Three Practical Steps to Improving the ROI of Email Marketing Campaigns

In an economic downturn it is essential that you get the best return possible on money invested in direct marketing campaigns. In particular, with email marketing campaigns we are all looking for how we can make each email count and increase conversion rates. By taking just 3 simple and cost effective steps you can improve your email marketing campaigns and greatly increase your ROI.

Advanced segmentation

We all know how important segmentation is to a campaign's success, but how many of us really take the time and effort to use that knowledge effectively? The answer is 'Not Many'. Lots of busy marketers get through a whole year (if not a whole career) without worrying much about any segmentation beyond recency, frequency and value of past purchases.

While this basic level of segmentation is good in itself, there does come a time when we have to break out of our comfort zones if we are going to really excel.

Segmenting our email marketing data into lists that share common characteristics allows us to target the right people with the right message. Age, Gender, Class, Income, Location and Hobbies are just a few of the myriad ways we can split lists to give ourselves a greater chance of converting prospects into sales or to build ongoing relationships with recipients.

If it all seems like too much work, talk to your list brokers (they are the experts after all). They can take on the graft for you as part of their role, allowing you the to sit back and bask in the glory of the increased ROI that comes from really effective data segmentation.

Get relevant, get personal

Personalisation is not just putting a customer's name in a subject line. In order for our mailings to stand out amongst the in-box competition we need to make offers that are truly relevant to the individual recipients. This means understanding the data we hold and using it effectively.

We can all bandy around terms such as 'dynamic content' and 'life-cycle based messaging' but again, few of us have the time or inclination to really work our data. For example; the purchasing history of a fashion store customer may well show a marked preference for clothes of a particular colour. Why not use this data to dynamically choose the colour of product images sent in individual html emails? While an email to Mrs Smith might include a picture of a red dress, the email sent to Mrs Jones would show a blue version of the same dress. I am sure you can find an equivalent piece of data in your records that could be used to similar effect in your next email marketing campaign.

Using techniques such as this to make an email relevant to individual recipients is critical to making sure it gets opened, read and acted upon. Again, why not resolve to have a talk to your email list broker about how they can help you use the data you have at your disposal to create more effective email marketing campaigns.

Engage with new subscribers

Warmly welcome new subscribers immediately upon subscription. Even better, have a tempting offer or promotion ready for them. Then do all you can all avoid losing your new subscribers within the first couple months. Do you have a staggered email marketing programme ready to go as soon as they join? Many companies have been doing this very effectively for years but so many others are ignoring this simple but hugely successful technique.

It really is essential to keep in regular contact with subscribers with details of new products and services. Do send them a monthly newsletter including your latest news, offers and free trials. Incidentally, If the first email a customer receives from you has clear white list instructions, it will help ensure that it isn’t also the last email they receive from you.

Above all, from the start be clear about when, how and what you'll be emailing them in the future to avoid mismatched expectations and disgruntled subscribers.

Admittedly these are all very basic suggestions, but sometimes it does us good to remind ourselves of the basics.

Email Flow is an email broadcasting service for email marketing professionals.

Email Flow is an Enterprise email broadcasting solution designed for the trade/reseller market. Email Flow is a hosted email solution that enables email marketers to send emails to consumer and business lists at the highest level.

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