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Beyond Simple eNewsletters: Email Marketing ROI

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Updated By: Kristen Buerman on Fri, Sep 07, 2018

I recently heard email marketing and eNewsletters used interchangeably. Don’t get me wrong, I can understand how it happens, but I'm here to set the record straight. eNewsletters used to be the only form of email marketing; however, in the ever-evolving world of marketing, a lot has changed. Email marketing has become a comprehensive marketing strategy where an eNewsletter is only one of the tactics used. So let's jump into the what email marketing is now, how eNewsletters fit in, and the MASSIVE EMAIL ROI that comes with it.

What is email marketing?

Well, to be direct, email marketing is marketing and promotion through, you guessed it, email. Ok-ok, but what does that mean? What's the strategy behind it? How does it work? And how do I get the ROI that everyone is talking about? By the way, email marketing has an average ROI of 3800%.

Beyond Simple eNewsletters: Email Marketing ROI

Email marketing can include a variety of emails:

  • Welcome emails - These emails are sent when a prospect first subscribes to your blog and gives you permission to send them emails regarding your business.
  • Promotional emails - Retail emails that provide coupons, discounts, and special event announcements.
  • Transactional/Follow-up emails - Received after a purchase or service agreement is agreed upon. These emails can include follow-up surveys seeking feedback on service.
  • Cart Abandonment emails - Reminder emails for prospective customers of the items that are left in their online shopping cart.
  • Retention emails - Used to engage with current customers to stay top of mind. This is where eNewsletters fall into place.
  • Nurturing or workflow emails - Built to assist prospects through their buyer's journey by sending helpful information. 

An email marketing strategy works best when it incorporates a variety of these tactics. However, if you dig into the analytics, a majority of email ROI is going to come from workflow emails.

How Do Nurturing Email Workflows Work?

Email marketing workflows are an ideal process for nurturing prospects through stages of the buyer’s journey. Set up as separate workflows specific to each stage, it allows you to send content relevant to each prospect’s current buyer's state. Each piece of said content is designed to move the recipient into the next stage, triggering a new set of workflows to nurture them closer to the bottom of the sales funnel.

A well-designed email marketing nurture campaign meets prospects where they’re at. For instance, if a prospect in the awareness stage receives decision-level content, it might upset them or cause disinterest. It's important to make sure your workflow content is relevant to each recipient’s stage, and set up a process for moving leads into a new workflow once they’ve downloaded a qualifying offer. Luckily, inbound marketing software can automate this process with a little upfront effort. 

eNewsletters: There’s a Place and a Time

I'm making a big assumption here, but I'm assuming you know what an eNewsletter is and have received an eNewsletter delivered straight to your inbox on a reoccurring basis. If you haven't, what rock are you hiding under? eNewsletters are a common email marketing tactic used to send your prospects and customers information and updates about your company on a regular basis - the time period can range from weekly to monthly to quarterly.

Most people have come to view some eNewsletters as dreaded spam ... this is due to the content and how often they are receiving this information. These "spam" eNewsletters push their products on their customers and they shouldn't. Instead, eNewsletters should be built and used to cultivate a relationship with your subscribers through personal, relevant, and timely information that is user-focused. (Hint: Reference your buyer persona to channel their needs)

In a B2B environment, eNewsletters have the power to maintain and sustain the delight phase while providing value to your followers, customers, and/or contacts. A B2C eNewsletter has the potential to move beyond delight into a cross-sell or upsell opportunity. While eNewsletters are a useful tactic (if they're executed well), they are more effective as part of an email marketing strategy, not a standalone.

The importance of EMAIL MARKETING Analytics

As with all of your marketing efforts, it's important to look at the email marketing analytics to ensure you're on the right track. So what metrics should you be tracking? Below are a few that will let you know if your personalization efforts and content is hitting the mark:

  • Open rate: Are your subject lines grabbing your recipients' attention?
  • Click-through rate: Is your content relevant and helpful? 
  • Unsubscribe rate: Are you sending emails to the wrong people?
  • Referral traffic: Are visits to your website from email increasing?
  • Conversion rate: Are your recipients meeting your goal for the workflow?

The magical thing about data and analytics is its ability to show you when you need to be agile and adapt or when you've hit your mark and have the proof. Whenever you jump into a new strategy, it's important to be able to report on what's working and what's not. And believe me, email marketing works - it has the ROI to prove it


Still not completely sold on email marketing? Check out the case study below to see how and why we approach email marketing the way we do.

See Email Marketing in Action  Learn how (and why) we approach email marketing the way we do in this Case  Study. Download Case Study
Kristen Buerman

About The Author

Kristen Buerman

She enjoys diving deep into the numbers and trends behind campaigns and constantly looks at new ways to bring the right information to the right audience. Kristen loves a good process and if there isn’t already one in place, she’ll look to create it. Outside of work, you will most likely find Kristen at the softball fields or volleyball courts. She enjoys spending as much time as possible in the wide world of the great outdoors.

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