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How Growth Hacking Your Email Marketing Improves Performance

Marco Haerter, Lead Data Consultant @ Mapp Strategic Consulting
How Growth Hacking Your Email Marketing Improves Performance
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Email marketing is still the #1 most important digital channel for building brand awareness, driving sales, and growing customer loyalty. While an email marketing strategy is often based on general best practices or ‘gut feeling,’ it’s often a shot in the dark. Combining your email marketing with growth hacking can optimize your campaigns and help you get the most Return on Invest (ROI).

But as marketers are often overwhelmed with big data, many usually focus on reporting for the sake of reporting numbers. While KPIs are often important at a high level, marketers risk missing out on the underlying story the data tells. This keeps them from discovering actionable insights that can improve their marketing.

How can you learn, react, and adapt to your marketing in a lean and seamless way? Growth hacking can be a powerful tool to do this while growing and optimizing your email marketing results rapidly.

If you see yourself in the same shoes, it’s time to step out of them! In this blog and in our webinar below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about growth hacking with the methodology, process, examples, and a client case study. So, let’s begin!

What is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is not a completely new concept. Since emerging in 2010, it has gained significant attention and popularity in recent years as a way for businesses to grow rapidly and succeed.

Growth hacking is best defined as a process of rapidly experimenting with different marketing tactics to find the most effective and efficient ways to grow your business.

It’s a continuous experimentation, evaluation, prioritization, and improvement process. It also incorporates core elements of the strong usage of data, fast execution of A/B tests, and an agile and pragmatic methodology.

Why You Need Growth Hacking for Your Email Marketing

Growth hacking is an effective solution for drawing insights and acting on them. It combines technical expertise, data analysis, and creativity to boost marketing performance rapidly. In the context of email marketing, growth hacking can involve a range of tactics, such as:

  • A/B testing subject lines and email content to improve Open and Click-Through Rates
  • Segmenting your email list to send more targeted and personalized messages
  • Using automation to send triggered emails based on specific customer actions or inactivity
  • Running referral campaigns to encourage subscribers to invite their friends and colleagues to join your list
  • Using data and analytics to optimize and improve your email marketing efforts continuously

By using data and experimentation to test and optimize marketing strategies, you can identify and pursue growth opportunities more efficiently and effectively. To summarize, the benefits are:

  • Efficient, agile, and iterative approach instead of a static roadmap
  • Focus on low-hanging fruits to get quick results
  • Data-driven decisions instead of gut-feeling

Growth Hacking is a Bespoke Process

Growth hacking isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for business growth. It’s a process of rapid experimentation of different tactics and strategies to understand what will work for your business specifically. It’s equally important to ensure that your growth efforts align with your overall business goals and values.

Data is the most important asset in your marketing. But the data needs to be high quality to be effective. Enhancing your data points through data integrations and collecting user data through a preference center, or surveys are just some of the ways to improve this.

To achieve long-term success, improving the quality of existing data points needs to be an ongoing focal point to allow appropriate segmentation of audiences and personalization of messages.

Remember: only relevant content resonates with email recipients. It’s exactly why your data quality determines the success of your campaigns.

Growth Hacking Process

Before identifying any growth opportunities, you must set your defined growth goals and objectives. This ensures that your hacks are linked to your overall business goal. Now, let’s take a look at the growth hacking process:

Mapp: Growth hacking Process Flow

1. INVESTIGATION

To begin, the first step is to dive into your historical data. This enables you to clearly understand the campaign performance to identify any potential growth areas and actionable insights. For example, you might find from the analysis that the user engagement for promotional campaigns is below your defined benchmark. From there, you identify the need for some tactics to increase Open and Click Rates in particular.

Mapp Email Dashboard: Performance Stats

2. INNOVATION

Based on your investigation findings and goals, you can move on to cultivate growth hypotheses. These are assumptions that you can test to see if they can drive your business growth. From the example above, you want to increase engagement and click-through rates. Some tactics to test could be:

  • Creating interactive email content, such as quizzes or games, can engage subscribers and encourage interaction
  • Experimenting with different email formats, such as video or GIFs, to increase engagement and click-through rates
  • Implementing dynamic content in emails that changes based on subscriber behavior or interests to improve relevance and engagement

NOTE: Ensure to be very concrete in the experiment definition about the KPIs used to measure success and how much increase you expect.

