By Lucy Bradley
Getting email marketing right can be difficult, and when you put a lot of effort into the design and content of your email, it can be disheartening to see low open and click through rates. You may be feeling like there’s little point to continuing your email marketing efforts, but this is where we can give you a helping hand. If you use some of our top tips and send your emails to people who actually want to see your emails, you’ll see the stats improve in no time.
Something simple, which is easily forgotten, is to create and work towards an objective when it comes to your email marketing. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, how can you create an email marketing campaign around it and measure its effectiveness? The simple answer is – you can’t. You need to think about who your target audience is and what content can you provide them with that they will consider valuable. Keep asking yourself “Am I working towards my objective” throughout the whole campaign process, and you’ll be on the right track.
Segmenting your subscribers is a great way to create a more targeted campaign – and can really help you to reach the right audience with content that they will genuinely be interested in. This is naturally something that will work in your favour when it comes to open and click through rates. If you’re sending out content to the masses that isn’t targeted and genuinely of interest to them, then how can you expect them to engage with it? It’s nothing new to us, but something we should all be using when it comes to our email marketing efforts.
So now, you’re targeting the right audience with the right content – but you can take it one step further than that. You can use previous data from previous campaigns to really understand the behaviours of the people receiving your emails. By looking at data from previous campaigns, you can see on which day and at what time an email had the most successful open and click through rate. Applying this knowledge in future campaigns is what can really make the most of them, and leads to a more successful campaign. With all this data available, it would seem silly not to use it to target users to make your campaigns as effective as possible and really get you ahead of the game.
Using split testing when it comes to your email marketing can really help when you’re looking to see which practices and techniques work best for you. The first step for you is to decide on what exactly it is you want to test, whether it be in terms of subject line, calls to action or personalisation. However, remember to test only one variable at a time to ensure you can gain valid results. What you test also needs to be in line with what you’re looking to improve when it comes to your email marketing. For example, if you’re looking to increase open rates you may focus on your subject line. If it was click through rates on the other hand, it may be the implementation of calls to actions throughout the email.
As discussed earlier, you’re also going to want to look at segmentation, as different target audiences are going to react differently to these changes in variables. Doing so will enable you to target these audiences even more effectively, aiding you in achieving that all important objective.
Creating a compelling subject line sounds simple enough, but it’s one of the main contributors when it comes to open rates so it needs to be right. There are a number of different things to think about when it comes to writing an effective subject line. First off is it clear what the email is about? If somebody doesn’t have an understanding of the general subject of the email it is unlikely they are going to open it. But keep it short and simple – if your subject line is too wordy and doesn’t grab the audience’s attention, that’s it, they’re not going to open it. It is also important to think about the actual language you’re using – is it suited to the target market and will they engage with it?
Avoid using certain vocabulary in your email subject line; using hello and thank you are dull and not necessary – and are unlikely to generate an open. Similarly, stay award from typical spam works such as save, or act now and no catch – as if an email goes straight to the spam folder, it’s almost certain it’s not going to be opened.
One of the main things to stress when it comes to creating an effective call to action is to keep it short – if it’s over 5 words it’s too long and isn’t engaging. With keeping it short, it needs to be clear what the user has to do – be bossy! Whether it be “Click Here” or “Look Here” – the user knows what to do, the sense of urgency is more likely to create a response.
You should keep your calls to actions to a minimum on your email however, as with limited space available, you don’t want to confuse the user with where they should click. Users expect information to display in a user-friendly way – many of us look straight for the call to action, rather than reading the full email. So make it easy for them, and it’s more likely they’re going to click through to your website.
Something you might not have thought about is adding alt text to any of the images you use in your email. It is quite common practice for email providers, such as outlook, to block images, especially when they are coming from an unknown sender. However adding alt text is a great way to get around this – it helps recipients to get a better idea of what’s in the email, as well as showing them where your call to actions are, so you’ve got a much better chance of a recipient clicking through. Not only this but if your user can see a description of the images you include, whether they load or not, it increases the trust between them and you and trust means a more likely conversion.
Did you know, 56% of emails are opened on mobile? This means that it’s crucial to keep mobile users at the forefront of your mind when creating email marketing campaigns. A great way to optimise for mobiles it to keep any call to actions above the fold, so that even if users do not read the email fully, they are still prompted to make an action. In line with this, you’re going to want to make sure that your email is responsive to mobile devices – this is something to bare in mind in particular for if you’re using an email template.
It’s also very important to think about the images you are going to use, image size has a massive impact on loading speed, so whether the recipient is using mobile data or wifi – this is something to consider. Make sure to compress your images beforehand to speed up that all important loading time!
A final tip for you to really make the most of your email marketing is to use ‘you’ throughout your content. It reminds the recipient that their needs are at the front of your mind, creating much more of a personal aspect. Therefore, this is more likely to encourage that all important engagement, in terms of opens and clicks. It sounds simple, but it really can change the tone of your email to fully involve the recipient.