The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, but one thing that does seem to be a constant for marketers is email marketing. Across both online and offline channels, email marketing remains top of the list in terms of success and popularity. Every year this channel continues to outrank the others for ROI success, claiming a very respectable $38 return for every $1 spent.
Just like any other channel however, the full potential of email marketing can only be realised through continuous improvement to your approach. While there’s no one trick for great email ROI, there are several methods that can be applied to your email marketing strategy that can help boost engagement and results.
On brand design
Make sure to keep brand colours, logos and fonts the same in every email along with a consistent template and format; particularly within the same email themes such as newsletters or one-off promotional offers. More than just having an email that’s nice to look at, this will ensure your campaigns are instantly recognisable and easy for users to navigate. Not only does this help to build a stronger brand image and increased brand awareness, but it also means people will be more likely to open your email if they know there’s something that looks good and is easy to read inside.
Mobile first design
It’s no surprise now to hear the words ‘mobile’ and ‘first’ together these days, and email marketing is definitely no exception. A quick look at the stats shows just how important mobile has become for email, with 55% of emails now being opened on a mobile device. Of course that doesn’t mean marketers should abandon desktop, as cross-device behaviour continues to rise. Subscribers may open emails on mobile and later initiate engagement on desktop. Designing emails with mobile in mind is a must, but taking into consideration the innumerable design implications of different devices, let alone the different email clients and operating systems, is no small feat.
There are simple steps such as reducing the length of your subject line and personalisation which can improve mobile performance however, if you’re new to email marketing or don’t have in-house development resources, we recommend seeking help from an agency or signing up to an email platform such as Mailchimp or Dotmailer. These platforms feature mobile ready templates and testing options to ensure your email layout and loading capabilities are optimised for mobile, these platforms ensure you hit the ground running.
Segmentation and targeting
Clearly defining and segmenting your email list is essential for better targeting and personalisation, which underpins engagement and achieving a high email ROI. While sending out the same email to your entire list may save you time, it won’t win you any fans; subscribers receiving content or offers that don’t interest them will begin to bypass your emails in the short term and may unsubscribe in the long run. The statistics speak for themselves, with segmented campaigns driving revenue by a staggering 760% along with clicks and opens by 59% and 14% respectively.
An easy way to start this process is simply by sending your subscribers a short survey every year or so to find out when they like to receive emails, how often and what they like to see inside them. Not only will this enable you to create segmented email lists based on content interests, it will also let your subscribers know that you care. If customers know offers and content is being tailored for them, they’ll be much more likely to open emails regularly.
At the lower end of the spectrum are your subscriber demographics; this is the bare minimum you should be using to segment your email lists. The demographics that work best may vary depending on your business or industry, but typically this should at least include gender, age and geographic location. For B2B companies the size of each business client and their industry will be key demographics. Using just these basic measures will enable targeted email sends that appeal more directly to individual subscribers and will begin to cut through the white noise of emails.
You can also look to segment by examining recency, frequency and value (RFV) which looks at how recent a customer’s last purchase was, how often they have purchased within a given time frame and how much they have spent within a time frame. Establishing email lists based on these segments will reveal star customers who score high on all three as well as those that score low across all benchmarks and may need nurturing.
In terms of ROI these segments are specifically designed to account for purchase activity and patterns, enabling you to create targeted campaigns that have the potential to influence future purchase behaviour at any stage of your customer relationships. This could be anything from sending special perks to your most valued customers, to automated follow up emails with introductory offers to kick start repeat purchasing earlier on in the customer lifecycle.
Personalisation is the natural follow on from segmentation, and just like segmentation it has direct impact on your email ROI when done right. Master the art of offering the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, and expect to see higher CTR’s by as much as 14% and conversions up to 10%.
Delving into your CRM and email analytics to create continuously refined segmented email lists will enable you to tailor content and offers to every person. Examine what product category they purchase from most often and you can make personalised product suggestions; know how often they purchase and you can send them a one of a kind offer at just the right time. If analytics come up short then even a personalised subject line can work wonders for your ROI and are easy to deploy with today’s email software; people are 26% more likely to open an email with a personalised subject line.
If your analytics have helped you get this far, why stop now? Improving email ROI should be a continuous process based on the past performance of each and every campaign. Testing and implementing changes on everything from the colour of your CTA buttons to the type of content you send out to a particular segment will help reveal what works and what doesn’t so you can optimise future campaigns. Simply tracking CTR’s and overall responses can highlight areas for improvement; while any email tool worth its weight will offer split A/B testing, which can improve conversion rates by 49%.
Final top tip
Get dedicated to improving your email ROI by utilising all your communication opportunities, including your transactional emails. These include order confirmations, purchase receipts, delivery updates and even password reset emails. Transactional emails have the highest open rates as subscribers request or need the information inside, so why not capitalise on this opportunity by providing another personalised message, product suggestion or offer. Use every communication opportunity to strengthen your brand image and maximise potential sales for even better email ROI.
Any decent email software can provide the tools needed to boost email ROI, but how you use those tools will ultimately decide your success. If you think your email campaigns should be performing better but aren’t sure how to get there, get in contact with one of our team to discuss how we can help improve your digital campaigns.