If you’re struggling with getting your email marketing campaigns to perform the way you’d like them to, you’re not alone. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration in terms of email performance, but according to the DMA, 60% of marketers use conversion rates to evaluate an email’s effectiveness.

Email marketing has an ROI of 3800% when implemented correctly, so it’s important for small businesses to know and understand the process. Having a good email marketing strategy in place can help you grow your customer base, build your brand and improve customer relationships. Here are a few best practices for improving your email marketing campaigns.

Use A/B Testing

With so many different combinations available, how are businesses supposed to know what works best? Enter A/B testing or split testing, where businesses can test out two different variations of a campaign component and see which generates more opens and clicks. A/B testing allows you to alter many different things, including subject line, email content, call to action, personalization tactics, images and more.

Utilizing this process, half of your campaign recipients will receive version a and the other half version b. You’ll then be able to clearly see which version is the most successful, based on the benchmarks you’re measuring (open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, etc.) When testing, you’ll want to test only one variable at a time, use as large of a sample size as you can and test at the same time to limit the results being skewed.

Send Welcome Emails

Your customers want to know that they’re appreciated. Especially if they take the time to sign up for something or complete a task. Welcome emails should be sent immediately following a subscriber’s signup. This will increase the chances of keeping your business at the top of a customer’s mind when they are ready to make a purchase.

Welcome emails should be personalized and come from an actual email address, rather than a no-reply address. You should also inform them of what they should expect to receive from your emails, as well as the frequency of them. You can gain valuable consumer insights through these emails by asking customers why they chose to sign up and what they are looking to gain.

Segment Your Emails

You want to collect as much information about your customers as possible in order to segment them. When a customer signs up for emails or makes a purchase, you can ask them to select preferences and indicate their interests in terms of content. For instance, if you’re operating a women’s clothing store, you might want to ask them what kinds of clothing they are most interested in purchasing (jeans, blouses, purses, etc.)

Based on their preferences, you can create more personalized email campaigns that fit these wants and needs. You can ask customers for this information in a welcome email, a new email urging subscribers to update their preferences, or you can segment them based on prior purchases.

Tell a Story

You want to use emails to not only learn more about your customers, but to connect with them on a more personal level. Emotional storytelling can help you build better relationships and show customers that you care about more than simply making a sale. Focus on painting a unique picture for them that will leave a lasting impact and provoke positive emotions. Save the sales pitch for the conclusion of the email.