Making sure your email cuts through the noise and catches the audience’s eye is vital, we all know that. However, beyond the obviously glittering subject line entitling you to a discount, special offer or some sort of benefit, it’s an enormous challenge to then further their interest, maintain it and finally convert that interest into a click-through or even a sale. Below are 4 lessons for improving your email marketing results.
The usefulness of subtleties…
Adding splash of personalisation and customisation goes a long way in email marketing. Getting someone to not only engage with but also trust your email’s content is always a challenge, especially if it’s a first time contact. Subtle things such as preheaders, or adding a ‘First Name’ custom field is a step towards showing the audience credibility and legitimacy. Given the impersonal nature of emails and the awareness of spam and damaging attachments, first time impressions are important – you need to look legitimate, don’t display the tell tale signs of a spam email – the reader will either not open it or open it with their guard already up.
The two emails pictured are remarkably similar, however one has a preheader text that invites you to open the email, the other has a tell tale sign of a poorly construct HTML. Typically seeing “Having trouble reading this” at the start of an email suggests its likely to be a marketing email and not very personal to you.
Clear call to actions…
Having clear call to actions means the audience know exactly where to go to access further content, whether its an exclusive offer or more information, the importance of these could never be higher. Due to the increasing volume of emails we receive on a daily basis more and more people are simply scanning over emails. If nothing grabs their immediate attention then it will probably be missed. We recently reported the clicks and opens for UK industry sectors and found that although TV, Radio & Film sector had one of the highest opens they had the lowest click rate – opens do not necessarily guarantee clicks! Don’t over complicate your emails – this will confuse the audience and in fact make them want to read your email less. Have an single or, at the most, a few call to actions.
The best ones are simple and obvious for the reader – I want this offer, I click here to get it. Having lots of different call to actions may seem like a good idea when it comes to tracking the email results – being able to see who clicked where on a more granular basis – but in reality its unnecessarily elaborate and actually rather counter-productive.
Track your results!
The simple days of open and click rates are gone. Email marketers are looking beyond those now to discover what people see the most, where clicks are likely to happen, how far they scroll down an email. All this in the name of email optimisation. To grow you need to evolve and become smarter in the way you conduct your marketing. Packages such as Litmus help you analyse your email results in a number of ways to see what works the best for you. Knowing how far people scroll down, for example, allows you to build shorter and better emails that will sustain attention all the way to the call to action – rather than losing their attention before they reach the call to action.
Knowing how your emails perform provides invaluable insights into your audience and how best to communicate with them in the future.
Don’t try too hard…
A common mistake made by many is cramming their emails full of sales copy as if they’ll never get the chance again. Not many people responded well to being force fed sales copy day in, day out. Producing more subtle and relevant content in your emails will ease the reader into your brand’s orbit and when its time to push for a sale, they will be much ‘warmer’ towards it.
Suggest news articles that are relevant to their industry, offer thoughts and opinions, often a small piece by the CEO or MD is a great way filling content and showing your company cares about its audience. This not only adds credibility to your brand, it builds an open line of communication with your audience and you’re more likely to develop a substantial lead through such a method than to forcefully push your brand in front of them.