“Hey, would you thoughts sending a follow-up electronic mail?”
You are already barely maintaining along with your workload once you get the dreaded, last-minute electronic mail request.
With the whole lot else in your plate, you now must pause to get that second electronic mail out the door, after which play catch-up with the whole lot else in your plate…
We all know you are continuously being requested to ship extra emails with much less assets.
And generally, it is unavoidable. When your small business’ and subscribers’ wants change, it’s essential to be capable of adapt rapidly to remain related or danger your electronic mail advertising program struggling.
However that does not imply it must be so troublesome.
Right here, let’s break down what agile electronic mail advertising means, why it issues, and the way you should use it to scale and ship more practical emails sooner — with out breaking a sweat.
What’s agile electronic mail advertising, anyway?
Agile electronic mail advertising is a solution to be versatile and adapt to vary by specializing in information and your subscribers’ wants whereas utilizing a modular course of so you may ship efficient emails sooner.
Earlier than diving deeper into agile electronic mail advertising, 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 flexibleness to adapt and reply to modifications rapidly. This fashion, groups may continuously enhance and innovate, staying on prime of their customers’ wants and beating their competitors to market.
There are various methods this agility is feasible, however the three issues we feature over into agile electronic mail advertising are:
- Specializing in buyer wants
- Making data-driven selections
- Collaborating throughout groups
So whereas agile electronic mail advertising does not require utilizing the agile methodology, it takes its essence to create a extra environment friendly solution to ship emails.
In different phrases, agile electronic mail advertising 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 targets, you will not bat an eye fixed at last-minute electronic mail sends or altering priorities.
Sound too good to be true?
Agile electronic mail advertising does require a shift in mindset — as an alternative of planning the massive campaigns you are used to, you will must plan for iterative change in a test-and-learn atmosphere.
For instance, as an alternative of mapping out and creating all of the emails in your total welcome or onboarding journey, begin small with solely the primary electronic mail. Do some A/B testing to determine what your viewers is most receptive to, optimize, and use what you be taught to proceed constructing out the remainder of your nurture journey — one electronic mail at a time.
Your aim 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 grow to be agile can have big payoffs, as I am going to clarify subsequent.
Why Being Agile is Essential to Success
Certain, electronic mail professionals could look like magicians, however emails aren’t executed with the wave of a wand. There’s so much that goes on underneath the hood. 52% of entrepreneurs spend two weeks or extra to finish a single electronic mail from conception to hitting the ship button.
Supply: Litmus’ 2020 State of E-mail Workflows
To not point out, 55% of entrepreneurs are juggling a minimum of six emails at a time. So it is by no means “simply” yet one more electronic mail.
The normal electronic mail advertising course of makes use of linear and interdependent steps. You may’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.
Take a look at that course of! It is no surprise it might probably take a very long time to create and ship an electronic mail.
However this tempo can damage your electronic mail advertising program — or worse, your model repute. Issues can change straight away … Assume pure disasters, a well being disaster, the socio-political local weather, guidelines and laws, and so on. If you cannot adapt, your electronic 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 preserve your prospects for the long-haul. This additionally provides your work function.
You recognize you are all the time delivering the best worth work as an alternative of falling into the entice 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 when you’re in no rush, in case your competitor is simply at some point forward of you, that may put you at a major drawback. An agile electronic mail advertising workflow provides you larger velocity to market which could be simply the sting you want for marketing campaign success.
The best way to Make Your E-mail Workflow Agile
So how do you go from a linear electronic mail workflow to an agile one?
You will first want to start out along 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 enables many components of your electronic mail advertising course of to be both automated or executed in tandem, as proven on this agile electronic 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 electronic mail advertising is your individuals and your instruments. With out this sturdy basis, you will extra probably face challenges with adoption.
Make an evaluation of the expertise and instruments wanted so you realize who to faucet to hitch you and how one can get emails executed collectively.
One of many cornerstones of agile electronic mail advertising is cross-team collaboration, which implies profiting from all kinds of present 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 electronic mail workforce. As an alternative, by leveraging different individuals’s strengths and, if wanted, working by electronic mail advertising greatest practices to hone their craft particularly for electronic mail, you may work effectively as a workforce. Ensure you talk your wants and get everybody on board, first!
The abilities you want will rely in your electronic mail advertising program, however the principle ones to think about are:
In a single state of affairs, as an example, you would possibly wish 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 electronic mail advertising basis is the instruments.
Make an evaluation of your present expertise and assessment the remainder of the agile electronic mail workflow steps beneath to see the place your gaps are. Do you will 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 electronic mail advertising software and a collaboration software.
2. Align on electronic mail technique.
Along with your workforce and instruments in place, it’s essential make certain everybody — together with reviewers and approvers — is on the identical web page, setting your workforce up for fulfillment as you all work towards a typical aim.
A strong technique ensures copy, design, and improvement are aligned. With out alignment, there could be miscommunication and confusion. And this could sluggish you down or throw your electronic mail off observe, leading to much more work and time wasted. Not agile in any respect.
If placing collectively an electronic mail advertising transient stresses you out, know that it does not must be difficult or intensive. So long as you will have these fundamentals, you are golden:
- Outline your electronic mail’s function, aim, and viewers.
- Outline your content material technique for getting opens and clicks.
- Outline the hierarchy of your electronic mail’s copy and pictures.
Keep in mind the important thing to being agile is your subscribers. When their wants intersect with your small business’ wants, you get… magic.
