Email is an essential medium for businesses across the globe. But getting more return on investment from your email marketing efforts can be a challenge, even for the most seasoned marketeer. While there’s some debate around the best indicators of email marketing success, businesses generally look at deliverability, open rates, and click throughs as the holy trinity.

Nowadays, many marketers look to the same well-trodden techniques to improve these. From stuffing emojis and target words into subject lines to timing when to send, curating captivating content, tailoring tempting offers, and stringently stripping sending lists. There’s an array of tricks designed to squeeze every last drop of value from email communications.

But at Red Sift, we believe there’s more to email ROI than meets the eye. While all of the above may help in seeing results, these are really the tip of the iceberg. We feel there’s a fundamental lack of awareness around some foundational ways to improve email marketing ROI that every business should know. Here are 3 lesser-known ways to get more ROI from your email marketing. 

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1. Set up SPF, DKIM and then DMARC for improved deliverability

Sending out a marketing email (or any email for that matter) without the right security protocols in place is a bit like posting a letter without a stamp. It probably won’t get very far. Deliverability is of course the first hurdle for an email marketer to jump, yet many don’t put the technical foundations in place to guarantee this. 

Return Path found that on average, 21% of a business’ mailing list doesn’t even receive the emails they send. This gap of almost a quarter poses a significant threat to your email marketing ROI, but it can be closed. While you can’t avoid all the soft bounces, hard fails or spam complaints you come across, if you correctly implement the basics for email security (SPF, DKIM and DMARC) then you’re giving your emails the best chance of arriving safely in the inbox. 

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SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. This is an authentication protocol which enables a domain owner to list up to 10 verified mail servers used to send emails from you (i.e. Yahoo, Mailchimp, etc). DKIM is another protocol which acts like a digital receipt, letting the recipient know that your email has been digitally signed by you. DMARC then uses both of these protocols to protect your domain against exact impersonation, meaning bad actors cannot use your domain to phish your supply chain or damage your reputation on the internet. 

But as well as offering vital security and anti-phishing benefits, DMARC and deliverability actually go hand in hand. This is because by implementing DMARC correctly, you’re telling all recipient servers that the emails you send are definitely from you. So, your reputation improves, your deliverability can increase and even the inbox placement of emails can get better. 

While this all sounds great, DMARC can be a daunting process and going it alone isn’t always the best route. DMARC is complicated, and if configured incorrectly it can actually lead to more problems with your deliverability. So at Red Sift, we’ve come up with OnDMARC, to make DMARC implementation quicker and easier for everyone.

One of our customers Wise (formerly Transferwise) found that their deliverability shot up to 99% when they configured DMARC correctly at p=reject. Better still, OnDMARC customers benefit from Dynamic SPF too. This tool safely overcomes the 10 SPF lookup limit, meaning you’ll never run the risk of having too many lookups and impacting your deliverability. Another helping hand in making sure your email deliverability is the best it can be!

2. Use your logo to encourage opens 

So while 20% of your audience may not receive your emails without the right technical setup, there’s still a good 80% keen to digest your painstakingly crafted content and perfectly primed subject lines, right? Perhaps not. Campaign Monitor have found that, sadly, around 70% of recipients will be more or less blind to an email a business sends. Whether this is because of a failure to stand out when the recipient scans their list, or you’ve landed in the dreaded promotions tab, we can’t be sure. 

But what we can be sure of is that businesses worldwide are desperate for that edge when it comes to being recognised and opened in the consumer inbox. That’s where BIMI comes in. BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification, and it’s an emerging standard which allows a company to display its logo in the emails it sends to consumers. While this hasn’t yet officially been announced by Google, there is much excitement about how this could impact consumer interaction, in particular open rates, for the future.

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BIMI hasn’t yet officially been launched by Google, but early research we’ve carried out has shown some promising results for how logo visibility in email positively impacts open rates. To find out more about how BIMI could impact your email marketing strategy, check out what our Director of Product Engin Yilmaz had to say about it at Commerce Next’s Winning the Inbox Webinar

So it's looking hopeful that including a logo on an email could help to improve how a consumer interacts with it. But it’s important that we remember how BIMI works. BIMI is not a security standard in itself, instead it works using DMARC. So, to be able to benefit from the logo visibility it allows, it’s vital that correct DMARC configuration is implemented as a first step. At Red Sift, we’ve guided a number of customers successfully through the DMARC and pilot BIMI process, thanks to our end-to-end BIMI solution we offer in partnership with Entrust. 

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3. Include a crystal clear Call to Action for click through success

Right now, the average click through rate is just 2.6%. So how can marketers improve this? Of course there’s the quality of content to consider, and storytelling plays a huge part in this. From the word go, your copywriting team needs to be capturing the imagination of your readers, taking them on a journey and getting them to invest in your offering. 

But however compelling the story is, a staggering amount of email marketers actually forget the most important signpost in their emails: the call to action (CTA). Your CTA is exactly what it says on the tin, it’s the clear and concise piece of copy which encourages your reader to take action, based on what they’ve just read. 

A good CTA is relatively short, compelling and very clear. You can have it appear more than once in the email, but make sure you keep the message concise. Having multiple calls to action with different messages will likely only confuse your reader, and even deter that satisfying journey through to your product. In short, keep your CTAs simple, clear and concise and watch it reap the results.

We hope this helps!

At Red Sift our priority is to provide accessible cyber and email security for all. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know a thing or two about how to get the most from your email marketing. If there’s one thing to take away from this blog, it’s that while there are some great practices for boosting email marketing ROI, having the right technical protocols in place is the first step to take. So why not try out a free OnDMARC trial today?