Growing your business goes hand-in-hand with scaling your email channel. But sending email at scale is no small feat, especially considering campaigns are more complex than ever.
Consumers expect highly personalized experiences, and with 320 billion emails sent and received each day in 2021, delivering on these expectations is key for standing out. In other words, simply sending more emails to a growing list won’t cut it.
Instead, you need to get strategic about what, when, and how you send email. You need to be able to build different emails fast. And you need to get personal – by showing customers they’re more than just an email address.
I’ll share some strategies and tools to accomplish these tasks in a moment. But first, let’s take a quick look at the challenges of email marketing at scale.
The Challenges of Email Marketing at Scale
Resource and coding requirements – Anyone familiar with the technical side of email will know the struggles of HTML, and the necessity of employing a developer to help you navigate this infamously finicky code. Unfortunately, this means every change, iteration, and dash of personalization will require their help, meaning more time, money, and resources spent — a far cry from a scalable setup.
Ease of testing – To ensure every email is responsive and provides the best subscriber experience possible, testing is essential, especially when you consider nearly 50% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. But when you’re coding emails in HTML, this critical step becomes a time-consuming process. Not to mention, if there are larger changes you’re forced to start the whole waterfall process of email production all over again.
Efficient collaboration – As your business grows, your team grows, and so too will your email stakeholders. This complicates your email approval workflow, especially when review rounds happen in multiple disparate channels, like Slack or via long email chains — all of which leads to more mistakes, redos, and miscommunications.
So how can you address these challenges, while still giving a growing email list the personalization and complexity they’re after?
Two Strategies for Scaling Email Marketing the Smart Way
Understand the bigger picture. By zooming out on both your customers’ needs and your company’s activity, you can avoid the costly, time-consuming missteps that only compound with a growing list.
First, be sure to map your customer lifecycle. Always necessary but often overlooked, outlining the ideal path consumers take when interacting with your brand helps you avoid overwhelming subscribers (Read: Spamming them).
Start by pinpointing the various stages when different emails make sense. Then, take stock of the team members and sending systems involved at each stage to identify overlaps, rule out unnecessary steps, and cover any gaps with well-timed messages.
While you’re at it, do your best to identify and address operational inefficiencies from this vantage point. Note the bottlenecks and redundancies that arise throughout your email production workflow. Once you’ve identified any deficits, consider which tools, tactics, and team members could be used to counter them.
Speaking of tactics…
Ensure Processes are Scalable. There’s a lot you can do now to guarantee the success of your email marketing strategy at any list size. That means taking growth into account early, so the processes and technologies you have at play are set to scale with you. Ask yourself: Do you plan on expanding into new locales in the next five years? Digging deeper into personalization via dynamic content? No matter your focus, future-proofing your email production processes is paramount.
As I touched on, reducing your dependency on developers is a gamechanger for scaling email — and in 2022, it’s easier than ever to do! Consider what no-code solutions are out there that can guarantee responsive email, so your team can spend more time iterating on content, and less time troubleshooting. Implementing an established, trusted framework for testing, feedback, and approvals is another must-do for those looking to cut down on time while keeping the user experience at the forefront.
Then, make any martech decisions accordingly. With the right email production solution, you can avoid the time sinks and technical dilemmas that slow down businesses tenfold. From speeding up creation and automating personalization with a flexible modular design system, to streamlining collaboration via in-platform commenting, a best-in-class platform will help you optimize each step of the email workflow.
Scaling Your Email Channel Requires a Comprehensive Approach
Email is hard enough to get right as it is. So when scaling your email channel, ensuring you have the right processes, people, and platforms in place is essential. Because less time spent manually coding, building, and troubleshooting means more time for the things that matter most: innovating, iterating and individualizing email content.