

When is the right time to do an email marketing audit? 

We know this question has been popping into your mind ever since you started reading this article, so let’s talk about it. 

Well, you can run an email marketing audit once, twice, or thrice a year, depending on the bandwidth of your team and the time you have on your hands. 

But if everything else is in your favor, you must run an email marketing audit the moment you figure out that your email campaigns are underperforming. 

Most people schedule these quarterly, in the mid-year, or annually. While others conduct them on joining the email marketing team or when they are promoted and want emails to perform better or introduce a new strategy. 

So, yeah, there’s no specific right time. You just need to pick one that works the best for you and when you think it's high time to run an audit. 

And now, let’s move to some practical steps for running an email marketing audit. 

6 Actionable Steps to Conduct an Email Marketing Audit

6 simple steps to run a successful email marketing audit. 

Got all the insights? Now it’s time for some action. Let’s discuss the six simple steps to run a successful email marketing audit. 

Step 1: Set your goal

For starters, have a clear idea and set goals of what you want to achieve out of this. Do you want to improve performance as a whole, analyze whether you’re keeping up with the trends, or did you notice an unusual dip in your email’s engagement rate

Set clear goals, list them down, and clearly communicate them to everyone who is involved in the process of your email marketing audit. 

Step 2: Select the right KPI and metrics

Next, select the KPIs that influence your target goal. For example, if you’re worried that your email campaigns are not converting as well as they should, you must consider click-through rates. 

And devise a plan that can track and improve click-through rates. 

Step 3: List the things you want to audit

Let’s take the same example. So, if click-through rates are the KPI you’re working on, you must look into elements that influence this. 

This can include your CTA button, email design, and copy. Again, test one thing while keeping the others constant to figure out what is causing the problem. 

Step 4: Create a report on your findings

Once you’ve evaluated, create a report on your findings. For example, you can report that there was an X% increase in the conversion rates in the email campaigns that had a more descriptive CTA button.

Once you’ve created this report, communicate this to relevant members of your team.  

Step 5: Implement the changes

What’s the point of all this knowledge if you won't use it to your advantage? 

So, once you’ve created a report, it's time to implement the changes. For example, start creating more descriptive CTA buttons for all future email campaigns. 

Step 6: Analyze the results of changes

And last but not least, analyze the results again to see if they’re providing satisfactory results. Check whether the engagement rates of your email campaigns boosted, decreased, or remained constant after these changes. 

This step will require a lot of dedication and undivided attention, so ensure you have enough time, cost, energy, and tools. Speaking of tools, you’ll need the following tools to run an email marketing audit efficiently. 

Which Tools Are Required to Conduct an Email Marketing Audit? 

Tools needed during an email marketing audit. 

You might be well-educated about email marketing audits at this stage, but you’re still not well-equipped (not yet, at least). 

So, let’s change that. These are the tools you might need while auditing your email marketing campaigns. 

Email Service Providers (ESPs)

Email service providers like Constant Contact allow you to gather information about your emails' click-through, and bounce rates. With this information, you can track and evaluate the performance of your campaigns and identify the areas that need improvement. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

CRMs such as HubSpot are tools designed to manage relationships with customers. These tools enable you to track customer interactions and gather sufficient data. 

This further enables you to streamline your sales, improve customer service and work on the progress of your business and email marketing campaigns. 

Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs)

Email automation tools enable you to automate repetitive tasks related to email marketing and reduce the time, effort, and cost of performing these tasks. One of the best-performing email automation tools that we know of is Sendinblue. 

Email testing tools 

Email testing tools like Litmus are software that highlight issues with your email’s design, format, inbox placements, etc. Hence, ensuring that your email designs are of quality and don’t have security issues.

Email accessibility testing tools

Email accessibility testing tools enable you to create emails that can be viewed and read by all your email recipients. One of the best email accessibility tools available in the market is Accessibility Insights, highly recommended. 

So, these are the tools that you’ll need to run a successful email marketing audit. We mentioned the best ones in each category, but you can choose one that best fits your needs and budget. 

Before we wrap up, we want to discuss a few frequently asked questions that you’ll find pretty insightful. 

FAQs About Email Marketing Audit

We answered some frequently asked questions related to email marketing audits that might also answer your queries.

Q. Should you conduct an internal or external audit?

A. Well, this is quite tricky because each has its unique benefits. 

But we think an external audit is much more fruitful since it provides unbiased opinions and corrections, enables you to think about new and innovative ideas, and reduces your chances of mistakes. 

Q. Who should be involved in the process of auditing?

A. Include all the experts on your team who are relevant to the type of audit you plan to do. For example, if you’re planning to audit the content, include all content marketers and if you’re analyzing design, include all designers. 

Q. How much does an email marketing audit cost? 

A. This depends on what kind of audit you’re planning to do, the tools you have, and whether you’re running an external or internal audit. But as a rough estimate, we’d say it costs around $2,500 to $2,700. 

Q. How long does an email marketing audit take? 

A. Typically, an email marketing audit takes around 2-3 weeks. However, it can take longer/shorter depending on your techniques and team. 

Conclusion

That’s everything you should know about conducting an email marketing audit.  

We’ll sign off by saying that there’s nothing wrong with making a mistake, but what’s wrong is letting a mistake stay a mistake. So, grab your analytical glasses and start making bigger and better email campaigns.

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