Email marketing is an affordable marketing strategy that can produce great returns, (even with the growth of social media and mobile marketing, it is a favorable channel). According to HubSpot, 75% of marketers say that they are using more email than they were three years ago. Email marketing is only as successful as your click-through rate. To remind you, a “click-through-rate” is a way of measuring the success of an email campaign by counting the number of users that clicked on a specific link in your email.
Email marketing is a craft; it’s not a matter of jamming all the content you have into one email. It’s a matter of crafting a “message”, educating your audience and giving them an opportunity to “act” on the information you are providing them. To help you with your next email marketing campaign, I have outlined some fundamental email marketing principles to consider in order to improve your email marketing click-through rate.
1. Open Me!
The first step to improving your click-through rates is to ensure the email is opened! Ok, I know this might sound obvious, but it isn’t easy. Email delivered DOES NOT EQUAL email opened; a common misunderstanding amount business owners / marketers. These are two different stats that can have two different conclusions on the success/failure of your email campaign.
There are many ways to increase your open-rates; here are two that are important:
- From Field: Make it clear who the email is coming from; be sure to identify yourself. Common practice is to use your full name, company (or even both). Think of someone knocking on your front door but doesn’t identify themselves, how likely are you to open the door?
- Subject line: The subject line one of the most important factors and there is plenty of research on what works and what doesn’t. In a survey conducted by Adestra “discount” terms in subject lines generally performed below average, for example, “% off,” “discount,” “free,” “half price,” “save,” “voucher,” “early bird,” and “2 for 1″ all came in below-average. A strong, to-the-point yet creative subject line invites the recipient to open the email. Spend time on creating an effective subject line; without one, there is not chance to measure click-through if the recipient doesn’t open the email.
2. Mobile. Mobile. Mobile.
While we are all aware of the growing popularity of mobile devices, there are many companies in the marketplace still not adjusting their strategies to adapt to this trend. Your priority should be to create a responsive website; at the same time, adjust your email marketing strategy to ensure it is also responsive. That is, so that your recipients are able to read your emails on their mobile devices; smaller screens. A Litmus research study suggests 47% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. That makes mobile phones the most popular medium for reading emails.
Simply put, not preparing your emails for mobile is a mistake.
Also consider this… since mobile users “click” using their fingers instead of a mouse, be sure all of your call-to-actions are larger than 44 x 44 pixels; this is the average space a finger takes up when touching a screen.
3. Click Here or Not? Call to Action
A successful email marketing campaign has a clear goal. Once you’ve identified this goal, make sure your call-to-action serves that goal. So, using “Buy Now” and “Read More” in the same CTA are conflicting and not recommended.
Make sure your CTA fulfills the promise it is making; “contact us” should take the recipient to a page with contact info; not a page with product details.
By the way, “click here” is not very effective any longer as the vast majority of people understand what a hyper link is and does. Use verbs and be descriptive.
Email Marketing is Not Dead
There is a school of thought in the marketplace that email is a dead marketing channel. I don’t subscribe to that. It is important to ensure your list is clean and relevant; that the recipients can relate to your content. The bottom line is, consumers enjoy receiving emails; at least 91% of consumers check their email everyday according to Litmus. This makes email the leading communication channel compared to social media.