Spring has arrived, along with the inevitable tasks that always follow the farewell to winter. Bring that spirit of renewal to work by focusing on your email and cross-channel marketing program.
By conducting a thorough spring cleaning, you can:
- Define valuable strategic efforts that can be tackled in the not-as-busy summer months and prepare for the ramp-up that always happens in late Q3 and all of Q4
- Identify areas of focus for summer interns
- Rid yourself of lower-performing projects, programs, or channels and reallocate budget to areas that prove ROI
- Scope out projects for which you’ll need additional budget and resources in the year ahead
- Ensure everything is working as expected!
When working through this checklist, you’ll want to have a firm sense of where you are now and where you want to be. This exercise should be about building for the future, as well as optimizing what you presently have in place. Be sure to document your findings and turn them into an action plan that defines budget, timing, resources and deliverables.
Establish goals. Understand what you’re trying to accomplish: Are you looking to optimize existing programs, or create new ones? Bring in new channels? Clean out programs and channels that aren’t working? Hit a particular metric?
Understand your audience. Run an audit to understand who you’re reaching today and who you’re specifically trying to reach tomorrow. Do you want to optimize your program for acquisition targets, current customers, or both? Are you looking to reach global markets? What do you know about these groups?
Revisit the customer journey. Take a look at all the touchpoints and messaging sent during a customer’s journey. Are there any inconsistencies? Gaps? Opportunities?
Know the players. Document your established internal and agency partners and players. Is it time to bring all of these stakeholders together to get a jumpstart on Q3 and Q4 planning? If launching a new channel, can an internal resource or a current agency partner be leveraged?
Grade your tech stack. Document the solutions you have in place. At what level are they performing? Interconnected? Optimized? Utilized?
Document your technical workflows. Take inventory of the quantity, quality, and variety of data you currently collect. Consider new data that could be used to form a more complete picture of your customers—not just existing customers, but the ideal ones. Also consider third-party data that could be used to augment existing profiles.
Recognize your data flaws. Inconsistencies, holes, jerry-rigged connections—we’ve all had them in our systems. Take account of “patchwork” solutions that were put in place so they could work with prior systems. What’s in place because of your goals vs. historical business requirements? This also goes for acquisition sources. Sign up and make sure they work as expected.
Document your programs. Include pertinent details such as audience, timing, high-level messaging, KPIs, performance, data source, trigger (batch or automated), etc. Evaluate which programs should remain, be revised, replicated across channels, or abandoned.
Capture KPIs. Define or revise what indicators you use to measure the success of your programs.
Gather reports. What reporting now exists for your efforts? What reports will you want to keep? Which will you want to enhance? What’s missing in your current reporting? Do you have an executive dashboard? Do you have any key findings from your reporting on which you want to take action?
Future proof. Evaluate what will be needed to give you adequate support for new and emerging channels. Ensure you have budget and time allocated to do the proper innovation work and testing needed to grow.
This was originally featured in MediaPost’s Email Insider column.