Marketing can be a minefield to navigate for ecommerce brands of any size. However, email marketing should always be considered as a marketing approach because, once configured, it can build revenue whilst you sleep.
The return on investment (ROI) of email marketing is well documented as being the highest of all marketing channels. On average, for every $1 spent on email marketing, $36 is returned.1 Moreover, email marketing ROI can be higher for certain sectors, with retail, ecommerce and consumer goods displaying the highest ROI at 45:1.1
In addition to revenue, email is also a great tool for building your brand. This is exemplified by the brand Hiut Denim, a company founded on two tools: the sewing machine and email marketing. The founder, David Hieatt, has created a marketing strategy oriented around email and cites it as the main reason for the success of the brand.2 He explains that, whilst other social channels have their advantages, email allows the brand to have a slower, more thoughtful conversation with their customers.
This in turn leads to a higher level of trust from customers. And Hiut Denim now boasts an incredibly loyal following.
As we think about email marketing ROI, know that this sits within a larger conversation around how an email newsletter can forge brand identity, build trust and create a loyal customer base.
Why is email marketing ROI so high?
We’ve established that email marketing ROI is high and worth considering. But why is that? Let’s look at a few of the key reasons behind this.
1. Email is used worldwide
Email remains a primary form of communication for the majority of the world’s population.
That may sound like a hyperbolic statement, but the statistics back it up:
- In 2023 there are 4 billion daily email users. This number is set to rise to 4.6 billion by 2025.3
- 376 billion emails are expected to be sent every day in 2025.4
In addition, email is for many people their preferred means of communication with a brand.
This wide use of emails means you aren’t constrained to the demographics of different social platforms. Thus allowing you to fully engage with your audience, whoever that is.
Whilst you aren’t dealing with algorithms in email marketing like you do with social media, it doesn’t hinder your ability to personalise email content. In fact, emails offer the chance to tailor your marketing more specifically than an algorithm behind a paid ads campaign can.
Personalisation is far more than addressing the customer by name. It can include sharing items they’ve recently viewed or similar products that may interest them. Offering email-only discounts and deals also means customers feel as if they are part of an exclusive club.
You also have the opportunity to collect first party data by asking your email subscribers to confirm their marketing preferences and indicate what they specifically want to hear about. This becomes increasingly valuable as third party data regulations are tightened.5
This step of personalisation and sharing dynamic email content is shown to increase ROI by 100%, in comparison with emails that do not utilise such content.1
Email marketing can grow with your brand and provide a steady revenue stream. Whilst this revenue stream can be lower than that of other marketing strategies, largely because it requires less investment than strategies like paid ads, it doesn’t mean you should discount it. The strength of email marketing lies in the fact that it can provide a sustainable and long-term revenue stream with an impressively high ROI.
Any business can reap the benefits of email marketing and see a high ROI if they execute it well. This is a marketing strategy that doesn’t require a large investment to achieve great results, but one that can be honed and invested in as your budget grows.
Be inspired by these email marketing ROI success stories
Shackleton sells high-performance apparel, suitable for the most extreme arctic conditions. The brand came to Swanky for marketing support from our Growth Accelerator team. Email marketing was one of the primary services the brand had highlighted as an area for support and growth.
In this area, our work included creating a new email template, introducing the use of an Abandoned Browse flow, and optimising the Abandoned Cart flow too. The statistics on these speak for themselves:
- After 30 days of implementation, the average click rate of the new email template saw a 297% increase.
- In the first three weeks after launch, the Abandoned Browse flow had an open rate of 61%, click rate of 5% and a placed order rate of nearly 6%. These email engagement levels are well above industry averages for the retail sector.
- In the first month, the Abandoned Cart flow generated 51% of the total revenue that the previous flow had made in 10 months.
This work is an excellent example of how email marketing can be used as part of a 360 ̊ growth strategy. By combining email, with paid ads and conversion rate optimisation (CRO), we saw Shackleton increase their YoY revenue by 74%.
Read the full Shackleton case study to learn more about how we approached this project.
