The success of an email campaign can be determined by a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs):
open ratio, click through ratio, conversion ratio, sales, unsubscribe ratio, etc. Email marketing success truly
depends on your business objectives as well as overall customer engagement. Email programs that grow
stale and stagnant are not going to entice and engage your most valuable assets – your email subscribers.
Savvy email marketers are always pushing to evolve their campaigns and wisely incorporate the following
seven proven email strategies. By doing so, they garner the strongest KPIs by capturing their subscribers’
attention time and time again.
These seven strategies and tactics outlined below will assist you in maximizing your email marketing Return
on Advertising Spend (ROAS):
1. The Basics
2. List Growth
3. Design Impact
5. Interactive Elements
#1 The Basics Alt Tags
Why do email marketers continue to neglect alt tags? Alt tags
are truly one of the easiest email elements to leverage when
Subject Lines optimizing templates, yet this brilliant element continues to
Why is it that we may spend a week crafting content and be excluded from most marketers’ html. An alt tag is the text
creating a compelling design, but falter on the subject line? content that appears when a subscriber’s email client doesn’t
The subject line is the first and possibly the only introduction render images. For those online retailers who create their
to your campaign that your subscribers may ever see. Take html as image slices (and there are plenty of you out there),
the time and effort to create a truly relevant, engaging subject be certain to include the alt tags. This simple email tool can
line that entices subscribers to open. For instance, if you entice subscribers to open and click with a savvy text call to
are going to promote a percentage discount or free shipping, action without a single image displayed. As more and more
it’s critical to communicate the offer to your subscribers email clients, or more importantly subscribers, trend towards
immediately. It’s surprising how many companies miss the turning off images, it’s important to use alt tags in every email
mark on clearly stating the offer within. For example, if you template. Take the time to create strong calls to action via alt
want to promote $25 off a purchase of $100 or more, the tags. Instead of saying “picture of red shoes” for the alt tag
subject line that is going to initiate the subscriber to open consider the offer that you are promoting and include it within
is “$25 Off Your Next Purchase,” not “Preview our the alt tag. For example, “25% off your next shoe purchase,”
Fall Inventory.” will engage the recipient and urge them to download images
to learn more about your promotional offer. Even if you have
If you are in the B2B marketing world, it’s equally as critical to a good balance of text to images, it’s still worth the additional
engage your subscribers by using a compelling subject line. effort to include alt tags in your email messages.
Promoting new features, services or products may be very
appealing to B2B subscribers who yearn to learn more about Pre-Header Text
your offering. For instance, if you are a linen company who
Pre-header text can be an email marketer’s best friend.
works with hotels and have new offerings within your linen
Think of this email element as pre-content that can tout
lines, a persuasive subject line may be “Orders Available Now
your promotional offers, new products, product features or
for our New Linen Line” versus “Follow up Regarding New
services. Most marketers use it today to offer a web version
Linens.” The previous subject line creates urgency as well as
for those that may have rendering issues, and yet it’s the most
reinforces the new line.
valuable real estate in your email message. So instead of
using the standard “If you are having difficulty viewing this
email, click here” leverage this prime real estate to promote a
strong call to action linking directly to the highlighted offer:
• Save Now During our Preview Sale, 25% Off
• Version 17.1 Just Released, Quantities Limited, Order Now
A pre-header provides subscribers with immediate
gratification without having to download a single image.
2 List Growth The Right Call to Action
“Subscribe” and “Register,” while often used, can denote an
additional commitment from the subscriber. Consider a “Join
List growth is a critical aspect of your email marketing
Now” or “Sign-Up” on your homepage or other areas where
program that should always be top of mind. If your list has
you promote your opt-in to increase conversions. It’s also
been static over the last year, it’s time to implement
important to continually test your proven champion call to
alternative tactics to grow your opt-in list. It’s also important to
action against new challengers.
emphasize the word “opt-in” when discussing list growth. The
benefits of growing your list organically are very clear: higher
Embrace New Subscribers
retention rate, more engaged audience, more profitability and
a strong and stable sender reputation. The reality is that if Thank and welcome new subscribers immediately with a
someone has requested to receive communications from you, Welcome email highlighting the big wins of your email
they are much more likely to interact with your email program. Build a robust Welcome series that touches new
campaigns and ultimately convert. subscribers consistently by bringing your brand to life with
personal triggers geared towards building a strong
Here are several key fundamentals to follow when growing relationship with each new subscriber.
your email opt-in list:
Easy to Find Opt-In
Customers should not have to search your site to sign up for
your email marketing efforts. Place your subscribe banner on
3 Design Impact
your homepage and within your universal navigation bar so Seeking ways to boost your click-through and conversion
customers can find it with ease. Give your subscribe banner rates? The design of your email templates may have more
the valuable homepage real estate it deserves. Don’t hide it impact than you realize. If you are creating an all image html
deep within pages of content, requiring the visitor to dig to campaign, chances are many of your subscribers may not see
locate it. Offering your subscription in a highly trafficked area it. A 2010 MarketingSherpa survey found that “only 33 percent
will enable you to further engage an audience you may have of those surveyed have images turned on by default in their
previously been missing. email client.” Thus, consider using a reasonable text to image
ratio. Text is every email marketer’s friend, always pepper text
Make It Easy to Join elements throughout your email templates. In addition, have
The easier it is for subscribers to join, the more likely they will. you experimented with your call to action, footer components,
So, limit the form fields required to join your email program. header height or even dynamic content use? If not, you
Requesting multiple fields, including preferences, may cause should. Your campaign will only be as successful as you allow
a significant amount of form abandonment. Instead, get what it to be. Experiment with your design to see what
you need to begin the dialogue and collect additional engages your subscribers.
information over time through pointed drip campaigns or a
smart “manage preferences” call to action.
