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Gear Up Your Revenue Growth With a Year-End Email Marketing Data and Reporting Audit

Many would argue that email is the most effective marketing channel. Are you getting the most revenue-boosting power from your email marketing? Now is the time to audit your email marketing data and reporting so you can optimize this powerful sales channel.

With the holiday shopping season coming to a close, the end of the year is the best time to look at your performance over the past year, do important quality assurance work, and turn all of your newfound insights into the best strategies for kicking off strong sales in the new year. 

This article is broken into three main sections: 

  • Auditing Your Email Database and Marketing Operations
  • Auditing Email Templates, Workflows, and Campaign Performance
  • Auditing Content and Creative 

Auditing Your Email Database and Marketing Operations

This is a good time of year to assess your email marketing data operations and the size, health and growth your database. Is your data set up for success? Is a customer data platform (CDP) part of your marketing tech stack? Having access to the enormous amount of customer data you collect every day makes your marketing programs perform at a much higher level. It’s also necessary for the kind of personalization customers demand.

Since we are in an era of ever-changing privacy restrictions put in place by major players like Google and Apple, it’s important to have a plan for gathering comprehensive first-party data using your owned marketing channels. First-party data is all of the information that a brand collects directly from the customer, with their consent. It’s critical for improving relationships with customers and driving better business results. 

Review Your List of Sending Systems

It’s important to think beyond your email marketing program and create a list of all of your sending platforms. Every customer touchpoint matters and some brands deploy email from the marketing automation platform as well as various ecommerce tools. Keep a record of the sending systems, as well as the system owners and sending domains.

Audit Your Database

  • How many contacts (unique email addresses) do you have in your marketing automation platform (MAP)? 
  • How many marketable contacts do you have? 
  • How many marketable contacts have you emailed in the last 12, 6, and 3 months? This will show you if you are omitting large portions of your database from your campaigns. 
  • How many marketable contacts were inactive, or churned over the last 12, 6, and 3 months? This could mean they haven’t been opening or clicking emails, filling out forms, visiting the website, or making purchases. (By the way, a winback series can help with re-engaging these customers.) You will want to suppress inactive contacts from your email marketing campaigns.
  • Database growth: How many new contacts were added during the year?
  • Database attrition: How many contacts unsubscribed or hard bounced? 
  • How many emails were sent during the year?

Other Technical and Operational Considerations

  • How is your IP reputation? You can evaluate it using a complaint rate and any possible blacklisting.
  • Also, check out your deliverability rate and ensure that your anti-spam measures like SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and DNS are set correctly. 
  • How are your emails rendering and functioning across email clients? Can you optimize your email for dark mode and improve email accessibility with inclusive design?

Auditing Email Templates, Workflows, and Campaign Performance

Review your email templates

  • How close are you to the recommended 80:20 image vs. text ratio?
  • Are all templates 600 px wide? That’s the ideal width for mobile optimization.
  • Are you following accessibility best practices, like including alt text?

Take stock of your workflows

  • personalization
  • segmentation factors
  • current audience segments
  • list hygiene
  • sent time
  • mailing frequency

Analyze your campaign reports

You will want to compile email metrics like open rate, CTR, email list growth rate, conversion rate per email/campaign, churn rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribe rate.

For each of your campaigns (blasts, triggered, and segmented), you will want to analyze:

  • Emails Sent
  • Deliveries
  • Users
  • Revenue
  • ARPU (Avg revenue per user)
  • AOV (Avg order value)
  • AIPO (Avg items per order)
  • Conversions
  • Conversion Rate
  • Opens
  • Clicks
  • CTOR
  • Open Rate
  • Click Rate
  • Unsubscribes
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Invalid Email
  • Bounces
  • Blocked
  • Spam Reports

Plus, you will want to plan for seasonal content and creative updates to automated campaigns, and decide if you want to add to or change the segmentations for these campaigns. 

Auditing Content and Creative 

Your content and creative wield a lot of power. They convey your brand’s values, voice and personality to your customers. Now is a great time to review it and put plans in place to make it the best it can be.

You will also want to ensure that your content and creative are in line with:

  • the current look and feel of the website and/or mobile app. 
  • what the subscribers want to receive
  • where subscribers are at in their customer journey 

Assess the level of personalization. Your customers expect highly personalized email content. A.I.-powered personalization allows for high engagement and increased retention. 

Your audit of each email should evaluate:

  • Copy
  • Content
  • Look and feel
  • Images
  • Fonts
  • Color palettes
  • Branded elements

You are likely doing regular QA on your automated campaigns for outdated copy, broken links, broken rendering, and other problems, so this would be your final check of the year. 

Are you doing major redesigns of your emails every 12 months or so? Ensure that you are also A/B testing smaller changes throughout the year. This way you can collect insights to inform those major redesigns.

You will also want to take stock of your A/B split tests. You might create them for subject lines, preheader text, CTAs, and content block curation. 

While this sounds like a mountain of work (and it really is), you will be getting so much bang for your buck over the course of the year if you carry out this audit and let it inform your email marketing strategy and planning. Email provides a lot of sales-driving opportunity, and you have the power to bring your revenue to exciting new heights.


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