8 Data-Backed Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy
In 2020, the email marketing industry was worth $7.5 billion — a figure that’s set to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027.
There’s a good reason for that.
Brands value email marketing because it's one of the only tools they can use to get up-close and personal with their target audience. And with a high ROI, integrating email marketing as part of a big picture marketing strategy is a no-brainer.
If you're ready to build long-term relationships with your customers outside of social media, look no further than email marketing.
In today's article, we're sharing eight data-backed email marketing tips you can use to improve your email marketing campaigns.
But first, let's take a look at what an email marketing strategy is and how it can help you grow your business. We'll also discuss email conversion rates, opt-in forms, email lists, and lead magnets.
What’s an email marketing strategy, and how can it help grow my business?
An email marketing strategy is a set of procedures you identify and follow to hit your desired marketing goals with email advertising.
In other words, it's an action plan that gives you a direct channel of communication with your leads and customers. This can be a great avenue for promoting your brand, getting to know your customers, and identifying new opportunities.
Benefits of email marketing
In 2020, a survey found that brands earned $36 for every dollar they invested in email marketing. In industries like retail, consumer goods, and eCommerce, brands earned $45 per dollar spent.
Email marketing is also cheaper than digital advertising. It’s a highly effective engagement tool for building customer loyalty.
Differences in email marketing terms
It’s important to note that marketing emails are different from transactional emails.
While transactional emails are requested by the sender — think password resets and shipping notifications — marketing emails are promotional. With marketing emails, recipients have to opt-in to receive your content.
Another important factor to understand is the difference between email marketing and email newsletters.
The two are similar but still a bit different. Email newsletters focus on sharing a collection of brand updates, news, and stories. Email marketing is more promotional, focusing on converting recipients to complete a specific action — like signing up for your upcoming webinar.
You can apply the information we’re sharing today to both email marketing and email newsletters.
What’s an email conversion rate, and how do I calculate it?
The email conversion rate is a figure that shows how effective you are at convincing people to take action via email marketing. If you have a high conversion rate, that means you usually succeed at convincing people to take action.
To determine your email conversion rate, divide the number of conversions by the total number of successful email deliveries. Then multiply that number by 100.
For instance, if you had 200 conversions and you sent 800 emails, the math would look like this:
200 conversions / 800 total successful email deliveries = 0.25
0.25 x 100 = 25% conversion rate.
In this case, your email conversion rate would be 25%.
What are opt-in forms, email lists, and lead magnets?
When navigating the email marketing world, you’ll come across terms like opt-in forms, email lists, and lead magnets.
If you’re unfamiliar with these terms, here's a quick overview:
An opt-in form is a digital form you use to collect emails for your email marketing list.
An email marketing list (or an email list) is a list of recipients that have signed up for your promotional emails. Anyone who’s filled out your opt-in form should be included in this list until they opt out.
Lead magnets are free items or services given away in exchange for filling in contact details on your opt-in form. Examples of lead magnets include free consultations, entries in giveaways, downloadables, or free trial subscriptions.
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for email marketing let’s take a look at the eight data-backed tips we promised.
1. Stay organized with an email marketing workflow
80% of business leaders say they’re speeding up work process automation and expanding their remote work options. And the reason is simple. Workflows and processes make businesses more efficient. The same couldn’t be more true for email marketing.
When you have an email marketing workflow, your team knows the exact series of steps they need to take for every email marketing task on their to-do list.
With a workflow, you can rest assured knowing your email marketing to-dos will get done.
Other benefits of having an email marketing workflow include:
- Having more clarity about what's working and what’s not
- Easier to onboard and train new team members
- Saving time on countless repetitive tasks
- Having a better understanding of how your email marketing insights correlate to your process
2. Boost conversions and increase open rates with lead magnets
If you know a thing or two about lead magnets, then you know they lead to higher conversions.
In fact, marketers who use downloadable resources or lead magnets in exchange for a user’s email address report higher satisfaction rates and conversion rates than those who don’t use them.
This is why we’re scratching our heads, wondering why only half of marketers use them.
The lead magnets you choose should be based on your goals, but that doesn’t mean they have to be complicated. Consider embedding promo codes, membership deals, freebies, discounts, or invitations to webinars and courses as part of your lead magnet strategy.
3. Personalize your messaging
In 2019, personalization was named the top marketing word of the year by the Association of National Advertisers.
Today, the strategy has proved to be one of the most indispensable marketing strategies in the U.S., with 78 to 96% of industry professionals infusing it into their marketing strategy. In fact, 63% of professionals saw increased conversion rates as a huge benefit of personalization.
As technology accelerates, the need for more robust personalization messaging will follow suit.
