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Feb 20, 2008
How To

Sherpa Kit: Conducting an Email Audit

SUMMARY: Your email marketing works but it could be better. Maybe it's the content or your deliverability ... or something else. Admit it -- you're not sure what works and what doesn't. It's time for an email audit.

An email audit might sound intimidating (let’s face it, the word “audit” alone can be scary), but this can be a valuable tool to evaluate your email campaign(s). Here, we have everything you need to conduct an email audit.
Before you take the first step, here are some questions to ask yourself:
(Don’t worry – we provide the answers!)

1. Why do an audit?
Ignoring problems won’t make them go away. It’s better to know. Trust us.

2. Do you need a comprehensive audit?
This toolkit is designed to help you audit your entire email campaign/process. If you simply want to evaluate a single email newsletter/message, you may need to do only a mini-audit.

3. What will it cost?
Maybe nothing, if you use in-house staff.

4. When should we do an audit?
The sooner the better.

5. Who will do it?
You may be able to do it in-house. If not, we provide a list of vendors.

6. How will we do it?
This one’s easy – by using MarketingSherpa’s toolkit as your guide.

7. How hard is it finish?
The name sounds worse than it is. And if you don’t want to do a full audit, we’ve put together a how-to for a mini audit.

This Sherpa Kit includes the following parts:

-> Tutorial – An overview, step-by-step process, creative content, tracking/managing stats and technical basics

-> Glossary – Know what the terms mean

-> Checklist – Steps to conduct your own audit

-> Timeline – When you should expect to have what parts completed

-> Cost calculator – We’ll help you calculate your costs

-> List of Vendors – A look at service providers who can help if you don’t want to do the audit yourself

-> Resources & Case Studies – Past Sherpa articles to give you inspiration and other resources

See Also:

Comments about this How To

Feb 18, 2008 - Ben Chestnut of says:
Pretty nice. I'm not sure what Sherpa's opinion is on this, but we always recommend a "permission reminder" statement in the footer. It reminds recipients how they got on the list, but more importantly, shows abuse desk postmasters that you do indeed have some kind of relationship with the person complaining (should you be falsely accused of spamming).

Feb 20, 2008 - Adam Q. Holden-Bache of Email Transmit says:
Great article and resources. It's not only great to do an audit on your campaigns regularly, but to use your email and web analytics reporting to do quick-audits after each campaign. Too many times problems highlight themselves in the reports, but many marketers are already moving on to the next campaign so those issues are never corrected. Testing and post-campaign analysis should always be part of the campaign process!

Feb 21, 2008 - Jason Gindele of Real Magnet and EmailExam says:
Kudos on this report. It's good to see more information on foundational tactics for improving email ROI.

Feb 28, 2008 - Mitch Tarr of ZinMarketing Inc. says:
Email audits are a perfect starting point to set your benchmarks against which you can test your way to better results. Love it.

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