5 Simple Campaign Flow Tips I Use Every Day
In the past three years, I’ve built a lot of automated email campaigns.
I know the excitement of activating an event campaign and watching registrations come flying in. I also know the disappointment of discovering that a wait step wasn’t configured exactly like you planned, resulting in rapid-fire emails.
Fully automated email campaigns are flipping awesome when you want to truly engage your audience and save time (arguably the best part). That said, awesomeness isn’t awesome overnight – there’s still some serious investment and planning involved.
Why shouldn’t there be?
If you want everything right (right person, right message, right time) you need to think about your goals, who you’re engaging, what’s relevant, what’s the right time, and desired behavior.
It didn’t take long in my campaign building journey to understand the importance of upfront planning.
While I would never call myself the queen of automated campaigns, I have been around the campaign court a few times, so if you’re new to automated campaigns and wondering where the heck to begin, I wanted to share some simple tips that have worked for me. They’re sure to get the blood flowing in the campaign portion of your brain (yes, there is one).
Think Structure Before Content
Raise your hand if you’ve mapped a campaign flow, added your content/emails, and presented your masterpiece only to find out you might not need something. Just me?
Well, don’t do that – save yourself a few hours by building the foundation to the campaign before hanging drywall, slapping on paint, and putting it up for sale. It might not be up to code.
Quick Glance Guidance
You could win the lottery and give up your job in marketing, or more realistically, you could have a lot going on with different priorities to juggle. Do yourself (or your replacement for when you travel the world with your lottery winnings) a favor and use notes and consider color coding to differentiate paths in your campaign workflow (or as we call it, a canvas). A campaign canvas is a work of art (to email marketers).
You’ve Been Notified
It’s standard to build notifications alerting the sales/membership department when a prospect or lapsed member has just exhibited the holy grail of behavior (yay, renewals!)
Personally, I need reminders.
I send myself reminder notifications to check the performance of an email and build in alert paths to identify discrepancies, like finding subscribers in the wrong campaign.
Frankly, I even send notifications to compliment myself with, “Woo-hoo! These people just opened this email because of that awesome subject line. Go You!” Those little notifications are gems to a campaign stalker master administrator.
Beauty and Beast of the Campaign Canvas
Decision steps are game changers, heavy lifters, and sometimes illustrated torture devices.
It takes some time to visualize what a decision step will do for the subscriber journey – it can change the content of an email, the timing of an email, or drive the campaign master designer a little bit crazy. Simply put, it just needs to make sense.
Talk it out and verbally describe what will happen. That’s when you tend to realize something either doesn’t make sense or won’t work the way you envisioned it would.
Put on the Breaks and Remember the Goal
It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole when you’re changing the world with your perfect campaign. You examine and consider every possible subscriber journey and use all the fancy options available (shout-out to decision-based wait steps).
Put on the breaks and make sure you aren’t spinning your wheels on an effort that won’t ultimately affect your goal.
These are just a few basic campaign flow tips from someone on the front lines. I do regularly reference our resource library and blog for continual inspiration and guidance (you should too). Is there anything that you’ve seen work/not work when you’re mapping out campaigns? I’d love to hear!
Looking for more first-hand accounts of what we’ve learned along our marketing journey? Check them out here.