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Email Marketing ROI: Maximising Returns on Investment

Email Marketing ROI: Maximising Returns on Investment

it is essential to recognise that in today's world of technology, email marketing is still considered one of the most effective ways to engage customers and generate sales. But with increasingly crowded inboxes and shorter attention spans, ensuring your email campaigns provide a healthy return on investment (ROI) has never been more critical.

This article provides vital tips and strategies for boosting ROI from your email campaigns. We cover how to optimise list quality, increase open rates and click-throughs, integrate email with other channels, automate workflows, and measure accurately – plus actionable tactics for improving deliverability, designing great content, writing compelling subject lines, selecting send times, targeting messaging … Data back best practices throughout.

Whether you're looking to launch an email programme or lift results from existing campaigns, this guide will offer valuable insights and best practices based on data. With a strategic approach focused on optimisation, you can cut through the noise and connect meaningfully with customers – all while proving impressive returns from your marketing efforts through enhanced conversion rates.

What Is Email Marketing ROI?

Email Marketing Campaign Roi
Source: Tailwind

Email marketing ROI measures an email marketing campaign's profitability and success. It reveals a company's return on its email marketing investment by showing how much money it makes from its campaigns against how much cash it costs to run.

Email offers the highest and most measurable ROI as a marketing type.

To calculate this key performance indicator (KPI), subtract your total costs from your revenue generated and then divide again by your total costs. The resulting figure tells you what you get back for every dollar invested in email.

For instance, if you spent $500 on an email campaign that brought in $2k of revenue:

    ($2k – $500) / $500 = 3

So, you made three dollars back for every dollar invested in this campaign.

On average, companies can expect an ROI for their emails of $36 for every dollar spent. This underlines just how lucrative well-executed email campaigns can be.

How to calculate email marketing ROI

Calculating email marketing ROI involves determining the net gain from your campaigns and dividing it by the costs. The net income is revenue minus expenses, such as fees for an email service provider or designing and sending emails.

The result is how much return on every dollar invested in email marketing. For example, if you spend $1,000 on monthly email marketing and generate $5,000 in revenue from those campaigns, your net gain is $4,000. Divide that by total costs of $1,000, and you have 4.

($5,000 – $1,000) /$1,000 = 4

That means that for every dollar they put into their email efforts last month β€” including salaries or design time spent building out the campaign β€” these businesses received back a little more than four times what they put in: about $4.

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By calculating the ROI on their various marcomms investments this way, marketers can have a clearer sense of which programs are producing actual results.

It allows them to assess better whether they should allocate more resources to one type of project over another or make other shifts to their strategies.

Factors That Impact Email Marketing ROI

Email Marketing Target Audience

Various factors, such as the conversion rate of your email campaigns, can influence email marketing ROI. A strong conversion rate means more recipients completing a desired action, like purchasing or signing up for a newsletter.

Factors that can influence this include the effectiveness of your email content, how clear your call-to-action is and how relevant your offers are.

For example, an email campaign with a compelling subject line, personalised content and clear buttons is likely to have a higher conversion rate – and, therefore, higher email marketing ROI.

Another critical factor is click-through rate (CTR) – what proportion of recipients click on links in an email? The higher it is, the more engagement there has been, which will lead to more conversions too. Factors that could impact CTR include the quality of an email's design, where links are placed, how visible they are, and how relevant its content is to its recipient's interests.

For example, sending an engaging visual with enticing offers throughout the text, along with well-positioned calls-to-action (CTAs), could help someone achieve their goal of achieving a higher CTR – translating into improved conversions – and driving more substantial ROI from their emails.

Further still, your list's overall health and quality significantly impact whether you'll get good returns from them.

A clean, engaged list ensures messages reach interested recipients = increased likelihood of conversions. 

Regularly removing inactive subscribers and implementing list segmentation strategies can improve deliverability rates and boost results from all types of campaigns.

Businesses can optimise efforts in this area by considering these things and following best practices when planning/running campaigns – meaning more significant returns!

