Seven killer email marketing questions every CEO should ask

Email Strategy Questions the CEO should askYou’re a busy person and you need to check the email marketing team are doing a good job.

But what email marketing questions should you ask?

Here are seven questions you should ask your email marketing manager and a crib sheet of good and bad answers.

Q1. How do you manage our email strategy?

Good answer

Strategy is determined by a review of all opportunities to improve our email marketing based on marketing objectives. Each opportunity is reviewed against all others rather than trying to evaluate improvements in isolation. As resources are limited, we balance effort between activities that will bring fast return and those are of part of long term vision and require more investment. Business and revenue value is predicted wherever possible to ensure we spend in those areas that provide best ROI.

Bad answer

We’ve some great ideas and work on those items which are currently hot topics. Focus changes week to week as new opportunities are found. We try to do lots of different things and keep many plates spinning, but faster progress would be made with more resources.

Q2. How do you know if you are succeeding?

Good Answer

Because we drive eCommerce we are measuring total monthly revenue from email marketing. We also measure revenue per email and revenue per mailable customer.

Or, as we aren’t driving eCommerce tracking direct revenue is more difficult so we focus on metrics including list growth, how many qualified leads are delivered each month and the number of customers who engage with one or more of our emails each period.

Bad Answer

Our primary focus is campaign metrics and improving our open and click rates. Our challenge is getting more people to open our emails. Its typically 15% but we aren’t sure if that’s the same 15% for every campaign.

Q3. How do you set contact strategy?

Good Answer

We are trying to find ways to communicate as much as possible with our customers whilst continuing to keep inbox placement and increase our business metrics. The impact of frequency has been measured and we understand how to set this sensibly.

Bad Answer

We think we are at risk of annoying our subscribers so are looking at ways to reduce how often we communicate. We’re looking at using email automation as a way to reduce the amount we communicate.

Q4. How are you growing the subscriber base?

Good Answer

Multiple methods are used on our website to capture email addresses. All online and offline customer touch points have been reviewed and list growth objectives integrated into those that can generate the most new subscribers.

Bad Answer

We’ve a signup form on our website. Not sure how long it’s been there and it’s not been changed or reviewed for quite some time.

Q5. How are you segmenting and targeting our emails?

Good Answer

A key part of our strategy is to increasingly use behaviour as the main way we target and segment emails. Behaviour is driving both trigger emails and bulk campaigns.

Bad Answer

We haven’t yet looked at how we can use behavioural triggers and our bulk campaigns use little segmentation. We are building a preference centre.

Q6. Are you designing for mobile users?

Good Answer

We’ve reviewed how our emails look on mobile devices and on which clients our subscribers read emails. Our emails are usable for the devices our customers use. As templates are being updated we use appropriate design approaches for mobile devices, such as scalable or responsive. We’ve noted that even though increase in mobile viewing has gone up radically our campaign performance isn’t dropping, so we don’t believe we have a big issue in this area.

Bad Answer

A major priority has been getting all our emails re-designed to use responsive templates because all reports are that mobile device use will be more important than desktop.

Q7. Are you split testing to optimise email marketing?

Good Answer

Our lists are relatively small currently and split testing is not appropriate as we won’t get sufficiently fast learnings to make this a sensible strategy for us.

Or, with our large lists continuous improvement is worthwhile and we have a test plan and process that delivers a regular cycle of learning.

Bad Answer

We don’t need to test, we know our customers perfectly and what works in email marketing.