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8 Tips and Tools for Cost-Effective Email Marketing That Drives Results

8 min read

Video marketing, webinars, paid ads, and social media appear to be the rage nowadays, but email marketing has not yet lost its shine.

The global email marketing market was worth $7.5 billion in 2020. By 2027, it is expected to increase to $17.9 billion.

In addition, for every $1 spent, email marketing earns you $36. With that kind of ROI, can you really afford to ignore email for your business?

Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your products and services, share marketing messages with your target audience, and meet your business goals.

More than 306 billion emails are sent and received each day to provide value and build relationships. Hence, your email strategy has to stand out from the crowd to drive better results.

Let’s take a look at 8 tips for cost-effective email marketing to help you get the best possible results from your campaigns.

1. Personalize your emails

Personalization increases conversion in emails. You can personalize emails using information gleaned from your customers when they interact with you.

The Litmus State of Email Report 2020 revealed some interesting statistics:

  • Personalized emails have a median ROI of 122%.
  • Emails with personalized subject lines are 50% more likely to be opened.
  • A birthday email can generate 342% higher revenue per message than a regular promotional email.
  • Nearly 75% of marketers believed that targeted personalization increases engagement.

Commonly, emails are personalized by changing the text in the email subject line or the primary content block. Most ESPs (email service providers) allow you to address the receiver by name.

You can gather data for personalization from various sources:

  • Lead forms to collect names, email addresses, and contact information
  • Website and social media analytics to find topics, messages, products, or services that generate more engagement
  • Email lookup tools to find basic information such as names, workplaces, social media profiles, and server locations

Apart from basic information like names, marketers are also using several behavioral attributes to personalize emails:

  • Past interactions with products and services
  • Past interactions with emails
  • Past purchases
  • Customer status (i.e. seasonal shopper, year-round shopper, prospect)

You should remove inactive subscribers from active mailing lists to get the most out of personalization. Or you can try to re-engage them with an enticing offer and attractive email copy based on the type of content they engaged with previously.

This also ensures that you adhere to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations and spam laws.

Hyperise is an effective email marketing campaign personalization tool that enables you to add dynamic images to each email, such as profile pictures from your socials.

A few other ways in which you can personalize your emails are:

  1. Use a genuine reply-to email address instead of using something like donotreply@emailcampaign.com. Consumers want to engage with real people and using a genuine address will humanize your company and make you seem more credible.
  2. Use a genuine email signature with real contact information. Show consumers that you are open to connecting with them over the phone or online.

Technically, your email signature is a block of text that your ESP will automatically insert in every email.

A professional email signature accomplishes several objectives:

  • It reinforces your brand identity and boosts brand recall.
  • It demonstrates your credibility and builds trust.
  • It drives clicks to your CTA when included in the signature.
  • It humanizes your brand and offers readers ways to contact you.

You can use an HTML email signature maker to create professional, on-brand, and mobile-friendly signatures without the need to have an extensive background in design or development.

These tools have ready-made templates that you can customize with your brand elements, such as color palette, logo, fonts, and images. In addition, they have advanced features like social media integration, custom CTA buttons, Zoom call integration, and call scheduling widgets.

2. Segment your email list

Segmenting your email list according to subscriber actions or demographics allows you to send targeted emails. Marketers found that 55% of all email marketing revenue came from segmented email campaigns.

Use your CRM software to split your email list into more targeted groups.

A few ways in which you can segment your subscriber database are:

  • Demographics, such as location, age, or job title.
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Daily email list vs. weekly or monthly email list
  • Interests, such as sales or product updates
  • Source: from which lead form you received the contact information
  • Engagement: sending a slightly altered email or re-sending the email to people who did not open the first one (to ask why)
  • Stage of the customer journey: New customers vs. long-term customers

You can set up rules and conditions on an automated email platform to send targeted emails.

Email marketing campaigns can be used for a variety of purposes, such as welcoming new customers, sharing promotional offers, updating people about new feature releases, and so on. But everybody may not want to receive all these types of emails.

Segmented email campaigns allow you to send specific emails to your interested or most engaged subscribers only.

3. Optimize for mobile

Mobile-friendly email is the second-most used tactic to improve a company’s email marketing efforts.

And it’s clear why: mobile accounted for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide between 2015 and 2021.

42% of all emails are being read on a mobile device, so it makes sense to optimize your emails for a mobile environment. If your emails fail to load properly on a mobile device, you’re looking at tons of lost revenue.

The average revenue per mobile click is $0.40, much higher than the average revenue per desktop click ($0.19).

How do you optimize your emails for mobile viewing?

