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9 Ways To Boost Your Email Marketing ROI

With the new year just around the corner, it’s time to take stock of the past year’s efforts and evaluate which of your email marketing tactics worked well and which ones didn’t.

Depending on the industry you’re in, the average open rate for emails is roughly 24% and the click rate is about 4%.

It doesn’t sound like a lot, I know, but there are some techniques that you can employ to help you boost those metrics, especially if you’re falling short of those average numbers.

In fact, even if you’re seeing great figures, it’s still a good idea to take a look at the methods outlined in this article, and see which ones you can implement into your email marketing strategy for the new year.

After all, there’s always room to improve, right?

Email marketing has been around for many years, but unlike other channels, it continues to gain in popularity. But because it is continually evolving, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest and expected trends so that you can boost your ROI in the new year.

The first thing you must do in order to run an effective email marketing campaign is to fully understand your ideal audience. You need to know everything that makes them tick.

Once you have that information, it becomes easier to implement any of the following strategies:

9 Ways To Boost Your Email Marketing ROI in 2021

1. Use Powerful And Compelling Email Subject Lines

According to studies, almost half of all email recipients open the email based only on the subject line.

Knowing that, you can see why it’s vital for you to craft compelling subject lines for your emails in order to boost your open rates.

Your customers and prospects already receive tons of emails every day, and for yours to get opened, it has to really stand out and catch their attention. That’s why subject lines matter so much.

Take time to craft a concise but impactful subject line for your next email and watch the open and click rate shoot up.

Your subject line is the first impression that you make with your email, so make it as effective as possible by cutting through the clutter and getting creative.

2. Always Consider Mobile When Designing Emails

Most modern users open emails using mobile devices. Recent data shows that up to 75% of people who use Gmail open and interact with emails on mobile devices.

This means that mobile is a key factor to keep in mind when planning a successful email marketing campaign as it ensures that your emails reach the most people in your audience.

It’s becoming more and more important to ensure that your emails are fully compatible with all mobile devices.

By the beginning of 2021, the total number of mobile email users worldwide will have climbed to over 2.2 billion, according to some experts, so make sure that your audience can easily read and interact with your emails on mobile to boost the performance of your emails in the new year.

3. Focus More On Personalization

This is a core component of effective email strategies because it lets your brand cut through all the clutter and creates a real connection with your customers and prospects.

Personalization can be done through email subject lines and inside the copy of your emails.

You can add the person’s first name to your subject line, or use other details about the subscriber that will catch their attention from the start.

Inside the email content, you can address the customers using automated personalization tokens.

Start with the name and include more specific details such as the lead magnet that they downloaded, or the product or service that they purchased.

You can even go a step further than that by making sure that everything from your tone, style of writing, length of content, and the design of the email is appealing to that audience segment you’re targeting.

Also, keep in mind that timing is everything when setting up personalized email marketing strategies.

In order to reach your ideal audience at the right time, you have to create custom triggers to send emails when a specific action is taken, such as when they have completed a product purchase, or after they have had the product for two weeks.

Being able to personalize your emails according to the goals, actions, and timing will help you run an effective email strategy in 2021.

4. Segment Email Lists Based On Customer Avatars

A major component of personalizing emails has to do with focusing on segmenting your list of subscribers. Segment your lists based on customer avatars, or buyer personas.

By separating your email lists according to the type of customer or prospect they are, you will be able to create targeted content that is more relevant to each group.

Moving forward, you will be able to create attributes or sub-lists that are based on additional information about your audience segments, such as the actions that they took while on your site, or the content that they interacted with.

Your list segments should also be based on goals. Create open rate and click rate goals for your list segments, as well as ones for email interaction.

You can continually work to improve your email messages and timing so that your efforts are as effective as they can possibly be.

5. Consistency is Key

One more component of effective email marketing strategies has to do with consistency.

If your subscribers know that they are getting an email from you on a particular day or time, they will be a lot more likely to open it and interact with the content.

Sending out emails to subscribers periodically increases the risk of your emails not only going unopened but also getting marked as spam.

Create a schedule for sending emails and stick to it.

This will help you to build rapport with your subscribers. But creating consistency in your email marketing activities isn’t only about email frequency, it’s also about the actual content that you’re providing your email subscribers with.

Make sure that your emails only incorporate the type of content that the segment you’re emailing is highly interested in and resonates with.

If they are looking forward to your emails, it’s more likely that they will open and engage with them.

The content aspect of things includes the design of your emails, too. Make sure that your emails are branded and that your design is cohesive and meets the overall standards of your brand.

6. A/B Test Your Emails – Don’t Assume Or Guess

The other area you need to focus on for a successful email strategy in 2021 is A/B testing. Assuming or guessing won’t make your campaigns as effective as they could be.

