8 Tips to increase the ROI of your email campaigns by using themes

One of the main reasons email marketing is an indispensable part of the marketing mix is that it delivers such high ROI. On average the ROI of email marketing is 119%, but you probably want higher.

To increase that ROI is an ongoing challenge. Here are 8 tips to increase your ROI and reach your targets.

A bigger impact with different types of email content

Besides newsletters, effective ways to send different types of content are by using themes: send news related email campaigns or create your campaign around holidays.

It makes your email marketing have a bigger impact, because you’re actually using the real world to hook onto and not just sending plain offers. This helps to get top-of-mind with your customer and build a positive attitude towards your brand. Making a bigger impression impacts ROI positively.

Sending news related email campaigns

On social media, it’s quite common for companies to respond to the news. In email marketing, this is still relatively uncommon but offers plenty of possibilities.

Olympic games & Gamma

Gamma is a Dutch hardware store, which thought of an email campaign to respond to the results at the current Olympic games in Sotsji. For every medal the Dutch team would win, they sent a discount email to their customer base. These emails were sent in addition to their normal promotional newsletter.

The campaign setup

In total Gamma sent its customers 10 campaign emails during the Olympic games (between February 8th and February 23th). By the time they sent their 6th email it shines through that they didn’t quite plan this many discount emails: ‘Two medals again! Who would have thought that would happen? Well, we didn’t! 🙂 But we stay sportive… so two coupons again to keep going’. When the Dutch team won a medal again, you knew you would receive another discount email again.

Even though Gamma didn’t expect this many medals, this email campaign definitely created a buzz, which probably will increase the ROI of their email marketing efforts even more.

Tip 1: Develop your email campaign about a current event or news-based item

Tip 2: Think through how you’d like to create a buzz: how do you get into people’s minds?

Tip 3: Activate your customers through coupons

Oil prices & Aldi

German supermarket chain Aldi sent an email to pick up on oil prices to promote one of their products.

This campaign has a humoristic effect about it because of the link Aldi makes between high oil prices and one of their products: frying oil. This will increase the chance that people remember the email campaign.

Tip 4: Add some humor to your email campaign, this way you’ll get remembered more easily

Pick up on the holidays

Holidays are generally a good theme to pick up on doing email marketing and increase your ROI. Christmas, Easter, mother’s day, father’s day and for instance Valentines Day. How could you increase your ROI by using Valentines Day in your email campaigns? You can also use the learnings from these campaigns in your future holiday email campaigns.


Hema is a Dutch department store, which sent its customers a special Valentines email on January 29th.

In the newsletters Hema promotes its photo service. What the department store does very well, is adding practical call-to-action buttons. Besides that, Hema mentions that when you order something, you should place your order before February 5th. This is an excellent idea when you want to keep your customers satisfied.

Tip 5: Add clear call-to-action buttons in your email

Tip 6: Create a sense of urgency, make clear when people should order to have their product ready in time


The lingerie brand Hunkemöller sent a Valentines email on February 1st.

The email campaign Hunkemöller sent to its customers (both male and female) is very male targeted. The tone-of-voice is quite sexual, looking at the face expression, ice cube and referral to Valentines Day as the ‘Hottest Day of the Year’. Most likely, women will have more romantic views on Valentines Day as this email shows. It would be good to segment the email list and only send this to men, or to A/B test this email.

Tip 7: Segment email newsletters and address the target group you’re interested in

Tip 8: A/B test which image works best


When you’re looking for ways to increase your ROI with email marketing, it’s a good idea to look further than just promoting your own products. Associate your brand and products with news related items or with holidays. This makes your emails more attractive for your newsletter subscribers and will make them remember you more easily. This will get you closer to achieving a higher ROI for your email marketing efforts.

Image via Flickr

Charlotte Scheiberlich

Charlotte is Content Manager at Hello Dialog. Hello Dialog is a Dutch email service provider (ESP) with over 12 years of experience in email marketing and works for clients such as Mkbasics, Basiclabel, 1DayFly, VVV Nederland en Rob Peetoom. Charlotte previously worked as a marketeer in the field of online marketing and obtained a Masters degree in Persuasive Communication at the University of Amsterdam.