When done correctly, email marketing serves as a tried-and-true way to get readers to download content, convert prospects on special offers, and upsell existing customers. And according to Econsultancy, "Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers "excellent" to "good" ROI,” which proves that this area of marketing is certainly worth your attention.

But these positive results don’t just happen by chance. They can only be obtained through optimizing your emails. That’s why it’s important to focus your time and attention on email marketing in addition to social media, paid advertising, and search engine optimization. It’s one form of marketing that’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and rightfully so.

With emails, you can foster a deeper, one-on-one relationship with your audience. By making a few simple changes, your emails can appear more personal and authentic than any other marketing efforts you undertake. Plus, the truth is, your target audience wants to hear from you via email. “72% of people surveyed actually prefer to receive promotional content through email, as compared to 17% who prefer social media," according to MarketingSherpa.

Why Your Emails Need to Be Optimized

It’s important to understand what exactly email optimization entails and why it’s so crucial for your campaign.

In the same way that you optimize your website for search engines, your goal with email optimization is to prompt your readers to take action. When your email arrives in their inbox, readers have two options: open it or delete it. If your email is not properly optimized, chances are, it will fall into the trash bin, and you’ve missed your chance to connect. On the flip side, when you optimize your emails, you encourage your reader to not only open the email, but also read it in its entirety -- and complete your desired action.

How to Determine the Goal of Your Emails

To optimize effectively, you need to have a strategy in place. This means you’ll want to start with an overarching goal of what you hope to accomplish with your brand’s email marketing.

Are you looking to increase sales? Engage with your current subscribers more? While it’s perfectly fine to have more than one goal, you should ensure that each email only focuses on one goal at a time so you’re not overwhelming your readers.

Speaking of which, it’s important that you also narrow the focus of every email so readers aren’t pulled in multiple directions.

Try to answer questions such as:

• What are we trying to accomplish with this email?

• What actions do we want readers to take?

• How will we prompt readers to take this action? (i.e., using buttons, CTAs, or subject line)

Once your goal is determined, move on to what metrics you’ll use to track to measure your success. If growing your audience is your goal, keep an eye on your subscriber list growth. When you want to send your readers to your latest opt-in guide, the number of leads sourced from email should be a key metric.

Every marketer should also pay attention to:

• Clickthrough rate

• Conversion rate

• Bounce rate

• List growth rate

• Email sharing/forwarding rate

• Overall ROI

Email is one of your brand’s most powerful marketing tools, so it’s essential that every email you send is optimized. By doing this, you’ll increase your open rates, clickthrough rates, and engagement with your target audience.

You’ll also deliver highly relevant messages to the right people so that your brand builds trust and solidifies your relationship with your customers. All of these factors will ultimately encourage growth for your brand.

To do this effectively, start with your subject line and work your way through the above-listed checkpoints every time you send out an email. After a few times, creating optimized emails will become second nature for you. Watch those metrics, and you’ll start to see the rewards of your hard work in no time!