Consistency, Relevancy & Value = High Email ROI
In the financially troubled year of 2009, there were some interesting things we saw happen in the email marketing world. The importance of email authentication continued to grow, as did increasing the reach of your email campaigns through the ever-growing social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But one of our clients in the medical education field showed us that taking a simple, disciplined approach to their email program by staying consistent and relevant produced extraordinary ROI. The annual cost of their email marketing program was $4,200, and it produced a trackable $219,500 in revenue from direct online bookings (and that doesn't include any enrollments made over the phone)!
Our client didn't do anything extraordinary to achieve such an astounding ROI – they simply gave their subscribers the opportunity to choose the type of course information they were interested in receiving and then delivered that information on a consistent schedule. They created a targeted opt-in process which they then used to segment by "medical fields" for each send. They also stayed on a strict schedule of the third Thursday of each month with October and November as exceptions by doing two sends during the pre-holiday busy period.
Their content and creative was trimmed down from a lengthy newsletter to a single focus postcard style keeping it super relevant to what their audience was asking for. Their call to action was a simple discount with an expiration date associated with it. They kept the copy simple and gave direct links to the courses that were being discounted for that month. The site offered a direct way to enroll from the site and they also provided a toll free number for inquires in the email. Next, we'll be proposing to use a unique 800 number so that we can tie those phone orders back to the email program as well.
Tracking the campaign was important not only to show the value of the campaign but also to for the client to know what courses where of most interest. All the links were tagged with Google Analytics and had eComerrce incorporated which was the main tracking tool but we also used a tool called "action tracking". Check out the GA stats from the entire year of 2009. One major stat to notice is that even though the year campaign was responsible for only 2.95% of all site visits, it was accountable for 11.95% of all revenue produced.
Overall the client taught us that staying simple and relevant plays a big part in every email campaign. Display a clear call to action and always track every interaction from the campaign – and the results will often take care of themselves.
– Ryan Austin
Director of Email Marketing