In Internet Retailer’s 2016 Digital Marketing Survey, more than 38 percent of online retailers cited email as the channel that gave them the best return on their marketing investments – beating out mobile apps, paid search and even social media by more than double. A 2015 survey by eMarketer reported that email drives 10 to 25 percent of most companies’ revenues.
The relatively low cost of sending emails, even at scale, can make the email channel a powerful revenue driver of sales from the product catalog – when used correctly. But many retailers invest large amounts of time and resources in developing a single email representing one product category – only to see a 17 percent open rate, then never resend that email.
“Why,” these retailers think, “would my customers want the same message in their inbox again?”
But that mistaken line of thinking leaves vast amounts of revenue on the table. Here’s why.
1. Emails are cheap – but not that cheap.
When compared with product catalog marketing channels like display and video, email comes out the clear winner in terms of cost. Once your design and copywriting teams have crafted a powerful email message and laid it out in a compelling way, your costs are essentially finished – all that’s left is to send it out to customers.
Even so, it can take a long time to push new graphics through the email production funnel. Every day you spend developing new emails from scratch consumes not only time, but also production resources that could be applied to other campaigns.
This means effective emails are assets you can’t afford to waste.
2. A low open rate isn’t necessarily a bad sign.
Say, for example, that you send out a new marketing email this week, and 83 percent of recipients never open it at all – but the 17 percent who do open it have a much higher click-through rate than recipients of any other email you’ve recently sent.
In a case like this, your email’s high click-through rate far outweighs the low open rate. That 17 percent open rate could be attributable to all kinds of causes – you might’ve chosen a bad time of the week to send the email, the subject line might need some additional personalizing, or you might need to target certain audiences more precisely.
But the high click-through rate means this email is definitely worth remailing. As we like to say, “The best email you sent today is probably the best email to send tomorrow.”
3. Remailing maxes out your revenue for each offer.
Many marketers try to come up with an entire calendar of unique emails, with the goal of ensuring that every customer sees a new offer or product category in their inbox every few days. But this single-send approach is a major mistake – because it assumes that every customer who didn’t open your email was actively disinterested in your product catalog.
If your email got a large number of click-throughs from those customers who did open it, a more efficient solution is simply to resend it to the rest of your audience a few days later, to see if more customers happen to open it then.
Like every other asset in your business, an effective email is a tool to be leveraged again and again, whether that means reusing it, re-adapting it, or both.
The truth is, though, that the most efficient solution is to build up a library of emails, and personalize each of them for specific customer segments and sales goals.
For example, if you’ve got an email calendar of 50 product catalog emails, it’s a waste of time and resources to send out two of them to your entire audience today, then two tomorrow, and so on down your calendar. Instead, it’s much more effective to personalize every one of those 50 emails for a specific segment, and target individual customers with offers they’re most likely to respond to.
This is a tall order for even the hardest-working marketing team – but it’s exactly what our self-optimizing email software specializes in doing for you. Have questions? Our email marketing experts are here to answer them.