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Email Marketing Assessment Template for Success


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Use this template for email marketing assessment and marketing automation assessment to evaluate your email marketing and marketing automation programs.
Developed by Michael Leander for GIDMA - data-driven marketing and marketing automation experts.

Contact us if you want to learn how GIDMA can help you accelerate your email marketing and marketing automation efforts.

NOTE: This template covers many relevant areas related to email marketing and marketing automation, but is not exhaustive. The full template is only available to paying clients.

Published in: Business
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Email Marketing Assessment Template for Success

  2. 2. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. EMAIL & MARKETING AUTOMATION ASSESSMENT – situational analysis, bridging the gap and opportunity identification GIDMA’s model for assessing the opportunities for email marketing, marketing automation and lead/customer nurturing, is always anchored in a set of one or several overall purposes. Once the purpose has been defined, the assessment involves in-depth assessment evaluation of all or some of the areas included in this guide. The comprehensive email & marketing automation assessment is nearly always conducted by two senior consultants – with the primary being the lead consultant and the secondary being a specialist able to contribute in specific areas. All GIDMA email & marketing automation consultants have at least 8 years of hard core experience. On average our consultants have more than 11 years of email marketing experience. And many of them are recognized as leading experts by their peers. Assessments are meant to lead to concrete actions. Actions that will get you results. Hence our deliverables often consist of these documents; 1) A situational analysis commenting on the status quo – often compared to the industry as a whole. You will understand exactly where you are. 2) A detailed actionable document. We will recommend what you need to do in order to achieve your goals and objectives. 3) Plan forward. Should you wish to make use of our implementation, execution and/or fulfillment service, we will also provide you with a plan for that. We are delighted to work with you and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship. Warm regards Michael Leander CEO, GIDMA Data driven marketing experts Email Marketing / Automation / Advertising / Conversion
  3. 3. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. EMAIL & MARKETING AUTOMATION ASSESSMENT 1. Overall business objectives – brand awareness, customer acquisition, customer retention, churn-prevention and win-back - 1A) What sort of position in the market is the brand trying to take? - 1B) Which position are the competitors trying to take? - 1C) Can the marketing and sales objectives be quantified? If so, how? - 1D) Is there a 1, 3, 5-year plan we can or should align with? - 1E) Are maximum financial targets set for 1) lead acquisition cost, 2) customer acquisition cost, 3) cost of retaining customers, 4) cost of win-back - 1F) Has a budget been allocated to leverage the email channel for brand awareness related activities? If so, are KPI’s set to measure that? - 1G) Does the business have an ideal sales/marketing funnel defined? - 1H) What is the average incubation time – from lead engagement to customer? - 1I) Are there specific actions in place for either churn-prevention and/or win-back? - 1J) Are data stored and made accessible from all platforms? Does the business wish to achieve a one-data-repository structure? 2. Email marketing and/or marketing automation purpose and objectives - 2A) What does the business wish to achieve from email marketing and marketing automation activities? What is the purpose? - 2B) Apart from sales, which other purposes and/or objectives are there? - 2C) Does the business expect to experience cost savings as a result of implementing email marketing specifically? - 2D) Does the business expect to experience cost savings as a result of implementing marketing automation specifically? - 2E) Does the business intend to integrate the email marketing channel with other channels. If so, why and how? - 2F) Is the businesses intending to use machine learning to improve the quality of messaging, right-time and real-time timing and other aspects? If so, when? - 2G) how does the business envision the operational structure for email marketing? Will this be handled internally, externally or in a combination of both?
  4. 4. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. 3. Email marketing value proposition & signup process - 3A) Is it strong enough: “what exactly makes people want to sign up and commit”? - 3A1) Is the signup process incentivized? Should it be? - 3B) Is the main signup page optimized for conversion? Does it reside inside the company website or on a friction-free environment – for example a specific landing page? Has A/B split testing been tried? - 3B1) What is the current conversion rate to sign up? How can we quickly improve the conversion rate? - 3B1) Is the signup flow tracked and reported via web-analytics or similar? And is someone responsible for monitoring and reacting to this + reporting? - 3C) Are exit-intent, popups and forms or banners on all or most webpages incorporated? - 3D) Is a well-functioning sharing mechanism incorporated in the signup process? Is it working in terms of amplification and are visitors coming from sharing tracked separately? - 3E) Is there an email white-listing CTA as part of the signup process – if so, is it clearly described how a subscriber goes about whitelisting emails from the firm (for various email client)? - 3F) Are auto-responder mechanics in place? (see also under 4 for flows) - 3G) Are there goals for # of new subscribers each month? - 3H) How are customers signed up during (each step of) the sales process? - 3I) Are customers automatically signed up for email communication as an integral part of purchasing online? If so, are we sure the process is legal? Are we certain that the communication of the permission given is understood by the customer? - 3J) Have we given the sign-up form/s sufficient consideration? Does it sell? Does it instill a sense of urgency? - 3K) Has double-opt-in been considered? If double-opt-in is the current practice; has single-opt-in been considered? 2) what is the drop-off percentage? 3) what is the subscriber lifetime? For subscriber and customer profiling see under point 7 – Segmentation & profiling
