There has much debate on the effectiveness of email marketing. Does it really bring about the promised ROI?
Despite the introduction of new advanced tools and platforms to help businesses generate revenue and increase scalability, email marketing still remains as strong as ever, and in my opinion, the best tool to get the reach out to targeted prospects and clients.
Email itself has experienced an evolution over the years with technology advances. In the early days, an email was static and made up of just good old plain text. Today, there’s so much more we can do with email with the advances in HTML technology. Embed a video? Include direct links to your site? Have the content fit responsively on your smartphone or tablet? It’s all been made possible over the years!
With over 182 billions emails being sent daily, and with the increase in the amount of ‘digital time’ among consumers, email marketing is not an option but a crucial and integral part of any company’s marketing grand plan to reach out to your targeted audience. Hence, an ineffective email marketing campaign can cost your business tonnes of opportunities.
So take a moment and ask yourself, are you reaching out effectively and at the right time to both your new and repeated customers? What are some of the optimization tactics, which you can deploy to your email marketing campaign to deliver better engagement and conversion rates?
Below are some, well, old-fashioned yet effective tactics to enhance your email marketing campaign.
1 Focus on Your Subject Line
Getting your email into the recipient’s inbox is a piece of cake. The real challenge lies in seeking their attention in that swamped inbox. Having to optimize email campaigns for our 500 global clients (and still counting), we get a good feel for what subject lines work best for remarketing emails.
A typical (and lazy) subject line for a shopping cart recovery email would be something like: “Come back and complete your order”
In this example, the subject line neither tells you much about the email content or what you will expect to see if you had opened it, nor does it contain any brand mention, which could potentially drive an email open due to customer loyalty.
So how do you drive a higher open rate?
- Create a ‘dynamic placeholder’ to pull in the actual product name
- Include your brand name
- Add a ‘Your’ to give a more personal touch
Something like this: “Your Checkered Shirt from H&M is ready for purchase!”
A subtle but incredibly different tone to the first impression you make, and a huge increase in email open rates.
Bonus Tip: Data hygiene plays an important part in email marketing, particularly when it comes to deliverability. Keep your data clean and validated as much as possible using strong hard and soft bounce rules!
2 Design Something Desirable
When it comes to the design of an email, the images used, the colors included, it’s subjective. But there are 3 key areas that you should never overlook!
Branding – Always adhere to the brand guidelines when creating your email. It creates a recollection to what your brand is about and what you offer. Make your brand name visible and have the resonate the colors of your brand throughout the email.
Over-The-Fold – This is referring to the preview pane in email client. It is an issue commonly overlooked by with marketers. We need to follow the visual process of customers when they receive an email. Typically, a customer will click on your email and have a look at the preview first. And that is the moment we want to capture! ‘THAT MOMENT’ is also your only chance to get them continue reading your email.
So make sure you show your customers what they want to see in the preview pane by placing that super content at the top of your email.
Key Message – The key message in email plays yet another vital role. It is very influential as to whether a customers will open, click or even continue to read on. Key messages carry a lot of weight and tells the story.
Don’t place your key message as part of your body text because it is your KEY message! Create a nice banner for it or have that text in mega font size.
Bonus Tip: It’s the personal touch that matters most. Add in first name personalization to engage your customers!
3 Create a Killer Call-To-Action
The button that prompts the customer to take action is definitely not an easy earn! You have got to make it BIG, make it BOLD and make it STRONG.
Unless you have to follow branding guidelines, use a different and contrasting color for your call-to-action (CTA). Oh yes, if you have the CTA as an image, you are taking a huge risk if the email client doesn’t render it well. I would always advise using just color and HTML text overlay on it.
Creating urgency in your CTA copy may work miraculously well too. The word ‘NOW’ has proven to make a significant improvement to email click through rates!
Or use a time sensitive trick like this: “2 hours left to purchase your Checkered Shirt”
It takes time to find out what works best for your email. So take your time to try out different CTA. You will be amazed by the impact a CTA can have on your email campaign!
Bonus Tip: Make the button big and have an ultra clear text-based CTA, not white on yellow background, duh!
4 Send at the Right Time
If you are still living in the age of email batch and blast, it’s time to move on!
Everywhere is talking about marketing automation and remarketing! That is, to send an email automatically based on customers’ actions or behavior on the site. Thus, it is crucial that you are able to track when your customers visit your site, when they leave your site and at which point did they exit. All these information should then be fed into the email program, triggering an email to be sent out automatically, real time, based on the configured criterias.
So when is an ideal time for an email send? We recommend anytime between 30-90 minutes. Check out how the send time impacts your conversion from our infographic!
Imagine yourself visiting Amazon.com, putting a few items into the shopping cart and then closing the browser without completing the purchase. Life goes on for the next 30 minutes. Then, there it is, the magic moment when you receive an email from Amazon with a subject line “We’ve saved your Sony speakers at Amazon.com”.
Wouldn’t that nice appealing email remind you of the items you forgot to purchase earlier? Isn’t the email extremely relevant to you at this point?
This seamless experience compared to a batch and blast would deliver amazing results beyond your expectations.
Bonus Tip: Test different times for your remarketing emails to see which time works best for your customers.
5 Focus on the Final Goal
Some will call it the final hurdle in the entire online sale cycle.
I agree it is! Which is why we need it to be optimized and as effective as your email content. Email marketers always deem their campaign as successful whenever they achieve a record breaking open rate and/or click rate compared to their usual campaign results.
This is not entirely true!
The success of an email campaign has to be measured by the final goal itself, be it sales recovered, revenue generated, leads obtained or registrations for an event etc. I’m not saying email doesn’t play an important part. Email campaign results are a vital part of the conversion cycle as well, and deserve its own medal.
However, once the customers click on the CTA, the baton is then passed over to the landing page to complete the entire conversion. Therefore it is a must to visit and optimize all corners of the landing page like the messaging, the ‘Complete Purchase’ button, down right to the color of the button, layout, item image, so on and so forth to ensure total clarity and relevance.
Bonus Tip: Keep the primary content above the fold to reduce the page dropout rate!
Email marketing is far from dead. However the need to innovate and create something truly engaging has never been more important. Do something to be proud of and #LoveWhatYouDo.