Good email campaigns take time to build and plan. There might not be a direct financial cost to any individual email, but the attention of your marketing team is a resource that you need to invest wisely. How do you make sure that your email campaigns are generating enough Return On Investment (ROI) to be worthwhile? 

Here is our 5-step process for building campaigns that deliver. 

1. Set your expectations

Every email that you send should have a purpose. Whether it’s to invite people to a seminar or show off your latest new product offering. The very first stage of your plan must make that purpose clear. If you don’t take this step, how do you expect to know what success looks like? 

It’s important to make sure your target is realistic. Before you start, take the time to understand what success rate you can reasonably expect. We’ve collated the average Click-Through-Rates for 22 different industries to get you started. 

2. Deliver value

If you have a business email address, you’ve probably received an email where the sender “just wanted to check-in.” Even worse is the all-to-common “Did you see my last email?” When your email is competing for attention with 126 others (the average for UK inboxes in 2019) the content must benefit the reader. They won’t automatically care about what you want them to care about. 

You may well have a few die-hards who will come to every seminar you host. But when a half-day seminar means taking most of a day out of the office, you’re competing against a busy to-do list. 

3. Manage your lists

The value that you offer is different between job titles. In our campaigns, we have some content targeted at Marketing teams, and some aimed at Sales. We wouldn’t send “5 Sales emails that close deals” to a Marketing Director. Delivering genuine ROI on an email means only sending it to those who care about the topic. If you send the above email to every contact in your database, the vast majority will not open it. The results will be hard to draw real value from. Send it to only Sales Directors with a team of 4 or more salespeople. A low engagement rate will tell you that your content isn’t striking the right chord and needs to be tweaked. 

You need a range of lists to be successful. A geography-based set for seminars, a web-score set for lead nurturing, a list based on contract dates to deliver additional value to your customers at the right time. 

4. Automate the basics

Our “Tuesday Send” lead generation campaign is a staple of our marketing strategy. After sending out our latest blog, engaged contacts get sent follow-up content based on their interests. With 4 tiers of content, managing this manually would be a nightmare. 

Instead, we take the time to build all the content for the upcoming quarter in advance. Once the workflow launches, we simply check the results once per week. As this campaign is our most effective lead generator, we can see it is working by the new leads which filter through on a daily basis. 

5. Tracking every step

The final key step is to assess the results of your campaign. Start by comparing to the expectations that you set at the beginning of the campaign design process. 

Met your goal? Excellent! Your process is working well, and you can apply it to your future campaigns. 

If you’ve smashed your target, congratulations! But it’s worth thinking about  

It can be tempting to not report on campaigns which aren’t matching your expectations. However, to do this is harmful to your cause. The sensible course is to investigate why a campaign didn’t perform. While it’s sensible to take seasonal factors into account, don’t let these become excuses.  

The power of Return On Investment

Following this process, and continuing or ending your campaigns accordingly, has benefits which reach beyond a good statistic for your reporting. Strong ROI translates to more customers coming on board, or fewer customers going quiet and leaving. 

You will be able to design new campaigns, knowing what results you can bring in. Having a stable base of high-performing campaigns means you can try new ideas, without their success being crucial to keeping your pipeline full.

This blog was written by our Marketing Automation partner Spotler. From time to time guest contributors write on the Workbooks Blog – have something to say? Email the Workbooks Marketing Team on