You can’t read your audience’s minds, so use data to help you in refining your marketing messages. Run A/B tests on all your emails, and only test one variable at any given time.

For instance, you may focus on testing the following:
  • Email subject lines
  • Included offers
  • Email ‘from’ address
  • Email list segments
  • Minor design changes
  • CTAs and so on…

Each of these variables has the power to impact the overall success of your email marketing campaign, but testing them all at the same time won’t show you which ones work and which ones don’t.

Use A/B testing as a way of gradually improving and eventually perfecting your email marketing methods.

7. Follow Email Marketing Rules And Regulations

You have to follow all the email marketing regulations.

The marketing scene is constantly evolving, and it’s normal to want to keep pushing the envelope with regards to your email marketing strategy in an effort to beat out competitors.

But, there are some rules that need to be followed if you don’t want to be penalized.

The CAN-SPAM Act is one such set of regulations that was created in 2003 for regulating commercial businesses (B2B and B2C). This law ensures that consumers have rights concerning how businesses connect with them via email.

The three main purposes of the CAN-SPAM Act are:
  1. To regulate email messages so that they are not misleading to subscribers
  2. To regulate information disclosed about the business sending the emails
  3. To give email recipients a means of opting out or unsubscribing from the emails

If your emails are in violation of this regulation, then your business could face penalties of up to $40,000, so this isn’t something to mess around with.

In addition to those laws, there are some common sense privacy practices that you should follow, such as sending emails only to those people who have given you permission to contact them.

Follow all these tips to ensure that you run an email marketing campaign that is fully compliant.

8. Use Workflows To Automate Emails

Sending a one-off email to your list of subscribers is no longer an effective marketing method.

Your list will most likely need follow up emails to prompt them into taking the next step. You can automate this and set up workflow emails based on the ways in which your leads joined the list.

You can also set up workflow emails according to the steps that your leads need to take afterward. This will significantly improve the goal of your emails as well as make them even more effective.

For instance, if you have an email set up to send a thank you message to someone who downloaded a PDF on your site, the conversation should not stop there.

After thanking them, you can set up a series of emails over the coming weeks or months to give them even more information, including getting in touch with you if they need help or have questions about the information contained in the PDF.

You could also get them to take additional steps that are farther down on the buyer’s journey such as getting them to sign up for a free product or service trial.

By creating many touch points in this manner, you keep your prospects engaged. This is yet another key component of effective email marketing in 2021.

9. Use Reporting To Continually Improve Your Email Marketing ROI

Reporting is vital to any successful email strategy.

It’s the only way that you are going to improve your marketing strategy over time. You need to know your stats and find ways to turn that data into actionable intel that you can then use to your business’s advantage.

The statistics that you focus on should give you a clearer picture of your overall engagement like open rates, click-through rates, and so on. This will help you determine exactly what type of content grabs your audience’s attention.

You also need to focus on the conversion statistics so that you know if your email marketing efforts are achieving the goals that you set for your business.

Key reporting stats are vital and will help you to perfect your email marketing workflows in the coming months.

But even more important than simply looking at those metrics like open rates and click-through rates is your ability to measure metrics that are focused on increasing your revenue. Ask yourself how much revenue you can attribute to each of your email marketing campaigns.

Specific campaigns need to increase metrics like your repeat purchase rate and so on.

These are the bottom line metrics that you should ultimately be focused on.

In Conclusion

As you have seen in your own business and all around you, email marketing is still very much alive and a highly effective means of connecting with audiences.

It’s getting harder and harder for marketers to win the fight for their audiences’ attention these days, which is why email marketing is vital for any business to succeed.

In addition to the ability to control attention, the ROI from this type of marketing is one that small businesses absolutely cannot afford to ignore if they want to reach their marketing goals for 2020.

Use the strategies outlined in this post to create your own consistent email marketing strategy that appeals to your specific buyer personas and make it a big part of your overall digital marketing strategy to generate new leads and increase sales and revenue in the new year.

Feel free to post your comment below.  An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!


Updated: Originally published November 9th 2018

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Nuttanee

    love the post! I am still very new at email marketing. You mention Workflows, what is that? Is that an app that I can get from my phone? I want to give it a try so I can execute my time efficiently. 

    I am glad that you mentioned about making it mobile friendly. It’s the buggest elephant in the room, I am reading your post from my phone! 

    Overall, very informative, thank for for sharing these wonderful tips

    1. Steven

      I think you mean email workflows? This is just a series of emails that go out at a certain time and spacing. Workflows are constructed on your email service’s site.

      Thanks for the comment Nuttanee!

