In the summer of 2019, the team at Samadhi Marketing reached our first milestone; generating over $1m in one month using email and marketing. Through a concerted team effort between our team and our clients’ paid advertising team, we were able to smash previous records and reach new heights.

After getting clear consent from our client, I put together a list of five tactics we implemented to pull this off. Due to client confidentiality, I can’t give away any identifying information, and many of the screenshots blur out sensitive data. We take our clients’ data privacy seriously.

With that said, I am able to glean some insights as to how we were able to achieve this milestone. So let’s break down 5 secrets of our email marketing strategy that made one of our clients over $1m (an additional 33% of revenue) in 30 days.

5. A Strong Welcome Series

The Welcome Series is one of the most important email flows any brand or business can implement. It gives you the opportunity to explain what your business stands for, what products or services you offer, and what kind of content subscribers can expect to receive. Think of it like a digital handshake.

The Welcome Series is also a great way to boost your deliverability and sender reputation. Seeing as a large amount of emails going out from your ESP comes from the Welcome Series, it’s a great way to increase your overall open and click rates. However, this goes both ways; if your Welcome Series is unengaging or uninteresting, you run the risk of damaging your deliverability.

In regards to this case study, the Welcome Series was the flow that attributed the largest amount of flow revenue. There was a strong CTA and the subscribers were given their offer instantaneously.

4. Targeted Segments

Sending email campaigns to an entire list is a great way to land yourself in the spam folder. People constantly get new email addresses, provide emails they rarely check, or simply lost interest in your brand. If you continuously send to these unengaged email addresses, deliverability KPIs begin to drop into critical ranges.

In this particular case, there were plenty of opportunities for up and cross-sells, and the niche had a devoted audience. As a result, we were able to send weekly campaigns to an engaged segment featuring:

  • Related products that complimented previous purchases, if they purchased before
  • Trending and popular products based on their browsing behavior and customers’ purchase behavior, if they had not yet purchased
  • Engaging, ad-free, original blog posts related to the niche and the clients’ products

The engaged segment we sent to was as follows:

Be sure to note the AND/OR condition. This can increase or decrease the segment based on which condition you choose.

Certain changes were made based on which campaign we were sending.

For example, if we wanted to send an email campaign to only those who have not yet made a purchase, we would add AND Placed Order zero times over all time as a condition to the above engaged segment.

The big takeaway here is to really think about the message you want to send and who it should be sent to. 

3. Know Your KPIs and Adjust Accordingly

There are many metrics to measure and monitor with email marketing, but for this post, let’s focus on the five crucial deliverability metrics: Open Rate, Click Rate, Bounce Rate, Unsubscribe Rate, and Spam Complaint Rate. One of our top priorities is ensuring that flow and campaign email sends at least reached the following benchmarks:

Open Rate 15-25%+
Click Rate 1.5-2.5%+
Bounce Rate >0.4-0.8%
Unsubscribe Rate >0.2-0.3%
Spam Rate >0.05-0.08%

For a more detailed explanation, be sure to read and bookmark Klaviyo’s How to Monitor Email Deliverability Performance web page.

When it comes to this particular account, here’s how we were able to maintain or exceed these benchmarks consistently.

Open Rate
Split test subject lines
Minimize capital letters
Utilize preview text
Click Rate
Less images
Split test CTAs
Payoff the subject line
Bounce Rate
Excluding segments
Regular list cleaning
Unsubscribe & Spam Rate
Utilize smart sending
Segmented campaigns

2. Build A Blog & Use it For Email Content

There’s a delicate balance between contacting your subscribers too much and giving them what they want. On one hand, you want to be the only brand they think about when they think of your niche. On the other hand, you don’t want to lose them forever because you’re contacting them too much.

Think of it this way; if you had a friend who sold shoes, and 75% of the time you saw him, he tried to sell you a pair of shoes. He wouldn’t be your friend for very long.

However, if 75% of the time you saw him, he gave you valuable insights into foot health or fashion, you would look forward to the time you spend with him and appreciate his intellect.

That’s what a quality blog allows you to do. It gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your industry while also contacting your audience regularly in a way that made sense; the opportunity here is massive.

When it comes to this account in particular, we were able to work with customer support to find questions that were frequently asked about the products and build educational content around their queries. We also split test different generic article topics related to the niche and ran it through our tools so that both Google and the audience loved it. An added bonus was the client using the successful article topics to create new products.

1. Rarely Send Discounts

When you always send discounts or coupons to your subscribers, you’re stealing from Peter to give to Paul. Although it may yield immediate return, you’re training your list to wait for discounts to buy again in the future. This erodes your brand’s reputation and ultimately digs into your bottom line.

With that said, discounts are effective if a prospect expressed interest in your product based upon certain behavior. So instead of capturing their attention with discounts, guard discounts behind action. In other words, utilize campaigns to get the traffic to the website and include discounts in behavior-triggered flows to finish the sale.

In regards to this case study, no discounts were sent in email campaigns, only in certain behavior-triggered flows – and they weren’t substantial. The highest discount we sent was 15% off in the very last email of the Abandoned Cart series.

We also made use of existing discounts on the site, meaning if an item was advertised as 50% off, we would send that offer first. It’s more appealing than 10 or 15% off and didn’t affect our clients’ profit margins.

Wrapping It Up

If you take away one thing from this case study, let it be this; the most important factor in our success was our constant monitoring of deliverability. You can have an appealing offer inside of a beautiful email that leads to a stunning website, but if your email doesn’t land in the inbox, it’s all worthless. Be sure to get that in line before implementing any of the other insights provided.

Dan Jacobs, Founder/CEO
Samadhi Marketing