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10 Actionable Email Marketing Tips for Better ROI [Examples]

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

As marketers, we’re constantly challenged to prove the effectiveness of our strategies.

Managers, CMOs, and CEOs want to know what impact marketing activities have on the company’s bottom line. For us, that means we must think about not only the effectiveness of our strategies, but also weigh cost with results. When thinking about marketing strategies that directly impact your revenue stream, email marketing should be top of mind.

Email is still the number one digital channel for ROI – but only if you deploy an effective strategy. Investing valuable time and money into an email marketing campaign can prove costly if you haven’t established the right strategy.

10 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing ROI

Here are 10 email marketing tips that can help improve your ROI.

1. Catchy Subject Lines

If you send an email that is never opened, did you ever really send it? Isn’t the entire point of sending an email to get your recipient to open and digest it? If an email is never opened, you weren’t able to offer any real value.

But what if you could get that second thought or even catch immediate attention in a sea of generic, one-size-fits-all emails?

Emails must be opened for them to have any chance of success and impact on revenue. Subject lines should be a priority as they may be your only chance to get the recipient’s attention. Optimizing subject lines can help capture attention and entice clicks. Subject lines should be brief, avoid spammy or misleading language, and get to the point. Catchy and direct subject lines can draw consumers’ eyes to an email and give them a quick idea of what they’ll get when they open.

 

When possible, add a splash of personalization, whether it’s the individual’s name or a product they are likely to be interested in.

Related Article: How to Write the Best Subject Lines and Send Open Rates Soaring

2.  Use Conversational Language

Once you get recipients to open the email, you need to focus on the content and message inside. Depending on the type of campaign you’re deploying, some emails will have more text than others. In text-heavy emails, it’s important to focus on the language of the message.

Readability is a huge factor affecting customer engagement. When recipients have a difficult time reading your message, they’re less likely to click through to your offer or open another email from you in the future.

Try to use more conversational language in your emails to keep the reader engaged by pushing the narrative along. When a brand uses more formal language, it can make the message feel strained and sometimes give the brand a robotic voice. Consumers want to interact with humans, so make sure you’re talking to them in such a manner.

Marketing messaging within emails should always focus on creating an engaging and memorable experience for recipients.

3.  Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: personalization is no longer optional. If your brand isn’t deploying personalized email campaigns at this point, you’re missing the mark. Not only that, but you’re losing ground with your current and prospective customers. Customers now demand personalization and if your brand can’t deliver it, they will find another one that can.

Adding a layer of personalization to your emails improves the recipient’s experience and can also drive higher ROI. Email personalization works:

  • On average, sales increase 20% when marketers use personalized experiences (Source)
  • Personalized emails drive increased click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10% (Source)
  • Emails with personalization drive 6x more transactions (Source)

The more segmented and personalized you can get with your campaigns, the more you’ll be able to drive engagement with current and prospective customers.

Related Article: The Best of Both Worlds: Email Marketing & Personalization

4. Tailor Rewards & Promotions

Customers want to feel like brands know them. They want deals and products specifically created for them and presented to them in the exact moments they want them. Personalization is the name of the game, and the more you can offer some form of personalization in your email marketing strategies, the more ROI you’ll see from these campaigns.

Tailoring your rewards program and promotions to individual customers will make them feel like they are getting that truly personal experience they crave. Take, for example, incentive recommendations. Incentives and promotions are often sent out in a one-size-fits-all manner to all customers – one deal for every customer, no matter their buying behavior.

But what if one customer prefers free shipping over a 10% discount? You may miss out on the opportunity to drive them to convert. Individualized incentives allow you to tailor discounts and deals to each individual customer, driving personalization for the customer, but also driving increased sales and further proving ROI.

5. Create a Sense of Urgency

Adding dynamic content to your emails can not only add a layer of personalization, but also create a sense of urgency for your contacts.

Placing a countdown timer or product countdown widget in an email can motivate contacts to act before they miss out on something valuable. This type of content changes based on when customers open the email, giving them a very precise timeline of when a deal ends or when the items are gone.

6.  Include a Call-To-Action

One way to increase email conversions and click-through rates is by including a strong call-to-action. The CTA within your email is easily the most valuable portion, but you need a strategic and enticing offer to get customers to continue interacting with your brand.

The right CTA will incentivize readers to take action within your email by clicking through to your website or landing page. Whether it is a discount code or a product recommendation, including highly personalized CTAs will drive higher engagement than generic one-size-fits-all messages.

