Email Is Hard – Here’s How To Make It Easier

myemmaAccording to Ensighten, 62% of marketers say they often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information that’s coming at them from all directions. On the flip side, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue (Direct Marketing Association). If marketers have the data they need to send personalized emails that drive engagement and results, why aren’t more brands actually doing it?

It’s not that marketers don’t want be better at email marketing, they’re just busy. As we discovered through conversations at our recent roadshow stops in Austin and Denver, marketers are increasingly strapped for resources, manpower, and time. Very few people actually hold the position of full-time email marketer, and because email returns a solid ROI regardless of the effort put into it – 3,800%, on average – it often gets reduced to an afterthought.

However, by not making email a priority, marketers are missing out the kind of returns that are possible from owning the most effective digital marketing channel available to them. Here are four ways to start building email campaigns that drive remarkable, engaging experiences in the inbox and beyond.

Define your goal and build your email around it

When building an email marketing campaign, you should hone in on one of four main goals: acquisition, conversion, retention, or advocacy.

Acquisition: Get the right kind of awareness

Conversion: Convert awareness into revenue

Retention: Keep your current customers

Advocacy: Encourage new referrals

What marketers have to understand is that you can’t achieve all four with a single email. The minute you try to accomplish too much, you’re going to lose engagement from an audience that doesn’t understand what you actually want from them. Build each email you send with a clear, focused goal in mind to help drive results.

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Create a better experience with thoughtful design 

Brands spend an inordinate amount of money on every facet of their brand when it comes to design, so why should their email programs be any different? When it comes to email, design tends to get overlooked. However, as a marketer, it’s your responsibility to tell a story and maintain consistency across all of your channels.

Use mobile-friendly templates that help amplify – not distract from – your branding elsewhere. Consider including animated GIFs, which can boost conversion rates by as much as 130%, according to Marketing Sherpa. Most of all, keep your design focused around a CTA button that draws the eye (and the clicks).

Segment based on what you know about your audience

Even though relevant emails drive 18X more revenue, 42% of marketers still aren’t sending targeted email messages (MarketingProfs). List segmentation helps you guarantee you’re sending the right messaging to the right folks, and small tweaks can make a huge difference.

A few key pieces of data to segment based on include location, engagement or inactivity, and purchase history. At the end of the day, email is all about minimal viable audience: What is the smallest, most targeted list you can send to in order to make your email as relevant as possible?

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Automate whenever possible for scale and efficiency

Email automation is the key to making the most of your resources and content. It helps you save time, repurpose content, and deliver some impressive results. And since emails trigger based on subscriber activity, they’ll be the most relevant and timely messages you can possibly send.

Automate based on key dates like birthdays or sign up anniversary, as well as behavior, like browsing your website, clicking on a particular link in an email, or abandoning a shopping cart.

Truly owning the inbox is a marathon, not a sprint, so choose the area you can most easily tackle and move from there. You don’t need to do everything all at once, and even incremental improvements will help. Plus, as we like to say, data solves debates: The hard results you gain will help you iterate with time and get better at email with every send.

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