4 Tactics to Drive Greater ROI From Your Email Lists

6/13/2022 Salena Laes

4 Tactics to Drive Greater ROI From Your Email Lists

Building successful email campaigns requires the right know-how, the right support, and the right resources. So is the juice worth the squeeze? The answer should be YES. 

By infusing some key (yet often overlooked) solutions into your strategy, your emails are more likely to end up in the right inboxes. This means investing in marketing campaign elements like database hygiene, data-driven audience segmentation, and email deliverability. It’s worthwhile; we’ve seen the results over and over.

Take the following four use cases for example. They’re snapshots of how we’ve helped guide clients toward achieving what email was designed to do: engage and convert. These ROI stories will have you thinking, “Hey, wait a minute. We could be generating that much more?”  

1. Increase open rates with targeted, data-driven messages

A leading Broadway ticket-selling service collects purchase data and email opt-ins from theatergoers and sells access to this data to production marketing agencies. The marketing agencies never actually take possession of the data; rather, the ticket seller sends messages to its database on their behalf.  

Reaching the right audience in the right way became a priority for the ticket seller. They needed to create more targeted campaigns using the information they had about their customers.

Utilizing our email intelligence service, we enabled the ticket seller to segment its customer list based on purchase history and geographic location. This streamlined data synthesis helped the organization: 

  • Send targeted messages that ensure a positive first impression of the brand
  • Personalize messages to suit customers’ specific needs
  • Increase social reach
  • Prevent inbox over-saturation

As a result of this segmentation, the ticket seller met its primary goal of increasing customer engagement — open rates increased 13% — and greater customer retention. The new data offers better insight into audiences and a more memorable experience for customers.

2. Clean up the database to lift engagement 

A midwest motor club was sending upwards of 17 million emails to nearly 600,000 recipients yearly. Unfortunately, the club had neglected its growing address list hygiene over the years. Instead, they were pulling data from various legacy systems to build out their database. 

To no one’s surprise, they had many invalid, duplicate, and undeliverable addresses for members that needed to be corrected. It was time to invest in email address quality, not just for consistent member contact but also to drive revenue and renewals. 

The organization, however, had no process in place to assess the validity of the 800,000 email addresses on its list. To avoid risking their send reputation and message deliverability, they needed help cleaning up and maintaining a solid email database.

RRD deployed a full-service hygiene solution to scrub (validate) the club’s email list. This validation process:

  • Flagged 31.5% of its addresses as invalid or problematic 
  • Identified 2,200 toxic spamtrap addresses for suppression
  • Dropped the percentage of undeliverable email addresses from 25% to 6.5% of its database

In the end, email campaign analytics certainly looked better with a clean list in place and email engagement realized a 20% lift. 

3. Hone in on active email users to improve ROI 

A prominent political data agency needed to ensure that the email addresses provided to its clients belonged to active users, not abandoned or fake accounts. 

Honing in on active email users is shown to improve ROI and protect email sender reputation. Conversely, sending to toxic email addresses or spam traps detrimentally affects inbox placement, risking the validity of email messages and thwarting campaigns.

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With that, RRD proposed a solution to pinpoint the last known month and year that a subscriber opened a commercial email. By understanding an email addressee’s last known activity, marketers can:

  • Better target subscribers for re-engagement campaigns
  • Avoid sending to risky email addresses such as new accounts or old, inactive accounts
  • Devote time and money to relevant, active email users

Through this new focus on targeting users who are active in their inbox, the agency essentially doubled engagement (i.e., open rates and click-through rates) for its clients.

4. Replace inactive with preferred email addresses to win back engagement  

One of the country’s largest home improvement companies relies heavily on email to set appointments with customers and nurture them through the buying process to the point of conversion. 

The company had a robust database of postal information but lacked email addresses for many contacts. When the company couldn’t reach customers via email, it struggled to:

  1. Schedule appointments with customers who had indicated an interest in a product demonstration
  2. Close sales with customers that had participated in product demonstrations

Without working email addresses for many of its customers, the client was losing touch with them and missing out on many high-value opportunities. Already placing a high value on email marketing, the company decided to invest in an email append service.

Through RRD’s email appending solution, which inspected this client’s existing data and compared records with our updated clean data to generate an appended list, they’re positioned to win back unengaged past customers by replacing inactive or hard-bounced email addresses with new or preferred email addresses. This means reacquiring, re-engaging, and retaining these customers to grow new revenue.

In this case, email appending enabled the home improvement company to acquire 100% guaranteed deliverable customer email addresses for nearly 50% of its input file. They were also able to add over 53,000 new customer email addresses to its database.


Salena Laes is Director Of Data Management Services and Dutch Hollis is Senior Director of Interaction Management for the Data Insights and Customer Engagement Group at RRD

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