Email marketing: still the highest ROI marketing tactic

Even though many of us receive hundreds of emails a day competing for our attention, email remains one of the most effective and highest ROI marketing tactics. It’s a cost-effective means to communicate with your customers and promote your products and services to achieve your business goals. According to VentureBeat, for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI; but email marketing continues to evolve, and it’s important that you evaluate your email program at least once a year.

Principles of a successful email strategy

1. Better data delivers better results.
List quality is paramount. If you haven’t gone through your database in a while, now is the time for a cleanup. A staggering 25-33 percent of email addresses become outdated every year according to Kissmetrics. And, with more stringent laws around privacy requirements, you can’t afford to email people who have opted out. Non-compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act can cost up to $43,280 for each separate email in violation.

As part of this audit, identify total counts at the start and end of clean up as a means of measuring success. Merge duplicate contacts within your database using their email address and confirm you have express opt-ins for all contacts. Then, contact everyone in your database to record hard and soft bounces as well as opt-outs. Hard bounces should be removed from active contact, while soft bounces should be monitored and archived after a certain number. Once you’ve cleaned up your database, you will likely see immediate improvement in opens and clicks.

2. Slow and steady wins the race.
What information do you need about your customers and prospects? Evaluate your landing pages and form fields to ensure you’re only asking for information that you need and can use to personalize your communication. Limit form fields to increase conversions — forms with just three fields convert at 25 percent whereas forms with six fields convert at an average of 15 percent. Maximize the use of dropdowns for easier list making. Most marketing automation technology includes progressive profiling to capture the right information at the right time. Progressive profiling uses dynamic forms to capture tidbits of info about your leads over time, helping boost conversions while building more valuable lead intel over time.

3. Segmentation leads to greater personalization.
Segmentation is a way to group your customers and prospects into smaller segments based on geographic, demographic, behavioral, or psychographic characteristics so that you can better personalize or target your messages to their interests, needs, or preferences. If you haven’t segmented your email campaigns, start with the most basic segmentation based on the data you already have, then begin collecting more specific information over time. Segmented campaigns perform much higher than non-segmented campaigns with 10.64 percent more unique opens and over 100 percent more clicks according to MailChimp.

4. Content is king when it comes to email marketing ROI.
Create content that helps you build relationships with customers and prospects and delivers maximum value over time. Invite contacts to tell you a little more about their interests and needs, then personalize emails to get stronger conversions. Personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened according to Experian. Optimize the preview text, keep the main message and call-to-action close to the top, and be sure to include an email signature. Hubspot analyzed 330,000 CTAs over six months in 2019 and discovered that personalized CTAs brought 202 percent better conversion than default options.

5. Test and optimize.
It’s critical to track meaningful metrics to optimize your email campaigns. The most common stats to measure are unique open and click rates, soft and hard bounce rates, as well as unsubscribe and bounce rates. Compare your metrics to previous emails and against average rates in your industry. Continue to test variables, such as subject lines and timing of sends, to refine your efforts. Create custom URLs for your email campaign so you can monitor effectiveness. At minimum, you should run 24-hour, 7-day, and monthly reports for each email.

Need to rev up your email campaigns?