Skip to main

How Marketers Are Optimizing Their Email Marketing, According to Research

Authors: Todd Lebo Todd Lebo
Posted Under: Digital Marketing
Listen to this Article

How marketers are optimizing their email marketing, according to research

When most marketers consider how to optimize their email program, they think about how to write compelling copy and calls-to-action (CTAs). Yes, copy and CTAs are important. But there is more that marketers need to consider as they work to optimize their email program.

Email marketing has been evolving for decades and still remains one of the most actionable touchpoints along the customer journey today.

But how are marketers optimizing their email strategy to keep audiences engaged despite flooding inboxes?

To help answer this question, Ascend2 and various research partners fielded the Email Marketing Optimization Survey, and a total of 298 marketing professionals participated.

Here are a few noteworthy insights from the Asend2 research study:

What Is Email Optimization?

Email optimization is all the activities that can be measured that improve the email relationship with your audience and increase conversion rates and ROI.

Maybe the best way to look at email optimization is to look at the most difficult challenges that marketers encounter when trying to optimize their email campaigns. The importance of keeping email subscribers engaged with relevant and valuable content cannot be understated, as it topped the list of challenges. That same relevant and valuable content, when aligned with best practices in email data privacy, will help you overcome the second challenge on the list, reducing SPAM complaints.

Chart about difficult objectives to achieve when optimizing email
Maintaining an engaged email list is the #1 most difficult objective for email optimization, according to marketers.

Get the Fundamentals Right First

Email optimization starts before an email is sent. Pre-deployment email testing is critical to delivering high-quality, engaging campaigns. Design, deliverability, subject lines, subscriber verification, accessibility, sender reputation/SPAM score, HTML validation, and device/email client display are all important items to optimize before you hit send. The best email copy and call-to-action (CTA) is guaranteed to produce a 0% conversion rate to the people that don’t receive it. Also, if the design hinders a reader from reading the email, that will dramatically reduce your conversion rate.

Chart about the most important element to test in email marketing.
Design is the most important attribute to test for email marketing optimization, according to marketers.

Take the time to set-up a process and have the tools in place to review your emails before they are sent to get immediate positive results from your email optimization program.

Focus for Improvement

It is safe to say that if you want to improve any marketing campaign, it starts with the quality of your data. For email, quality data allows marketers to deliver more personalization and targeted content to subscribers. Quality data allows you to segment your list and, as a result, you can write more specific copy and targeted CTAs. Also, your automation campaigns become more targeted, and even the types of content that you deliver are based on data and not random.

Chart about the most important characteristic to improve for effective email optimization.
Personalization is the most important characteristic to improve for effective email optimization.

How to Handle Email Inactivity

So you’ve optimized your email campaigns, and some subscribers are still not engaging with you (how dare they!).

How long should a subscriber be inactive before removing them from an email marketing list?

Bar graph that shows when inactive email subscribers should be removed from an email marketing list.
Subscribers who have been inactive for 2-6 months should be removed from email lists, according to 31% of marketers.

If you are doing all the best practices with data quality, pre-launch fundamentals, copy, CTAs, personalization, segmentation, and testing, and subscribers are not engaging with you, it’s important to set-up a regular process to remove them from your list. Remember, the goal is not your list size, so when subscribers tell you that they are not interested in you sending them emails by inactivity, believe them.

You can download the entire Email Marketing Optimization Survey Summary Report for more data, tips, and strategies to keep audiences engaged despite flooded inboxes.

Blog Banner Image

Benchmark Your Content Marketing with Our Maturity Checklist — we'll send it via email now!

Get our best tips in your inbox! Join the smartest marketers who receive our ON newsletter.

A twice-monthly dose of the trends and insights you need to keep you ON top. In each email, our team will recap what happened in digital, what trends are important for marketers to watch, plus some fun surprises that you’ll just have to sign up to see!

b2b influencer

Ready to Get Started?

I am looking for...