Email is planet Earth’s preferred communications channel. And if it isn’t a primary focus of your marketing program, it should be: email produces the highest ROI of any other channel out there. But how do you know if you’re getting the most out of email marketing? There’s a few signs to check for that’ll indicate if your campaign is killing it or if you’re tanking (and you might not even know it).

…that’ll give you super clear advice on making your email marketing strategy the best it can be. And it’s free! It’s free because we love you and want you to send what counts. We love you and your customers, and want every part of the emailing process – from conception to reception – to be awesome.)

6. You’re Not Talking To Your Customers


These days, your marketing should be an immersive experience for your customers. Social media outlets allow you to show your fans some love on a more personal level, but can that be translated to email? Yeah, buddy.

You know that aunt? The one who sends you lolCat memes that are five years old? You’ve probably spoken to her twice in your life. And you just sit and stare that email, shaking your head saying “C’mon, Aunt Deb. C’mon.” Then you notice she sent it to about 500 other people? In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have received that email, because Aunt Deb there would’ve segmented her address book, done some research about the people in those groups, and then targeted the folks she knows would’ve loved a cat that wants a cheeseburger.

What’s the point? If you aren’t doing the same, you’re Aunt Deb. Don’t be Aunt Deb.

5. Your Emails Don’t Translate Across The Gadget Spectrum


Mobile devices could be your bread and butter. We’ve reached a point in the technology where pretty much your phone can do anything your computer does. When the day comes that you can play Portal on your phone, you can go ahead and throw your computer in the dumpster.

So if you aren’t giving mobile devices the props they deserve, you’re losing money – most people check and buy from emails using them. Your email campaign needs a responsive design, not just some resizing and hoping it’ll look good on a phone. Heck, you can even be fooled by different operating systems that different devices have.

4. You Aren’t Measuring Your Marketing


If you’re like us, you aren’t a child. (And if you are a child, then good for you, you overachieving punk.) And while children can get away with saying a lot of dumb stuff, you, and by extension your campaign, can’t.

So how do you know if what you’re saying is in fact dumb? You check out metrics like opens and clickthroughs for every email you send. If this process isn’t on your money-making to do list, then you’re only hurting yourself. Every email you send out should be a reflection of careful analysis from the previous ones you sent. Honing your message to your recipients is just as important as providing a quality service or an awesome pizza-related tee shirt.

3. You Aren’t Testing


Unless you’re taste testing some seriously excellent doughnuts, testing is boring. But it’s completely necessary when it comes to getting your audience to click on an email. That subject line needs to grab people’s attention, enticing them to open the message. If it doesn’t, then you’re already behind.

It’s called A/B testing, and it’s something you need to be on board with. This process pits titles against each other Thunderdome-style in an analysis that’ll let you know which title is going to resonate most with your target audience. It sounds tedious, but doing it will pay huge dividends.

2. You’re Paying For Additional Account Access


Say you’re buying a car. Since we’re pretending, let’s go ahead and say you’re buying Bugatti Veyron – a cool $2.7 mil because you’re getting the Super Sport. You sign the papers, get the keys, grab your wife or husband or whatever, and go to drive off. The sales guy stops you though. “Whoa whoa whoa,” he says with a smile. “If your partner wants to ride in that car – or really, anyone other than you for as long as you own this thing – that’ll be another $2 million.”

What a sad fantasy. Your email marketing plan shouldn’t hinge on something like this either. You shouldn’t be putting a significant portion of your budget toward simply making sure everyone has an email account in your organization. That’s nonsense. Be careful of ESPs that nickle and dime you for features. Know your total cost of ownership and true costs of running your email programs.

When you buy a Bugatti, anybody should be able to roll in it with you.

1. You’re Dealing With Robots


Is there a more annoying character in Star Wars than C-3PO? (And don’t bring Jar Jar into this because those prequels don’t count.) The answer is no, and you’re wrong if you disagree because this analogy won’t work any other way.

Anyway. Not only was he annoying, but he was kind of useless too. Sure, he was shiny and gold and fancy looking, but he didn’t bring a whole lot to the table except almost getting our heroes eaten by the most adorable aliens in the galaxy. Droids are the pits, man.

And they exist in real life. On the telephone. If your email provider guarantees you 24-hour support, but when you call and wind up pushing buttons while listening to that mechanical automated voice, you’re getting jobbed.