How many emails do you delete, unopened, every day?
In all likelihood, your customers’ inboxes are just as cluttered, and they probably ignore a lot of messages too. All is not lost, however.
No matter what some marketing gurus say, email is not a dead medium. Even with other forms of marketing, such as social media, email still holds its own. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has an ROI of $40 per $1 invested. Unless you get your emails right, that 4,000 percent ROI is a lot to lose.
If you don’t get it right, you’re just throwing money and effort away by sending email only for your customers to delete the messages unopened. You have to make your customers feel good about getting your emails. For this to happen, you need to need to take care of four things.
1. Your reputation. Be trustworthy: In marketing, reputation is everything. For a medium as personal as email, this becomes even more intimate. The emails need to come from you, not just your company. If you delegate someone to handle your emails, tell them to put their own name on the email at the very least.
You also need to be candid and straightforward with what you are writing about. Make sure to articulate a clear value proposition. Remember to put a human face on all correspondence and avoid sending impersonal emails that do not include a sender’s name and reply address. You could even consider creating a unique vernacular that consumers associate with your brand. By using language as a method of distinction, you will stand apart from the competition.
2. Your subject lines. Be exciting: Salesforce quotes a Chadwick Martin Bailey study that shows almost two out of three people decide whether to open their email on the basis of its subject line. In this arena, testing is the key to success. Factors to test on your email list might include: curiosity, negativity, benefits, story, numbers, subject length, alliteration and/or fear.
Every list is different, so there is no universally superior approach. However, you might try outlandish methods and subject lines that might raise some eyebrows. More importantly, keep track of email open rates to uncover trends. By analyzing data, you’ll be able to determine the style that is most appreciated by your users.
We saw an open rate increase of 17 percent after slightly tweaking the title. Instead of using the subject line to make a blanket statement, we asked a question. With this approach, the customer is immediately engaged because you provide an incentive and make the user feel like he or she is part of a conversation. This obviously doesn’t work for all fields and products, but it’s worth a try.
3. Your content. Make it readable and actionable: Spell out how your customers will benefit by reading your email. Use an easy-to-read font, provide adequate paragraph spacing and use subheads to improve speed-reading. Use only relevant images. As mentioned earlier, you need to articulate your value proposition right at the start of the email. A personable, relatable, no-nonsense approach is a great approach to engaging your users.
We saw that short and concise messaging worked better than long and elaborate emails. Focus on how your product can benefit your user — this might be an offer they can’t refuse, but I’ve noticed that it’s more important to provide useful information. Provide accurate, insightful and informative content and your users will love you for it.
You should also understand the importance of mobile. According to GetResponse, 82 percent of emails are now read on mobile devices. The same survey says that people simply delete or ignore emails that cannot be read easily on a phone or tablet.
4. Your links. Make them stand out: Your link should be the resource that will help your readers solve their pain points. Make sure it stands out so they can easily find and click on it.
There is one catch to this: Many email users disable images. You need to have a clear, linked, text call-to-action that will be visible even if images are not shown. This means that you need to switch on your UX/UI mode and understand user behavior. For example, make sure the link and the rest of the content are separated clearly. Use a different color for the link to make the link more distinctive and appealing.
A 40 to 50 percent open rate might be too optimistic, but if your batting average is around 5 to 10 percent then you can definitely improve it. By figuring out these factors and improving email metrics, you should be able to increase open rates significantly. This has helped both our business and customer engagement grow exponentially.