  • Ensure that relevant text can be read on a single screen without having to pan over.
  • Create a responsive email design (RED) that always renders correctly, irrespective of the user’s device. You can send email templates that change depending on the screen size in which they’re viewed. Responsive email designs use CSS media queries to create different email copies depending on the screen size. Most ESPs have this function.
  • Make the CTA conspicuous. The font type, size, and color should be easily visible. Regardless of screen size, viewers should be able to easily tap the CTA button.
  • Use short subject lines and pre-header text/snippet text. Include a CTA or summarize the email to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Ensure that the email and landing page load quickly. 53% of users abandon a mobile website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

4. Use A/B testing for copy, buttons, and design

A/B testing helps you determine what works best for your subscribers.

Companies that include A/B testing frequently as part of their email marketing program generated an 82% increase in ROI as compared to those that didn’t.

You can test subject lines, layouts, body copy, images, CTA buttons, and so on.

Some other things you can test:

  • Name in the “From” field: It could be a person’s name vs. CEO’s name vs. person’s name + company name.
  • Long vs. short emails: Long emails offer more details to the reader, whereas short emails take the reader directly to the landing page.
  • Plain text vs. HTML emails: Readers may appreciate the minimalism of plain text emails as they’re bombarded with slick visuals all day. They also look better on smartphones and smartwatches and pass through spam and privacy filters without a hitch.

Email elements that are most likely to be tested are subject line, CTAs, and send time/send day.

Through experimentation, the team at SolitaireBliss suggests segmentation to find optimal times to send emails. We kicked off sending email to our users at different times about our game, and came to know that it improved our email open rates.

Apart from improving marketing performance, continuous email testing prevents the following:

  • Broken images, missing/incorrect alt text
  • Typos
  • Broken/incorrect links
  • Unoptimized preview pane view
  • Incorrect email rendering due to email client updates

5. Automate email campaigns/set up trigger emails

Triggered emails are sent automatically after a user performs a certain action, such as signing up, completing a purchase, or abandoning a cart.

Triggered emails and autoresponder (welcome) emails have open rates of 38.03% and 26.47% respectively. It’s much higher than traditional email open rates (16.97%) because triggered emails are more relevant, immediate, and in the context of the action taken by the user.

The most common triggered emails are order confirmation emails, email receipts, and autoresponder (welcome and thank you) emails.

A few types of triggered emails you can send are:

  1. Activation emails – When a user creates an account but does not use your product within the first week, you can set up an automated email campaign to send reminder emails with login information, steps to use the product, or perhaps a video demonstration to walk the user through the product.
  2. Surprise emails – Customers love surprises. You can set up an automated email campaign to send emails to loyal subscribers offering a freebie or discount.
  3. Win-back emails – When users are nearing the end of their subscription, set up an email campaign to send automated emails reminding people about it and offering an incentive to continue or share updates about new features.

6. Use dynamic content

Litmus found that companies using dynamic content in their email marketing generated a 100% increase in revenue as compared to those who didn’t or who rarely did.

Dynamic content is a form of personalization where the content of your email changes based on the reader’s location, gender, buying behavior, or behavior on your website.

You send the same email template to each subscriber but the images, CTAs, and offers are altered based on specific criteria.

Other examples of dynamic content include live feeds from your socials or a countdown to an offer.

7. Use external email analytics tools

Companies that use third-party email analytics tools to measure the performance of their email marketing strategy generate 22% more ROI than those that don’t.

Commonly used tools are Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Litmus Email Analytics.

Popular metrics used to measure the success of an email campaign are:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Unsubscribe rates
  • Click-to-open rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Conversion rates

These metrics give you an idea of what content to feature in your emails and how to effectively target them.

8. Use email marketing tools

You must use some effective email marketing tools to optimize your processes and improve your email ROI.

Email service providers (ESP):

They offer bulk email services or email marketing services.

When you design your emails, you can choose to code your own HTML template and import into your ESP.

For greater impact, keep your design straightforward and place the most important information on top. Subscribers who scan emails will get the main message immediately.

  • Constant Contact –  It is most suited to e-commerce email marketing campaigns because of its features like shoppable emails and automated product recommendations.
  • Sendinblue – It offers both email marketing services and SMS marketing services. It’s useful for small businesses running simple email marketing campaigns.
  • ConvertKit – It’s great for people just starting out who intend to scale up in the future and use advanced features like complex autoresponders.
  • MailerLite – It allows you to send targeted emails to specific subscribers. You can also create responsive emails and autoresponder emails. It has a built-in A/B testing function.

Deliverability tester tools:

They test the ability of your ESP to place your emails successfully in the subscriber’s inbox.

  • MailGenius – It’s a free tool that tests your email for possible spam triggers.
  • GlockApps – It shows you in real-time whether your email landed in the inbox or spam folder or wasn’t delivered at all.

Conclusion

Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not dampen the effectiveness of email marketing. Four out of five marketers would rather drop social media than email marketing.

Email is effective because it’s customizable, requires consent, is measurable, and generates a high ROI.

Most people spend a considerable amount of time in their inboxes each day, so email is the best way to reach them immediately.

You’d certainly be missing out if you ignored this tried-and-tested marketing channel.

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