3 Tips on Maximizing Your
Email Marketing ROI
The global ecommerce market is booming, and it’s only expected to continue to grow.
In fact, it’s projected to reach a 20.7% rise in value this year alone, and be worth an estimated $5 trillion by 2021. Keeping up with the competition in a crowded market means you need to ensure your site is yielding the appropriate ROI from its marketing efforts. Knowing what those competitors are doing is also the key to getting the upper hand and maintaining it
Have you been regularly evaluating your email campaigns? Measuring results against email marketing benchmarks such as open rate, bounce rate, and click-through rate is essential to understanding whether or not you’re receiving tangible benefits. The email marketing and eCommerce KPI’s helps you stay on track.
There are many ways users can drop off from engaging with an email, so maximizing ROI means eliminating as many of those potential pitfalls as possible.
We’ve listed three ways to fill these gaps in your email marketing strategy: personalization, experimentation, and timing.
Personalization has been a go-to marketing buzzword for a while now. But customers are no longer satisfied with the bare minimum—31% of customers want their shopping experience to be more personalized than it currently is.
Slight tweaks such as addressing someone by their first name in an email subject line and header won’t work to improve open or click-through rates if there’s no additional layer to the experience.
With mounting concerns over data privacy, delving into personalization can seem intimidating. However, a recent study by McKinsey showed consumers are still open to personalized content as long as it’s of a specific type:
So what are the top three types of personalized content you should be building more of your emails around?
- Information about products related to a person’s interests
- Product recommendations based on previous purchases
- Price and availability updates for specific products
Consumers clearly want something more than written content tailored to them. They want to see entire email campaigns based on their personal preferences.
To minimize the complexity and enormity of the task and the amount of guesswork involved, use tracking pixels on your website. This way, you get easy access to behavioral data you need to build the emails users want to receive.
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A/B testing, also commonly known as split testing, is when you run a small experiment with the content you send out. Here, you compare two versions of the same email with slight alterations between them. One is classified as your ‘control,’ which is the regular email you would have been sending out. The other, which contains a slight change in copy, image, or content, acts as your hypothesized solution to better results.
Think of A/B testing as another means to collect data. However, by nature of its name, don’t expect all efforts to succeed right away. What A/B testing gives you is the opportunity to gather hard data on crafting more engaging emails, and prove (or disprove) any hunches.
To see how it works in practice, here’s an example from photo marketplace Shutterstock:
Source: Harvard Business Review
The company tested the image sizes, hover state, watermarks, and default view on their homepage to see which was effective for increasing conversions. One of their findings suggested that removing watermarks actually decreased conversion rates. This was contrary to their initial gut instinct that removing watermarks would actually increase conversion rates.
How do we apply the same ideas to email marketing? Try A/B testing the following elements in your emails:
- Subject lines – longer versus shorter or detailed versus vague
- Image sizes – Larger images versus smaller images
- Text amount – Text heavy versus Image heavy
- CTA placement – at the top, middle, or bottom of the email
- Colors – plain white versus colorful
- Density – more white space versus more information
Don’t underestimate the power of sending your emails at the right time. Approximately 23% of all email opens occur in the first hour after delivery.
After five hours, that amount drops by almost 90%. This means ecommerce businesses which ship to an international audience must be mindful of their customers’ geographic location.
After all, you won’t be able to gauge the effectiveness of your emails if subscribers aren’t opening them in the first place. Analyze your subscriber data to determine the locations where they’ve signed up for your emails, and segment them accordingly. With this information, each geographical segment can have their emails delivered at different times to improve open rates across the board.
Things get a bit more complicated when it comes to determining the right day to send emails. Generally, for e-commerce emails, you want to maximize open rates and click-through rates for products, so Tuesdays and Thursdays are a good starting point. However, you may also want to switch it up according to the types of emails you’re sending out. If you’re sending a regular newsletter, for example, Mondays and Sundays may be optimal to reduce unsubscribe rates due to low personalization.
Source: Campaign Monitor
In summary, maximizing email marketing ROI means making your emails convenient for subscribers to open, and attractive enough to entice them to read. The key takeaway here? Never undersell the importance of data. From customer segmentation through location to personalization according to products and interests, staying data driven in e-commerce is what decides it all.
Of course, you can have an email sent at the perfect time and filled with personalized content. But none of that will be effective unless you put the same amount of effort into the content of those emails. Before clicking send, remember the following steps:
- Ensure all images are high quality, showcase the right products, and are optimized to be viewed in a single column, whether on desktop or mobile.
- Proofread all copy before sending them out to avoid unwanted typos.
- Double check that automated tags are working—you don’t want to accidentally send a “hello, [insert name here]” instead of subscriber names.
- Regularly look through your list and remove inactive addresses.
- Make sure all links in your email lead to the right pages.
And finally, keep in mind that there are many possibilities in the realm of e-commerce email marketing, so don’t hesitate to get creative.