3 simple tactics for ultimate email performance

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Email works, right? It boasts one of the best ROIs out there --  approximately $40 for each $1 spent  --  and research shows that in 2012, 92 percent of executives surveyed planned to maintain or increase email marketing budgets.

The question is: if you're operating on the same emails strategy you have for years, what's the point?

If all you're doing is throwing a dart at the board blindly, hoping it'll hit the bull's eye, why spend more money? To buy more darts? Today too many big companies, looking to make every penny count , do email marketing all wrong, focusing too much on acquiring more email addresses and forgetting there are actual people behind those names with different wants, needs, interests, and expectations.

If you've been using the same email strategy since you had an Earthlink account, declare an end to batch-and-blast email process and say "hello" to a more effective email strategy, empowered by consumer behaviors and changes in the industry. To turn your email campaigns into winning experiences, your mantra for the immediate future should be: triggers, tailoring, and togetherness.


"Get'em while they're hot" is a helpful focus for email marketers. There's no better time to make a sale then when someone has recently shown interest in your company's product. Trigger messaging -- messages automatically sent based on a customer's action as part of their larger experience -- can help increase your conversion rate into the double digits. These campaigns are easy to set up and almost effortless to maintain. They also add an extra level of service to your customer base.

All you need to do to hear opportunity knock is look for the other parts of the audience's experience that prompt smart outreach.

Some trigger campaigns are welcome emails, sent to someone who has just opted in to your company's communications; abandoned cart emails, sent to someone who hasn't completed a transaction; confirmation emails, sent to someone who has completed a transaction; even emails sending along birthday wishes. All of these create value-added experiences for your customer and additional sales opportunities.

For welcome emails, inform your customer of what to expect from your company. Drive them to your company's website, creating an incentive for first-time purchases. For abandoned cart emails, urge them to return to the site and complete their transaction. Confirmation emails should do more than confirm the order: Offer additional items that may spark their interest (e.g., "customers who bought this also purchased X") to entice them to make another purchase while their credit card is out. For birthday emails, include an incentive to encourage a purchase. (And maybe remind them how young they look. That's for kindness vs. effectiveness.)

Over time you'll begin to set a benchmark for testing. For example, for abandoned cart emails, maybe including a 5 percent, 10 percent, or 20 percent discount will show improved success in returning and completing their purchase?