Want Better Email Marketing? Read Those Release Notes

When was the last time your ESP sent you release notes? OK, and when was the last time you actually read them?

In our experience at ClickMail, we find clients don’t always read the documentation ESPs put together and distribute when offering new or updated features. It’s kind of like the instructions that come with a new tool or toy: We know the instructions are there, but 9 times out of 10, we fumble through setup and operation on our own without ever looking at the notes. I don’t know why we do this, and I’m as guilty as the next person!

When it comes to email marketing, however, there’s a lot to be gained by paying attention to the documentation. Your job could be easier and your email better if you learned about the new features and how to use them upfront, rather than either remaining ignorant of them or struggling to figure them out by trial and error.

And release notes do more than simply tell you what’s new. They also give you information about how to set up the new features, how to use them and sometimes even best practices around using them.

I do realize reading the release notes is about as fun as going to the dentist for a major tooth repair. I just glanced at the spring 2015 release notes put out by a major ESP before penning this post and it’s 343 pages long. That’s right, 343 pages—as in longer than most novels. However, that said, some release notes are searchable so you can go straight to the information that matters most to you and your job function.

It’s not that what you don’t read can hurt you, but it’s definitely a case of your job will be easier if you do give those tomes some of your attention upfront!

Reading through the release notes, you might see the ESP has addressed something that has been a lingering problem for you, or added enhancements to a feature you really like, making that feature even more useful or powerful.

Sure, it can be easy to ignore the release notes or tell yourself you get to it later, but let’s go back to the dental analogy for a minute: If you don’t get the major repair work done, you’ll end up in more pain with more bills later. The same applies to the release notes: If you don’t pay attention to them when they come out, you could be wasting time and money on your email marketing.

And it’s not as if you have to read the whole 343 pages…