Even after the onslaught of GDPR compliance emails, email marketing is still the most popular method of direct marketing for many customers. In a survey, 73% said email is their preferred method of marketing, beating social media, text message and display marketing to name a few.
While it might be popular, this doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Email marketing is a process filled with hurdles. First, you have to get people to trust you with their contact details. Then you have to get past their inbox spam filters, then you have to get them to open the email, and finally, you have to get them to click through to take action. None of these steps are simple, but there are many things you can do to help speed the process along.
Here are some top tips for improving your click-through rate…
1. Build your list honestly
Buying email addresses is just one of the mistakes that companies make with their email marketing. When you buy email addresses, you aren’t engaging a warm audience, you’re chasing a cold lead. Some of the email addresses might be burner accounts that people set up to avoid spam, so your emails will never see the light of day. If you want to build an engaged email list, make sure you build your list honestly, get appropriate permission and stay compliant with GDPR regulations.
2. Think about the inbox preview
The inbox preview is an often neglected part of the email design process. This is the first encounter your customer will have with your email so you can’t afford to leave it up to chance. Emails from a named person perform better than emails from generic department names like “Sales” or “Marketing”. You should also pay attention to the email preview line. This should work to bolster the message in your subject line without simply rephrasing it.
3. Have a clear goal for each email
Sending emails for the sake of sending emails is just going to leave your customers with a poor impression. Every email you send should have a clear goal in mind. When trying to increase your click-through rates, you need to think long and hard about what users are clicking through for. Have a primary call to action which is repeated throughout the email. Use button colour and size to create a hierarchy of goals.
4. Think about link placement
Every email should have one clickable item above the fold. The fold will vary depending on the device, so make sure this is optimised for desktop and mobile. Small links can be difficult to click when using a mobile phone, so make sure everything is optimised for desktop and mobile users. Place links within the text and also throughout the email in large clickable areas.
5. Don’t rely on imagery
The plain text email is often neglected, but it shouldn’t be this way. Big splashy emails with eye-catching graphics can be great, but they should never be used in place of a message. If you do use images, make sure you include descriptive alt tags which can help visually impaired customers access your content. You might have noticed a trend towards only providing a plain text email and forgoing all of the bells and whistles of an image-laden email. There is evidence that this can be successful, but it’s all about what works for your list.
6. Make it sharable
If you’re sharing something valuable, then you’d better believe that your audience will want to share it on. Including a forward link in your email campaigns is a great way to boost your reach. Including a link to sign up for anyone who receives a forwarded email is a great way to boost your audience. Think about how people might interact with your email and make it as easy as possible for them. For example, you should always make it easy to click through to valuable links such as your social media profiles.
7. Monitor and optimise
It’s not enough to send emails out into the world and hope for the best. You need to continually monitor and optimise your email efforts. A/B testing on your email subject line and content can be a great way to quickly get to the heart of what works for your list. Remember, you can read all of the stats in the world, but none of them are going to help you get to the heart of what makes your email list tick. Increasing your email click-through rates is a case of consumer insight mixed with trial and error.