Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage customers and drive sales for ecommerce stores. In fact, nearly 80% of marketers consider it to be one of their top three most effective channels.
However, with so many emails flooding customers’ inboxes (over 300 billion sent per day), standing out in your audience’s inbox can be challenging. But that’s where email marketing optimization comes in.
By using the right strategies, you can boost your campaign’s effectiveness, improve your conversion rates, and build stronger relationships with your email subscribers.
In this guide, we’ll discuss proven email optimization strategies to help you maximize your marketing efforts.
Table Of Contents
- What is email marketing optimization?
- How to optimize email marketing
- 2. Personalize your email subject lines differently
- 3. Make the most of your preheader
- 4. Create valuable content for your audience
- 5. Add eye-catching images to your emails
- 6. Use clear and action-oriented CTAs
- 7. Optimize your send time
- 8. Optimize your emails for mobile devices
- 9. Leverage your welcome emails
- 2. Personalize your email subject lines differently
- Final thoughts: 9 effective email marketing optimization strategies
But first, let’s look at what email campaign optimization is.
What is email marketing optimization?
Email marketing optimization refers to improvements you make to your email campaigns to ensure your messages are effective.
One of the key benefits of email marketing is its high return on investment (ROI). According to a 2023 Barilliance report, email has an ROI of $38 for every dollar you invest (3,800%). About 18% of companies see an even higher ROI of over $70 per dollar invested.
Besides the high ROI, some benefits of optimizing your email campaigns include:
- Improving customer engagement: Investing in digital customer engagement channels like email marketing increases a company’s revenue by 90% on average.
- Increasing conversions: The Barilliance report shares that optimized “email my cart” emails — which trigger when customers add items to their shopping carts and try to abandon them — have some of the highest conversion rates at 24.58%.
- Building customer trust: Our 2023 Email Marketing Benchmarks report shows that personalized emails create customer trust and tend to have higher opens (30.26% vs. 26.55%) and click-throughs (2.7% vs. 2.1%) than generic emails.
- Saving time and resources: 67% of marketers use email to distribute their content since automated campaigns eliminate repetitive tasks and help you focus more on other high-value functions.
How to optimize email marketing
1. Focus on email marketing automation.
2. Personalize your email subject lines differently.
3. Make the most of your preheader.
4. Create valuable content for your audience.
5. Add eye-catching images to your emails.
6. Use clear and action-oriented CTAs.
7. Optimize your send time.
8. Optimize your emails for mobile devices.
9. Leverage your welcome emails.
Email automation will help you schedule and send emails to relevant recipients at scale on autopilot.
In our 2023 Benchmarks report, we found that automated emails triggered by customers’ behavior had higher than average open and click-through rates (CTRs).
The open rate for automated triggered emails was 35.33%, and the CTR was 3.69%. In comparison, the open rate of regular newsletters was 26.7%, and the CTR was 2.13%.
Triggered emails are effective because people are more likely to read and respond to emails they receive right after taking action.
To automate your email marketing strategy, you need an email and marketing automation platform like GetResponse MAX.
GetResponse MAX offers ecommerce-focused features that will help you stand out from the competition, including:
- AI product recommendations that match your products to the needs, habits, and preferences of store visitors and suggest the products they’re most likely to buy.
- Email deliverability optimization that helps you send over 2 million emails per hour with a 99% deliverability rate.
- IP address that lets you send emails from your own domain and fully control and monitor your sender reputation.
- Dedicated Customer Experience Manager to help you optimize your marketing campaigns for maximum performance and offer priority support via email, phone, live chat, and Slack.
- Coordination of email communications with other channels, like SMS and web pushes.
- Abandoned cart emails, advanced segmentation, and integration with 100+ business tools.
2. Personalize your email subject lines differently
In our 2023 Benchmarks report, generic subject lines outperformed personalized subjects in terms of open, click-through, and even click-to-open rates.
That’s because email recipients are no longer impressed by the common subject line personalization tactic of “We have a special discount for you [firstname].”
So, how do you solve this?
When planning your campaigns, focus on your customers. Which of their issues are you addressing? How exactly will you help them? What do they need to know to purchase your product?
The answers will help you segment your customers and create personalized content for them. And if the content is relevant to your subscribers, creating a subject line with high open rates will be simpler.
You can also use our AI Email Generator to create engaging and goal-optimized subject lines that help you stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes.
Just insert your keywords and select your industry, design, and tone. Then, our GPT-powered email generator will create an optimized subject line and email in less than a minute!
3. Make the most of your preheader
The preheader text is the second thing after the subject line your subscribers will see. It determines whether recipients open your email.
Emails with preheaders have an open rate of 32.95% and a CTR of 3.12%. Compare that to emails without preheaders with an open rate of 25.72% and a CTR of 1.97%.
Your preheader and subject line should work together to tell the story. So, think of interesting ways to flare up your subscribers’ interest and make them want to open your email.
Here’s an example from Urban Outfitters:
Urban Outfitters’ preheader complements the subject line and makes it catchier and more engaging. The two elements are also highly personalized to the brand’s target audience, although they don’t include the reader’s first name.
That means personalization does work for subject lines. It simply needs to be more than “hi [firstname].”
Also, remember to A/B test your preheaders and subject lines. Try an A/B split with different preheaders and track which emails get the most open and conversion rates, then adjust accordingly.
