A New Year’s Resolution Worth Keeping: Send Less, Make More

René James-Barriteau

René James-Barriteau

When planning an email strategy for the new year, the same questions always tend to crop up. How can we make more money? How can we increase our open, click and conversion rates? What should we stop doing, and what new things should we try? Which emails should we continue to send?

To answer these questions, it’s important to identify what’s working and what’s not and use that data to drive your strategic decisions. Use these steps to uncover those results and optimize your marketing plan.

Step 1

Collate sends for each calendar month.

Step 2

Calculate your revenue and average open, click and conversion rates for each month. Then, decide which metrics are most important for your business. I recommend focusing on conversions and revenue.

Step 3

Based on that data, identify your three best and worst calendar months. Be sure to exclude your peak season and focus more on typical email performance.

Step 4

For each of your best and worst months, determine your average performance and sort the messages into those that perform higher than average and those that perform lower than average.

Step 5

Assign each message a category (such as seasonal, incentive/offer-based, sale) and theme that are applicable to your business model to help you understand which types of messages are working and which are not. Are promotional emails winning the day? Do content-driven emails capture more attention (and sales)?

Step 6

For the best-performing messages, calculate the proportion of revenue they contributed for the total month. Is it a significant contribution? For example, did they generate more than 50% of the revenue? If so, these are the messages you should plan to keep and send in the new year.

Step 7

Review your findings for the year, and use this information to develop your marketing calendar. Essentially, you want to keep those messages that perform higher than average and contribute a significant amount to your monthly revenue. For the low performers, is there something you could adjust to make them more effective, or do they simply not speak to your target audience?

While testing your emails as you send is a must, evaluating your past sends this way can shed cost-saving insight into what type of content works for your audience. And it can definitely help shape your testing framework.

For the amount of revenue your email campaigns generate and the numerous hours spanning several departments that go into creating them, this type of analysis seems like a very worthwhile exercise. As you kick off the new year, take some time to reflect on last year’s sends and understand what you should send more of and what you can ditch. When you focus your efforts on campaigns that perform, you should see your refined strategy pay off. And who doesn’t want to send less while making more money? That’s a New Year’s resolution every marketer would like to keep!


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