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The email marketing process part 4 - Testing, sending and reporting

Blog post written by Dave Henson | 07 September 2013 | Category: Email marketing

When we set up the distribution list database to send an email campaign, we also add to it some test addresses. These will of course contain one or more of our addresses but will also contain at least one of the client's email addresses as well.

The first thing we do is to send the email to ourselves and run a series of checks to ensure that everything is working:

  • Does the email work in both its HTML and text forms?
  • Does the unsubscribe link work and go to the correct unsubscribe page?
  • Does open tracking work?
  • Do all of the click-through links work?
  • If personalised emails are being used, are all merge fields working as they should be.

We also check the email to ensure that it isn't spammy and also that it looks good in a number of different email systems such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo.

When we are happy that everything is OK, we send a test email to the client so that they can check it and make any final changes.

Once the client is happy that it all looks and works as it should, we send the email out to the distribution list. We use specialist email marketing and sending software which will take each email and send it out separately to each recipient on the distribution list.

Then the interesting bit starts. Our system records all sorts of things to help you to analyse the success of your email marketing campaign. It records who has opened the email, which links they have clicked on, which email addresses have bounced, which email addresses are badly formatted and who has unsubscribed from your mailing list.

Email open tracking is done via the insertion of a tiny invisible image in the email piece. If a user's email software has images turned off then the open event will not be recorded. However, the result is still a good indicator of how successful your email marketing campaign has been. We have had open rates in the range of 10% up to 85% though a typical open rate range would be between 20% and 40% and anything in the higher end of that range can be regarded as a good figure.

Related blog posts

The email marketing process part 1 - Producing the email piece

The email marketing process part 2 - Setting up the campaign

The email marketing process part 3 - The distribution list