How to improve the ROI of your email marketing


Posted by: Stafford Sumner on 31st May 2019


Litmus have set the benchmark in fixing broken emails since 2005. We’ve used their software for years to help make sure every email campaign we send works correctly across all the different devices (and on all the different email clients) it’s going to be viewed on.

They host an annual email marketing event each year, Litmus Live, which we go to (you can see what we learnt there last year here) and are highly respected in the email marketing industry. That’s why, when they release new research, we sit up and pay attention.

Back in April, Litmus released a new infographic on the return on investment (ROI) of email marketing. They surveyed hundreds of brands and found the ROI of email marketing is not only staggeringly high – it’s going up.

Last year, there was a $38 return for every $1 spent on email marketing. In 2019, this is up to $42 which rises in certain industries – like travel, hospitality and tourism – to $53. They also found key areas which have the most impact on ROI. We’re going to take you through them below to help you understand them better and apply them to your own email marketing campaigns.

 

1. A/B Testing

Brands who run A/B tests on all their emails see a whopping 37% increase in ROI than those who don’t. You can test subject lines, preview text, images, content, time of send, personalisation and much more besides. The key to good testing is to just pick one variable and test that, then you can see what your subscribers are responding to.

A/B tests work by sending two separate emails to a sample of your database. You can then set a ‘rule’ to choose the winner which will then be sent to the rest of your database. For a simple example, you can test two subject lines – Subject Line A and Subject Line B. This test would then be sent to 10% of your database and the email which has the most opens (if that’s what you’re measuring) will then be the ‘winner’ and be sent to the rest of the database. The best way to get to grips with A/B testing is to try it, see what works and see what your subscribers engage with.

 

2. Use GIFs

Brands who use animated images (GIFs) in their email marketing see ROI increase by 21%. The most common email clients now all support GIFs and using them is a great way to bring your emails to life, encouraging engagement as well as delighting your customers. Something simple, yet effective, like this campaign from the Greenbank Hotel in Cornwall, can make a world of difference to both engagement and conversions. GIFs can be subtle or extreme, serious or fun. And if you need help creating GIFs to add some extra sparkle to your email campaigns we can help – just get in touch for more information.

 

3. Use dynamic content

Serving up targeted, personalised and relevant content is a no brainer. Not only will it provide a better experience to your subscribers, the Litmus report found it increases ROI by 22%. In order to deliver dynamic content you need to understand your subscribers. This could be their behaviours and preferences but also more tangible information like their postcode and birthday. For example, if your database is split between people who are local to your business and people who live further afield, you can send one email to the database, but, by using dynamic content, ensure each segment receives an email campaign that’s relevant to them.

 

4. Test before you send

Most people who run their own email marketing campaigns won’t test them and it’s costing them business. There’s a 26% increase in ROI for brands who use an extensive checklist compared with those who don’t. This means checking your emails work in different browsers, across different email clients, that there’s no broken links, that your images load, that there’s no typos…the list goes on. Here at Jarrang we have a 43-point sign off sheet to help us ensure every email campaign we send is as ‘bulletproof’ as we can make it.

 

If you have any questions about anything we’ve covered here please let us know or if you’d simply like to find out more about how you can boost your email marketing ROI then we’d love to hear from you.

About the author

Stafford Sumner

An expert in developing businesses through email marketing, Stafford founded Jarrang in 2003, and since then has worked with hundreds of business across the globe helping them grow and succeed.