Email continues to be a vital marketing channel for businesses, with 47 percent of marketers reporting that email generates the most ROI for their organization, according to Emma's recent 2017 Industry Report. In addition, the report showed that 58 percent of marketers plan to increase spending on email marketing during the next year. Unfortunately, many marketers lack the time and resources they need to do their best email marketing, so it makes sense that some best practices might fall through the cracks unintentionally.
Since email is such a critical channel and more marketers are competing with fewer resources, it’s more important than ever that marketers evaluate what might be missing from their email marketing strategy in order to get the highest possible ROI from their efforts. We believe the following three areas are “must-haves” for marketers to optimize their email strategy this year and beyond.
Relevance Is Key
Despite email’s effectiveness, too many marketers are still sending their audience irrelevant, “batch-and-blast" emails, and marketers don’t feel like they have to change.
Since inboxes are already incredibly crowded, delivering relevant, personalized email is a must to hit goals and elevate marketing to the next level. Plus, with the sheer amount of powerful tools at marketers’ fingertips (like segmentation, automation, and data integrations), there’s really no excuse not to get to know subscribers and send the kind of personalized, data-driven email that truly gets results.
Allow for Healthy List Growth
Emails lists churn 25-30 percent each year on average, which means continual list growth is vital. Plus, email marketing can only be successful when you're sending to an engaged, permission-based list of subscribers. That means that buying a list or slapping a signup form on a random page on your website is not a sustainable option. Instead, marketers must be strategic when it comes to attracting new subscribers.
A few things to consider:
- Are you offering simple, relatively frictionless signup opportunities across customer touch points?
- Do forms provide new subscribers a valuable incentive — like a discount, exclusive content, or a sweepstakes entry — for signing up?
- Are you asking for only the information you actually need and plan to use right away?
If you can check off all of these boxes, you’ll be able to collect a thriving, engaged list of subscribers.
Take Advantage of Timely Messaging
Once marketers attract new subscribers, they must also consider how to create a great first impression and convince them to stick around. This is where an automated welcome email can come in. Email automation is the key to making the most of resources and content, and welcome emails specifically generate great result like an average of 4X the open rates and 5X the clickthrough rates of business-as-usual mailings.
Once you set up a welcome email, consider automating based on key dates and milestones, like birthday or signup anniversary, too. Then, move onto automation triggered by subscriber behavior, like clicking on a link in a mailing, abandoning a shopping cart, or browsing a product page on your website, or by contact field changes, such as a moving from trial status to becoming a customer.
Be Smart with Segmentation
Finally, marketers need to be segmenting whenever possible, even if it's just by how a subscriber signed up for your emails or whether or not they opened that first welcome note.
Relevant emails drive 18X more revenue, and list segmentation helps guarantee the right message is being sent to the right audience. Small tweaks based on data like birthday, location and purchase history, all can be used to segment and better tailor messaging.
Figuring out what’s missing in your email strategy — and filling in those gaps — can have a huge effect on your results. But these elements of your email strategy are only the beginning, and there are several more that are absolutely critical to your marketing success, from testing to design choices. For a more comprehensive guide to identifying what’s missing in your email marketing, take a look at our email marketing checklist.