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Best Practices for Driving More Email Revenue

If you’re already seeing good returns from your email program, you’re not alone.

After all, email is pretty well-suited for driving brand revenue. It’s the top channel for driving marketing ROIPwC’s Total Retail survey found that email is consumers’ preferred channel for receiving brand communication. Meanwhile, email newsletters are an increasingly popular way of staying informed, making it an increasingly popular way of driving revenue in ad-driven business models.

So you might be driving email revenue, but could you be driving more?

Whether you’re brand-new to email marketing or have sent a few emails in your time, here are a few best practices to ensure you’re getting the most from your email program.

Turn your passing site traffic into email subscribers.

Odds are, you probably see quite a bit of your traffic from search or social referrals. Unfortunately, visitors from these sources tend to leave as quickly as they got there, perhaps never to return again.

Collecting the email address is the key to building lasting, revenue-generating relationships with your passing site traffic. Email gives you a way to deliver content, discounts, or other marketing materials directly to your audience, without having to rely on search or social algorithms.

Email audiences also tend to be among a brand’s most engaged users. On average, visitors from social media view 1.2 pages per session, while site visitors referred from email will rack up 2.5 page views per session. Whether you generate revenue through ad impressions or ecommerce, email’s extra page views can make a world of difference.

Put simply, the bigger your email list, the bigger your revenue potential.

An effective email capture strategy can help you grow your email list, and therefore, your revenue. We’ve compiled a few resources to help you create an email capture strategy that maximizes email list growth without harming your site experience:

Engage new subscribers right away with an effective welcome email.

After new subscribers sign up for your email list, it’s reassuring for them to receive a confirmation that their signup went through. That sense of completion is partly why a welcome email typically receives about double the open rate of a regular newsletter.

When you know people are more likely to open this email, why not make the most of it? Take advantage of the welcome email’s high open rate to keep them engaged with your content.

A good welcome email:

  • Thanks your new email audience for subscribing
  • Tells new subscribers what kind of content to expect from the emails that follow
  • Provides a strong CTA, giving you a chance to direct them back to your site at the peak of their interest

By following welcome email best practices, you’ll give your new subscribers a good first impression of your email program, which ensures they keep opening and clicking.

Don’t let an email go to waste.

The welcome email isn’t the only kind of email that tends to command high open rates.

Like that initial email, transactional emails (such as order confirmations or shipping updates) confirm that an action was successful, so people tend to open them. Sometimes, they even open them more than once, leading some transactional emails to earn an open rate of over 100 percent.

Naturally, that means you can use transactional emails to keep your email audience engaged too.

Give your readers the information they’re looking for, then provide a relevant CTA to keep them engaged with your site. This could be by inviting to shop related items, showing them content that aligns with their interests, or even giving them a discount for their next purchase.

By pointing them towards something relevant, you increase the chances of getting these users back to your site while they’re still interested.

Optimize your email for mobile devices.

Overall, mobile conversion rates pale in comparison to desktop conversion rates. Many brands see just 1/3 as many conversions from mobile devices as they do from desktop. That wasn’t such a big deal a few years ago, but now that practically everyone browses the mobile web, the discrepancy in conversions can be a little scary.

In some cases, this comes down to intent: some people use their phones to browse and their desktops to purchase. Still, in other cases, it can be the result of a poor mobile web experience. If your form requires visitors to pinch, zoom, and scroll their way to completion, they probably won’t convert.

The same goes for email.

The majority of emails are opened on mobile devices, which means that your marketing emails must be designed with mobile in mind. Otherwise, your audience won’t read them: over 70% of people will delete emails that look bad on mobile without reading them, let alone clicking them.

How can you design emails that look good on phones? Learning responsive email designmight be a good place to start. Here are a few other resources:

Use email list segmentation to maximize relevance.

The more relevant your email is to your audience, the more likely that audience is to engage with your email. Of course, unless you have an email audience of one, your audience probably isn’t unified in their interests. To maximize your email relevance, you’ll have to cater to your audience. That’s where segmentation can help.

Used effectively, email segmentation allows you to tailor email communication to different parts of your list. With a bit of data, email marketers can segment their audiences based on:

  • How often visitors engage with your content
  • The content categories visitors view
  • Your users’ location
  • Their purchase history
  • How often they open your emails
  • And more!

With more targeted communication, you can drive more email revenue.

Give the people on your email list options.

What’s another way to segment your subscribers? By letting them segment themselves.

Different subscribers may have different preferences for what kinds of emails they receive and how often they receive them. If you offer more than one newsletter, implementing a preference center allows subscribers to tell you what kind of content they want to receive.

You can also use preference centers to let subscribers set their email frequency as well. When you send email only as often as your audience wants, you reduce the chances of that audience becoming fatigued with your email, which means they’re more likely to keep engaging.

Preference centers also allow you to send more email to your “power users” without annoying the core of your email audience. With an optimized sending frequency, you can lock down more of that email revenue.

Try to wake up any lapsed email subscribers with email re-engagement campaigns.

Unfortunately, email engagement doesn’t always last forever. You could send the best emails in the world, but it won’t stop some subscribers from eventually ceasing to open your email. It’s inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be permanent.

You can potentially win these subscribers back to your side with an optimized email re-engagement campaign. In fact, sometimes these campaigns result in subscribers who are more engaged than they were before. Try segmenting your unengaged subscribers into a separate email campaign to target them with content that reminds them of your email’s value.

Use social media to your advantage.

While social media might not give brands the easy site traffic and audience reach it once did, that doesn’t mean it can’t be put to good use. Successful brands view social media—at least in part—as a marketing channel to funnel their audiences into another communication channel where they can reach their audience more effectively.

We’re talking about email, of course.

By promoting newsletters on social media, adjusting your email capture for visitors referred from social media, and inviting these passing users to join your list, you open up a new channel where you can engage your audience directly.

It’s in this direct channel where you can truly start to build audience relationships. And when it comes to driving revenue, there’s no better best practice than that.

Melanie Angel
Editor, PostUp PlayBook

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