5 secrets of the most cost-effective email marketing

Email marketing can grow your business quite unlike any other form of marketing.

Where paid advertising and social media require considerable time, effort, and even financial investment, email marketing can be a bargain. It's relatively inexpensive, it's easy to create and send in most platforms, and it has a low barrier to entry.

But here’s the thing: You need to know the most cost-effective email marketing techniques so you can fine-tune your campaign for a bigger return on investment.

By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what those techniques are.  

5 of the most cost-effective email marketing strategies in 2018

Research on email marketing found that it can deliver around $40 for every $1 of marketing spend. While that is an attractive prospect in itself, the benefits of email marketing aren’t limited to purely financial gain.

The ROI of email marketing comes in many forms, and with the following strategies, you can ensure that your budget will reap rewards in all the key metrics that matter.

1. Use automation to free up resources

Email marketing automation is a great time-saver. You can craft personalized emails for various buyer personas in your audience, then set up triggers so subscribers receive targeted emails depending on their on-site behaviors.

What previously took days can now be done in a few hours or less. Repetitive tasks can quickly be automated, freeing up personnel and resources to focus on more important tasks such as strategy and analysis. 

Using automated email sequences, also known as drip marketing campaigns, is becoming commonplace across all industries. This clever strategy can gradually nurture people through your sales funnel until they are ready to make a purchase.

Studies by MarTech show that companies using automation in this way can generate a greater sales volume up to 80% higher than those who don’t. Better yet is the fact that this significant gain can be obtained at a fraction of the cost.

With the undeniable savings on time and money, there’s no doubt that automation is one of the most cost-effective email marketing developments in recent years. Getting started with email automation now can help get the edge on your competition, or at the very least, it will ensure you don’t fall behind.

2.  Experiment with copy and design

Email marketers can dramatically change the fortunes of their campaigns by making small changes to key aspects of their emails.

From experimenting with subject lines to crafting compelling calls-to-action (CTAs), it is possible to drive clicks and conversions with very little effort or investment.

Here are some great tips to write killer copy for your next email marketing campaign:

Use the K.I.S.S. method.

This means ‘keep it simple and strong’. People receive a lot of emails every day, and they don’t have a great attention span to trawl through lengthy, wordy emails that beat around the bush.

Use conversational language and a friendly tone that puts your recipients at ease. Cut the fluff and focus on delivering valuable content that is engaging and insightful.

Make your emails scannable.

Remember what we said about attention span? Well, here’s an essential tip to keep your readers hooked.

Break up text with short sentences, lots of white space, and punchy subheaders. By delivering your information in bitesize nuggets, you can keep readers engaged to the very bottom of your emails.

Adding some appropriate images and bullet points can help get the message across in a more powerful, memorable way.

Focus on benefits, not features.

We’re sure that everything your company offers is fantastic, but here’s a little secret:

Nobody cares.

People don’t want to read content about a company blowing its own horn. Online consumers are out for themselves, and the businesses that cater to their needs are the ones that succeed.

Rather than waxing lyrical about how wonderful your products and services are, shift the focus to the reader. Let them know how their lives will change for the better, linking each feature to a powerful, positive impact for them and their pain points.

3.  Aim for organic list growth

Imagine you set up a new campaign to target millennial customers. You might use Facebook Ads to target this demographic.

When the results come in, it’s going to be difficult to know just how effective your emails were when paid advertising was in play.

One of the most cost-effective email marketing techniques is to simply use it on its own. By testing out your emails, subject lines, and sign-up CTAs without using any paid promotion, you can get a more accurate overview of how effective the campaign truly is.

Analyzing your organic list growth enables you to measure the real success or failure of the campaign. If open rates are high, but conversion rates are low, you’ll know some changes are needed to make the offers more relevant and appealing to your target audience.

One way that you can boost organic list growth is by creating irresistible lead magnets. This is when you offer a valuable resource to entice people to sign up. For example, you could offer an eBook, cheat sheet, or toolkit in exchange for their email address.

Done right, you can create one powerful lead magnet and then use it to drive qualified leads into your funnel, effectively building a bigger list of prospects for relatively little output.

4.  Segmentation is essential for growth

Many companies make the mistake of treating their email list as one group. They send out the same emails to everyone, regardless of their age, location, or unique interests.

Doing this might be easier, but it’s not likely to generate much ROI. In fact, because you’ll invariably be sending irrelevant content to many people on your list, you may actually motivate some people to unsubscribe.

It won’t matter if you have beautiful images and catchy copy. If the content isn’t of interest to the recipient, they won’t engage it. Research from eConsultancy found that 74% of marketers believe targeted personalization can boost customer engagement.

By segmenting your audience into smaller groups, you can target people on a more personal level, taking their unique interests and behaviors into consideration.

You can segment the audience by various aspects, such as:

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Location

  • Profession

From there, you can tailor your emails so they resonate with each group. For example, Adidas sends out different emails to men and women with offers for men’s shoes and women’s shoes respectively.

This strategy of segmentation is much easier nowadays thanks to machine learning and data analytics. Advanced technology allows marketers to collate behavioral data on their customers and onsite visitors, and then adapt by sending tailored content that is more likely to be a hit with the individual recipients.

Over time, machine learning can improve as it has more data to work from. As a result, this is one of the most cost-effective email marketing strategies to invest in today, because it allows you to figure out what works, so your business can offer a continuously-improving service.

5.  A/B testing can maximize ROI

Testing out different techniques and analyzing the results is a big part of email marketing success. By doing this, you can save time and money that would otherwise be wasted on ineffective methods.

Using A/B testing can help boost open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and ultimately, increase conversions.

It is easily one of the most cost-effective email marketing techniques for any marketer to use, regardless if it is for a large corporation or small startup business.

By continually testing out alternative variables such as your copy, images, and sending times, you can hone in on the recipe for success.

Wrap up

Email marketing offers companies a direct route to their audience. While it takes time and patience to perfect, it is well worth investing your resources in email.

Even with the other channels available in the digital age, Forbes believes email is the best avenue for lead generation.

If you can harness the vast potential of machine learning, it’s easy to segment your audience and target them with more relevant, personalized content. By thinking about your customers’ needs and interests at a deeper level, you can forge stronger connections, and ultimately, nurture greater trust and loyalty.

In the end, staying agile and reactive are key ingredients for success. Companies who adopt a customer-centric approach will be able to generate a vastly superior ROI with email marketing than is possible with any paid advertising or social media marketing campaign.

About the Author

Lane Harbin

Lane Harbin is a senior content marketing manager at Emma. When she’s not geeking out over email marketing, she enjoys binge-listening to podcasts, catching up on the latest tech news, and constantly rearranging her living room.

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