4 Relevancy #
5 Interactive Elements
“Untargeted email programs increase costs by as much as In a web 2.0 savvy world, the need for email marketers to
3.6 times the cost of targeted programs,” per the Relevancy be smarter with their email marketing tactics becomes even
Group in 2010. Yet email marketers struggle to be relevant. more of a necessity than it once was. Using strategies that
According to eMarketer, “44% of marketers surveyed believe incorporate engaging elements such as share with your
the biggest challenge in email is providing relevant content.” network (SWYN), videos, polls, and conversion paths
Delivering your email campaign to the right person, with the allow you to enhance your email marketing program with
right message, at the right time is critical to your overall email components that encourage the subscriber to interact.
marketing success. So how does one successfully create Of the many interactive elements, here are two that are easy
relevancy in their email marketing program? to implement:
Applying the Right Metrics SWYN
How can you elevate the value of your communications, Leverage the power of social media within your email
reference a recipient’s purchase history or preference profile? template. Enable subscriber’s to become stronger brand
Your success lies within your filed data and your ability to advocates by providing a SWYN feature in each and ev-
segment. Leveraging a sophisticated segmentation tool ery email. Make it easy for subscriber’s to promote your
against strong customer field data will enable you to serve email offers through Facebook and Twitter. According to
timely and pointed lifecycle campaigns based on a MarketingSherpa’s “Email Marketing Benchmark Survey”
subscriber’s affinity and purchase behavior. Take the time (2010), “Roughly 80% of marketers say that social sharing
to plan and build an integrated application programming “extends the reach of email content to new markets” (81%)
interface (API) between your e-commerce platform and and “increases brand reputation and awareness” (78%). If
your email service provider (ESP) – this endeavor will glean you haven’t incorporated this social feature into your email
incremental revenue streams via endless segmentation program do so before your next send.
Timing Videos are everywhere. YouTube is a testament to how much
Timing is critical when ensuring relevance. Think back to people enjoy viewing anything from the mundane to the highly
your subscriber segments. If you created a segment of entertaining. Think about how you would like to reinforce your
customers that have purchased shampoo in the past 30-45 brand through video. To include video within your email
days, an appropriate campaign would include a discount off marketing program, here are just a few rules to live by:
of their next shampoo purchase, or a buy one get one free
combo for shampoo and conditioner. Sending a campaign that • Always have the video stored outside of the email,
speaks to their purchase behavior and preferences, as well as and link to it.
creating campaigns that are sent at the most appropriate time, • Use text to describe the video.
will yield a stronger ROI overall.
• List the file size, length of video and formats supported.
• Offer multiple video format choices to accommodate
6 Analytics Customer Satisfaction Programs
Consider creating an automated message that will be
triggered when a customer makes a big item purchase to
To create impactful email marketing, you need the ability
gauge their satisfaction with the process.
to overlay your web analytics data with your email
marketing KPIs. You need the ability to take your email
marketing/web analytics integration beyond traffic analysis in
an effort to gather specific data in real-time on your prospects When a customer abandons their shopping cart, trigger a
and customers. Having access to this data will enable you to message highlighting their abandoned items and similar
build true relationship email marketing. But how do you make product email recommendations to garner a higher
it actionable? By gathering valuable insight into your customer conversion ratio.
behavior, you can create segmented lists and lifecycle
campaigns that will significantly increase retention ratios. Win-Back Programs
Dig deeper into your data by combing audience segment If you haven’t had a customer return to your site or make a
identification, conversion analysis, path analysis, and purchase in six months or more, integrate a win-back email
behavior tracking/metrics. This data can help you create a that entices the customer.
closed-loop measurement of your email marketing program.
To get started, identify your business goals and objectives Pursue these seven strategies within your email marketing
and then create segments based on those. They could program to reap a higher overall engagement with your
include promoting a repeat purchase, encouraging a first time subscribers and create additional ROI in the months to come.
purchase or increasing customer retention. The opportunities
to entice and engage are endless.
Trigger based email marketing is extremely effective because
Bronto Software provides the leading marketing platform for
it provides a one-to-one touch based on the relationship
online and multi-channel retailers to drive revenue through
between you and your subscriber. To be successful though,
email, mobile, and social campaigns. Over 1000 organizations
you must be certain to define your business rules, set
including Party City, Etsy, Gander Mountain, Dean & Deluca,
frequency limits and remember the importance of recency.
and Trek Bikes rely on Bronto to increase revenue through
Automated campaigns can trigger timely and relevant
interactive marketing. The company won the Stevie Award for
messaging that a subscriber is often excited to receive.
Best Customer Service in 2009 and 2010 and was named a
Here are three types of trigger based email campaigns that
CODiE Award Finalist for Best Marketing Solution in 2011.
you should incorporate into your current program:
For more information, visit bronto.com or call 888-BRONTO-1.
• Transactional Triggers
• Recurring Triggers
• Threshold Triggers
These trigger based campaigns can include:
You can create effective cross-sell and up-sell email
campaigns using trigger based actions from your customer’s
Lead Nurture Programs
Create action based email triggers for your prospects that
speaks to their interests and affinity.