As a marketing strategy, email continues to be the channel with the most return on your investment. And the statistics show that people like getting their info, offers, and updates through email—a preference that cuts across all generations. Nearly 53% of consumers said that they check their inboxes more than 10 times a day, according to a recent Campaign Monitor survey. And 66% said that they preferred to receive promotions from retailers through email, compared to 26% from direct mail, 25% from mobile apps and 23% from social media. The study also revealed that Millennials lead the way in taking actions in response to an email—47% (age 35 and under) compared to 27% for those ages 35-54 and 11% for respondents 55 and older. It’s clear that any improvements in email open rates can get you on the path to an overall improvement in your campaign goals. A boost in email click-through rates? Even better.
Improving Email Click-Through Rates
With click-through rates averaging around 3%, compared to overall email open rates of 31% to 33% for the past several years, it’s clear that you have a lot to gain with any improvements in getting your subscribers to take another step in their engagement. Take a look at the following 12 ideas for improving your email click-through rates.
1. Boost your efforts with personalization.
More than likely, you’ve already jumped on the personalization train. It’s considered the leading priority of marketers in the industry for 2018, and customers expect it. Consider the results of this survey by Accenture Interactive. Of more than 1,500 consumers interviewed, 58% said they’re more likely to shop from a retailer that recommends options based on their past purchases and preferences. And 65% are more likely to shop at a store (online or storefront) that knows their purchase history. That tells you that you need to go beyond sticking a subscriber’s name in an email and calling it personalization. You need a system for using the data that comes in about your subscribers and developing more personalized email experiences that are highly relevant. This is a strategy that cuts across all industries. Whether you’re operating in a B2C or B2B industry, your subscribers have specific interests that can guide the personalization of your email marketing strategy.
2. Refine your segmentation.
Segmenting your subscribers should be a natural extension of your personalization strategy. With more data insights, you can get to the point of giving your subscribers more relevant ways to engage with you. Through an effective marketing automation platform that allows for dynamic replacement and shifting of text and images, you can deliver emails to these consumer segments to make every email more personalized. That means one campaign promotion could feature different products more prominently than others based on the targeted audience. This type of hyper-segmentation and personalization can be an effective way of boosting click-through rates.
3. Set up a triggered campaign.
A behavior-triggered email marketing campaign is your key to further delivering on a personalized experience for your subscribers. You can enhance your connection with individual subscribers by showing that you are paying attention to their interests and actions. One of the most common triggered campaign strategies is automatically sending reminder emails after a subscriber has abandoned items in a cart. However, other behaviors and actions can be tracked to set varying type of triggered campaigns into motion. These can include browsing through a category of items on your site or downloading an ebook, cues that can be used to determine relevant follow-up messaging and content.
4. Get more conversational.
Take a look at the tone of your emails. Is it friendly? Engaging? No matter the industry, your email messaging should come across in a tone that your subscribers can easily scan and understand. Test your copy yourself by reading it out loud. If you’re stumbling over it or pausing to get through it, it’s too clunky. Streamline the content by using shorter sentences and more direct offers. Write the way you talk. Sometimes, the fewer words the better. Just make it simple and get the point across, as American Giant did with this simple, straightforward promotion. And, if you’re still not sure you’re nailing it, try split testing, which leads to our next tip.
5. Split test.
The smallest tweak with various components of your email could create a bump in open rates. In addition to split testing different styles of writing/messaging, you can use your marketing automation platform to test the level of engagement based on promotions, subject lines, design, CTAs, length and personalization. Make split testing a regular practice with your marketing efforts. An uptick in email open rates and other engagement can contribute to an increase in sales.
6. Invest in great design/layout.
The visual aspects of your email are an essential key to increasing your email open rates. Consider it the first impression subscribers will get once they open your email. The layout and design should match your brand, your offerings as well as the needs of your audiences. It should all make sense. An email newsletter or offer from a legal or tech firm may be more streamlined and concise than those sent by an online retailer. B2B subscribers likely have less time and want to scan your emails quickly. B2C subscribers will likely scan equally fast but professional images can prove to be the elements that encourage further engagement. A newsletter from a nonprofit may be more effective with one powerful image along with an engaging story that pulls subscribers in. While this type of email may contain more words, it’s important to break up the copy with subheads and shorter paragraphs. A great layout shouldn’t require an investment in a full-time designer. Most email marketing platforms now offer user-friendly templates to guide your email layout. Also, optimization is a must for any email marketing campaign (subscribers switch back and forth between mobile devices and desktops when viewing your emails). That’s why your email automation platform should automatically optimize the subscriber’s experience.
