Updated: Feb 13
Five years ago, I immersed myself in the world of email marketing. I had been doing digital marketing prior and only briefly touched email. I was extremely lucky to land a job at an amazing startup where I could bog down and learn, create email copy, design templates, A/B test emails, and all the other fun stuff that comes with email marketing.
My journey started with MarketingPlatform and has since evolved to using HubSpot for email marketing. Agency life also really helped with this, as I was exposed to MailChimp, Pardot, Marketo, Marketing Cloud, ClickDimensions, the list goes on (and, fully certified 🤩)
In the beginning, I’d scour the internet trying to find out what to send, when to send, what subject lines to use, and this was definitely a roadblock for execution. But, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I now have a large artillery of tools at my disposal that allows me to craft relevant and timely emails when and where my audience wants them.
Here is my artillery for planning, creating and executing email marketing
For A/B testing
Most ESPs these days have the ability to A/B test subject lines and content, but how do you decide what to actually write? I’ve been using Coschedule’s HeadlineAnalyzer for some time now to make sure my emails are opened. I will typically come up with four to six subject lines and the winning two get A/B tested to see what my audience responds to.
I use Really Good Emails to look at the amazing work my fellow marketers have done. I mean, just look at some of this stuff:
The site has collected over 7,327 emails and growing 🤯 What’s better, RGE will show you the complete code to nerd out over.
For building automated flows
I’ve been using LucidChart for creating flowcharts and visually communicate with my team for my automated marketing and nurture efforts. With Lucidchart, I can request revisions on the fly, and even link from the flowchart directly to a specific email in HubSpot. It makes it extremely easy to coordinate and align with everyone on the team to make sure nothing is missed.
For designing emails
BeePRO is a tool I reviewed 6 months ago and I'm a big supporter of this software! BEE actually stands for Best Emails Ever, and it has made my job as email marketing manager a lot more efficient, as it has freed up a lot of time which has allowed me to focus more on strategy and demand generation. BEE Pro includes a super flexible WYSIWYG editor that allows email professionals to drag and drop assets directly into the email. No more hard coding in Dreamweaver required, email design is fun again 😉
For testing emails
While most ESPs have integrated testing to see how an email would look on some email clients, Litmus is king. There is nothing worse than having built a beautiful email campaign, only to have it render differently on Outlook. Litmus simplifies the pre-send process by giving users the power to build, test a bunch of email clients at once, review, and analyze emails, all in one solution.
For saving the best emails
Okay this one’s easy. I keep an email folder in my Gmail with all of the beautiful email campaigns and newsletters I've received from brands and influencers over the years, and they are always good to go back and reference when I'm looking for inspiration.
For writer’s block
Writing copy is time-consuming and difficult. Headlime is a tool I’ve been testing for a while now, and I really like it. It uses artificial intelligence and templates to make writing faster and easier. This includes chatbots, subject lines, automated workflows, nurture campaigns, and even CTA buttons. Better yet, it’s powered by GPT-3 from OpenAI 🤖
For delivery issues
Why aren’t my emails getting delivered? I’ve used MXtoolbox for years now to solve email delivery problems and to analyze the headers, the blacklist reputation of the outbound IP address, and SPF records to generate a comprehensive deliverability report. It really is a life-saver, since what is the most relevant, targeted and beautiful email campaign worth if nobody sees it?
For Google Chrome
Since there are thousands of Google Chrome extensions out there, it’s easy to get lost. Here are 6 free chrome tools to boost your email marketing right now!
For project management
I’ve used both Asana and Basecamp for getting shit done every day. Both are great tools for communicating with my teams, especially in today’s remote world. In my personal life I use Trello to plan and execute my next blog posts and website updates.
All of these tools help inform my email campaigns and remove any mental barriers I might have before creating a campaign.
Finally, I always study my email data to see how I can optimize my emails and flows. For example, HubSpot can show me exactly where and how to optimize my flows, and where I could be leaving money on the table. I also watch a lot of YouTube videos from influencers and users which gives me insight into what other people are doing. But my ultimate secret weapon is Slack. I am part of so many great workspaces where I can geek out over email marketing, marketing automation and digital marketing in general 🤓 I love it!
BONUS: For starting out
Interested in working in email marketing? The best advice I can give you is to get the Google Digital Garage Certification. It’s free, and it will give you a good sense about whether you might want to make a career of it. Please reach out if there's anything I can do to help out!