The stronger your CTA is within your email, the better chance you have of recipients clicking through and ultimately making a purchase.

7. Offer Value

As marketers, our goal is to engage customers through the point of purchase by offering them real, relevant value. But often times, the pressure of proving ROI and producing revenue from marketing tactics can muddy the waters. But when we focus our attention on offering true value to our customers, the purchase will naturally follow.

Making your brand valuable to a contact can come in many forms and should change depending on the audience. For a clothing brand, the value to customers might be an email campaign that includes the latest products with additional content about stylish outfits. For a brand selling running shoes, it might be tips for nutrition or stretches specifically for runners.

Finding the right niche for your brand – and audience – will make your emails more engaging and valuable.

8. Use Transactional Emails to Your Advantage

We tend to focus a lot of our marketing in the moments before and moments after a purchase, but what about during the purchase process? Consumers are 8 times more likely to open transactional emails than any regular marketing email. Yes, they are that important.

When a customer makes a purchase, you probably send out confirmation and shipping emails to them. These emails typically have a lot of white space because they’re serving a very specific purpose. Take advantage of the white space by adding additional CTAs like product recommendations that complement the purchase. You can also add discounts for future purchases that can be used during a certain timeline (or right away) or offer credits for referrals.

Avoid overstuffing your email as you don’t want to overwhelm the shopper with too many offers in the email. There’s a subtle art to marketing in a transactional email, and marketers who focus on the customer do it best. Make sure products or offers are tailored to the buying behavior of the customers, such as complementing previously-purchased products.

9.  Optimize for Mobile

It’s a mobile-first world and we’re just marketing in it.

Smart devices have become an important part of our everyday lives. Whether checking a social media platform or using a phone as an alarm, we spend more time on our mobile phones than ever before.

Consumers have grown accustomed to using their smart devices as mini computers that provide access to everything a desktop enables. But because of that, the way we market and present our brand to consumers has changed.

With 61% of emails opens happening on mobile devices, optimizing your emails is as important as ever. You can never be sure that a recipient will open your email on a desktop. You have to optimize all of your communications for mobile, but email may be the most important. According to the Adestra “Consumer Adoption & Usage Study,” 71.6% of consumers will delete emails if they don’t render properly on mobile.

If you are not taking the time to develop mobile-friendly email templates, consumers will never see their email offer, no matter how good or personalized it may be. With mobile offers being used 10x more than print offers, there’s also a huge opportunity to use mobile to improve the effectiveness of your campaign and turn mobile email into a successful revenue stream.

10.  Track, Test & Learn

Knowing what worked (and what didn’t) in previous email marketing campaigns should have an impact on your future campaigns. When thinking in terms of ROI of your campaigns, you need to be tracking what you’re doing, testing different tactics, and learning from the results. If you don’t pay attention to these metrics, then you limit your chance to improve in the future.

Open rate: As mentioned earlier, getting recipients to open your email is crucial to success. As you test different tactics like send time and subject line, track which tactics lead to the best open rate. Some tactics may be different against different audiences, but the more granular you can get in your knowledge of who opens emails when, the better chance you have at leading contacts to a conversion.

Related Content: The Ultimate Guide to Measuring Email Marketing Success: 12 Key Metrics

Conversion rate: This metric can be the most telling about your offer or content within your email. In order to drive revenue and prove ROI from the email channel, you need to show that your campaigns drive conversions. Tracking these across different campaigns can give you insight into what offers or product recommendations perform best among your audience.

Unsubscribe rate: A good gage for what isn’t working (and needs to be addressed immediately) is the unsubscribe rate. When contacts are unsubscribing from emails, they’re not finding any value from your content, which is a major issue. Look into emails that have the highest unsubscribe rate to dig into what tactics might be turning contacts off.

Final Thoughts

For email marketing teams, there will always be pressure to drive more conversions, higher engagement, and ultimately more revenue.

But by taking the time to focus on the creative and strategic aspects of email campaigns, you will be able to pinpoint tactics and strategies that work best for your brand and prove a positive ROI.

While email is only one aspect of an omnichannel campaign, it’s an important channel to keep a pulse on. When creating and executing a smart strategy, email marketing is easily the best channel you have for ROI. Tweaking and testing your strategy over time will only improve the results and the impact your email campaigns have on revenue.

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