3 Ways to Improve Email Performance Without Increasing Your Send Volume

By Ben Kruger

So you want to improve your email performance.

That’s without a doubt the overarching priority for every email marketer, but how do you do it?

The simple answer is to increase your email send volume. The more customers you hit with any given email, the greater your chances of driving more purchases. And even if increasing your audience size lowers key performance metrics like opens and clicks, it can still drive more revenue overall.

But what if you don’t want to increase your email send volume? Increasing send volume to improve your email performance isn’t the best solution in every situation because not all of your emails are relevant to all of your customers. Furthermore, the more irrelevant messages you send to customers, the greater your chances of seeing a spike in unsubscribes. As a result, sending more emails to more people isn’t necessarily the best long term strategy for your email marketing program.

With that in mind, instead of defaulting to an increase an audience size when you need to drive some extra email marketing revenue, try pulling other levers to get the same result. Here’s how it’s done.

Prioritizing Email Performance Without Increasing Volume

As you begin to think about improving your email performance, it’s important to look for opportunities to do so without increasing your audience size.

In fact, you might find that dropping your email volume in favor of more targeted messaging isn’t as risky as you think. Consider the fact that only 15-20% of customers likely open your emails to begin with. Instead of emailing those millions of non-openers everyday, why don’t you pare that back and wait to send them something they actually care about?

For instance, you might:

1) Target Customers Based on Category Affinity

Retail is all about matching customers to the products that excite them, and the truth is that not every product in your inventory excites all of your customers. So what if you only sent a product-centric email to the customers who care about those products instead of your entire database? That type of targeted message makes a big difference, but to get it right you need a deep understanding of both your customers and your products.

2) Make Unique Recommendations with Dynamic Content

As you decrease your email send volume, your messages will need to perform better than ever. Including dynamic content blocks within your emails that serve up unique product recommendations for each recipient can help drive click throughs (which lead to site visits and, hopefully, conversions). Serving up that type of dynamic content not only requires an understanding of your customers and your products, but it also requires the ability to change content on the fly based on customer information.

3) Consider Customer Health

Before you send that next mass email, step back and take a look at the health of your customers. What if you find that 25% of them were once high value customers but are now at-risk? Is that email about your new sweater really going to re-engage those customers? You might be better off putting down that batch email and sending them something more targeted that will actually get them to open and click instead. To keep a pulse on customer health, you need easy access to data. Ideally, that data should take into account each customer’s individual buying cadence.

How Will You Improve Your Email Performance?

The bottom line is that email remains the backbone of most retail marketing programs, and that means you always need to search for new ways to improve your email performance.

And when it comes to improving email performance to drive more revenue, increasing your send volume will certainly help. In some cases, this may be the best option, but it’s not a strategy on which you can rely blindly.

So when you need a new way to improve your email performance without increasing your send volume, try exploring other opportunities to make your emails more relevant. Sending emails to fewer people in order to drive more revenue might sound counterintuitive, but if you do it right — by focusing on relevance — the results might just surprise you.

How well do your emails perform today compared to other retailers? Check out our 2018 Retail Email Benchmark Report to find out.

Ben Kruger

As the Senior Manager of Data & Insights, Ben helps retailers maximize their value of the Bluecore platform by identifying trends and opportunities within their datasets.