Author: Jodi Harris / Source: Content Marketing Institute Would you turn down an opportunity to increase the value and impact of your con
Would you turn down an opportunity to increase the value and impact of your content marketing program with just a few tweaks to your email list? How about the chance to earn rock-star-level praise from your executive team for achieving better returns on your company’s email marketing investment? When you consider just how valuable email subscribers can be to content marketing success, I’d be surprised if you haven’t already pulled out your credit card and started looking for the “sign-me-up” button to take advantage of this amazing offer right now.
Sorry … I spend way too much time watching late-night infomercials. But seriously …
According to Jessica Best, director of data-driven marketing at Barkley, these kinds of results are well within the grasp of any company that creates email content for a subscribed audience.
Paving the way to success
Let’s back up a minute because email marketing is some seriously powerful stuff – I’m talking the OxiClean of content marketing products. Consider these few stats:
- According to a 2015 VentureBeat study, email offers the greatest potential for ROI of any marketing channel, delivering an average return of $38 for every dollar invested.
- A June 2016 survey of U.S. marketers conducted by the Data & Marketing Association and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122% – more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined, including social media, direct mail, and paid search.
But, as Jessica says, you aren’t truly ready to unlock your “email rock star” badge until you are prepared to do two things:
- Accurately measure the returns on your marketing investment – not just opens and clicks.
- Understand how to maximize the content assets and email framework you have in place.
Fortunately, in a presentation she delivered at Content Marketing World 2016, Jessica shared some of her best (!) tips for overcoming deliverability issues, increasing email engagement among your audience, and determining the overall impact of your efforts – all of which will enable you to demonstrate your achievements in a way that your content marketing stakeholders will understand – and thank you for.
Doing the math
Jessica asserts that one of the primary barriers to email success is a lack of understanding when it comes to measuring the returns on your (email) marketing investment (ROMI). For the record, Jessica describes ROMI as a separate calculation from ROI, as it doesn’t factor in the business’ overall cost of goods – it’s simply marketing dollars in/marketing revenue out.
Jessica recommends calculating email ROMI by taking the amount of revenue a campaign generated, subtracting your expenses for creating and delivering that campaign, and dividing the result by your expenses.
Jessica also suggests visiting the EmailMarketingROI.com site for a simple calculation tool that comes in handy for this task.
Click to enlarge
Maximizing your most valuable asset
Grow a healthy subscriber list, and tend it regularly: When it comes to email marketing success, Jessica says everything boils down to your ability to cultivate a robust list of “hand-raising” subscribers (i.e., those who have asked for your content and, therefore, are more likely to read it regularly), as these audiences represent your strongest potential for business growth. No matter how valuable, creative, and fresh your email content might be, if you aren’t able to deliver your messages into the hands of the right people (and as many of them as possible), you’ll never reach your full ROMI potential.
Of course, it’s simply not enough to amass a giant list of names and email addresses; as you know by now, those lists need to be built through ethical means, so that your reputation as a credible, trustworthy marketer remains beyond reproach. This can be achieved rather simply by following the industry’s best practices (like the ones Seth Godin describes in his book, Permission Marketing) for securing your subscribers’ opt-in permission before you message them.
This keeps your email content from running afoul of expectations. But you also need to make sure your recipients continually view the content they receive from you as a desirable benefit, not a delete-able nuisance. Remember: Just because subscribers gave you permission to reach out, doesn’t mean they feel obligated to engage beyond the initial connection.
Optimize your lists: We all have email newsletters we were once enthusiastic about receiving but, for some reason or another, are no longer motivated to click through, or even open. As marketers we hate to admit that our messages may not be a top priority to readers (or to the email clients that deliver them); but the bigger issue here is that sending emails to subscribers who are no longer active – or even interested – can skew our metrics and lower our ROMI. Think about this: According to Jessica’s data, on average, as much as 40% of your email list hasn’t opened, clicked, or purchased from you in over a year. That’s a lot of dead weight dragging down your campaign success averages.
Re-engage your fans: Jessica feels that your first course of action for addressing this issue should be to identify and re-engage with subscribers who still want…