Email marketing has some of the best overall return on investment when compared to other marketing channels. It is nearly twice as effective as SEO efforts with a ~4,000% ROI per $1 spent.
Why is this?
For one, you own your audience and you can be as personal as you want to. You can also segment your audience in so many different ways, and best of all, you're not fighting any social media algorithms in the hopes that your message is seen by your recipients.
But in order to start seeing this RoI, there are a few things to look out for. Email marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it tool, rather with the right resources and tools it can be your money maker.
Things to know
How to avoid SPAM filters to reach your audience's inbox
How to retain your audience's attention after they open your email
How to create geniune conversations with your audience by encouraging calls to action
How to properly measure results that go beyond open rates
How to find out what works by testing and making changes accordingly
In this guide, I will explain how to increase your RoI by:
Tracking your emails and measure ROI
Running A/B tests
Avoid SPAM filters
Giving you concrete examples of how to increase your email marketing ROI
How to Track Your Emails and Measure ROI
If you are not currently tracking your emails, you are not able to monitor key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
Without monitoring this data, there is no way to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. One thing to keep in mind is that not all companies measure success in the same way. Some will track different metrics, so depending on your email marketing goals, results may vary.
However, once you start tracking this information the data will practically tell you exactly what to do or what not to do. Some companies will measure the success of their email marketing by a variety of different factors such as:
The effectiveness of their subject line
From Name (e.g. no-reply@…, info@…, email@example.com, etc.)
Optimal send time for campaigns
The content of your campaigns
A general KPI assessment
Most email service providers allow you to see campaign results in real time; i.e. who engaged with your content. You'll want an ESP that has access to robust reporting, since being able to track your goals will help you to better understand how to optimize your emails for conversions and test variables for improvements.
The Importance of A/B Testing – and How to Run Tests
A/B testing is a great method for finding out what your audience responds best to. You can try out different content or subject lines with a sample group from a contact list or segment, and then ensure the best performing sample is sent out to your entire audience. The goal here is to test for the most successful email version so we can maximize our ROI.
For example, did you know that email subject lines with a name have an average open rate that’s 29.3% higher?
Below are two examples of A/B tests I've run in the past:
Analytics like this allowed me to send out the campaign with the best performing subject line which maximized my opens.
By testing your own emails, you can get personal insights into your target audience to help you understand how to grab their attention. It goes without saying that every audience is different, so results will vary.
Why Your Emails Are Going to the Spam Folder
By definition, SPAM is unsolicited email (often) sent to an unsegmented audience who are not interested in hearing from you or your business.
I have no idea how many email lists I am on that people can purchase and blast out to, but I receive SPAM email very often. This not only hurts your company reputation, but also your domain reputation, and you may be punished by Google and other search platforms in the long run.
Now I'm not saying YOU would practice this behaviour... BUT if you are not seeing very high open rates, there’s a good chance your emails are going straight to the spam folder.
There can be several reasons for this:
You are using flagged keywords and bad language in your emails.
Your email address looks spammy.
Your emails are not getting opens or clicks.
Recipients are reporting your emails as spam.
Flagged keywords in this case would be something like “Income from Home”, “Online Degree”, “Earn $$$”, “Meet Singles in Your Area”.
You can also use free tools like Mail-Tester to see if your emails are getting delivered, or are marked as SPAM.
Once your email is flagged as spam, the recipient will have to manually unmark it in their inbox. And because we want the barrier to entry to be as low as possible, it’s best to avoid getting into the SPAM folder in the first place.
To prevent this, it's important to segment your email list into different groups so that you can deliver much more targeted and relevant emails to your audience.
Unsolicited emails = 👎
Targeted and relevant emails = 😍
Segmenting Your Email List
One way to think of segmentation is by putting your contacts into buckets based on interests, demographics, engagement, etc. While it may seem like menial work, it helps your marketing efforts since it allows you to stay organized and make sure your audience continually wants to hear from you.
If you’ve ever worked with a CRM or even a blogging platform before, you might be familiar with contact field features to help you categorize people or content. With most ESPs you can tag your audience based on the information only you have about them such as website visits, engagement rates, lead scoring, and much more.
Below is an example of how you can segment your audience based on their digital behaviour:
Group 1: Subscribers who open most of your emails, but don’t click Group 2: Subscribers who click, but don’t convert Group 3: Subscribers who didn’t open the last email Group 4: Subscribers who have consistently responded to or acted upon your emails
And here is how you can tag your audience either from a B2B or B2C standpoint:
Sales Cycle Stage
Shopping Cart Abandonment
So maximize the value of your list by segmenting and tagging your audience accordingly. Your recipients will thank you for it.
Confirming Legitimate Email Subscribers
Sometimes spammers and bots can enter random email addresses to sign up for your mailing list. If you don’t have a double opt-in feature setup, your emails might accidentally be sent to people who never wanted to see your content.
4 out of 5 welcome emails are confirmation emails, and for good reason. Adding this extra step means you’ll have a much cleaner email list.
Don’t Forget: Follow CAN-SPAM Act Compliance Law
Most importantly, you should familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM Act to not rack up thousands of dollars in violation fines — up to $40,000 per separate email violation.
The CAN-SPAM Act applies to more than just bulk marketing emails — even B2B emails are required to comply with the law.
Among the rules in the CAM-SPAM Act were the following:
Do not use false or misleading information in the header information. That is, when using “from,” two “and” answer-to “, they should always reflect the correct sender.
Do not use misleading text in the subject field. The subject must clearly represent the contents of the mail and without false information.
If the mail contains advertisement, the recipient should never be unsure that it is.
Tell the recipient of the newsletter where you are physically located. For instance, the address of the company. This also helps to ensure the security of the recipient of the newsletter.
Make it visible and clear that if the recipient wishes to opt-out of the newsletter, there is an unsubscribe button.
If you wish to unsubscribe from the newsletter, it should be done immediately and no later than 10 days. When unsubscribed, you must not sell his or her email address, or provide further information.
Keep an eye on what others are doing on your behalf. That is, if you have an external company to handle your mailings, you are still legally responsible.
The above may seem obvious, but is nevertheless a very good summary of what SPAM is and how to avoid it.
With a clear plan of action and a strategic approach, you can avoid the most common pitfalls of blind email marketing efforts.
Segmenting your email list to provide unique value through different email campaigns for your customers or leads will make them more likely to engage with your content.
Tracking their actions will help you to learn about what resonates and what doesn’t.
And before you know it, you’ll have mastered the art of maximizing your email marketing ROI.