7. Make sure CTAs stand out.
Always set up an email campaign with the goal in mind. What do you want your subscriber to do next? Make a purchase? Attend a conference? View a video? Download an ebook that will move them further into the buyer’s journey? With the end goal in mind, make sure your call-to-action (CTA) is positioned in such a way that the subscriber can’t miss it. Test the use of buttons to determine if they’re more effective than a link within contained in a line of text. A CTA at the top and bottom of a longer email can suffice, while one CTA button in a shorter email design may be more effective than two. Test it out.
8. Improve your delivery precision.
You can be doing just about everything right—creating engaging copy and CTAs, awesome design and relevant offers for each of your subscribers. But if your delivery is off, your click-through rates may suffer. No matter the combination—low open rates, low click-through rates or high open rates with low click-through rates, you could be dealing with a situation in which your subscribers don’t have time to take the next step of engagement. You sent the email at the wrong time. Your goal is more precise delivery, hitting inboxes at a time when subscribers are more likely to browse your website and explore promotions or other content. A marketing platform that captures the right data and automatically sends emails at the right time for your individuals subscribers could be the leading solution to boosting your click-through rates. Data insights from your marketing software also can inform you about the frequency of emails that work with each segment of your subscriber list. Some subscribers would be happy to receive emails from you daily, while others will consider emails more than once or twice a week a nuisance. Personalize your subscriber’s experience with the right delivery mix.
9. Engage through surveys.
Use surveys to further engage your subscribers. It creates that sense of a two-way relationship, one of the keys to any healthy relationship. (Yes, it can be that personal). A survey can be used to simply ask, “How are we doing?” “What can we do better?” “How did you like that thing you just purchased?” If things seem to be getting cold in an email relationship, that’s your cue to ask how you can do better. Don’t be afraid to be direct. Ask some variation of the question, “What’s wrong? Is it me?” Maybe you can do something different or it could be that the subscriber simply lost interest in your offerings or was never interested in the first place. If so, it’s an opportunity to clean your subscriber list and start receiving more accurate insights about your campaign performance.
10. Create a sense of urgency.
While it may not work with every subscriber, limited time deals can be a sure way to get an increase in engagement. Again, testing through automation is the key to determining whether this is a good strategy with various audience segments. Your most loyal customers may love this type of engagement but it could be a turnoff for others.
11. Encourage a sense of community.
When possible, encourage your subscribers to share their experiences with your products or services. Customer testimonials are a great way to encourage further engagement. This approach can work across B2C, B2B, and nonprofit industries. Highlight a volunteer or a customer’s experience. In the case of a B2B company, case studies can be a compelling way to generate more click-throughs. The clothing retail company Maggy London takes an interesting approach by telling the stories of its customers, while featuring them in Maggy London dresses. Not only do testimonials and customer experiences provide interesting content, it can help create a sense of community around your brand. If your brand has the opportunity, provide a local experience to further enhance that sense of community. While Michael’s is listed as the largest arts and crafts retail chain, with more than 1,200 stores, it regularly promotes events based on location.
12. Test out video.
Consumers like videos. According to Moz, posts with video attract three times more inbound links than posts only containing plain text. And 55% of us are watching videos online everyday, according to Digital Information World. With that type of interest, it makes sense to try video as part of your email marketing strategy—if it makes sense for your audience, your , rand and your budget. Email marketing gives you numerous opportunities to personalize your subscribers’ experiences—the key to boosting your click-through rates. A user-friendly email marketing automation platform can streamline the process and increase the effectiveness of your strategy. Contact us for a demo of Delivra’s marketing platform. We’ll show you how it can help you increase engagement with your subscribers.