How to Increase the ROI in Your Email Marketing

By: Bessmer Vowles

In this age of easy access to bulk marketing services and ever-savvier consumers, maximizing your email ROI is no easy task. On one hand, you want to make sure that your company isn't missing out on golden marketing opportunities by spending too little on email marketing. On the other, you'd like to ensure that you're not either spending too much or executing your campaign poorly. All of us would like to squeeze every last sale out of our email marketing campaigns, so how do we do it? Let's take a look:

Master the basics

This shouldn't be a surprise to any of you, but email marketing has evolved beyond grabbing a few email blasting lists and hitting thousands of people with junk mail. With the ability for anyone to send bulk email online, spam filters and consumers have caught up to the old tricks of the trade. Today, email marketing is about building organic email lists and regularly sending relevant and well-structured emails. That's about it.

Measure your performance

So you know the basics of email marketing. How do you measure whether you're doing a good job? First, you'll want to invest in some good software. Google Analytics is one example that springs to mind. Google can track the performance of your emails through embedded links. If emails lead to website visits and then sales, you'll know it. Segment your email lists into subgroups and use GA to do the hard work for you.

Second, look at three key metrics: Cost per Sale, Customer Value, and Incremental Sales. The important things to consider are: how much is it costing me for each additional sale, how much is each customer worth to me (some customers will be worth a lot more than others), and how many sales am I buying with each additional unit of advertising budget?

Third, execute. If you're doing well with a certain subgroup, find out why. If you're not, find that out too. Test relentlessly to make sure you're not marketing to people who aren't converting and to ensure that you're getting the most sales out of your high-value customers. Experiment with different email tactics - contents, regularity, and timing are all important in converting sales.

The bottom line

Email marketing is always a good idea, but don't think that just because you're blasting folks with good emails that you're getting all you can out of your budget. Take a good hard look and see where you can improve.

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