  2. julienne murekatete

    It is very important to find help when you are stuck in any situation.This is what you are doing when you were staying those 9 ways to Boost our email marketing.Making money online these days became competitive because many people are making money with email marketing.To succeed ,we need to be more trained so that we do what we really understand in terms of challenges,benefit,…

    Trough this post,you are helping people build this competitive business and that is very valuable action.

    Thank you

    1. Steven

      I’m glad you got good value from the article.

      Thanks for the comment Julienne!

  3. Abigail Pron

    You have a very wide range of knowledge about E mail Marketing. Honestly speaking, as a new beginner in Online marketing world, I am pretty amazed when I read your article. I came across to some words that I didn’t encounter before and I was challenge to deeper my understanding. Your article made me realized that there’s so much more opportunities in online marketing and always strive to learn more, educate self even more and be in line in the advancement of technologies. Nowadays, nothing is impossible to people who wants progress should work progressively. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Your topic provided a bunch of information. Good job. God bless!

    1. Steven

      Thanks for the kind words and I’m happy to hear you got so much from the post.

      Thanks for the comment Abigail!

  4. Paul

    Dear Steven,

    Thanks a lot for the helpful and informative post on 9 Ways To Boost Your Email Marketing.

    Email marketing is very powerful and as you know very well “Money is in the list”. One common thing I found with the successful internet marketers is their big email list.

    Email list is the online asset and my coach often says if you have an email list almost you can calculate your monthly earnings based on your subscribers.

    As you mentioned even I received email from Google stating that, they are going to give preferences to mobile users compared to desktop users making Google mobile friendly. So it is a must we need to pay close attention and design things keeping the mobile users in our mind.

    Very informative post and I got great insights from your post.

    Much Success!


    1. Steven

      Knowing how to properly market to an email list can be a bit of an art. But, once you understand your subscribers, you can cultivate repeat business at will.

      Email lists are very valuable in the right hands.

      Thanks for the comment Paul!

  5. Jay

    Email marketing is fast growing and it is imperative that online entrepreneurs don’t miss out of this amazing trend. It is one of the best ways to keep in close contact with those interested in your niche. Knowing this is one thing and been able to communicate with them is another thing. 

    If you send an email to your subscriber and that email is not opened you won’t even get the chance to be able to pass your message which is why the tips in this post is really important. Like for example the first impression which is the subject line of an email. If this is not captivating enough your opening rate of your email would be extremely low.

    These are really important things you have provided and would be of great use to those involved in email marketing

    1. Steven

      You should put most of your effort in the subject line of an email when creating them. An unopened email terminates the campaign. Improve your subject lines and you will get more from your list.

      Thanks for the comment Jay!

  6. Ngonidzashe Manzwangani

    Great tips for email marketing, I started email 2 weeks ago, on my tech site, but I am not doing much. I just signed up with aWeber and inserted  the email sign up for visitors and nothing more. Being a free package, I am not seeing much result. After reading your article, I can see I have a lot of work ahead of me.

    Felt great reading your article

    Thank you so much


    1. Steven

      There is a little work involved, but if done correctly, email is one of the most profitable forms of Digital Marketing.

      Thanks for the comment Ngoni!

  7. Phillip Cowan

    This is a very helpful article to read for anyone wanting to use email marketing. Even for people who need to write emails to co-workers, with regards to the title. I would like to know more about A/B tests. What are they exactly and how do I do it?

    About people reading emails. Whenever I open an email and there’s to many pictures or graphics in it slowing the download down I tend to close the email and not look at it again. I think it’s important to only have a small but visible logo at the top and then the message and a link if necessary.

    I really enjoyed your article.

    1. Steven

      Email should be concise and to the point. I agree, it’s not supposed to be a picture show but a fast message to get them to click. Keep it simple.

      Thanks for the comment Phillip!

  8. Samson Oklobia

    Thanks a lot Steven, for this wonderful outline. I would like to add just one point to third item; Focus more on personalization. While doing this, i reckon that you do now over do it as it may look cheesy and fishy to the respondent. This is how i feel when i see such and i am sure it is not an isolated perception. When you are being personal, you can make it all about the product being discussed and of course, consistency is Key. I love the piece, Steven. 

    1. Steven

      You’re correct. This can certainly be taken too far so keep it all about business.

      Thanks for the comment Samson!

  9. Emmanuel Buysse

    Great post and good info.

    I knew about some tips because I use them, and they boost my site/business very good, I have to say.

    But some of them i never tried, since I’m not so familiar with them, like the reporting section.

    But I will try it, and perhaps it will be even be better!

    Thanks a lot for sharing it!

    1. Steven

      Good to know you got some useful tips from the article.

      Thanks for the comment Emmanuel!

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