You now know what a Design Sprint is, you got your marketing team ready, and you’re ready to get to business. And then what?
Here is a breakdown of what you will actually be doing during the Design Sprint, organized by the days of your design week.
Step 1: Emailing Campaign Strategy and Goal Setting
With the help of your team, you should start by defining the exact objectives behind this particular email marketing campaign. This way, your team will have clear guidelines and a precise reference point, in case anyone gets confused or carried away at any point during the email development process.
Questions that will help you through the goal setting process:
- Who are you creating this email campaign for?
Your target audience: Are you sending this email campaign for your partners? Prospects? Loyal customers?
- Why are you creating this emailing campaign?
What is the major reason behind sending out this email to your target? Do you want to announce the launch of your new product? Do you want to offer your customers a free coupon? Do you want them to fill-in your customer satisfaction survey?
- What is the desired response from your target audience once they receive and read your email?
This will not only help you determine the “call-to-action” you will be inserting in your email, but it will also allow you to easily answer the very last question of this first step.
- How will you measure the success of your campaign?
You need to choose your KPIs-key performance indicators, and determine their baseline and how you will measure each indicator. The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework is a tool used to track progress towards achieving the objectives across all indicators. It is also a table that describes indicators used to measure the success of a certain project- in our case, the emailing campaign.
You have answered these main questions. Congrats! You are one step closer to finishing up day one.
I suspect you might have already heard of SMART objectives. But just in case you haven’t, this article will tell you all about SMART goals and how to write them.
Once you have your objectives set and clearly written, you need to create a timeline that your team should follow, no matter what. If you choose to implement the Design Sprint methodology, you have your work cut out for you and only need to write everything down on a big white board, add the specific deadlines and finally, designate specific team members for each task.
Step 2: Content Planning and Creation
Regardless of the type of the email campaign you want to send out (product announcement, newsletters, satisfaction survey, etc.), the key action you want your subscribers to take is to click through from your email to the destination you’ve chosen to drive them to. Basically, you want you subscribers to go through with your call to action.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing your email content:
Choose the right structure: The Inverted Pyramid model
You should always start your content with the most important information, and as your email progresses, go more in depth and give more details. This is the go-to method for journalists and writers who want to capture their readers’ attention in the first 8 seconds.
The right content for the right target
You don’t have to create one email campaign for all your subscribers. Instead of sending out one campaign to everyone, you should probably think about segmenting your subscriber lists and send relevant content that is specific to each targeted segment. Your segmentation is based on a list of criteria that you and your team determine, according to your company’s strategies and focus points.
Always include a Call to action
A call-to-action is used to provoke a certain response from your target audience. “Find out more”, “Call us now”, “Fill in the survey”, “Get your coupon”, or “Follow us on Instagram”. No matter what your CTA is, you can only calculate the success of your email campaign if you have a substantial Conversion Rate, which is basically how many people have actually responded to your CTA. You can find out how to calculate your conversion rate here.
Planning and Creating Content
When it comes to creating content for email marketing campaigns, you can plan your content on a monthly, quarterly or even yearly basis. Or you can plan and send emails ad hoc, when necessary and as needed. These are the three steps you will follow throughout the second day:
1.Drafting the content
Write down bullet points of the main ideas you want to include in your email. Along with your team, curate these points and make sure they sum up neatly what you want to communicate to your target readers.
You can read our article to get more insights on How to Write Effective Email Copy to Grab (and Maintain) Attention.
2. Editing and proofreading
Invite different people from the team to read and re-read the content, and collect feedback.
3. Improving and repeating
Improve the content and repeat the process until you are satisfied with the result.
Tools to help you in the content creation process
These are the tools you might use that will help you organize your content planning and creation processes:
Step 3: Email Design and Development
You’ve made it to the fun part! This step is where you will be designing the email you’ll be sending out to your target list.
Companies and agencies used to code their emails from scratch, using HTML or CSS. From HTML editors to CSS Inliners, email developers would spend hours going through countless lines of code, with no guarantee of a reliable result that would be compatible with all email service providers or different types of devices (mobile, tablet, iOS, Android, etc.)
In order to save time and resources, more than 85% of companies nowadays use email templates to create their email campaigns.