3. EXPERIMENTATION

Here’s where you go into the core of the growth hacking process. By rapidly testing these different marketing tactics and hypotheses, you can measure the results and iterate this based on what works and what doesn’t. It’s important only to test one hypothesis at a time to be able to trace back the result to the implemented change.

For example, if you mix up changes in the email content and change the send-out time all in one test, it becomes impossible to understand what exactly influenced the change in performance. Instead, you can have different tests for different audiences or target groups within one sprint. These sprints are usually no longer than 1-2 weeks and are followed by evaluating and discussing the results within the growth hacking team to agree on the next steps.

Mapp Growth Hacking Experiment Example

4. EVALUATION

Growth Hacking means continuously testing, monitoring, and evaluating your email marketing performance to make data-driven decisions and optimize your strategies for maximum ROI. As you test and experiment, it’s important to analyze the results and identify what is and isn’t working. From this, you can then optimize your growth efforts based on this data. Once you’ve found a growth tactic that works, you can focus on scaling it up to drive even more growth for your business.

Prioritizing Growth Hacking Ideas and Experiments

This is an important part of the growth hacking process, as it helps you focus your efforts on the most impactful and valuable experiments. Here are some factors to consider when prioritizing growth experiments:

  1. Alignment with growth goals: Prioritize experiments that are directly aligned with your growth goals. These experiments are most likely to drive meaningful results for your business.
  2. Potential impact: Prioritize experiments that have the potential to have a significant impact on your growth. These might be experiments that address a key bottleneck in your growth process or that target a large and untapped market.
  3. Ease of implementation: Consider the ease of implementation when prioritizing experiments. Some experiments may require a lot of resources and time to implement, while others may be relatively quick and easy to set up.
  4. Data and analytics: Use data and analytics to help prioritize your experiments. For example, you might prioritize experiments that are most likely to succeed based on past performance data or that are most likely to impact key metrics such as user acquisition or retention significantly.
  5. Resource constraints: Finally, be mindful of resource constraints when prioritizing experiments. While it’s important to focus on high-impact experiments, you also need to consider what you have the capacity to take on at any given time.

By considering these factors, you can prioritize your growth experiments to maximize the impact and value of your efforts.

Case Study: Retailer grows revenue by +60%

Meet our retail client – let’s call them “Adventure Avenue” for anonymity. After last year’s performance review, they noticed their email performance dropped from last year. Their marketing team came onto the Growth Hacking program to try to get quick results. So, what could Adventure Avenue do to improve its CTR and conversion rates?

Our consultants identified two growth hacks: less cluttered emails and sending emails at more convenient times.

Growth Hack 1

Having reviewed heavily packed emails, we conducted an A/B split test, with variant A being the usual email with products and variant B with just a banner.

The results showed that version B was the winner: +43% Click Rate and over 60%+ in Revenue.

Mapp Growth Hacking Case Study: A/B Testing Email Content

Growth Hack 2

After reviewing the website conversion performance data, we conducted the send-out time in an A/B split test with one email. Version A was sent at the usual time at lunch, and Version B was sent at a new time in the evening.

The results showed that version B was the winner: +46% Click Rate and over 60%+ in Revenue.

Optimization Cycle: Test, Learn, Optimize, Monitor, Repeat!

Adventure Avenue adapted its strategy and scaled its optimizations across its send-outs. But the story never ends at two tests! They’re still continuously monitoring and testing their email marketing.

Optimizing your marketing needs to be considered a continuous cycle, particularly as customer behavior changes. What may work now may change in the future. This means these two growth hacks are just the tip of the iceberg. When you identify growth hacks, run tests, monitor performance, and optimize based on results, you need to review whether the optimizations dropped or improved. You need to test, learn, optimize, monitor, and repeat on top of and outside of your optimizations for optimal insight-led marketing.

Mapp’s Strategic Data Consulting for Growth Hacking and More!

Our Strategic Data Consulting is a team of experts in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Digital Marketing to help you improve your marketing results. We provide individually designed dashboards to gain meaningful insights that guide customers toward new marketing tactics, question established email-sending habits, or refine targeting and segmentation strategy.

We follow a Growth Hacking approach, a data-driven, agile methodology for delivering results fast, without long and complex approval processes or roadmaps.

  • Instead of gut-feeling we work data-driven
  • Instead of long discussions, we run fast tests
  • Instead of involving big teams, we keep it simple and implement as much as possible ourselves, always in close cooperation with our customers.

Find out more about our Strategic Data Consulting and how we can help you!

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