This comprehensive email audit will help you sidestep glaring issues and avoid setup glitches that can cost your e-commerce brand 1000s of dollars in lost sales
E-commerce email marketing is simple: send the right message to the right person at the right time so that they are primed to buy from you.
But the execution can be fiendishly complex, and from basic setup mistakes to advanced issues like glitchy segmentation, the road to predictable e-commerce email revenue growth can be torturous.
So to make my life (and yours) easier, I have a 56-point audit checklist that I use to audit every email account I work on.
It incorporates best practices from across the eCommerce industry and helps you set up your e-commerce email for steady and sustainable growth.
The audit broadly focuses on three aspects:
1. Auditing For Deliverability
I consider this aspect to be the foundational bedrock of the audit because if your emails aren’t delivered, nothing you do matters.
How do you know if your emails are delivered on time? Here are some Klaviyo benchmarks to keep in mind
Points to be noted here:
- Don’t fret if your revenue per recipient is not along expected lines because this number can be goosed and tweaked to make it look good.
- Focus on the click-through rate more than the open rate, which is a vanity metric and also unreliable, after Apple’s privacy changes.
- A change of +10/-10% is okay because these numbers vary by industry, but if your click rate is like 0.2%, there are issues you need to fix.
Some more benchmarks from Klaviyo about the good, bad, and ugly as far as deliverability is concerned.
If your numbers are not in the good category, here’s how to improve them:
- Set up a dedicated sending domain for email and add it to your DNS setting.
- Set up SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and BIMI to ensure email authentication.
- Warm up your domain for at least 30 days before sending new campaigns. Warm-up can be cart abandonment flows etc. You can also use cold email software like Instantly to warm up your domain in case you have little traffic.
- Pick shared vs. dedicated sending IP. For most clients, shared works but dedicated IPs make sense if you really want to control your domain reputation and have extra resources to monitor and manage IP health.
And that’s it.
Do these five things, and you are 50% there as far as deliverability is concerned.
The remaining 50% will depend on how you maintain list hygiene, adhere to anti-spam best practices, and respect your subscriber’s preferences.
2. Auditing for audience acquisition
Your email marketing success is directly tied to list growth.
This is because people churn out often.
And if you are emailing the same shrinking pool of people, your traffic and revenue metrics will take a swan dive off a cliff face.
Here’s what I do to improve audience acquisition:
- Sign-up forms for first-time visitors (with a quiz tacked on to collect as much zero-party data as possible).
- Sign-up forms for returning visitors with special offers (don’t show these forms to customers who are already on your list).
- SMS consent for marketing at checkout. Collect the phone numbers of customers because SMS is a more intimate medium, and you don’t want to blast every single visitor on your website with texts.
- Set up back-in-stock email capture forms for specific items.
- Set up quizzes (giveaways, not so much because the list quality can be iffy) to grow your list even more.
If your email forms convert at around 6.5%, it’s considered excellent and industry-beating.
But this doesn’t mean you should stop testing and experimenting with different offers and angles to improve the conversion rate and, thus, the list growth rate.
3. Auditing for clicks and sales
Here comes the fun part.
Once you have the other two aspects of your email marketing on firm footing, you need to ensure that your emails are delivering sales.
Here’s what I look for in my audit for this section:
- List segmented as per RFM parameters and also by buyers and non-buyers
- Are essential and non-essential flows on?
- Number of campaigns sent every week (start with one, ramp up to 2-3)
- Multiple flows with a sufficient number of emails (welcome flow, birthday flow, sunset flow, etc)
- Different campaigns per different segments
- A sophisticated level of personalization (not just the first name but dynamic content based on previous user actions)
- A website that is conversion focused
- Email content that gets the job done for the customer.
- Transactional emails that deliver sales as well
- Emails written and designed to be mobile first.
And there you have it: a simple and yet easy-to-understand e-commerce email marketing audit that can turn your email marketing setup into a predictable revenue stream