If you own an online business, you’ve probably heard that email is the king of digital marketing channels. This statement is hard to argue when studies show that email marketing produces an ROI of $38 per every $1 spent.
For small to medium-sized businesses, this is music to the ears, but before you rush into email marketing, you need to know what a successful email campaign looks like.

Ready to make your email marketing campaigns flawless?

Here are five essential components to reap all the benefits:

Establish Key Metrics
What is the goal of your email campaign? How will you measure its success? Before you move forward, you first need to know how you will measure the performance of your email marketing efforts.

To do this, you should be tracking a few essential key metrics. Your metrics may differ depending on which email service provider you use and what the goal of your campaign is, but there are some metrics that are standard for eCommerce merchants to track.

Open Rate
This is the percentage of customers who opened your emails. If it seems low at first, keep in mind that the average open rate for emails is just below 25 percent.

Click-Through Rate
The click-through rate is the percentage of people who clicked on one of the links in your emails. This metric is one of the most important metrics to track because it gives marketers a good idea of subscriber engagement.

Conversion Rate
Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who took the desired action of your email marketing campaign. This doesn’t always mean a sale. Conversions could refer to those who downloaded a white paper or signed up for an upcoming webinar.

Bounce Rate
The email bounce rate is the percentage of emails that do not make it to the recipient’s inbox. There are two types of bounces: soft and hard. Soft bounces occur when the recipient’s inbox is full, or service is temporarily unavailable. Hard bounces occur when the recipient’s email address isn’t valid or doesn’t exist.

Return-On-Investment (ROI)
As with any marketing campaign, eCommerce marketers should be tracking their ROI. This measures the effectiveness of the campaign and its overall cost.
Once you have established your organization’s key metrics, you’ll want to watch them closely to identify what is working with your campaigns. It is also a good idea to compare your metrics to others in your industry.

Grow Your Email List
The key to a successful email campaign begins with a great email list. It may be tempting to purchase some email addresses, but this is a surefire way to lower your deliverability rate and end up in the spam folder.

To successfully build your email list the right way, here are a few effective strategies:

Place an Opt-In Form on Your Homepage
The homepage of a website is usually the most visited page, which means that it’s a prime opportunity for you to get more signups. These visitors likely know about you and are curious to know more. Take advantage by immediately asking if they would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Use Landing Pages to Gain Subscribers
Landing pages are one of the most effective ways to build your email list because they can be tailored to attract high-quality leads and persuade them to opt-in. Often, marketers will offer an eBook, whitepaper, report, or another type of content upgrade in exchange for an email address.

Ask for Email Addresses at Point-Of-Sale (POS)
You can also collect email addresses from your customers. If you ask for the customer’s email address during the sale, it’s important that you also ask if they would like to opt-in to your newsletter. Give them the choice; otherwise, you may have a disgruntled customer and reluctant subscriber on your hands.

Use Marketing Automation
Remember that amazing ROI that email is said to bring you? There is a good reason why many marketers see such high returns.

Marketing automation has changed the game for many email marketers and has allowed eCommerce companies of all sizes to scale and improve their marketing operations. Best of all, this technology has become more affordable, allowing small and medium-sized businesses to find pricing solutions that fit their budgets.

To compete with other brands and make your email campaign flawless, marketing automation is a must. No other technology can allow you to segment your email list with such ease, delivering highly-targeted and personalized content to your subscribers.

Ask yourself this—do you want to scale your business or hit a ceiling with what your marketing can do? If you want to remain competitive and achieve a killer email marketing campaign, marketing automation is a must, going forward.

Optimize Your Email Campaign
Email marketing campaigns aren’t something that you set and forget. They constantly need optimizing if you want the best return-on-investment.

It can be difficult to discern which areas of your campaign need improving. Everything may look fine to you, but, rest assured, there is always something that can be optimized.

Let’s start with the most common optimization tactics for email marketing campaigns:

Use Smarter Segmentation Strategies
Segmenting your email list is critical. According to a study by Marketing Sherpa, 40 percent of subscribers have reportedly marked emails as spam simply because they were irrelevant.

Using marketing automation, you can easily segment your email list by purchase behavior, location, demographics, and more to send them highly targeted messages.

Optimize for Mobile
If your emails aren’t optimized for mobile, then you are throwing sales down the tube. According to Pew Research, 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone. This is more than double the amount since the Center began surveying in 2011.
For a flawless email campaign, use mobile-friendly email templates, keep subject lines short, and make content easy to skim.

Clean Up Your Data
As we said, the better your email list, the better results you will get from your campaign. Make sure to regularly clean up your email list to improve your deliverability rate.

Test and Analyze Results
Last, but certainly not least, test and analyze your email campaign every step of the way. Use split testing (also known as A/B testing), you can see how effective your subject lines are or which types of content resonate with your audience.

Every business is different, and what works for one eCommerce store may not work for another. Always test your own audience—but be careful not to test more than one element at a time! That way, you will know for certain which change caused the positive outcome.

Email marketing isn’t slowing down anytime soon, but you need the right strategies and technology if you want in on the benefits. Though you may have smart technology to do the heavy lifting, you still need to keep a close eye on your campaign if you want to get a better ROI.