For those who discover that your electronic mail does not meet your subscribers’ wants, take into account altering your electronic mail — or not sending it in any respect.
Steady enchancment is important to being agile, and you’ll re-center your electronic mail round your subscribers by studying from the previous and current to tell your future technique.
You may extract insights from business information or your electronic mail advertising instruments to establish design enchancment alternatives or enhance segmentation, concentrating on, and personalization.
Now that everybody’s expectations are set and in sync, electronic mail manufacturing can start.
3. Write, design, and construct on the similar time.
The time it takes to put in writing, design, and construct an electronic mail provides up in a linear course of. After they’re every executed in tandem, it is like reducing manufacturing time by over 50%.
The key? Standardized electronic mail design and a visible electronic mail editor.
Creating each electronic 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 components like HTML buttons or hyperlinks so you do not have to code the identical factor time 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 robotically utilized throughout each electronic mail.
- Templates: reusable coded emails with a set format on which to easily add or change copy, photos, and hyperlinks.
- Design programs: a group of reusable electronic mail parts with a information on how they are often combined and matched to create extra versatile — but nonetheless standardized — electronic mail designs.
This doesn’t suggest it’s a must to accept boring, ho-hum designs. You may nonetheless be artistic in your imagery and in how totally different reusable parts come collectively to create an electronic mail.
Standardized electronic 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 similar time inside a visible electronic mail editor.
As soon as a template has been outlined on your electronic mail, then you have already got the specs for the copy that must be written and the photographs that have to be created. Then, it is a matter of plugging them into your electronic mail template.
Loaded along with your electronic mail snippets, partials, and/or template, a visible electronic mail editor software can then empower everybody to work on their a part of the manufacturing course of on the similar time and collaborate alongside the best way.
Photographs could be created primarily based on the content material define in your electronic mail advertising transient from step two, whereas the copy is being written. Copy may even be written inside your visible electronic 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 electronic mail editor, improvement can start with placeholder photos and textual content. With everybody on the identical web page on technique, there isn’t any want to attend for design and replica first.
4. Accumulate suggestions in a single place.
With electronic mail technique alignment throughout all stakeholders, the assessment course of needs to be much less painful. Nonetheless, juggling suggestions could be troublesome coming from totally different individuals throughout totally different instruments. What if there are contradicting feedback? Otherwise you miss an vital 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 electronic mail take a look at with stakeholders in a single location so everybody’s collaborating collectively.
First, you will must seize the URL within the “view in browser” or “view on-line” hyperlink of your electronic mail. It’s also possible to create a web-based model of your electronic mail to share. The vital factor is that you’ve an electronic mail the place individuals can take a look at hyperlinks and interactive components.
Then, choose a single spot — not an electronic mail thread — to share your electronic mail for suggestions. This may very well be as a part of a bunch message in your communication software or as a single process in your venture administration software.
You can acquire suggestions in those self same locations. Otherwise you would possibly discover it sooner 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 might see one another’s suggestions.
There are additionally instruments made particularly for collaboration the place you cannot solely share a dwell model of your electronic mail, but in addition depart suggestions immediately on it, verify off when modifications are made, and observe approvals.
5. Analyze & share insights.
After your electronic mail is distributed, see the way it’s performing so you may evolve to fulfill your subscribers’ wants. Within the agile methodology world, you would possibly take into account this the tip of a dash, working in small increments to enhance the success of your emails.
The electronic mail advertising metrics it is best to have a look at is determined by your aim. Your electronic mail advertising instruments will present a minimum of the fundamentals — opens, clicks, and unsubscribes — and should even present deeper engagement-level metrics like how lengthy somebody spent studying your electronic mail (learn price) or how many individuals shared your electronic mail (ahead price).
For those who’re tempted to skip this step, do not.
E-mail evaluation tends to be what individuals skip in the event that they’re quick on time. Onto the following electronic mail, proper? In the long term, although, this hurts your electronic mail advertising program.
It may be onerous to imagine, however analyzing your emails will really prevent time. It is what makes agile electronic mail advertising work within the first place. For those who keep in mind, I discussed that being agile depends on information, whether or not that is inside (e.g. electronic mail efficiency) or exterior (e.g. the information).
Knowledge is how one can preserve a pulse in your subscribers’ preferences, and the way these preferences would possibly change over time.
It provides you the facility to say no to the emails that do not matter. In any other case, you are taking pictures in the dead of night and losing time on emails your subscribers do not care about. And this impacts your organization’s model repute, and backside line.
Closing Ideas on Going Agile
Keep in mind, even reaching some agility in your electronic mail workflow has its rewards, like giving your workforce a while again or having the ability to rapidly flex to your subscribers.
Whereas there’s nothing mistaken with the linear electronic mail advertising course of —finishing one step at a time — you will not be capable of transfer as quick in at this time’s ever-changing atmosphere. To rise above your competitors and make sure you all the time meet your subscribers the place they’re, you want velocity and effectivity. That is the place agile electronic mail advertising is available in.
Ensure you have the suitable workforce and instruments in place with everybody on the identical web page on technique. Then you definately could be off and working to create nice emails very quickly.
So the following time somebody asks when you can ship simply yet one more electronic mail, you may confidently say ‘No’ (as a result of it isn’t the suitable match on your subscribers), or embrace it with open arms (as a result of it is the suitable match on your subscribers). Both means, it will not be your workflow holding you again.