  5. 5. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. 4. Email marketing content concept and/or promotion concept The content concept and promotional approach for email messaging and marketing automation is crucial to success. - 4A) Has the content concept been defined and documented? Was this anchored in a deep understanding of what the audience are truly interested in? - 4B) Has the promotional concept been defined? If so, is there a precisely formulated content and messaging differentiation between customers, prospective customers and dormant customers? - 4C) Is there a clear strategy for how the business will mix promotional and value adding content? If so, how? - 4D) is there a clear target for how each respective approach is measured? For example, will the success of value added emails be aligned with metrics for promotional content? - 4E) Have messaging tactics such as frequency, differentiation, personalization been defined? If so, what are they? - 4F) Is there a strategy for OPC (Other People’s Content) in place? If so, is this aligned with audience interests – and does this content support the overall purpose? - 4G) Is there a well-defined balance between value-add content vs. promotional content and a balance between original (owned) content and OPC? - 4H) Is there a plan for repurposing of content? - 4I) Has content and promotions for welcome flow with or without sequential onboarding flow been considered? - 4J) Is there a plan for reusing content (republishing same content over and over again)
  6. 6. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. 5. Permission marketing & privacy – compliance issues, threats and opportunities -5A) Is the business aware of the current legislation governing permission? If so, is the businesses aware of the differences in each market it serves? -5B) Are all permission data logged including date and time of subscription, channel of subscription and subscribers IP address - 5C) Is there an unsubscribe process in real-time that is automatically updated across all systems (CRM, ERP, ESP etc.) - 5D) Are there multiple channels to which a subscriber can subscribe? If so, is it possible for a subscriber to unsubscribe channel A whilst remaining subscribed to channels B, C. - 5E) Is text messaging and mobile marketing permissions in play? If so, is there 1) a communication to mobile-subscribers on how to unsub 2) are subs and unsubs handled similarly to email subscribers? See also 6 - Email sending and deliverability 6. Email sending and deliverability - 6A) Has the businesses defined exactly which domain/s and email addresses are used in the communication? - 6B) What is the current black-list status, if any? If there are problems, these must be dealt with. - 6C) Has the basic deliverability setup been checked? - 6D) Does the organization have a process for handling spam-complaints? - 6E) Are hard bounces removed immediately? - 6E1) If an active customer email bounce, is there a process to contact that customer in order to obtain a new, working email address? - 6F) Are soft bounces handled? - 6G) Is there a clear plan for handling of inactive subscribers – and if so, how? If a plan is not in place, this must be established - 6H) Is there an understanding of how email deliverability rates differ depending on ISP? If so, what needs to be done to improve deliverability with certain ISPs? - 6I) Is there an understanding of which ISP’s and/or top-level domains outperform others? If so, what can be learned from that? Which actions need to be taken?
  7. 7. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. 7. Audience segmentation including customer profiles, lead profiles with use of behavioral data, transactional data and input data - 7A) Describe all customer segments and the characteristics for each segment. Split these between active customers, churned customers and prospects. >> refer to the sales and marketing funnel - 7B) Has the business defined profiles for customers and prospects respectively? If so > what is the exact information needed for a minimum profile for customers? > what is the exact information needed for a minimum profile for prospect? > which information do we need to achieve an ideal profile of a customer? > which information do we need to achieve an ideal profile for a prospect? - 7C) Is the business able to capture behavioral data and append this to each subscriber? >> Which IT system is used to consolidate all customer and prospect data? - 7D) is there a scoring system in place for customers and/or leads? >> if so, how is the scoring system applied, used and which improvements can be made? >> are results from scoring used to gauge progress in terms of bringing customers and/or prospects further down the funnel? - 7E) is there a solid plan for how to treat inactive subscribers? - 7F) Is a subscription center or profiling center established? Are changes automatically sync’d with other systems? - 7G) Is the business able to leverage transactional data and/or product data? If so, can this information be used to upsell/cross-sell or just to improve the relevance of communication?
