We like to think that the internet ages in dog years, which would make our firm 140 years old. That means we've seen a lot of changes in the industry. However, one marketing tool has shown lasting power for almost that entire period: the email.
Even with advanced filtering protocols introduced by Gmail and other providers, email marketing messages will continue to provide value for both companies and their audiences. The effectiveness of an email campaign is usually gauged by tracking the open rate and click-through rate. Clicks are particularly useful, as they show a potential customer advancing one step closer to a purchase, but they can also be hard to come by. Mailchimp, one of the largest email marketing facilitators, lists an average click-through rate of 2.61% when calculated across all industries.
If you're looking to maximize the return on your email marketing efforts, these five tips are sure to help you get more clicks.
Subject: Ignore This At Your Peril
You have to grab the reader's attention with your subject line. Of course, our topic today is click-through rate, but your audience definitely won't click if they never even open the message. A great subject line is brief, in line with your brand's voice, and stirs emotion in the reader.
There are several emotions you can aim to inspire in your audience.
- Curiosity: "I have to know what they're talking about!"
- Fear: "I can't miss out on what they're talking about."
- Urgency: "I have to act now!"
- Delight: "Those cute emojis in the subject line are so funny, of course I'll read on!"
- And more...
According to Experian, personalized promotional emails experience 27% higher unique click rates. Many email marketing platforms incorporate automated personalization tools. Using these features, subject lines and other merge fields from your subscriber list can be automatically populated to give the impression that your brand is speaking directly to the consumer without any additional time or effort spent.
Personalization can go far beyond a simple, "Dear Jane Doe..." For instance, if your customer list includes locations, you can offer personalized event or product suggestions based on that specific city. As with most marketing adventures, there is a sweet spot to be found between casting a wide enough net to appeal to many, while being specific enough to drive individual action.
Buy Before It's Gone!
Customers want to to be told how to act. Nothing's worse than reading a marketing email, getting to the end, and wondering: "What was the point?"
This problem is easily solved with a clear and compelling call to action. Read more. Buy now. Apply here. These are simple but clear, identifying the author's intent and directing the customer to the desired next steps. Like a great subject line, the best calls to action invoke strong emotions while staying brief.
Talk to Me
From subject lines and calls to action to personalization, you can probably tell that language in an email is incredibly important. That's why you can't fill the copy with incomprehensible jargon. Your text needs to be to-the-point and easy to understand.
Even worse than an excessive use of jargon would be to channel the spirit of an old-fashioned ad exec, coming off like a robot programmed to use "buzz words." Readers value authenticity, and want their emails to have the feel of a normal conversation.
Worth 1,000 Words (Give or Take 995)
The images your business uses to market products and services can have a big emotional impact on potential customers. Unfortunately, many of your email marketing images will never be seen. Safe sender tools and other email client settings may filter out images for a large percentage of your audience. You need to make sure that vital information--calls-to-action, important dates, contact information--isn't embedded exclusively in the images. Optimize your emails so they can be effective with text only. An easy way to address this problem is by making sure that all of your email images have been labeled with ALT tags. Adding a descriptive ALT tag ensures that when a photo fails to load, the content will still be communicated to the recipient.
Despite the popularity of social media and other marketing tactics, email continues to provide an excellent return on investment, driving engagement and profitable interaction. Still not sure how to plan and execute a digital marketing campaign? Contact the problem-solvers at Informatics.