The Seven Questions You Need to Ask Before You Send that Marketing Email

Don’t slot that marketing email into your automated campaign just yet! There are a few things you need to check to ensure that your email works as intended.

You already sent out tons of marketing emails. And you probably even have a few automated campaigns set up to reach people at the various stages of your funnel.

And you probably know there’s a very good reason for this…

Email marketing is still one of the most effective forms of marketing going.

According to the Data and Marketing Association’s 2019 Email Benchmarking Report, email has a huge ROI. For every dollar that you spend on email, you should generate an average of $42 in return. And according to Statista, 49% of people want to hear from their favourite brands on a weekly basis.

Let us ask you something…

Is your ROI close to the average mentioned above?

If not, it’s possible that your marketing emails aren’t as effective as you thought they were. That means you need to start analysing your emails to ensure they’re conveying the correct message.

This all starts with questions.

In this article, we look at some of the key questions to ask about any marketing email that you consider sending out. These questions will help you to see what you’ve done right and what you need to fix.

Question #1 – What’s the Ultimate Goal of this Email?

Every marketing email that you send needs to have a specific goal. It’s this goal that will help you to create the content and determine the tone to use.

For example, let’s say that you’re creating a welcome email for people who’ve just entered your funnel. That means your goal is to welcome the reader and nurture them towards the path that you want them to take.

If your email jumps straight into making a pitch to this type of recipient, you’ll see a lot of people unsubscribe from your list.

Of course, the opposite holds true for people at the bottom of your funnel. These guys know who you are and what problem your product solves. Your goal here is to make an offer. But if you waste too much time on nurturing people who are ready to buy, responses will diminish.

Get clear on what the email should achieve before you send it out. Consider the audience segment that will receive the email and what they need to hear from you.

Question #2 – Did I Create a Great Subject Line?

The email’s subject line is the first thing that the recipient will see. That means it’s crucial that you get it right or people simply won’t open the email.

We’ve gone into detail on crafting the perfect subject line in a previous article. But here are some additional questions to ask about the subject line before you send the email:

  • Does the subject match the email’s content?
    • If it doesn’t, recipients won’t respond to the email because they’ll feel like you’ve lied to them.
  • Have I incorporated personalisation into the subject line?
    • Personalised subject lines have a 22% higher open rate.
  • Does the subject line sound like clickbait?
    • Your audience knows what clickbait is and they’ll avoid it like the plague.

And the final question is…

Would I open this email if I saw this subject line?

Be completely objective here and answer as honestly as possible. If you wouldn’t open the email, you can guarantee your audience won’t either.

Question #3 – What Action Do I Want the Recipient to Take?

You’ve already established the overarching goal for the email. Now, you need to figure out what step the recipient needs to take.

The answer to this question will determine what your call to action looks like.

The key here is to make the next step as clear as possible. Any confusion that enters into the mix will dissuade the recipient from taking any action at all.

And again, you need to compare the action with the associated content.

For example, if you want somebody to buy from you, the content needs to build up to making the offer. That means you’re no longer using nurturing language designed to convince the recipient to trust you. You’re using language designed to make the sale.

Question #4 – How Will I Measure the Results of This Email?

There are a host of metrics that you should measure when sending emails. However, which is the most important depends on the type of email you’re sending.

The open rate is the most obvious metric. You need to keep track of how many people click on the email to ensure your subject lines work as they should.

However, you should also track the bounce rate. This is the percentage of people who click away from the email without taking an action. If you have a high bounce rate, this suggests that your subject line and email content aren’t aligned.

You will also track the conversion rate, which is the percentage of people who buy after reading, if you’re making an offer.

Also, you may want to track the engagement rate if one of your goals is for the recipients to share the email so you can grow your audience. To work that out, just divide the number of clicks on the forward button by the number of emails sent and multiple the answer by 100.

Again, which metrics you prioritise depend on the goal of the email. This is why it’s so important to answer the first question in this article.

Question #5 – Have I Done Enough to Avoid the Spam Filter?

Several things in an email could trigger modern spam filters.

For example, many filters will send your emails to spam if they contain videos. The best way to get around this is to include a screenshot that links to the actual video.

There are also a host of trigger words that you need to look out for in both your subject line and main content. Such words and phrases include the following:

  • All Natural
  • Act Now
  • Free
  • Guarantee
  • Suppliers Are Limited
  • Work From Home
  • You Have Been Selected

There are many more besides these, so here’s a general rule of thumb:

If your copy makes what you offer sound too good to be true, there’s a chance that a spam filter will pick up on the email.

Question #6 – Does Everything in the Email Work as It Should?

Your email could contain several copy elements, including images and links. You need to ensure that these things all work as intended. The links have to go to the right pages and the images should display appropriately and with no distortion.

You may think this is a simple case of sending the email to yourself to check that it all works. However, you must remember that your recipients will use all sorts of devices to open the email. You may find that something that looks the part on desktops doesn’t display well on mobile. Or, you may find that certain internet browsers have an unintended effect on the email.

Conduct as many tests as possible to ensure that the email works correctly.

Question #7 – What’s the Best Time to Send This Email?

The time that the recipient receives the email could have an impact on whether they open it. For an extreme example, you can assume that emails that arrive in someone’s inbox at 2am aren’t going to get opened. However, you need to dig a little deeper than the obvious.

This is where your email client’s analytics come in.

These can show you the open rates for different email campaigns based on several factors, including time received. To test for the optimal time, send emails at various times and compare the results. You may find that your audience prefers to receive emails at a certain time.

Always Question Before Sending

Creating an effective marketing email is a more involved process than you may realise. You need to think hard about the goals you aim to achieve with each email and which audience will receive it. Furthermore, you have to consider the copy in various ways, as well as the best time to send the email.

Asking these seven questions will help you to determine if you have a good email on your hands.

And with Automation Agency, you can set up an automated campaign to maximise your results. We can also help you to split test emails, as well as to segment your list. To find out more, send a request to the Concierge Service.

But what if you’re not a member yet? If that’s the case, talk to our Right Fit Chatbot to find out more about us and what we can do for you

About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.