Despite some foolish predictions about its death, email continues to not only survive but supersede expectations around its performance and innovation. As per the 2019 Email Marketing Census by Econsultancy and Adestra, 73% of marketers report email ROI to be performing either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ as a marketing channel. Interestingly, it ranks better than organic and paid search.
Another study by Sales Cycle highlights that 59% of customers admit email marketing influences their purchase decisions. And 1 in 2 customers reports making a purchase from marketing emails at least once a month.
Both of these numbers reflect a great deal on how important email remains as a channel to its stakeholders. But quality email marketing entails expert handling and constant innovation. And like any other venture in marketing, you have to justify your ROI for email as well both in terms of revenue and productivity. This is where email marketing automation helps.
Let’s talk a bit more about it.
What is Email Marketing Automation?
Put simply, email marketing automation is a way to create email campaigns at a scale while reaching out to the right audience at the right time - without the need to manually repeat the process every over and over.
Using email automation, you can trigger a specific email campaign by a specific user action/inaction after a certain time interval in their customer journey. Email marketing automation removes the unnecessary burden of repetitive tasks from a marketer’s plate and allows them to focus on their strategy. It ensures that you reach your customers with relevant information in a timely manner, which will ultimately benefit your brand.
Some of the most common use cases of email marketing automation are:
- Offering personalized communication at scale
- Setting up drip campaigns for complete customer journey engagement
- Up-selling and cross-selling
- Reducing cart abandonment rate
- Scheduling reminders at a specific time for a specific event
Let’s talk more about how you can boost the ROI of your email campaigns using email automation.
Tips for Maximizing ROI with Email Marketing Automation
1. Tie your goal actions close to the revenue: To quote Avinash Kaushik, “Focus on measuring your macro (overall) conversions, but for optimal awesomeness identify and measure your micro conversions as well.” While measuring open rates and CTRs can tell you about the delivery of your emails, they’re not much help beyond a certain point. Ultimately, to prove the ROI of your campaign you need to measure how your audience interacts with your emails. This can be done by measuring revenue per email (RPE), revenue per thousand emails (RPME), and revenue per recipient (RPR). Looking at your campaign from this lens will also give you a different perspective on best practices for optimization. The focus quickly shifts from quantity to quality. Some of the considerations to be made at this point are:
Even though the “automation” of email means that technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. You should never ever use the “set it and forget it” approach with email marketing. The reason? The value and return on investment of your email strategy is decided by the most important component of your campaign - your customers. Unfortunately, many companies forget to take into account the customer’s perspective - the what, when, and why that they need to know before or after the purchase.
Here’re some practical ideas to improve the ROI of your email campaigns:
- List segmentation - target people who are most likely to buy or generate revenue
- Creative optimization - perform strategic testing to improve the bottom line performance
- Streamline the number of emails sent to each recipient - avoid getting marked as spam and reduce email fatigue
2. Time is money, real money: An email sent at the wrong time has a high-risk of getting lost in the inbox. Similarly, a well-timed email can result in better revenue and engagement. Industry leaders have different viewpoints as to the best time of the day, the best day of the week, the best hour of the day, and more. Our recommendation? Understand what works best for your audience. Schedule your emails around the time they’re likely to read (and not only open) your emails. The best time can, therefore, vary for every business in any vertical. Email automation can simplify testing to a great length. However, we recommend you to use rigor as much as possible.
Another good practice is to figure out the holidays that matter most to your audience, such as Black Friday, Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Women’s Day, Valentine’s Day, the Super Bowl, and more. Note that email drove 16.8% of revenue in 2018, an uptick of around 9% from previous years. Plan and set up campaigns for these days well in advance. Special pre-sale or pre-launch access to limited products or services can be provided to paying customers.
3. Personalize to be contextual and relevant: Targeting your customers with the right message at the right time helps you cut through the noise. It creates a faster path to revenue. According to Experian, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. And a Campaign Monitor study suggests that segmented campaigns result in a 760% increase in revenue compared to one-size-fits-all campaigns.
With email automation, it becomes easy to send messages that are relevant to customers using customized workflows for any scale.
If you’re thinking about ways to ramp up your revenue game with email marketing, the strategies listed above act as a great starting point. Remember that a robust email automation system and quality content can be a powerful combination to boost your revenue from email.
Author: Aakash Nandakumar
Bio: Growth Marketer at Freshworks. Technology nerd who also happens to love dark coffee, Football, and bad puns.