  8. 8. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. 8. Messaging design, communication form and render ability +A/B testing Before addressing the issues below, address the basics first: 1) What is the name used to send email communication? Should the name differentiate depending on the purpose of the communication? 2) Is the business aware of pre-headers and how differently they display depending on email client and device? 3) Are subject lines tested continuously? If not, they should be - 8A) Have multiple templates been defined – each serving a specific purpose? - 8B) Do templates work well across all devices? If not, this must be fixed - 8C) Have templates been tested? If not, this should be done - 8D) Has video in message been tried and tested? If not, this could be done - 8E) Has the use of GIF’s been tried and tested? If not, this could be done >> Has interactive content been tested (for example reveal from Zembula) - 8F) Are emails signed off by “the corporate entity” or a person? Why? - 8G) Are images chosen at random or is there a defined visual image to be adhered to? - 8H) Is there a messaging strategy defined, which articulates the following: 1) what type of content and/or promotional messages 2) how much content related to each purpose 3) priority of content in terms of placement 4) subject line relationship to content included? 5) seasonality or special events and how content & offers ties in with that (Christmas, New Year, sports events etc.) - 8I) Is there awareness of the need to do something completely differently every once in a while, – in order to revive, for example, inactive subscribers? - 8J) Is dynamic content used, if so how? If not, discuss the benefit.
  9. 9. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. 9. Metrics The metrics are important and should be defined once all other areas are addressed. The completeness of the plan and its execution is crucial to achieving great results. - 9A) List the key metrics and how they are tracked, evaluated and reported (CTR, OR, CTOR, Conversion rate to content, conversion rate to LP, conversion rate to sales, conversion rate to inquiry, conversion rate to video play etc.) - 9B) is the business able to track from email to repeat sales transaction and everything in between? If not, this could be looked into. If yes, how? - 9C) Negative metrics are also important. Does the business have goals in place for hard bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, spam complaint rate? - 9D) Who is responsible for dealing with these metrics and responding to them? - 9E) How are metrics reported internally, and with which frequency? - 9F) Is there a set weekly metrics meeting with key players? Is the objective to identify areas of improvement, rather than celebrating successes? 10. Trigger and events + marketing automation -10A) Does the business use triggered flows, i.e. when a subscriber clicks on link X, but does not convert to action, email Y is sent. If so; >> how is the success of triggered flows measured? - 10B) Does the business use sequential flows for onboarding? If so, understand the performance and what can be done to improve - 10C) Is marketing automation tied in with lead scoring? - 10D) is automation differentiated based on profile and/or for each step in the customer journey? - 10E) is personalization and/or customization used – if so, how? - 10F) Are simple events used to communicate – for example birthdays, “celebrating your first 12 months as a customer” - 10G) Is behavior used to decide referral campaigns? (for example, NPS score, share of wallet indicator etc.) If not, discuss. - 10H) Does the business use transactional emails? If so, how is that done? >> Which improvements can be made? - 10I) Are events used to trigger lead or customer allocation to sales reps, outbound telemarketing or similar?
  10. 10. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. APPENDIX GIDMA - EMAIL & MARKETING AUTOMATION ASSESSMENT AUDIENCE CHARACTERISTICS List the characteristics of your target audience. Be as specific as possible • Characteristic • Characteristic • Characteristic • Characteristic • Characteristic List the demographics of your audience • Demographic 1 • Demographic 2 • Demographic 3 List the languages of your audience • Language 1 • Language 2 • Language 3
  11. 11. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. OTHER METHODS OF CONTACT Describe how customers are contacted and how prospects are contact – list all channels and comment on the relative importance of each channel Channel Customers Prospects Relative importance in terms of efficiency and/or reach VALUE PROPOSITION Describe your value proposition.
  12. 12. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. RESPONSES AND CHANNELS List how your audience currently responds to your marketing and sales activities. In the last column, indicate if you want more or less responses driven to each channel. Response App. % of responses Want more or less? Telephone inquiry Web site forms for contact Email inquiries Sales reps on phone Web site purchases (ecommerce) MARKETING COST AND EFFICIENCY ASSESSMENT In the following list the perceived efficiency of each channel along with an approximate percentage of total marketing (sales) budget. If an item is not used, write N/A Marketing items App. % of total markedng budget spent on this item Perceived effecdveness from an ROI view Marketing brochures High-Medium-Low Website presence Trade shows Email marketing – current Marketing automation – current Video TV ads Radio ads Print ads – Magazines Print ads- Newspapers PR – Public relations online and offline Ecommerce presence Affiliate marketing Social media – all channels
  13. 13. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. VALUE OF THE SALE – LIFETIME VALUE Working with an understanding of customer life time value can be highly beneficial to any type of marketing program. If possible, please indicate the following Marketing & sales metrics Lifedme in years - average Lifedme value (revenue) Lifedme gross profit Customer segment 1 € € Customer segment 2 € € Customer segment 3 € € Customer segment 2 € € Customer segment 2 € €
  14. 14. Email and markeEng automaEon assessment from GIDMA – all rights reserved. Contact GIDMA to discuss how we can help your business improve your results Michael Leander +45 27 28 29 53 Skype: micleander email: