Back To Basics - The Critical Elements Of Tech Setup
So you don't feel like your email marketing tool is pulling its weight??? That's likely because you're not exhausting the full capacity of your tech setup. Straight out of the client trenches, I have collected some of the top features neglected when I started working with clients. By incorporating all of them into your own email marketing, you will see your tool really come to life - and get the most out of your ESP.
Questions after the episode? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listen to the Podcast here:
Back To Basics - The Critical Elements Of Tech Setup
Before we jump into this episode, I wanted to extend a little bit more into the preparing to open back up mindset as you think about your June email ideas. Firstly, you can definitely start to align your product to travel if it applies. We're going to see more people traveling. If you have a good play here, take it. Offer educational tips that align with your products. A great example was Athletic Greens. They sent an email to promote their greens on the go packs. The subject line, “Your Dream Summer Is Waiting.” The headline, “Your Dream Summer Essentials Are Here.” The copy was actually great. It was short and sweet, but here it is. “Get off the grid while staying on track by taking your Athletic Greens with you. It’s ultra-convenient and perfect for your summer adventures. Athletic Greens travel packs help you keep up your healthy lifestyle habits while on the go. Bonus, these packs are TSA-approved with no refrigeration required.”
That was a simple and straight to the point email in which they were able to highlight and capitalize on the fact that we're starting to travel again, get prepared, stay healthy, but also, “Did you know that these are TSA-approved and you don't have to refrigerate them?” It’s a really good example of how you can capitalize on the preparation to open back up. It’s another idea there.
Onto the episode, we're going back to basics talking about the critical elements of your tech setup. 10 out of 10 times, when I start looking under the email marketing tech hood for my clients, I find some basics that should definitely be functioning. The bigger the company, the more these so-called little things hurt. As you think of scaling, when these sort of things aren't set up or you don't understand them, it's going to be more of a penalty down the road.
Not to mention that the client often complains about their technology and says things like, “I don't think this is the right technology for my business. We're not getting ROI like our demo said we would. We think we need X tool instead.” First things first, the tech needs to be exhausted. Literally, the gadgets are connected and functioning on all cylinders. Let's check back and look at some of the basics you might be missing.
First, the basics in your user settings. There are so many basics that are overlooked. Let's rattle off a few. First, go into your account setting of your ESP and review every item and tab. You'll want to understand how your billing works. Are you being charged for your contacts, the numbers of emails you're sending or both? Once you understand this, you can monitor your usage within the tool. This is important to understand if you're going to be suffering overages, reading your threshold, reaching your threshold, etc.
Next, understand the user permissions. Note, you want to limit the number of admins that are part of your instance. This can get out of control quickly. Once you understand the types of user roles, you will be able to assign those out as people start to interact with the tool. For instance, maybe you have a marketing agency. They might only need the ability to create and deploy emails. Understanding these rules is key.
Next, know where to find your API key. This is like the Social Security Number for your ESP. If you want to connect with any other software, you will need to know how to grab this number so that you can pass this gateway to entry to other tools. Next, you're going to want to decide if you want to get a dedicated IP address, also known as a dedicated sending domain or not. Let's chat a bit about this one. It's a little more complex.
All ESPs come with what I refer to as a pooled IP address, which means that there is a domain that comes with your instance and an example would be KlaviyoMail.com. Everything you send out would have Company@KlaviyoMail.com. All users will get emails from this domain. This is usually okay, but if something happens and you ruin your sending reputation and deliverability, you're going to have trouble getting through to your recipients. This exact scenario happens more when companies have multiple lines of business.
Your tech needs to be exhausted. Make sure that your gadgets are connected and functioning on all cylinders.
For example, imagine you're sending to both consumers and businesses. The more the list grows, the more we get the names for those lists can cause major issues for the ESP in general. If you know that you will be sending emails to consumers and businesses or, for instance, maybe you have a specific education track or you're selling courses and services, you may want to consider getting a dedicated IP address, which will partition the send protect that given group.
A lot of times, what happens is consumers are coming to the company very organically. They're coming in through lead generation. They're going into an inbound path through an opt-in form. On the other side, sometimes, when we're sending to businesses, we go on Linkedin Sales Navigator. We use tools like ZoomInfo. We put those names in. If we get to the point where we have a ton of bad data that hits our IP, this can definitely hurt deliverability.
It can put us in the spam folder. You don't understand that because you're using that pooled IP, your customers and businesses are both going to be impacted. The next time you go to send your customer emails, that deliverability is going to be hurt too. You need to understand the paths of business, where you plan to scale and decide if you need one or more dedicated IP addresses to protect a cohort of users.
Next, run through all of the email settings and make sure you're happy with what they're set to. A great example is, by default, Klaviyo will skip recipients that have received an email in the last sixteen hours. You can update that to match your business. Perhaps you're sending emails that are account-based and you need to reach the recipient. Understanding these settings will help you to avoid users missing key information and, additionally, possibly impacting your reporting. Speaking of reporting, lastly, make sure to peruse your UTM tracking. Make sure that all emails are set to attach a source medium and campaign when they deploy and are clicked on by your recipients.
This is going to be something useful when we chat through more in this episode. This is just a run-through of the basic settings and your tech tool that you want to go on a scavenger hunt, find and ensure you understand that. Next, you're going to want to make sure that your web tracking code is installed properly and it's fully installed.
If you're an eCommerce company, make sure to get your code snippets added to your website, especially ahead of running an abandoned cart or browse campaign. Usually, there are two snippets of code, one for each. The biggest one I often see missing is the one for an abandoned browse. If you think about it, Klaviyo's got an out-of-the-box abandoned browse flow that you think, “I'll go ahead and set this up,” then it's running and you're not getting any results, but the problem is because the snippet code might not be installed on your website.
