If you’re finding that your click-through or conversion rates are below industry standards, or below your own expectations, below is seven strategies you can use to give them a boost.
- Links. The more links you include in your emails, the more likely it is your subscribers will find something of interest to click on to bring them to your website. Make your headlines, images, and calls-to-action clickable.
- Alt Tags. Instead of a boring alt tag like “Company Logo” that will get ignored, try something like “Learn more about [insert company name]” and link it to your website. That way the alt tags will function as effective calls-to-action even if the images are blocked.
- Placement. Make sure one or several links and calls-to-action are “above the fold,” that is, the part of the screen that’s visible without scrolling down.
- Graphics. Studies show that images improve response.
- Increase delivery. The more frequently you communicate with your subscribers the higher your response will be. However, this can be a double-edged sword, so be careful not to over-saturate your audience with your message.
- Segmentation. The more tailored your messages are to your subscribers, the more likely they will engage with you. Segment your mailing list and customize your message in a way that’s appropriate for each group.
- Focused landing pages. Ensure that each of your links directs the subscriber to a page on your website that is specifically relevant to the link and is useful. If all your links point to your homepage, for example, it will discourage users from clicking on additional links.
Improving your campaign’s click-through and conversion rate will improve the overall effectiveness of your campaign. Experiment with various techniques and observe how your audience responds.
An effective email marketing campaign requires some serious thought, planning, and tweaking. Whether you’re just beginning or already have a campaign underway, take some time to look ahead and develop an email marketing plan to keep you focused and on track to meet your goals. Below are 5 things to consider when developing a strategy.
Goals. Are your goals new customer acquisition, customer retention, or producing repeat sales? Is your intention to provide helpful information to your customers, or are you trying to prompt a particular response? If your answer is all of the above, you should have separate plans to help you reach each goal, simply because your audience and your message will be different for each one.
Audience. Define who are your most important customers or clients. What motivates them and what do they want or expect from your business? Who are your most important prospects, and why? What is important to them? Make sure you know and understand each audience.
Message. What are you trying to say to your audience and how do you want them to perceive you? Defining your message will help you determine what type of campaign will be most effective, such as e-newsletters, holiday or seasonal promotions, preferred customer coupons, new product or service announcements, press releases, general business communications and more.
Define success. How will you know that your campaign is successful? Perhaps it’s a specific number of sales or leads, or maybe an increase in visits to your retail store, phone calls to your office, or new subscribers to your newsletter. Define the percentage increase you would like to achieve within a certain time period.
Resources. Evaluate your resources to determine who will be managing the campaign and developing content. Will you be able to give your campaign a unique design that’s customized to your audience’s tastes? You may need to hire a graphic designer or someone to develop content for your campaign. Hiring professional email marketers who are current on trends and tools can save you time and give your campaign a competitive edge.
Develop a strategy and stick to it for a few months. If you find that it’s not achieving your desired results, perhaps your plan needs a little tweaking. Examine the results of the emails you’ve delivered so far to see whether you notice a pattern or trend. What you learn about the interests of your audience may alter your strategy.
When not to send an email:
Friday-Monday. If your audience consists mainly of 9-to-5ers, your subscribers will generally be out of the office on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, inboxes are brimming with new messages that arrived over the weekend. Friday typically has the lowest open rate of all days.
Holidays. Emails delivered immediately before, during, or after a major holiday won’t get read until the post-holiday dust has settled, and by then your message may be outdated.
Overnight or first thing in the morning. Stay clear of the morning deleting frenzy. Subscribers are typically cleaning their inboxes early in the day and your email may get trashed.
The best time to send an email:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It’s likely that your subscribers have settled into their weekly routines and have more time to dedicate to reading your email.
10:00 am. Since consumers tend to dive deeper into email in the morning, this delivery time is especially effective if you’re sending a newsletter that requires reader involvement.
1:00 pm. In the afternoon, consumers are dipping in-and-out of their inboxes. If you’re sending a promotion with a clear and urgent call-to-action then this delivery time is most effective.
What if my subscribers live in different time zones? Some email service providers offer a geolocation service that will allow you to schedule your campaigns to automatically deliver based on each subscriber’s time zone.
When selecting your delivery time, consider your demographic and the nature of your promotion. The best thing to do is to experiment with different delivery times and segment your subscribers by their engagement levels. Understanding your subscribers’ email habits will help increase your campaign’s open rate.
We’ve all done it. Once in a while we get a little carried away and write an email that’s just too long. If the recipient is as dedicated to your message as you are then she or he may actually read every word. If not, then you might get this as a response: “tldr”. Translation: “too long; didn’t read.” Ouch.
Your customers are busy people and so are their inboxes. When they receive an email from you most will do a quick scan of the content to assess if it’s worth a thorough read.
Nielsen Norman Group’s research found that the average time allocated to a newsletter after opening it is only 51 seconds. 35% of the time, recipients only skim a small part of the newsletter or glance at the content. Read more…