A peek at our DIY email retrospective

We started fresh in 2013 with a look back at what worked well for us in 2012

With the launch of Emma's shiny new API and drag & drop editor this past June, we had a lot of news to share in the second half of 2012. 

The emails we sent customers in the last six months showed off our new & improved editor, announced new features, and spotlighted an ever-evolving collection of free readymade email templates

And even though we eagerly watched the opens and clicks tally with each send-off, I saw an opportunity to start the new year off with a look at all the emails in one place.

There's nothing complicated or high tech about this exercise, unless you count not being certain about which office printer I sent my files to. It just takes wall space, Post-its, and a few brains to make sense of it all. 

I made a timeline of emails sent over the last six months, adjusted each one's height on the wall according to the open rate, wrote out each subject line, labeled key metrics and trends, and – here's the important part – pulled together a small group of Emma staffers to soak it all in and make some insights.

We took note of what jumped out to us:

  • In general, emails that feature new template collections get the most opens and clicks, so we'll be making more of those.
  • But our simplest (and kindest) subject line, "Thank you," yielded our highest open rate – 43%! (Psst...read more about how saying thanks yields more opens.)
  • Big, bold login buttons get the job done and drive customers to check out what's new.
  • A text link that appears just below a compelling image often gets more clicks the image itself (we link them both to the same place).

And then we let that shape our conversation about the kinds of emails we want to send in the coming months. 

Did you do an email retrospective? What did you learn, and how many Post-its did you use?

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