Sometimes it’s the little things you do in marketing that make the biggest difference for your business. It’s all very well and good to constantly strive to make big things happen, but going big isn’t always the smartest option.

Why Big Isn’t Always Best

  • Big takes a lot of planning.
  • Big pulls resources away from everyday (but nonetheless important) tasks.
  • Big often means expensive.
  • When big goes wrong, it can cause big problems.

Instead of always pushing the boundaries of the next big thing, it’s often best to focus on marginal gains to drive growth.

Marginal Gains in Email Marketing – The 1% Club

Even a 1% marginal gain across your regular email marketing activities can have a significant impact on your success.

For example:

  • List Growth: A marketer with a list of 10,000 names will increase his or her reach by 1,266 subscribers over a 12-month period by reaching a monthly list growth target of just 1%.
  • Open and Click-Through Rates: Assuming that same marketer with a list of 10,000 names currently enjoys a 20% open rate and a 5% click-through rate, he or she will enjoy a 5% increase in the number of people reaching his or her website or landing page simply by improving the open rate by just 1% per month.

OK – these figures aren’t huge, but they are achievable, and you’ll quickly find that when you add that extra 1% to everything you do, everything scales up nicely.

Doubling Up Your Efforts Without Too Much Effort

Sometimes, significant gains can be found without too much additional effort.

For example, too many marketers still think of email marketing as something they do (out of habit more than anything else) once per month. How much extra effort would it take to increase your email marketing output to two, three, four or more email sends per month?

Because your email marketing campaigns are template driven and your subscribers should already be neatly segmented into relevant target groups, one or two extra sends per month shouldn’t eat too much into your workload. If you cannot afford the extra time to commit to additional email marketing campaigns, I suggest you look at your workday and get a little smarter about your schedule.

Remember: The average lifespan of an email address is only 18 months. While you might be worried about subscriber fatigue, you should be more concerned about the limited window of opportunity to engage that subscriber.

So Where Do I Find That Extra 1%?

Well, we cannot say it enough – regular testing is the only route to email marketing enlightenment. Adopting a regular strategy of testing (and putting the lessons learned from this strategy into action) will help you find the extra 1% (and more) that you need to prove and improve the success of your campaigns.

How have marginal gains helped you to grow your business? Share your stories and comments below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.