Common-Sense Reminders for Improving Your Email ROI


The days of direct mail campaigns are numbered. Increasingly, marketers have switched from traditional direct mail to email for their outbound marketing campaigns — a recent survey found that 77 percent are relying on direct mail less, and 79 percent are using email more.

Email campaigns offer an awesome return on investment: one study found an average ROI of $40 for every $1 spent on email. How can your campaign achieve that kind of effectiveness?

Make sure your emails go through.

  • Content filters are increasingly sophisticated, so avoid any “spamminess” in the wording of what you send, especially in the subject line.
  • Send only relevant content. You don’t want to just avoid the superficial appearance of spam, you want to avoid anything the recipients think is spam when they open it. (“Spam” is really nothing more than “unwanted email.”)
  • Treat recipients respectfully so they don’t report you as a spammer.
    • Have a clearly marked ‘unsubscribe” option that actually unsubscribes the recipient in a timely manner.
    • Allow recipients to choose the frequency of mailings.
  • Set up test accounts at the main email domains (Gmail, Yahoo, the major ISPs). By sending to the accounts on your seed list, you can determine whether those domains are letting your emails through or not.

Send emails that respond to what your customers actually do.

  • Recommend additional products or services that complement previous purchases.
  • Follow up with customers who abandon shopping carts or otherwise fail to complete purchases. Even if they don’t then make the purchases, you can get useful feedback about the sale process.
  • Reward subscribers who frequently open your emails with special offers and discounts.

Build a solid list.

  • The best email list isn’t the longest list — it’s the list with the people who are most likely to buy your product or service. Put your acquisition efforts into finding people who are interested in what you have to offer.
  • People will be interested in what you have to offer if it’s of value to them. Emails should include either information they can use, or discounts, upgrades, or other incentives for them to make purchases.

These common-sense reminders can help you improve the ROI of your email efforts.

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