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Email Campaign Creation

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:


Now that we've had a look at the components of an effective email and the main elements to consider in your email strategy, which are view, segmentation, personalization, timing, engagement, and analytics, we can apply these to creating an email campaign. Starting from scratch can seem a little daunting. But following a few basic steps can guide you on your way to hitting that send button and getting the results you want.

So here are a few steps for creating an email campaign.

Identify the need for an email

This comes back to, why are you sending this email? Why would the recipient find value in it? Are you running a special campaign, a special offer?

Why do they need to know about this? And also, who doesn't? Consider who will be not receiving it.

Define campaign requirements

This is the plan or the strategy for your email campaign. It should include your campaign goals, the tone, how you're going to personalize it and what segment you're sending it to.

Then you will also include the subject line, the preview text, the layout, the design and the message, including the call to action. You should also try to include how you're going to test any or all of these elements, if possible. This should then be shared with your team, so everybody understands the purpose of the campaign and what you hope to achieve from it.

Write email copy

Next, actually write the email copy and get the graphic and imagery created. Using the campaign requirements document as a guide, you can draft your email copy, calls to action and imagery based on best practices to start with. As you've just seen in the section on email design, your email should provide value and be engaging, stick to the point, be relevant, and be personalized for the recipient, and have powerful calls to actions and imagery that drive action and conversions.

Add the content to an email template

Now that you have your email drafted, you can copy your text and design into the templates available to you. You can use email service providers such as Mailchimp or the other ones we discussed and you will have access to ready-made and themed email templates.

Set up email tracking

Next you want to setup your tracking and add this to the email.

One example we went through was the pixel tracking, which is just before the closing body tag of the email, done through a slice of code or an HTML. Most email marketing ESPs will have tracking setup automatically, but you should, as we've said before, double check that this possible.

Test your email

Next you want to test your email. And this really is critical to the success of the email but it's the one least employed by email marketers.

Your email may look amazing in your own ESP that you created it in, but its delivery may not work the same in different email clients. Carry out some email testing so that you can decide what needs to be changed if necessary.

Check your email checklist

It is important to have a checklist to double check everything before it goes out.

Once sent, it cannot be undone, particularly bulk email sends. Make sure the checklist covers all of the elements outlined before, plus the call to action, and also the general branding.

Send your email

After you have created, designed, tested, revised, and double-checked everything, then you are ready to send.

Analyze your results

And afterwards, basking in the glory, analyze your results. Use your ESP's reporting features to see how it performed. Focus on the key metrics that matter to you, the ones that you can take actions on to improve it for the next time it goes out. Look at how many readers are reading it on mobile devices versus desktop.

How does that impact the success of your email campaign? Take all of this into consideration, reiterate, and try again.

Creating an email campaign in Mailchimp

Here we're in Mailchimp and we're going to create an email campaign. Click create an email and then type in the campaign name and hit begin. So, you're going to start with adding the recipients.

You can choose a list you already have made or start from scratch. Here we're going to choose one that is pre-built for new subscribers. Hit save. Next, who is this from? Type in the name you want it from and the email address you want it from. You can take the additional step of sending a verification email to make sure that it is legitimate.

Next is the subject line and the preview text. Again, follow the best practices and make sure that the subject line and preview text hook the reader in and let them know what the value in the email is. Remember to hit save. Next, we're going to design the email. You can choose from various Mailchimp layouts that already pre-built for you.

You can scroll down and choose the ones that suit best or you can also customize the design yourself. Take a look at the options you have here. You have an image block and a text block and your calls to action blocks. Let's say you want to change something in the design.

We're going to change the color of the header as an example and turn it to red. Click save, and there you go, your very own email template. Click save. Schedule your email to go out on the day and time and in the time zone you want for the best results.

Tracking in Mailchimp

When creating your email campaign, it is important to track email engagement.

Mailchimp allows you to see if subscribers have clicked links in your campaign by clicking on track clicks in the settings & tracking selection. Your campaign report will show which subscribers clicked you links and how many times each link was clicked. Enabling the setting for track opens will allow you to see who opened your emails.

Mailchimp embeds an invisible graphic at the bottom of the HTML in the email and is unique to each campaign you send. When a recipient's email client has view images setting enabled and opens your email, the graphic is downloaded from Mailchimp's server and is counted as an open in your campaign reports.

Testing in Mailchimp

We will explore email testing in more detail in the next section. But for now, here is a quick look at the testing features available within Mailchimp. You can preview and test your email in the design section of the campaign builder to give you an idea of how your campaign will look in your subscribers' inboxes.

As you can see from the preview and test dropdown menu on the screenshot, you can preview the email and send a test email.

Push the email to mobile, open the link checker and customize social cards as well if you wish. Mailchimp automatically includes both an HTML version and a plain text alternative version for each of your subscribers. This ensures your subscribers view your content as expected regardless of the email client or the program they use.

Mailchimp works best with HTML and plain text. For example, Flash and JavaScript aren't supported.

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Please note that the module slides are designed to work in collaboration with the module transcript document. It is recommended that you use both resources simultaneously.

Digital Marketing Resources:

Andrea Francis

Inbound marketing manager @ Poppulo

  • Inbound marketing manager in employee communications technology 
  • Worked at Relayr as a senior marketing manager, creating and implementing a global inbound marketing strategy
  • Worked with Hubspot as a marketing manager and funnel optimization specialist focusing on converting leads to qualified leads for the EMEA region
  • Content marketing and blogging with various SaaS startups at Startupbootcamp Amsterdam

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful. While relevant to this module, you will not be assessed on this content.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library


    Email Marketing
    Andrea Francis
    Skills Expert

    This module begins with the fundamentals of email marketing and how the concepts of segmentation, personalization, timing, engagement, and the legislation and regulations surrounding data protection underpin an effective email marketing strategy. The module introduces key email marketing tools and techniques and explores subscriber list and email design best practices. It covers how to create, test, and optimize an email campaign that maximizes email open and click rates and provides an overview of the value provided by marketing automation tools.