Tips to Improve Email Marketing ROI

Maximising your email marketing ROI can be achieved by implementing several strategies. Start by segmenting your email list based on customer preferences, demographics, or purchase history. This will allow you to send targeted and personalised emails more likely to engage and convert recipients. For example, a clothing retailer could group their email list by gender and create tailored emails with product recommendations for each.

Another critical strategy is regularly cleaning your email list to remove inactive or unengaged subscribers so that your messages reach an interested audience. Doing this will improve deliverability rates and conversions.

A/B testing is also practical – test different subject lines, layouts, call-to-action buttons, etc., to identify what resonates best with your audience, then analyse the results continuously and optimise based on the data. For example, a software company might try two different subject lines for a promotional email to get a better open rate/conversion rate.)

Make sure you're optimising for mobile devices too – as mobile usage continues to rise, you must make sure your emails are readable on mobiles (responsive) as this can improve open rates/CTR/engagement.) For example, an online retailer could have optimised their templates to be responsive/readable on mobiles.

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Incorporating these strategies into your campaigns should help drive better results from them while maintaining good levels of engagement, which can ultimately lead to people converting!

Best Email Marketing Strategies to Maximise ROI

10 Brilliant Email Marketing Examples For Ecommerce That We Love

Adopting a few powerful tactics is vital to optimise the returns on your email marketing investments. One of the most effective strategies is subscriber segmentation, which involves separating your email list into smaller subsets based on specific attributes, including demographics, purchase history and engagement level. Doing so lets you ensure that your messages resonate with each group. This personalisation will increase both engagement levels and sales rates. For example, an online travel agency could split its email list into business and pleasure travellers before sending customised recommendations and offers to each group. 

Another approach that works wonders is automation – this makes it super-easy to get the best possible ROI from your email campaigns. Automated emails can be used for a wide range of purposes, including welcoming new subscribers onto your books, re-engaging lapsed customers or getting those who have abandoned shopping carts to complete their purchases. What's excellent about automated emails? They only go out when triggered by an action or event – ensuring they land in recipients' inboxes at the right time.

Keeping tabs on critical metrics should also be high up on your ‘to-do' list if you want to get more bang for your buck when it comes to email marketing: think open rates, click-through rates (CTRs), conversion rates and revenue per email sent are just four examples of stats that will give you insights into how successfully (or otherwise) a campaign has performed.

By monitoring these numbers carefully over time – months rather than days or weeks – decisions can be made around where improvements need to be made.

For instance, low open AND CTRs might indicate that content isn't resonating properly with intended targets. At the same time, low conversion rates suggest there's something wrong with the product OR how it's being presented and sold via email.

By making tweaks accordingly (based purely ON data), businesses can ensure they're getting OPTIMUM value from their email marketing efforts!

How Email Click-Through Rate (Ctr) Affects Email Marketing ROI

Statistics Surrounding Welcome Emails

If you want to increase your email marketing ROI, the first metric you should focus on is email click-through rate (CTR).

Email CTR tells you how many people click links in your emails. The higher your CTR, the more subscribers are actively engaging with and interested in your content.

This increased engagement will result in more conversions and sales – your most important KPIs! For every extra person who clicks through to convert, you're getting a greater return from each email sent.

For example, our fictional business sends an email campaign to 10k subscribers and achieves a 5% CTR – 500 recipients clicking links within the email. If this generates $10k in revenue, we will calculate our ROI as follows:

($10k revenue – costs of the campaign) Γ· costs of campaign = ROI

If the total cost of our campaign were $1k, we'd have:

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($10k revenue – $1k cost) Γ· $1k cost = 9

That means for every dollar invested into this particular email campaign, they got nine back!

By optimising campaigns to improve CTR by creating compelling content and strong calls-to-action (CTAs), they could boost their overall ROI even further.

