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Proving Email ROI: A Step by Step Guide

Struggling to quantify the value of email marketing? Let’s explore the ins and outs of email ROI.

Email marketers face a range of challenges daily, from driving engagement to measuring success, integrating with other digital channels, hand coding emails, and finding the bandwidth to conduct A/B testing.

However, there’s one challenge that hits them where it hurts the most, their budgets.

Proving the return on investment (ROI) of email marketing campaigns is often a struggle for marketers, as issues with resourcing, executive buy-in, and ROI tracking impede results.

As such, email marketing is often overlooked when it comes time to allocate budgets and resources, continuing the cycle of under-resourcing and under-performing.

So what can you do to address this ROI issue?

ROI starts at the top

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Well, first and foremost, there are some factors that are currently out of your control when it comes to proving ROI, though you probably already knew that!

Litmus research has found that 52% of marketers believe their email programs are either understaffed or very understaffed. This puts you at an automatic disadvantage, as you’ll obviously see inferior results if you don’t have the budget or resources to create compelling campaigns.

Another factor that impedes effective ROI tracking and the adoption of ROI-driven email tactics is poor leadership.

Dave Chaffey, co-founder of Smart Insights, believes that there’s frequently a lack of leadership or buy-in from budget holders when it comes to a holistic email marketing strategy. “Without this vision and resourcing, marketers tend to have plenty to keep them busy creating newsletters, promotions, and other business-as-usual activity. Yet once marketing automation is set up and optimized, it contributes value each and every day an automated email is triggered.”

Email marketers and marketing leaders need to build this business case over time as more and more positive results flood in.

And it starts with you…

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It’s not just poor leadership and inadequate resourcing that contributes to this problem, there’s also some responsibility on your shoulders.

Performance tracking and effective ROI analysis are sometimes sorely missed in the email marketing world, probably due to the ROI challenges they’ve faced in the past.

But 2019 is a new year, and it’s time for a new email marketing you.

Set new goals and KPIs for this year and take a macro view of your email marketing efforts.

Don’t just look at specific channel objectives and campaign-level metrics like open or click rates.

Examine how your email marketing KPIs help achieve wider marketing goals, customer engagement metrics, and business needs.

Additionally, take stock of the health of your database, analyzing inactivity and deliverability rates, and determine which subscribers should be purged in the new year.

And by purged, we mean in a cleansing, “new start” way, not in a terrifying, horror movie way.

What does success look like?

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Circling back to your leadership, and how to change the way they view email marketing ROI and success.

You need to consider how the other leaders in the organization view marketing success. Is this part of the problem? What metrics are they considering and do they actually know what they mean?

Remember, you’ve got to speak their language and translate your email marketing success (and its impact on the greater business ROI) in terms they’ll understand.

For more information on boosting email marketing ROI, check out your blog; How to Increase ROI by Changing Your Email Marketing Approach.

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