An Increased ROI of 4,300%? It’s True and Possible with Email Marketing

SMS Text

Being entrenched in the world of organic search and social media can make even the most well-rounded search strategist forget about the value of e-mail marketing.

According to an August 2013 report released by the Direct Marketing Association, E-mail marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for business and brands across the United States.

E-mail Marketing in 2014 and Beyond

Considering the rise in use of mobile devices over the last four years, consumers are continuously becoming more comfortable with making on-the-go purchases. In fact, it is estimated that commerce transactions will reach $3.2 trillion in the next three years, according to Juniper Research.

email marketing statistics - jason corrigan

Screenshot taken on 04/01/2014 from

Brands eyeing the soon-to-be largest, most lucrative demographic — the Millennials — will love to know  18-39 year olds check their e-mail more than anything else on their phones. So getting your brand’s icon and call-to-actions in front of audiences they frequent the most can provide significant rewards.

While it may seem more popular to run a social media contest (although it never hurts), learning how to optimize your e-mail marketing efforts can prove to be an invaluable part of your brand’s entire digital marketing campaign.

Consider Timing and Target the Senses

Even if your brand has successfully developed a large list of members who regularly receive your newsletters, most consumers do not spend more than a few seconds trying to understand the content in front of them before deleting the e-mail or moving on to something else.

Avoid using generic images, instead offer a variety of pictures that clearly articulate your purpose. Include call-to-actions that speak directly to the audience, while also representing themes that trigger positive responses. This could look like a United States Flag that asks viewers to buy products from an American company, influencing consumers to make a purchase because they feel good about “buying local” or “buying American.”

Connect With the Individual

While it may seem obvious, taking time to create personal, unique copy for your audience is key for maximizing opportunities considering response and engagement rates. So when possible, make sure to include custom information that is specific to the individual or audience’s history and needs.

Considering even the smallest details like addressing consumers by their name opposed to the generic “customer,” goes a long way in providing a sense of trust and confidence that can translate into direct conversions.

Become Agile

Streamline your marketing efforts by aligning with a quality e-mail service provider that allows you to develop and send attractive, optimized e-mails to mass audience.

Mail Chimp | Email Service Provider

Screenshot taken on 04/01/2014 from

Companies like MailChimp allow marketing executives and e-mail strategists to track the progress of their campaigns through real-time reporting and analytics, allowing you to improve internal efficiency and increase the rate of return on your

Target Specific Demographics to Increase Engagement

If possible, create specific e-mail groups that allow you to send custom, targeted messages that speak directly to the unique demands of segmented consumers.

Offering unique content to target audiences allows you to offer exact solutions that resolve niche dilemmas / needs, supporting conversions and transactions.

Make Time for A/B Testing

If you are investing thousands of dollars or more on executing an extensive campaign, it’s certainly worth the time and energy to perform a series of A/B tests that gauge the strength of your e-mail’s headlines.

According to Convince&Convert, 35% of consumers open their e-mails based solely on how compelling the headline is.

Create titles that are direct and almost summarize the main point of the content that exists within the e-mail. Depending on what e-mail service provider you subscribe to, brands can send out two versions or more of the same letter and track their success through analytics.

Jump Start Your Profits

Creating and implementing an intelligent e-mail marketing campaign can introduce your brand or business to new consumers from all over the world.

Whether you are coming off of a trade show and have access to the participants’ e-mail addresses or you’re building your own followers with social media and targeted content, learning how to properly optimize your efforts and aligning with these tips will help open up additional opportunities for increasing your annual profit margins.

Julian Connors
Julian is an experienced search marketing director who has developed complex, wide-scale search and social campaigns for brands that include: P&G, Crest, Papa Johns, Staples,... Read Full Bio
Julian Connors
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Great insight. Coming up with a compelling subject line is the hardest part of an e-mail marketing campaign – it will definitely make or break consumer interest!

  • DJ Woolfy

    We tried with email marketing several times, which proven very bad for us. We will consider these tips because our technique was really bad according to steps listed here. Thank you!

    • Hello DJ, thank you for the comment and can you tell me a bit about the results your previous campaign drew?

  • Awesome article Jason. A example of email groups that we recently introduced to a dentist is for “new patients”, “existing but no regular visits”, and “recently visited” all with different focuses. Glad you mentioned the headlines and mobile, you have seconds to grab their attention and convert.

  • Hey DJ, thanks so much for your comment! I agree that figuring out the right model to implement is always difficult and brings about a particular level of frustration. Hopefully, these tips will help steer you in the right direction. If not, feel free to connect with me directly on LinkedIn for more support!

  • Hey friends, thank you for your comment and yes, getting the client’s attention immediately is paramount for maximizing conversions. Let me know if any other campaigns you run work well and how you set them up.

  • Some great tips. When we started email marketing at our website, we were blown away by the results. Most people who registered for our email list were genuinely interested in our products, and consequently converted much better then random users on our website. It’s very important for every website to be doing email marketing!

    • Hey Edan, thanks so much for checking the article out! What type of headlines did you lead with that that caught so much attention?

  • jason

    Some great ‘best practices’ on email marketing.

    Thanks Jason.

    • Hey Jason, great name (must be a sir) and thank you for your comment! Have you ever used e-mail marketing in the past?

  • Great marketing strategy but this would be considered as an email SPAM, is that right?

    • Hell Vher, thank you for the comment and I would not consider a well-rounded, strategic email campaign to be spammy. I think that it only comes off as spammy when you forget the small details such as addressing each e-mail to a specific person, keeping the message unique and asking them something specific about their particular needs or status.

  • Patrick Haire

    A/B testing is really important and often overlooked. Do you have any tips for testing headlines?

    • Hey Patrick, thanks for the comment and I am glad you enjoyed the article! I would recommend using tools like Google Trends and Soovle to understand what forms of a particular term your audience uses when referring to your services. You can use tools like this to get down to the most nitty gritty details such as understanding whether or not your consumers use “purchase” over “buy” when searching online.

  • As stated many other times, I hadn’t thought about emails and their use in marketing. I fall into the millennial section and would have thought it was dead but multiple solutions can be alleviated. Small businesses needing to reach large groups can do so on a smaller budget. Also, the email hits them right in the pocket! I know I check mine every 5 minutes. With a catchy headline, I’m sure to read atleast 5 seconds worth! ;-p