If you're using Klaviyo, you can take a look at your objectives that are located in the dashboard of the main screen. If you're missing the code, there is likely a reminder there with the directions on how to install it. Otherwise, your code usually lives in that user setting section. For everybody else, we need to understand the digital footprint of our users, especially if we plan to provide them a dynamic content experience or if we're lead scoring them based on activity. Web tracking code is often missed. Take a close look at this one.
Another one to take a look at is social account integrations. This is important because A) if you're running ads on social media, a lot of ESPs have an integration, so you can track the lead source and add the new leads to a campaign. B) It can allow you to see and use your email audiences for lookalike or retargeting. You've read me talk a lot about integrated plays over and over. You don't want to leave this on the table, not to mention if you want to see the full picture of your leads coming in with the hard-earned dollars behind them. This is a great way to create attribution to revenue visibility.
You need to understand the digital footprint of our users if you want to provide them with a dynamic content experience.
In some cases bonus, there are tools like HubSpot, for instance, that also offer organic social posting capabilities. While you might be super into your Hootsuite or whatnot, it is always such a better play to move everything centralized. That way, we can start to track the correlation between social interaction and email, for instance. Another one to take a look at is Google Analytics connections. If you're using Google Analytics, please connect it to your ASP. About 90% of the time, unless you're using Klaviyo connected to Shopify, it is hard to see email's impact beyond the click.
Yet ESPs are great at adding the UTMs, if you remember to set them up properly, so when GA connection is present, you can glean some real insights and KPIs beyond the clicks. If this is connected properly, one perk is getting a true after-click intelligence in one simple report. You can quickly view the bounce rates of the landing pages your email promoted. You can also visit depths and actions or goals completed as a result of your email. Another perk is understanding the demographic data connected to email.
Google Analytics collects great demographic information about your visitors. You can get a fairly extensive view of your email audience in just a few clicks. Important data to look at includes age, gender interests, locations, number and frequent visits to the site. All of this stuff can help you to segment and continue to nurture these folks completely differently.
Another thing that you might want to take a look at is your opt-in or sign-up form that's native to your ESP. It always boggles my mind when a client has pop-up forms leveraging another tool. Why? Your ESP has this functionality. It's going to be best for your internal experience and your customer's experience if you use the tools and the forms within your ESP. By utilizing your forms within your tool, you arm yourself with more entry options.
For instance, you can maybe have people added to a list in one scenario and in another scenario, be activated in a lifecycle flow. You can also embed these forms onto most websites or landing pages, putting your email tool as the receiver of the leads and that is where the leads need to go anyway. If you have your opt-in forms or any other contact forms with another tool, you might just want to reconsider moving those all over to your ESP.
The next one is the preference center. Your preference center is almost always overlooked when you set up your technology. The tool Iterable is may be the only email tool that bakes this into their setup with clients. It's important to develop a preference center or at least messaging types so that when a user unsubscribes, they don't unsubscribe from all and every single email. A lot of times, we just give our users one option because that's by default, but you know how many different messages you send. Some are educational. Some are important, like price increases.
With this in mind, you should jump into your preference center and get this all set up or at least take a moment to create your message types. That way, if one of your users is not into educational content, they're not unsubscribed from everything. The next one is native reporting. One thing you should do immediately ahead of sending your first email is set up some basic reports. What does success look like to you? Once you know that, jump in and get some reports built. If you're a small business, you can leverage most reporting within your ESP, especially if you're using Klaviyo. This tool has the best email to revenue reporting and will be able to give you a lot of insights into how much weight your email programs are pulling.
Some other reports you'll want to set up, email metrics for both leads and customers. It's important to keep an eye on these. In addition, a report that shows your list growth because if you're monitoring list growth to list churn, which you should be, it is important to understand how many new leads you're bringing any each month compared to what you're losing. It's great to have a report that shows the lead generation efforts.
Last is integrations. You're often using a ton of other tools that start to make the data coming in through all of your marketing tech stacks a bit disparate and manual. For example, website quizzes, CRM surveys, you name it. They exist. First, check to see if any of the current tools you're using or your future tools have a native integration with your email tool. A great example with ActiveCampaign is looking through the app section on their platform. They have a ton of integration partners that will end up working seamlessly with your email tool. For instance, you go into ActiveCampaign to their app section. You want to survey, so you type in surveys and there are about seven to choose from. Maybe yours is a part of it there, maybe not, but that's a great place to start.
Next, if there isn't a native connection, try seeing if you can use a tool like Zapier to connect outside tools to your email tool. If these two are not possible, perhaps go back to the drawing board to see if you can find a similar tool that can be integrated. I know we end up being a creature of habit. If you've been using SurveyMonkey for a long time and it's not a native integration, it might be hard to move to Jotform.
At the end of the day, it's more impactful to have all of your integrations aligned and moving through this powerful ESP to reduce the chance of manual error and the time it takes to do manual work. Not only that, we know that life cycle programs work best when we utilize our customers' experience and behavior. We need to treat those lead gen opportunities as opportunities to capitalize on the lead's momentum.
If we've got a quiz going on our website and we get results, it's important that we do an immediate follow-up flow with them, send them their results, be able to put them in the right product nurture. It's super tempting as technology pops up, but please make sure you go through these steps to keep it centralized to your receiver, which will be your email marketing tool.
Block a few hours and take a peek under the hood to make sure that some of these basics in your tech stack are set up and working properly. If you want to reach out to me, I'm happy to help guide you through these basics specific to the tool you're using. Just send me a note at Conversations@EmailGuruSociety.com. I'll be happy to respond and get back to you. Until next time, happy emailing, everyone. Have a great day.