One of the most common questions we receive from our customers is: How can I get better results from my email campaigns?

The answer is pretty straightforward. We recommend studying and reviewing trends in your list(s) from month to month. Study your subscribers, list growth, sending habits, opens and clicks, and more. The better you understand each element of your email marketing program, the better chance you have of improving your results.

Of course, studying is only the beginning; you have to apply what you learn. Below, I’ll take you through the areas you’ll want to focus on, and provide some tips on how to improve your results in each one.

Open Rates

Average email open rates are around 20%. If your open rate is below that, it can indicate one or more of the following issues:

  • Your content isn’t relevant
  • Your list is old or “aging out”
  • Your subject lines aren’t compelling enough

One way to increase your open rate – especially if it’s consistently low – is to create a segment solely comprised of subscribers who opened your email, and send future emails exclusively to this segment. While you will not be mailing to as many addresses, you will reach people who are actively engaged with your content, products and services, and/or special offers. This is your core audience – the people who are most interested in your emails, and who are likely already spending money with your organization.

Click-through Rates

Click-through rates also provide important information you can use to tweak your email strategy. By keeping track of which URLs are being clicked, you can get a clearer idea of which content is getting a better response from your recipients. This not only helps you gauge the success of your current campaign, it also helps you craft future campaigns, because you have a better idea of what your audience responds to. And, by providing the content that your readers are most interested in, your open rates are likely to improve as well.

Recipient Platform

The Recipient Platform refers to the devices your subscribers are using to view and/or open your mail – i.e., desktop, tablet, mobile phone, etc. This information can tell you a lot about how your users like to access content, including emails, as well as when they prefer to access it. It can also help you determine which email design approach you should use. For example, if most of your subscribers access email on their desktop computers, you might concentrate on using traditional, HTML-based email templates. If, however, the majority of your readers check email on their mobile devices, then it makes sense to use a Responsive Design approach. That way, your emails will display properly, no matter which device they’re viewed on. (Net Atlantic’s RED Template Editor is perfect for this).

In addition to the examples above, we recommend you keep the following key points in mind:

  • Make sure you have the right subscribers
  • Analyze your data
  • Create compelling content your readers want to receive
    • Your content should benefit your subscribers and provide value
  • Put plenty of time and thought into your subject lines – they can make or break your campaign
  • Plan for mobile
  • Include social media links at the bottom of your emails

Download our 11 Most Successful Email Marketing Business Models white paper, and learn more about why these items are so important to the success of your campaigns – and how they can help your score soar!

To sum up: Study the results of your campaigns and analyze the data. Make appropriate adjustments to your campaigns, test everything (and then test some more), and maintain a clean subscriber list. Do all these things and you will see results. It might not happen overnight, but with diligence and attention, it will happen!