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
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.
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
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:
- To regulate email messages so that they are not misleading to subscribers
- To regulate information disclosed about the business sending the emails
- 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.
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.
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.
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Updated: Originally published November 9th 2018