Our work with Wilkinson Sword, a world-leading shaving and cosmetics company, was oriented around ecommerce internationalisation for the brand’s Shopify Plus site. Part of this project involved optimising the brand’s email marketing strategy. This included:
- creating a tailored segmentation strategy based on customer engagement with email and site activity;
- rebranding email templates for gender-specific product promotions;
- crafting a campaign strategy that aligned with the promotion plan; and
- A/B testing to compare image-led and text-only pop-up forms for mobile and desktop to grow the email database.
These efforts resulted in a 57% increase in email-owned revenue percentage and 15% total database growth. Learn more about how Wilkinson Sword leveraged our work as a full service agency here.
PishPosh Baby is an established omni-channel retailer in the US. Our work with the company has included rebranding, migrating to Shopify Plus, and leveraging the 360˚ approach of our growth services. In regard to email marketing:
- we created and executed a quarterly campaign strategy that combines blog content and promotions with email marketing;
- built a segmentation strategy for campaigns targeting customers who have viewed specific products;
- created flows specifically for loyalty customers;
- utilised integrations with Google Ads for remarketing campaigns; and
- used sign-up forms to collect additional data, such as shopping preferences and mobile numbers for SMS marketing.
The combined result of our work with PishPosh Baby has seen a total YoY revenue growth of 132%. Learn more about this project in our case study on PishPosh Baby.
Our email marketing work with Essential Jewellery earlier this year saw a 12% database growth in just 24 days and 22% email-attributed revenue within the first month.
The work we executed to achieve this included:
- Klaviyo account set up and migration;
- design and implementation of core email automations;
- creating a campaign strategy;
- personalisation based on customer preferences.
You can read the full Essential Jewellery case study to learn more about how we supported the ecommerce growth of this high street jewellery brand.
What’s included in the email marketing process?
There are numerous reasons why people are sometimes put off email marketing: from the initial investment of time involved in setting up flows and templates, to the jargon that can confuse and obfuscate a new user. The learning curve can be steep with this marketing stream, but it is worth pushing through so that you too can reap the rewards of a high email marketing ROI.
That being said, what exactly is included in the email marketing process?
1. Account and template configuration
Our go-to email marketing tool is Klaviyo for its ease of use and tried-and-tested performance. After creating an account and connecting this to your Shopify store, the next step is to design and create effective email templates. This can be a time-consuming process, but one that pays dividends in the future as it provides consistency and structure to all emails.
2. Set up core automations
Automated email series, also known as flows, are based on behavioural triggers. They are a series of emails and SMS messages that are developed around a specific user’s interactions with your brand. For example, a user may enter a Welcome Series when they subscribe to your email list. Or they may join an Abandoned Cart flow when they leave unpurchased items in their cart.
Once automations are set-up they require very little effort to maintain. They’ll keep generating revenue in the background whilst you focus on other marketing efforts. What’s more, Klaviyo data shows that automated emails drive over 14x more revenue per recipient than manual campaigns.6 It’s easy money.
Once your account, templates and flows have been configured you are ready to start campaigning. With a thorough understanding of your target audience in mind, carefully craft email campaigns that showcase your unique brand story, drive engagement and boost sales.
The number of campaigns you send is up to you and your audience’s preferences – the key is regularity, consistency and personalisation. Your audience will know what to expect and that it will be relevant to their unique user experience.
4. Testing & Optimisation
Refine your automations and improve campaign performance by using A/B testing to observe which elements of your email communications work better than others. You can A/B test anything from send time, subject lines, email content, design, calls-to-action (CTAs), images and almost any other element of an email that you can think of. You can then apply these learnings to future emails.
How will you increase email marketing ROI?
When you see the statistics on email marketing ROI there is no doubt it is a worthwhile investment for any marketing budget. The results aren’t seen as quickly as paid ads, nor are they seen as slowly as organic and SEO marketing approaches, making it a unique middle ground for many brands.
Email marketing takes time and expertise to hone and perfect; to see the results that David Hieatt speaks about, or the ones shared in our client examples above.
If you want to get a jump start on your email marketing journey, consider leveraging the knowledge of our marketing strategists to boost your brand’s growth. Get in touch with us today to start the conversation.