In other words, using personalized email marketing is essential to connecting with your audience in a profound way. To generate an effective email marketing campaign, your marketing messages should always be tailored to your audience.
For instance, if you have Spanish-speaking leads, consider using Spanish email templates to be more inclusive and personal in your messaging. Other simple tactics — like addressing the recipient by name and using the recipient’s purchase history to recommend specific products — are also effective.
If you really want innovative new manners of personalization, sending surveys via email using software like Qualtrics can increase your response rates and encourage customer feedback all in a single swoop.
4. Prioritize high email deliverability rates
Your email marketing efforts are only effective if recipients receive your emails successfully. In other words, your email marketing efforts are as effective as your email deliverability rate.
The email deliverability rate is the percentage of emails accepted by the internet provider (IP). So if your email deliverability rate is 80%, that means 20% of your emails are bouncing, and 80% are reaching recipient inboxes.
An effective way to boost your email deliverability rate is to use an email verification tool to help make sure you don’t have any inactive subscribers.
When boosting your rate, aim for 95% or higher.
Here are some other ways to boost your chances of having a high email deliverability rate:
- Use email marketing tools to create a pristine opt-in process
- Captivate recipients with powerful subject lines — no spam, please
- Authenticate your email domain
- Send valuable, personalized, and relatable emails
- Maintain proper IP allocation
- Review and authenticate your email list every month by verifying email addresses on it
5. Use insights to improve your email marketing strategy
Tracking, analyzing, and interpreting email marketing insights is a crucial component of email marketing.
But when it comes to data, things get pretty confusing. You might have several tools helping you make sense of what you’re looking at.
The solution? Always make sure that your data pipeline is clear and that there are no bugs before conducting an analysis. Otherwise, the data you’ll convert into insights won't be accurate.
Once your data pipeline is clear, we recommend working with a dedicated analytics team to improve your email marketing strategy.
6. Segment your audience
77% of the ROI generated through email marketing comes from audience segmentation, targeted campaigns, and triggered campaigns.
In other words, audience segmentation is key to email marketing success.
But why does audience segmentation matter? Why can’t you send the same email to everyone on your email list?
The truth is, you can send the same email to everyone, but consider the core of what you’re doing. When you send the same email to everyone, you’re not considering the differences in personalities, needs, or unique messaging preferences your recipients have.
To learn more about the importance of audience segmentation and how to segment your audience, check out our complete guide to market segmentation.
7. Optimize for mobile devices
In 2019, mobile internet traffic made up 40.61% of all internet traffic in the U.S.
With nearly half of all internet users accessing mobile platforms to check email, optimizing your emails for mobile devices is a necessity.
Here are some easy ways to optimize emails for mobile devices:
- Shorten subject lines to 30–35 characters maximum
- Shorten image sizes so your emails can load quicker
- Use calls to action (CTAs) and lead magnets to increase clickability
- Format your copy with headers, bullet lists, and clear images
- Use language that aligns with your ideal audience
- Make sure your copy solves a significant problem or brings value to the reader
- Captivate your audience with storytelling techniques
- Use video to build credibility and relatability
8. Create an effective email marketing components checklist
Having an email marketing components checklist can help ensure your team will send the right email campaigns every time.
Since the elements that go into an email marketing strategy can be exhaustive, it may not be necessary to include each one in your checklist.
What we do recommend, though, is choosing a handful of elements you’d like to see every email have.
Here are some elements we recommend including in your checklist.
Checklist for effective email marketing campaigns:
- Does the messaging and language sound on brand?
- Is there a clear CTA and lead magnet included in the email?
- Is the copy inclusive, kind, and solution-focused?
- Is the copy personalized and relatable?
- Is the email optimized for mobile?
- Is the email segmented by audience?
- Have all email deliverability to-dos been checked off?
- Have the recipients been verified with an email verification tool?
- Has the email been scanned for quality assurance?
By 2027, the email marketing industry is set to increase to $17.9 billion.
Brands value email marketing because it's one of the only tools they can use to build trust and connection with their ideal clients.
And with a higher ROI than most marketing strategies, integrating a successful email marketing strategy as part of a big picture marketing strategy is a no-brainer.
If you're ready to build long-term relationships with your customers, we hope the tips we shared today will help you create a successful email marketing strategy.
As a quick recap, here are the tips we covered today:
- Stay organized with an email marketing workflow
- Boost conversions and open rates with lead magnets
- Personalize your messaging
- Prioritize high email deliverability rates
- Use insights to improve your email marketing strategy
- Segment your audience
- Optimize for mobile
- Create an effective email marketing components checklist
Craving more marketing tips? Head to our blog to read to your heart’s content
Craving more marketing tips? Head to our blog to read to your heart’s content