4. Create valuable content for your audience
Offering valuable content consistently without asking for anything in return will cause your subscribers to become loyal customers. A 2023 Semrush report found that 44% of businesses succeeded in content marketing by improving their content’s quality and value.
When done well, content marketing can help guide your customers through the buyer’s journey and maximize online sales.
Some examples of how to offer valuable email content to your ecommerce audience include:
- Creating video tutorials on how your products work.
- Adding high-quality product images.
- Sending emails that address issues of interest to subscribers.
Here’s an example email from On Running — an athletic shoes and sportswear company — showcasing its products:
As you create content for your audience, remember that what’s valuable to one customer group may not interest another. Tailor your content to meet the needs of each segment on your email list. And distribute it across multiple relevant channels.
5. Add eye-catching images to your emails
In our 2023 Benchmarks report, emails with images had an open rate of 30.27% and a CTR of 2.78%. Emails without images saw an almost 10% drop in the open rate (21.9%) and a CTR of 1.13%.
Images are crucial in attracting the recipient’s attention when they open your emails. They also help your copy convey details about your products and break up large blocks of text.
When using images, always stay on-brand and choose the right visuals. An off-brand image can detract from your on-brand message and distract your recipients.
For instance, suppose your offer is a discount on a particular product. In that case, you can simply include a picture of the item and its description, which immediately tells the reader, “This is the product on offer, and here are its features.”
Here’s a brilliant example from HODINA:
HODINA’s email design is simple but effective. It has a discount offer in a large font, high-quality product images, a brief description for each product, and a call-to-action (CTA) button leading to the checkout page.
Consider collaborating with your marketing and social media teams to create a consistent visual voice across the marketing channels that appeal to your target audience.
6. Use clear and action-oriented CTAs
The ultimate goal of your email marketing campaign is to direct readers to your website and convert them into customers. The CTA is the most crucial element of your email since it directs recipients to take your desired action.
For that reason, optimize the language you use in CTAs. It should be clear, action-oriented, and friendly and have a sense of urgency. For example, phrases like “Limited Offer,” “Shop Now,” and “Only X Products Left” create a sense of urgency and cause customers to act fast.
However, you don’t have to stick to the good old examples. You can get creative and make up your own CTAs, as Methodical Coffee has done:
The “Show Me How!” CTA button is concise and direct. It tells subscribers exactly what to do, which increases their curiosity to click on it.
You can also add multiple buttons and links to the same landing page throughout your email to give recipients more chances to click through and convert.
7. Optimize your send time
Send-time optimization boosts the chances of your target audience reading and opening your emails. It also shows that you treat customers as individuals, which improves the customer experience and strengthens brand loyalty.
With a tool like GetResponse MAX, you can easily optimize your send times and increase your email engagement rates with algorithms like Time Travel and Perfect Timing.
According to our 2023 Benchmarks report, Time Travel had a high open rate of 30.21% and a CTR of 4.41%. Compare that to the average email open rate of 26.80% and CTR of 1.89%.
With Time Travel, you choose a specific time to send your campaign, and GetResponse MAX will automatically adjust the timing based on each subscriber’s local time zone.
For instance, let’s say you’ve scheduled your email for 10 a.m. Time Travel will deliver the email at exactly 10 a.m. — regardless of whether the recipient is in Miami, London, or Hong Kong.
Perfect Timing analyzes each subscriber’s past behavior to determine when they’re most likely to open and click, then adjusts your email campaign’s timing accordingly.
For example, suppose you have 3 customers in the same time zone: Customer A with a Perfect Timing of 9 to 10 a.m., Customer B with a Perfect Timing of 1 to 2 p.m., and Customer C with a Perfect Timing of 5 to 6 p.m.
You then send an email at 9 a.m.
In that case, Customer A will get their email immediately since 9 a.m. is in their Perfect Timing range. Customer B’s email will be delayed by 4 hours and Customer C’s by 9 hours, so they get their emails at the ideal times of 1 and 6 p.m., respectively.
8. Optimize your emails for mobile devices
Based on a 2022 Pew Research Center report, 76% of U.S. consumers buy products online using a smartphone. Every time you send emails promoting your offers, you can expect about three-quarters of your recipients to access your website on a mobile device.
That clearly shows why it’s crucial to create mobile-friendly emails. If most customers shop using their phones, they probably open their emails using the same device.
If you use GetResponse MAX’s predesigned templates or craft your email from scratch in the Message editor, we’ll convert it to a mobile-optimized email automatically.
You can then view the mobile and desktop versions side by side before hitting the send button:
9. Leverage your welcome emails
Welcome emails have an average open rate of 63.91% and a CTR of 14.34% — over 3x higher than regular newsletters.
On top of driving engagement, welcome emails set expectations for your relationship with new subscribers. So, use these emails to emphasize what makes your products and brand unique, tell your brand’s story, and share the most crucial links. You may also add a discount code to increase sales.
Here’s an excellent welcome email from Lyft:
Lyft’s simple but stunning welcome email focuses on the app’s look and feel. It also uses inviting language — “Nice to have you on board!” — that makes you feel at ease as a new subscriber.
Final thoughts: 9 effective email marketing optimization strategies
Optimizing your email marketing campaigns is the key to success for any business. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can boost the performance of your campaigns, increase customer engagement, and drive more revenue.
That said, achieving optimal results requires the right email and marketing automation service provider, and that’s where GetResponse MAX comes in.
With ecommerce-focused features like AI product recommendations and advanced segmentation, GetResponse MAX can help you reach millions of potential customers quickly and precisely.