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8 quick fixes to boost your email marketing ROI

One of our team’s favorite stats these days – and that’s saying something, because we eat that stuff up around here –  is that the average ROI for email marketing is 4300%. If you don’t happen to spend most of your time researching marketing (don’t we all?), that’s really, really good. Like double-that-of-any-other-digital-channel good.

But if you find that your emails aren't paying off quite as well as you had hoped, never fear! Here are 8 simple methods you can use to improve your campaigns and achieve the crazy good ROI that makes email the most cost-effective strategy on the digital marketing scene.

1. Grow your list.

This one may seem obvious: The more people on your email list, the more people you can reach and the more people you can ultimately convert. But when the average list churns by 30% every year, it can be really difficult to keep yours growing.

What you need is a smart strategy to combat the natural churn your list faces. And a great way to quickly grow your list is to implement a lightbox-style signup form on your website. Using a lightbox form has helped Emma customers experience as much as a 700% lift in email signups! It’s a simple strategy that gets big results.

Women's retailer Yumi Kim uses a gorgeous lightbox on their homepage.

2. Automate.

Automation is one of the most effective ways to send more timely, relevant messages to your audience. Plus, automated emails average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click rates. Better results in less time – what’s not to love?

If you’re still not sold, consider this: Automating your emails also has a direct, concrete effect on your ROI. Companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates than non-users and an annualized revenue growth rate 3.1% higher than non-users (Aberdeen Group).

3. Rethink your “from” name.

In the hope of making their emails seem more personal, several brands have experimented with changing their “from” names to the names of individuals – “Jim Halpert” instead of “Dunder Mifflin,” “Jake” instead of  “State Farm,” etc. Because humans like to hear from other humans more than they like to hear from brands... right?

Maybe not. If you’re currently using a person's name as your “from" name and find that your open rates are low, it might be a good idea to change it to a more recognizable brand or company name. It’s not that people don’t respond well to emails from other humans; it's that seeing “from" information that isn’t clearly related to someone they know can be a red flag for individuals who are growing increasingly wary of spammers in their inboxes. Make sure your recipients know they’re getting emails from someone they actually asked to hear from by making your “from” information as crystal-clear as possible.

Even though this email is from “,” this company uses their much more recognizable brand name, Lyst, instead of “Cat."

4. Target behavior.

Segmenting by demographics like age and gender is a great start for today’s email marketer. But if you’re looking for the best results possible, it’s much more effective to segment your subscribers by behavior. Send your recipients targeted messages based on their purchase history and see your conversion rates skyrocket: 81% of US online shoppers are more likely to make purchases as a result of emails based on previous shopping behaviors and preferences (Harris Interactive).

Or target by email behavior: Send loyalty offers to those who consistently open your messages and re-engagement campaigns to those who never do. Either way, your subscribers will appreciate the super-targeted emails they’re receiving and be more inclined to make purchases as a result.

5. Think mobile.

Over 50% of all email is opened on mobile devices, and checking email has become the #1 activity on smartphones. So it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re optimizing your emails for mobile; otherwise, you’ll lose half your audience when they find out that your email doesn’t render correctly on their iPhone or Android.

A stat from our mobile guide. Click to see more!

And be sure to optimize your landing pages for mobile, too! You might send the most beautiful, valuable, targeted email ever – but if the landing page you direct your subscribers to within that email can’t convert because it's awful to navigate on a smartphone, all the hard work you put in will be wasted.

6. Use video.

Video is huge these days, and there’s plenty of data out there that proves it. According to one study from Experian, embedding a video in emails increased conversion rates by 21%. And click rates improved 7-13% when marketers simply included “video” in the subject line of an email.

Mario Batali often uses video demonstrations in his emails.

7. Test.

Testing everything from your CTA buttons to your subject lines gives you instant insight into what your audience likes and what they don't like. Maybe your CTA copy just isn’t compelling enough. Maybe you aren’t communicating the value of your email well enough in your subject line. You’ll never know until you test different options, so test, test, and test again – you’ll be able to craft emails that you already know your audience will love (and click on!) because you have the data to back it up!

8. Don’t ignore existing customers.

Many marketers focus the majority of their efforts on wooing new prospects. But one of the smartest, most effective, and least expensive ways to find new customers is to utilize your existing ones.

Existing customers are a great resource for bringing in new business, especially when they refer their friends or share your content with people who would normally be beyond your reach. And since the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, they’re an incredibly important segment of your audience to continually engage. Be sure to let them know you care with regular attention, special offers, and loyalty programs.

Offer your most loyal fans a special sale or discount, like this one from DSTLD.

Have any other methods helped boost the ROI of your emails? Let us know in the comments!