1Collecting The Right Information
23% of the agency owners are unable to meet client goals and expectations. One of the reasons for this incompetence is not collecting the right information and failure to understand their requirements.
Have a well-drafted questionnaire that asks the client about their brand values, vision, and beliefs. Learn about the customer pain points, they are looking forward to solving. Get information about the marketing and sales challenges as well as goals. Identify their target audience and buyer’s personas.
Moreover, it is also important to ask them why they hired your agency and whether they have any specific expectations from you. Inquire about the most convenient mode of communication and the typical response time to return calls or respond to emails. As far as skills are concerned, ask them about the skills that they are looking for and if they are looking for training.
You can create a basic form to evaluate their needs through Formstack, a DIY form builder.
LeadFuze has a short and sweet checklist that ensures perfect onboarding of the client
- i Smart Sheet can help you out if you are looking for a detailed checklist for onboarding.
Uplers has a similar onboarding process for the clients.
2Evaluating Client's Current Email Strategy
After you have understood the campaign objective, carry out an audit of the client’s current email marketing strategy with the help of an audit template. Evaluate each and everything in the client’s email campaigns like their email list, copy, design along with minute details like subject line and placement of the CTA.
This will give you a clear picture of what’s working and what isn’t. Most of the time, clients do not have a regular audit program in place, and as a result they might miss out on optimizing the campaign to its full potential.
Uplers uses a detailed checklist to audit the templates shared by the customers.
Uplers can audit your email template for free and help you to make it better.
3Planning The Email Campaigns
Proper planning is the key to successful email marketing. Marketers who describe their email marketing programs as successful are 34% more likely than those at less successful programs to maintain an email content calendar year-round. Agencies should always consider planning an email calendar for the client according to their needs.
Around 55.8% marketers maintained an email marketing content calendar year-round in 2018. (Source - Litmus)
Here are 10 popular tools that can help you with the same:
- Google Sheets
- HubSpot Editorial Calendar
- Microsoft Project
- Microsoft SharePoint
HubSpot Editorial Calendar presents a well-designed editorial calendar for your email marketing. It is divided into different sections like planning, A/B testing, and results. This makes it easy to keep track of all the activities and abide by the deadlines.
CoSchedule also offers an email marketing calendar that can be of great value to agencies.
Uplers makes use of a similar calendar for their clients.
4Preparing The Email Copy & Design
Most of the time, agencies and clients face the challenge of long approval processes for the email copy and design. Use Google Docs to draft an email copy as it is easier to edit and suggest changes therein. To make this task easier, it is recommended that you use email briefs that outline the goals of the email, its audience, messaging, and KPIs.
Marketo sets a nice example by having a comprehensive form that can be used by agencies and clients alike.
Marketers describing their email programs as successful are 81% more likely to create an email brief for every email they create in comparison to the less successful ones.
Once the email copy is approved, move on to the design. Just like an email brief is important for the copy, design brief is equally important.
Here are some points to ask the client for inclusion in the design brief:
- The required colour palette
- Specific image assets (Logos and branding)
- Products and service offerings that need to be outlined
- Specific brand guidelines
- Contact information
Here is an example of a nice i graphic design brief by Smart Sheet.
Check out i another template of creative brief by Template Lab.
You can even ask for reference materials that might help the email designers. Some clients would happily provide with a wireframe. Just ask the right questions and you will be able to create a design which will need minimum revisions.
Basecamp is a classic tool that can help you with the entire project management including copy and design.
Uplers utilizes an exhaustive creative brief that offers complete information to the agency professionals.
5Coding The Email Right
For every email coded, follow a coding checklist that will mitigate the likelihood of any rendering issues or bugs in the email.
Consider the below mentioned parameters:
- Width of the email
- Size of the images
- Text to image ratio
- Mobile responsiveness
- Font size
- Alt text for the images
- View online and unsubscribe link
- Size of the CTA button and its placement
PreviewMyEmail is another tool that lets you test all your email campaigns and get a clear idea of how it will look across the diverse email clients.
Email deliverability is another aspect that you should check, and Sender Score by Return Path is the perfect tool to help you with that.
6Approving The Deliverables
Take the client’s approval at every step of the process- be it email copy, design, or the coded email. As mentioned previously, maintain a Google Doc for the email copy so that you can keep track of all the revisions. To streamline the approval process for the email design, use a tool like InVision App or GoVisually.
Systematic approval process goes a long way, always! Have a checklist so that there are no errors in the deliverables.
A few examples of some great email marketing checklists are enlisted below:
8 Pro-tips for Effective Campaign Management
1. Set the right expectations by understanding the client’s needs and what the stakeholders are looking for.
2. Always check the feasibility of the elements and features requested by the client.
3. Ensure an honest communication about the delivery of the project and its progress.
4. Keep a buffer period to deal with the last moment changes.
5. Maintain a smooth approval process and a SPOC for every task.
6. Have a consistent reporting format.
7. Manage a detailed checklist for the email campaigns to reduce the likelihood of embarrassing blunders.
8. Keep a service-level agreement for the planned campaigns as well as the impromptu requests to warrant timely execution.
Clients see an agency as a proactive partner with whom they can trust their business needs, rather than a mere service provider. Strive to deliver value to your clients throughout the process and you will surely ensure satisfaction of both the parties.