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Factors That Contribute to Email Marketing Success


Social media marketing and mobile marketing campaigns are getting all the attention. In the vanity, email marketing may look useless, old fashioned and simply dead to you. However, the reality is when done right, the conversions from email marketing reach an unprecedented percentage, something that social media and mobile marketing would take ages to reach.

An infographic from Monetate shows that spending on email marketing is projected to rise to $2.5 billion in the next three years.

MarketingSherpa also conducted a survey among marketers asking the ROI of email marketing campaigns, and the results revealed an ROI of 119% on average.

The statistics and reports indicate that email is a powerful marketing medium, but only to those with the right approach. Email marketing campaigns can also fail because of irrelevant content, emails to untargeted audience and other reasons.

However, by keeping yourself aware of the factors that lead to success campaigns, you’ll have a higher change of making your business email campaign a success.

Factors behind successful email marketing campaigns

1.  User friendly template

Emails provide only a small window of opportunity for your business to gain the customer’s attention, and if the template isn’t user friendly, to the point, clear and concise, there’s no reason why the email won’t get deleted, marked as spam or end up in the junk folder.

The aim of an email template is to grab the attention of the recipients, not to impress them with bells and whistles. Once you have their attention, leave the rest to the content. Therefore, the template design should be simple, effective and make the content easy to read.

You may also choose different templates for different recipients. For example, the template design can be different for new customers and existing customers. The final design should also be free from any conversion killers.

2.  Compelling copy

Most of the times email marketers just follow their usual routine of sending call to action messages, ignoring that they’re disturbing someone. If you want your campaign to be successful, it’s important to make sure that the disturbance is worthwhile.

The copy/content you create is perhaps the number one determinant of how effective your campaign is going to be. Research Underwriters and Ascend2 carried out a survey among B2C and B2B marketers, asking their questions regarding email marketing campaigns. The results showed that one of the biggest challenge for both marketers was getting compelling content created for their email campaigns, starting with a great subject line. The right subject line can improve open rates by more than 100%.

The focus of the content should be on the individual recipient, and you won’t be able to go too far with your campaign if you send an email blast (the same messages to multiple recipients). The content should pique the reader’s interest through relevant statements and it can even be presented in different styles. The recipient should enjoy reading your email and learn something from it (you can include relevant stats, figures, facts etc.)

3.  Segmentation

Segmentation can increase the ROI to a great extent because it ensures that the right message is reaching the right recipients. Segmentation of the contacts also allows the campaign to be more targeted and satisfy the needs of individual personalities.

There are several ways to carry out campaign segmentation. Usually geographic and demographic segmentation turn out to be more successful then behavioral segmentation. However, some marketers also consider browsing and shopping history of customers and deem personal demographics as unimportant.

As mentioned before, proper segmentation is key to increase open rates and ROI. Lyris Annual Email Optimizer published a report that shows companies using segmentation in email campaigns have 28% less unsubscribes and 39% better open rates than companies who weren’t segmenting. 25% percent of the companies who were a part of the survey experienced a direct increase in their revenue from the segmentation initiative.

4.  Testing and refining

A minor revamp can significantly improve the results of the campaign. Apart from the content and the subject line, call to action, the template and other things can be tested as well. Refining takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.

A good way to test your email campaigns is through analytics and metrics. Some of the important analytics include bounce rate, open rate, click through rate and conversions.

By analyzing the reports and metrics, you’ll be able to tweak the elements and make changes that serve individual recipients in a better way.

Keeping these success factors in mind won’t instantly improve an existing campaign or make a new one successful, but will keep you on the right path that leads to conversions, profits and increased visibility in the long run.

Join The Conversation

  • WilliamRodrick's picture
    Aug 8 Posted 2 years ago WilliamRodrick

    Hey Jonno! pretty good article thanks for the info!

    One factor you forgot about or one I would like to add to this great list, is the fact that email templates should (or must) be mobile friendly. The last thing I will do with an email I have received in my mobile (and lets face it, most of us are checking emails in our mobiles nowdays) is click through something i have to zoom in that much I cant even read it anymore.

    The latest talk on the street is 'Responsive Webdesign' but how about Responsive Emails

    More and more people are using mobile devices to communicate online and making sure your emails are also mobile friendly, will inprove your CTR and overall traffic.

    Jonathan, where do you think email is really going? many people are saying its usage is decreasing, but with emerging countries creating more email accounts than ever, I cant see it going anywhere.

    Keep up the great work



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