Email is the most valuable and effective digital channel with a ROI of $44 for every $1 spent (Campaign Monitor), with a median return of about 122%.

Email is also 40x more likely to spur the acquisition of a new customer than social media (McKinsey). Ironically, when it comes to retaining and acquiring customers with email marketing, you’re best suited to think more about the experience you want to create and less about segmentation or driving conversions.

twitter “When it comes to retaining and acquiring customers with #EmailMarketing, think about creating experiences first and conversions second,” says Frank Shuster @Emarsys CLICK TO TWEET

Engaging customers at the right time with relevant content is the most important factor in increasing conversions and email ROI. I’ve seen three kinds of campaigns consistently drive the most engagement and therefore the most revenue.

The Three Most Profitable Types of Emails

Interacting with customers at the right time starts with having three strong kinds of emails: Welcome Series, Abandoned Cart, and Post Purchase campaigns – preferably with multiple communications that are automated and which can be scaled across your customer database.

These campaigns typically drive the most revenue because they:

  • Provide an element of usefulness to the consumer (e.g., welcoming him/her to your world or giving them a chance to complete a purchase)
  • Take into account the customer journey and offer relevant content
  • Focus on a first time or additional purchase

► Welcome series tend to give the first impression of the brand to new contacts, set expectations, or offer incentives for signing up (which help drive conversions and revenue). They’re also an opportunity to allow new contacts to set preferences so you can send them relevant content they want.

Chaco Email

► Abandon cart campaigns are simply revenue drivers. BUT, they must be timely and relevant. They’re used to remind the customer of items they still have in their cart with the goal of driving a conversion or at least getting them back to site.

► Post-purchase content can be another way to personalize experiences and keep customers coming back for more. You need quality data for these to work, but you can say, okay, “based on your past purchase data, here are items we think you will like.” You don’t want to turn something on if your algorithms don’t understand your customer’s preference. Again, this needs to be timely and multichannel (retargeting ads on social networks, for example).

Personalize email content

Content should also be personalized to the experience. For example, recommendations and other content in an abandoned cart reminder email should somehow relate to the product that has been abandoned. My experience has shown that these three campaigns consistently drive the most revenue over all other campaigns.

twitter “The 3 #email campaigns that consistently drive the most revenue over time are: welcome series, abandoned cart, & post purchase,” says Frank Shuster @Emarsys CLICK TO TWEET

Re-Engagement of Churning Customers with Personalization

Once you have these email marketing campaigns in place, it then becomes important to increase your retention efforts in order to prevent customers from churning.

As your customers begin to drift from your brand, you must re-engage them by creating a personalized experience that will inspire them to purchase again. Example of this include:

  • Identifying and engaging customers before they churn with re-engagement emails with differentiated content based on customer LTV, product preference, or recent browsing activity
  • Specific offers or premiums for customers that have a known affinity for a specific product or category
  • Special offers to your “best” high value customers that show you, as a vendor, recognize their value to you

Having data in one place (a unified platform) can really help enable this kind of personalization and automation at scale.

Combining the right solution and a strategy that engages your customers with content in the context of their online and offline interactions creates a personalized experience for customers – regardless of how they are interacting with your brand.

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Frank ShusterFrank Shuster is a Solutions Consultant at Emarsys. Frank has 25 years of cross-functional experience in the areas of project management, solution delivery, process consulting, marketing and business development with proven results utilizing strategic and tactical business strategies.

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