Email marketing can be one of the best ways to connect with already-interested customers to boost conversions. These individuals have already taken the time to visit your site and, more importantly, to subscribe to your mailing list.
Yet even such direct access to a ready-made audience is no guarantee that your marketing messages will hit home. You’ll still have to work for those click-throughs – this is where many businesses fail to rise to the challenge.
If this is you, here are a few things you can do:
What’s a Good Average Click-Through Rate?
The first step in assessing your email campaign’s effectiveness is to check the stats. CTR averages vary widely across industries, so be sure to factor that in. Generally speaking, though, if you’re hitting the 1-5% mark, you’re doing okay. Recreational and media brands tend to fare better with this type of marketing, with restaurants and real estate agents not doing as well.
That’s not to say you can’t make it work (or work even better) for you.
Getting Your Emails Opened
The first challenge with email marketing is to get the emails opened. Your CTRs will be abysmal if you’re falling at this first hurdle. If you’re sure that the recipients do want to hear from you (you haven’t made the classic mistake of purchasing a mailing list), you’ll want to take a look at when you’re sending the emails out and how you’re attracting the recipient’s attention.
The frequency of your emails matters. If your campaign is too sporadic, you will be forgotten, but if you bombard people, they will unsubscribe. Once every two weeks seems to be the sweet spot industry-wide, but can vary depending on your niche, audience, and what you have to say.
Day and time of day are also very relevant. Studies indicate that Tuesdays are by far the best time of the week for better CTRs, with Thursday doing well for the second day of a two-a-week campaign. Wednesdays are also good. Times can be a little more variable, but a good rule of thumb is to consider when your readers have time to respond right away. This way, your email doesn’t get read and then forgotten in the back of their inbox.
Beyond that, your subject line can make or break your campaign. These are what get your email read – or not. Aim to make these specific and personal (using the subject’s name helps with this), with the brand voice ringing clear. It also doesn’t hurt to generate a sense of curiosity about the contents of the email or focus on creating urgency to encourage recipients to take action.
And speaking of personalization….
The Importance of Segmenting and Tailoring Your Email To Your Audience
While it may seem to make the most sense to hit your entire mailing list with every offer (after all, targeting the most people should see the most returns), this is a good way to get yourself ditched. At best, your email could mildly irritate recipients and they end up deleting it. At worst, you could seriously annoy potential customers who open your email only to find out that it’s not relevant to their needs or interests and as a result, decide to unsubscribe.
Segmentation is vital to your marketing efforts, especially when dealing with a diverse audience. Divide up your mailing list based on age, location, job title, hobbies to support targeted marketing efforts for a greater chance of success.
Personalization is another powerful weapon for effective lead nurturing. Shown to increase email CTRs by as much as 139%, it fosters more meaningful interactions between your brand and your target audience. Alongside using the recipient’s name, look at their order (or browsing) history, and pay attention to special days. This can not only help with conversions but builds the kind of trust that keeps customers coming back.
Getting People To Actually Take Action
How your email displays can also set you up for success. Around 70% of people will delete an email that isn’t optimized for their device and, in usually, three seconds or less. Given that more and more people are relying on their cell to check their emails, yours needs to look as good on a smaller screen as on a big one and load just as fast too.
Create scannable text with short and sharp copy, so the reader gets to the good stuff fast without becoming bored and pressing ‘delete’. Less is always more when it comes to email copy. Animated GIFs and video thumbnails are great attention-grabbers, and campaigns with images have a 42% higher click-through rate than those without.
Above all, keep the focus of your email clear. Don’t muddy the water with too many options. According to the paradox of choice, people in this situation are more likely to do nothing. Instead, nail a single call-to-action (CTA) based on the recipient’s needs and design everything else in the email around this.
In terms of CTAs, a button is better than clickable text, which is easier to overlook and can increase CTRs by around 28%. Placement is crucial, too, with CTAs added to the top left of an email having a more significant impact due to reader attention following a more U-pattern than the traditional Z-pattern of web design.
Finally, include social sharing icons. This builds trust by showing that your company exists beyond the email channel and enables recipients to continue navigating through the funnel and extending their user journey. While they may not be interested in the offer, they may know people who would be. LinkedIn is the best performer here, although Facebook and Twitter shouldn’t be discounted. In fact, emails with three different social icons tend to do best for a CTR increase of up to 158%.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to crafting a successful email campaign. While some techniques work across the board, specific ones might be better suited to different audiences or work better for different industries. That’s why it’s essential to keep testing various elements to see how they perform for you.