Email templates are reliable and reusable HTML code that are developed by specialists for the aim to build email campaigns. This HTML code will be translated into the email structure and content. These email templates are developed by email builder platforms, which basically do all the work for you. All you have to do is choose the template you like, click on it, edit the content and colors to suit your needs, and voila!
#1 Select an Email Template
Start by choosing a free and responsive email template from the email templates list. Our email templates are organized by themes- Christmas templates, event invitations, e-commerce templates, you name it. This will help you cut down your research and select a template that suits your specific needs.
If you already have existing HTML code from previous email campaigns, you can easily import it to the platform and continue using your template.
#2 Include your collaborators and partners in the design process
By using Chamaileon, you can actually add your team to the design project. Invite multiple users to your account or create sub accounts for each team member to work together during the design process.
By including more collaborators, you can speed up the email design process, while you keep an eye on each person’s progress. Not only that, you can also easily customize each user’s roles and account features according to their position and your needs. This will also allow you to include one or two partners during the email design process, for more insights and better results.
This unique feature is very useful especially when your team is working on multiple email campaigns at once.
#3 Edit your email template
This step is pretty straightforward. Insert the content that you’ve developed with your team in the specific text blocks. Make sure you use fonts and colors that match your brand.
#4 Add your call to action
Like we mentioned previously, it is very important to include a CTA. So don’t forget to add that button and make sure your landing page is on point!
#5 Add Images, Videos and/or GIFS to your email template
Since we agreed that the average attention span of an adult is 8 seconds, pictures and GIFs will help you capture the attention of your readers, and make the email more fun and pleasing to the eye.
Step 4: Quality assurance, Testing and Approval
#1 Ensuring the quality of your email
By creating a checklist of the critical features, information, etc. that need to be present in the email campaign, you will reduce thrashing, which is when your team has to go back and forth to redo half the work on a project because it didn’t meet the initial requirements of the approver/decision maker.
53% of companies have a “pre-flight” short checklist, and 21% have an extensive checklist that the team needs to go through before even testing the email.
Example of an email marketing campaign checklist:
#2 Testing your Email Marketing Campaign
Finally, you can move on to testing your email, which is one of the most important and crucial steps.
In order to spare yourself the embarrassment of having to send an apology email, you ought to test your email; Make sure your subject line is on point, and that your email is mobile-friendly.
With Chamaileon’s Test feature, you will be able to send a test email and make sure that everything is in place for the final review. You can also preview your email design throughout the design process.
Chamaileon’s test and preview features allow you to test all email features and compatibility with desktop clients (Apple Mail, Outlook, Windows Mail, etc.), web-based clients (G suite, Gmail, AOL Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook.com Roundcube Webmail, etc.) and mobile clients (Android, iPhone, Blackberry, etc.).
Step 5: Sending your email marketing campaign
Since you already started this email design sprint by determining your target subscriber list, this step should be quite easy.
Email Service Providers, such as Mailchimp, allow you to integrate complete excel sheets directly to their platform. This will spare you all the time and potential errors resulting from copying and pasting each email address separately.
Schedule your emailing campaign
It’s worth it to note here that you have absolute control over when to send your email campaign. You can schedule your campaign to be sent to your chosen target list at any day of the week, and any time of the day.
If you don’t know when to schedule your email campaign, you can get some insight from this article on What 14 Studies Say About The Best Time To Send Email.
Monitoring and evaluating your email campaign
Once you send out your email campaign, it's important to keep track of the KPIs and success metrics you planned in the beginning of your email design sprint. That way you get to compare your planned objectives in terms of open rates and conversion rates with your actual results.
You can read more about key performance indicators and email marketing metrics here.
If you’re still skeptical about applying Google’s Design Sprint methodology to Email Marketing Production, you might want to check out this article, written by Martijn de Kuijper, founder of Revue, where he goes into detail about how a Design Sprint helped his team created a new newsletter in only a week.
It’s also worth noting that research shows that between 30% and 40% of companies spend 1 to 2 hours on each task of the email development process, from content development and designing to testing and sending.
Now that you know the ins-and-outs of email marketing development, you might be able to reduce the time allocated to each step — from a whole day to just a few hours. Remember, the key to the success of your Email Design Sprint is to shape it and adapt it to your team’s pace, goals, and timelines.