Behind the scenes: Email Delivery Process

If you’re doing content marketing, your list is worth its weight in gold. You can use your list to send new content, offer a promotion, or build up the relationship over time.

Today, I want to talk about how we use email to deliver messages about the 90 day challenge. It starts with a very engaged list of email subscribers – These are the people that really want to know when we create something new.

We seed our content with our engaged subscribers, and encourage them to read and comment on the post. When Google and YouTube see that a new piece of content is gaining engagement, it can get pushed up the search rankings. Higher rankings mean more traffic to your content.

During the Jeffalytics 90 day challenge we have new video and blog post publishing every day.

Some of our subscribers want to read every new tutorial we publish. But others only want to follow our AdWords, Analytics, or Agency Course posts.

The last thing we wanted to do was fatigue our 30,000 combined email subscribers with content overload.

So, we developed an email delivery process just for the 90 day challenge. This process strikes a balance between staying in touch with our lists and not overwhelming all our subscribers.

Today, we’ll show you Behind the Scenes of our email delivery process.

Email Delivery Process

Large scale email delivery can get a lot more complicated than just pushing the send button. There are many decision points you have to work through when you start publishing a lot of emails.

How we sent emails to our lists during the 90 day challenge led to a pretty productive internal debate at Jeffalytics.

Segmenting email lists

There were two big decisions our team had to sort out.

The first decision was choosing who should receive our 90 day challenge emails.

Emailing everyone on our lists for 90 straight days would have likely resulted in a lot of unsubscribes. Or we might have even had all our emails pushed to your spam filter or a folder where would never get noticed.

Ultimately, we decided it was best to let people self-select. We created a specific campaign for the day 90 challenge. And our most awesome followers opted into our list… Over 300+ subscribers so far to just the 90 day challenge list counting.  Our 90 day challenge email subscribers get a daily email about our latest video and blog post.

Email Schedule

We also kept a regular weekly schedule for our other lists. In total, we send 11 content related emails out to our lists every week.

90 day challenge email delivery process

Campaigns vs. Broadcasts vs. Automations

The second big decision we had to make was which email delivery system we should use.

Broadcast, campaign, or automation?

Broadcast

Creating 90 broadcast emails would have been an organizational disaster. We would have overloaded our Drip interface with our 90 new emails. And our team wouldn’t have been able to find any of our other work. So, we ruled out broadcast emails.

Automation

Automation workflows are a great tool for sales funnel emails. But that level of sophistication isn’t necessary for emails that simply share our latest content.

Campaign

So, we decided an email drip campaign was the best way to share our 90 day challenge emails.

Note: This is a specific term to our email software Drip, and works differently in other email platform.

A campaign system offered the right mix of automation and flexibility.

Building our 90 day challenge emails in a this way allowed us to create an evergreen email sequence. In our campaign, every email is delivered sequentially. New subscribers to the 90 day challenge list start on day 1, and work their way through all 90 tutorials. Also, people can unsubscribe from our 90 day challenge list without leaving our main emails lists.

Email opt-ins using Thrive Leads

Once we had our campaign in place, we needed a way to let people opt into our the 90 day challenge list. We use Thrive Leads to collect email opt-ins for this list and push them into our email marketing tool – Drip. Thrive Leads puts new subscribers directly into our 90 day challenge campaign.

90 day challenge email delivery process

Next, we started writing the emails for our 90 day campaign.

90 day challenge email delivery process

These emails are usually written a couple of days ahead of the publishing date for their related content. Some of the copy in the emails is taken from our posts. But most of the email copy is written specifically for our 90 day campaign. We want our 90 day challenge subscribers to receive a unique message about every video and post.

90 day challenge email delivery process

With so many emails going out, we also needed a quality assurance (QA) process.

Email delivery quality Assurance process

Here’s the QA process we follow to make sure we don’t send you any junk emails:

First, we check the source code in the email to make sure there’s no junk in the code.

90 day challenge email delivery process

Then, we check all the links in the emails to make sure our URLs are correct.

90 day challenge email delivery process

We also send a test email out to our team members. The test email allows us to proof the copy, check  the formatting, and recheck our links.

90 day challenge email delivery process

After that, we schedule the email and make sure it fits into the daily sequence on our list.

90 day challenge email delivery process

Once the email is set to publish, it will deliver as soon as subscribers hit the corresponding step in our campaign.90 day challenge email delivery process

If you’re on the 90 day challenge list you’ll receive our emails at 8 AM USCT… 9 AM EST… 3 PM in Europe… 8 PM in Asia… or 2 AM in Australia.

90 day challenge email delivery process

Here’s a brief recap of the steps in our email delivery process:

  1.  Segment the email lists
  2.  Build a delivery schedule
  3.  Set up a campaign for daily emails
  4.  Create an opt-in system using thrive leads
  5.  Write the email copy
  6.  Proof the email copy
  7.  Check all email URLs and source code
  8.  Send and check test emails
  9.  Schedule the email to publish
  10.  Repeat for 90 Days!

So far, we only broke our process once (the very first day). Since then, we’ve been in a pretty good rhythm. Every mistake we’ve noticed has been corrected for future email deliveries.

We intend to use this process for all our email marketing moving forward. But there are also improvements we intend to make once the 90 day challenge chaos calms down. Of course, we’d love to hear your feedback and answer your questions about the process!

What do you think?

Are you on the 90 day challenge email list? Or one of our other lists? What do you think about the emails and content so far? Let us know in the comments below.


This post and video was episode 64 in our 90 Day Challenge digital marketing series.

To get access to all 90 videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. YouTube will send our subscribers weekly emails about all the videos we published over the past week.

Want to know about each video and post as soon as it comes out? Sign up for 90 day challenge email newsletter. The newsletter will be the best way to make sure you don’t miss any of the content.

About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.