“You’ve got mail!” may have been music to Meg Ryan’s ears, but times have changed. The same notification that sent us darting to our computers 20 years ago now leaves us frustrated with sifting through a daily barrage of spam and sales pitches.
An industry report conducted in 2014 found that a business person sends and receives an average of 121 emails a day. This number is expected to grow to 140 a day by 2018. With so many emails flying through our in-boxes, optimizing our email marketing conversion rate has become critical to marketing success. Unless you craft the perfect combination of wit, timing, personalization, and information, you run the risk of being a small email in a sea of spam.
I’ve sent and received thousands of marketing emails over the years. Writing high-converting email copy is a tricky business. Composing intriguing subject lines and clickable email copy is where the real challenge emerges. Email provides targeted reach and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal level, so make the most of this precious opportunity. Here’s what I’ve learned about optimizing your email marketing conversion rate.
First things first: understand what your campaign goal is. What action do you want your readers to take? Here are a few goals to consider:
- Delivery rates
- Open rates
- Click rates
- Share rates
- Conversion rates
Increasing the levels on just a couple of these improves your chances for success.
Next, it’s important to know what you consider to be a “conversion”. This really depends on what your email call-to-action is. Whether your CTA is to click and read a blog, click to make a purchase, click to request a consultation, click to start a free trial, or click to learn more about a product, when the action you’ve called for is completed, that is a conversion.
Measure Twice Write Once
Following that, understand the metrics. Knowing how to track and analyze statistics is vital to improving your email marketing conversion rate. If you can dissect the information you receive from analytics, such as Mail Chimp or HubSpot, then you can customize future campaigns to better suit your audience.
If you’re noticing that your subscribers are more inclined to open emails and click through content on particular topics, this knowledge can dictate future content. Other relevant metrics to measure include:
- Best time of day for email opens (depends on the behavior of your demographic, so do your own testing)
- Best day of week for email opens
- Messaging on subject lines
- Messaging on preview text
- Style of images
- Layout of content
- Button design and copy
Effective use of analytic tools can boost the success of your email campaigns.
Nurture Your Leads
Did your father ever tell you, “You don’t ask for marriage on your first date”? Well, the same goes for marketing. Ultimately, all of your content marketing efforts are aimed at nurturing your leads throughout their buyer, or customer journey. Don’t expect to send out one email and hope a conversion will take place; you need to take great care to ensure that your customer is guided towards the point of conversion.
Queuing up the right content at the right time is crucial for optimizing your conversion rates. However, this is easier said than done. Consider email marketing and how it fits into your overall marketing scheme; the transition should be seamless. You need to look at your complete campaign then use your emails to provide value to your leads at precisely the time when they need it most. Nurture the relationship, and you will see conversion rates improve.
Connect the Dots
It’s crucial that a subscriber has a quick and clear path to convert. Email subscribers should have a direct CTA pointing them to the valuable content or product you have to offer. Once you have your readers there, it’s a great opportunity for them to share the information they find with those in their network. Few things are worse than being captivated by a piece of content, wanting to share it with everyone you know, but not having an easy way to do it. Provide links to social platforms that allow your readers to easily share with others in their network.
Show Your Readers They’re Special
Designing your email campaign with your buyer personas in mind will go a long way in optimizing your email marketing conversion rates. Readers are smart – they can tell when something has been crafted with the audience in mind, and when a computer has generated a message to be spammed out to all subscribers. The latter are generally unpopular and unlikely to result in a high conversion rate. The former, however, might entice the subscriber to read your offered content thoroughly, and perhaps even click through to links you’ve provided.
Delivering targeted information to the right viewer will drive up your email marketing conversion rates. When readers feel that their needs are being considered in the sales process, they feel special and important, and that will go a long way when it comes to improving conversion rates.
PS: I Love You
Always look for opportunities to reach your audience. Interestingly, transactional emails have the highest open rates, yet they are rarely used as conversion opportunities. As Neil Patel put simply, “A transactional email is one that is sent to a user automatically based on something that the user does”. Transactional emails get a lot of traction and are worth putting time and effort into. These include:
- Welcome emails
- Order notifications
- Subscription confirmations
- Thank-you emails
They are usually monotonous and automated, but they’re an opportunity. With an average open rate of 38%, they present a chance to take advantage of the engagement and add a dazzling PS with additional information or a CTA that ties in with your other marketing efforts!
Use A/B Testing to Improve Your Email Marketing Conversion Rate
Using A/B testing can help you better understand what attracts your target audience and what doesn’t. Sending out two versions of your copy into the email universe will help you understand what people are gravitating towards; and you can, in the future, cater to those pulls.
If you find your emails are sitting unopened in readers’ in-boxes, the issue is most likely your subject line. In this case, use an A/B test to try out different subjects and see what catches the reader’s attention. On the other hand, if your open rates are high but your click-through rates are low, chances are the issue lies in your copy. In these circumstances, you’ll want to run an A/B test that tries out different email and CTA copy to see which one engages your reader more.
Make Me Laugh or Make Me Cry
A final concept to keep in mind when moving forward with your email marketing campaigns is to play to people’s emotions. Subject lines and copy are both great opportunities to trigger emotions that may drive your reader to take action. A few good ones to start with are urgency, humor, fear, inclusiveness, exclusivity, and joy. When you appeal to these sentiments, it’s surprising how much they can alter perceptions and influence actions. Some key ways to ignite these emotions are: using effective tone and language, using colors that are commonly attributed to emotions, and using images that evoke feelings and memories. Tying all of these together to create content that sparks emotions can be incredibly effective in improving your email marketing conversion rate.
Dive in and Start Swimming
Email marketing is not dead, and it doesn’t have to be a nuisance. See it as an opportunity to create compelling content and deliver it directly in front of your customers’ ready eyes. Optimizing your email marketing conversion rate takes thought, insight, and research. You must first understand your customers and what really strikes a chord with them. Then you can create an email that engages the readers, triggers emotions, and makes them feel considered. Integrating these tactics will drive them to convert, instead of moving on to the next message after a quick glance.
If you’re unsure of where to start, or wondering where you can make improvements with your email marketing, contact us today and let our team at Total Product Marketing help.