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7 Great Ways to Boost Your Email Results

Updated (originally posted on )

Email Marketing

Among digital marketing channels, email still delivers the best return on investment. A study by Convince and Convert showed that consumers who receive marketing emails spend 138% more than those who don’t, and a McKinsey & Company survey found that email is 40 times better at acquiring new customers than social media.

At a recent conference on technology for content marketing, the Content Marketing Institute hosted a session on email marketing, covering seven things email marketers should be doing to improve their results.

1. Automate your emails. According to digital marketing expert Jessica Best, using marketing automation to send standard emails for welcoming new customers, acknowledging a birthday or anniversary, or following up on a transaction can increase your ROI 40% just by freeing personnel from the task of manually creating them.

2. Ask for permission. Automatically opting-in your email subscribers to other lists without asking them if they're interested in what you'd like to send them will kill your results, Best cautioned. If you ask whether you can market to them, your emails are less likely to end up in the spam folder, hurting your ability to email them in the future.

3. Keep your lists clean. Up to 40% of your email list is likely made up of people who have not engaged with your company in more than a year. Continuing to email those “bad” addresses will bring down your open rates and keep you from maximizing leads and conversions. Best suggests using services such as FreshAddress or SiftLogic to cull your list, then emailing the inactives to try to engage them before sending them a final email farewell (including a way to come back anytime).

4. Make the most of preheader text. That little bit of text that appears after the subject line is a key way to boost your open rates. It often gets more space than the subject line itself, so don’t waste it on the default “View this email in your browser”—though you can add that to the end. Use the preheader text to expand on (not repeat) the subject line, focusing on a call to action and the value provided by the email.

5. Design your email with images off. Not everyone has images enabled, so make sure your email makes sense both with and without images, and don't cut text into images.

6. Nurture leads by defining your buyer’s journey. According to Forrester Research, companies that focus on lead-nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads. Understand your buyers’ journey and use emails to cater to them at every stage.

7. Use A/B testing. In a survey by Direct Marketing Association, 68% of digital marketers rated testing new campaigns as having the greatest impact on their email marketing methods. Create tests for subject lines, images, calls to action—whatever you can think of. Have a clear hypothesis for each test, and trust your results.

Email marketing is hugely effective in both B2B and B2C environments, helping your clients better connect with you and learn about your products or services. While every company needs to find the best balance for their audience and business goals, these tips offer some great first steps toward boosting your email marketing results.