Email ROI in 3 simple steps

Thursday, September 5, 2013
Written By

I have lived the frustration of apparent client apathy. A meticulously crafted email – on point, clear and timely – may result in just a handful of clicks from your clients. Reality is, historic data proves it’s unreasonable to expect most clients to click where you ask them (or even read what you send them) – it’s 2014, and our inboxes overflow with vendors who want attention.

  • Overall, B2B marketing emails have an average click rate of 3.2%
  • Financial services industry emails have an average click rate of 2%.

So we can expect somewhere around 2-3 of every 100 recipients to be engaged enough to click. In a rapidly changing broker world, does that make email campaigns a waste of time? Let’s talk ROI.

Show me the money

First, how long does an email distribution take? Given the right sales and marketing platform (shameless plug for Zywave product, Broker Briefcase), setting up a campaign to touch clients on a regular basis throughout the year takes less than 10 minutes. Once sent, just one compelling message in a campaign sent to a group of clients or prospects could spur a cross-sell, deep-sell or new client revenue opportunity – even if the recipient does no more than glance at the sender and subject line. Well worth the 10 minutes.

Bottom line? In the age of transparency, instant gratification, and ever-present mobile devices, email remains one of the most powerful tools for small businesses to drive growth and client retention.

  • 74% of online adults named email their preferred method of communication.
  • 72% of companies said email marketing provided an “excellent” or “good” return on investment.
  • More than 60% of B2B marketers are using email for drip nurturing.
  • 14% more users will open promotional emails today than in 2006.

The trick on moving the needle is thinking of your email as a vehicle to deliver value rather than a “marketing campaign.” Let’s talk strategy to make your email end in a sales opportunity rather than the deleted bin. Zywave Partners often see click rates of double or triple industry averages by following some simple, logical rules.

Show me the way

  1. Be relevant. It’s obvious, but send content that applies. What a small not-for-profit vs. a large construction firm will value is very different, and your message should speak to its audience.
    • Break down clients and prospects by industry, size, age or cross-sell opportunity (e.g., does a segment of your book need to consider risks of lacking a certain type of cover?)
    • Check your data. If you see lower-than-expected results on your emails, it may be an opportunity to review the accuracy of email addresses you have for your client and prospect lists. Buying lists to blast to does not only put you at risk of being blacklisted, it also dramatically lowers your email performance rates.
  2. Don’t be noise. Notice your own behaviour when scanning emails from vendors. How do you decide what evades the deleted folder? It takes a split second.
    • A meaningful, brief and powerful subject line works. Subject lines under 40 characters that don’t sound spammy typically perform best.[7]
    • Stay consistent on timing – don’t wait until renewal season to send an email marketing campaign. According to a recent survey, clients want to hear from their broker at least once a month.
    • Keep your name in front of clients. Some email marketing platforms, including Broker Briefcase, connect to your email address, building your brand and putting a recognised address in the inbox.
  3. Earn credibility. Think of a vendor whose messages often meet your trash bin – is their content relevant to you? Then think of others, who have trained you to give them a second look.  Mimic the latter and train recipients to click on your next email by providing high-quality content in every email.

If you’re already taking 10 minutes every year to engage prospects and clients with content that matters – do a fast check to identify one opportunity to improve what you’re sending.

And if you’re not – how many opportunities are you missing?

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