Email Marketing Metrics That Can Help Measure ROI

To measure ROI in email marketing, there are a variety of metrics you can look at. The open rate is the percentage of recipients who open an email, and this gives you insights into how compelling your subject lines and email copy are. Click-through rate (CTR) measures how many people click on links within the email, indicating interest and engagement. Conversion rate calculates what proportion of those who clicked on a link in the email did what you wanted them to do – so if it was selling something, conversion rate measures what proportion ended up buying. Revenue per email allows you to determine how much income each campaign brings in roughly.

By keeping track of these stats over time, businesses can start seeing emerging patterns that enable them to make more informed decisions about their campaigns – for example, if they see CTRs slowly declining across all their movements over time. They know that some changes might be needed soon.

How Does Email Revenue Contribute to Email Marketing?

The money from email is a big part of your email marketing ROI. When people on your list buy stuff or take the actions you want them to take, it boosts the revenue that can be tracked back to your emails.

That's important because by tracking how much revenue your email campaigns generate, you can work out how successful and cost-effective they are – and make changes to maximise both.

For example, if a company sends an email campaign that brings in $5k of sales and costs $1k all-in to put together (Β£800 for design and copywriting, Β£200 for development), its return on investment (ROI) would be calculated like this:

($5k minus $1k) divided by ($1k) = 4

In other words, every dollar spent on the campaign brought four dollars into the business.

By keeping tabs on their revs from email – and what those revs mean for their ROI – businesses can make better decisions about where to spend time/money next.

Industries With the Highest Email Marketing ROI

Industries With The Highest Email Marketing Roi

The ROI of email marketing can differ significantly by industry. Software and technology, marketing, PR and advertising agencies, retail, ecommerce, consumer goods or services, media publishing events, sports entertainment and travel tourism hospitality are examples of industries with high email marketing ROIs. Remember – your campaigns' effectiveness could depend on many factors, including your target audience and specific campaign strategies.

An online retailer in the consumer goods industry might have a higher ROI than a software company, as consumer goods typically have more extensive customer bases and purchase frequencies.

However, knowing these industry-specific trends/benchmarks can be helpful when setting goals for your business or tailoring your strategies to maximise returns.

Email Marketing in Generating Customer Purchases and Revenue

If you want to give your business a shot in the arm – and who doesn't? – consider email marketing. This tactic has been proven to be effective at driving conversions and revenue. For instance, 66% of consumers have purchased online due to an email marketing message.

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It is also highly profitable: its average return on investment (ROI) is $36 for every dollar spent – one of the highest ROI channels available.

If you sent out an email campaign about your clothing brand offering tailored product recommendations and exclusive offers, you would likely increase conversions and revenue significantly.

The reason why emailing works so well for driving purchases and yield is because it can deliver targeted content directly into a recipient's inbox, nurture customers with valuable information, build brand affinity through consistent contact points, offer incentives to convert browsers into buyers, have A/B tests carried out on what layouts/content work best etc. In short, by adopting strong practices like these, businesses can drive engagement from their audience, resulting in increased sales/revenue.


If you do it right, email marketing can give an excellent return on investment. So, how can you ensure your efforts are worth the time and money? First, focus on building a quality subscriber list – the highest number possible isn't necessarily the best. Then, craft engaging content that's targeted to its recipients rather than just looking like spam. Don't be afraid of including details or being too wordy in an email, as long as it looks good and reads well.

Next, measure everything and try to learn from the data:

  • What works with different customer segments?
  • What prompts conversions?
  • Whether Tuesday mornings work better than Wednesday afternoons.

Finally, remember why people signed up for your list in the first place – possibly because they're interested in buying something specific – so try not to lose sight of them once they have converted into customers. By focusing on genuine value (as opposed to gimmicks), businesses can often build brand loyalty that lasts longer than their current campaign.

Investing time and resources into creating great emails is only one part of the equation: making sure you get through undetected by all those spam filters out there.

Email marketing's ability to communicate directly with consumers makes it one of the most powerful tools for today's marketers.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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