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[Tweet “44% of email recipients last year, made a purchase because of a promotional email.”]
However, if you’re email marketing campaigns are not getting similar results, you might be wondering what’s going wrong. Odds are, you’re having a trouble converting your subscribers. Many people think that all you have to do is build a list, and then send that list emails.
What matters most is getting the subscribers on a list to take action. If your subscribers currently aren’t taking action, you might be interested in learning how to improve conversions.
In this post, we’re going to look at nine strategies that you can use, in order to improve email marketing conversions. We’ll look at a variety of topics, such as writing better emails and knowing when to send emails — all in the name of improving conversions. By the end of this post you should have a clear sense of what you can do in order to improve email marketing conversions in your own campaigns.
At the core of your email marketing campaign, is going to be your list. If you don’t have a list, you don’t have the ability to run an email marketing campaign. However, just having a list, is not enough.
You need to make sure that you have the right kinds of people on your list.
If you don’t have the right people on your list, there will be a mismatch between what you’re trying to communicate, and what subscribers actually want to learn about. If you bought your list off of someone, then there is a chance that you don’t have the right people on your list. If you are looking to launch a new product, but you’re using a list from an old business, you need to be careful too. If the product being sold was completely different — your list may once again comprise of the wrong kind of people. If you want to ensure that you have the right kinds of people on your list, consider launching a fresh list building campaign.
When building this list, explicitly state what your email marketing is going to be covering.
If you have a large list, that you think includes some people who will be interested in what you have to offer, consider list segmentation. This is where you split a large list into sub-groups. This can be a little tricky if you have a large list, though the time you spend to segment a list may save you money in the long run.
Just because you have the right kinds of people on your list, doesn’t mean that they’ll devour every email you send to them.
[Tweet “It’s important that you have an in depth understanding of your audience, if you want to maximise conversions.”]
Odds are you’re going to be sending your list pieces of content, in order to build a relationship with them, and to subsequently earn some goodwill. 82% of people open marketing emails, but if you send subscribers information that is not relevant to them, they won’t want to open your emails. Therefore, take a moment to really think about what your audience is struggling with. If your list is about webinar marketing; sure, people might want to know which platform is best when it comes to hosting webinars. Though what might be more interesting to learn, is how you can improve attendance rates.
For those looking to get started in the world of webinar marketing, attendance rates is much more pressing issue than choosing the right webinar platform. And so if you can provide a piece of content that solves a pressing issue, as just mentioned, you’ll be creating emails that people want to open!
Another way you can maximise conversions, is by varying your content. For instance, if you’re always sending people to a blog post in your emails, why not offer something else, that provides even more value?
An example of this, might be a 45 minute webinar, or a Google Hangout, where people can ask you questions, or can see live demonstrations of your product. By experimenting with other kinds of offerings, you’ll be one step closer to creating an email that people actually want to interact with. You could even survey your list to find out what kinds of content your list wants to receive more of.
Once you’ve taken care of the fundamentals above, you can then think about studying the analytics data provided by your email marketing platform. At first, the data provided might be somewhat overwhelming.
But what you’ll want to do, is look for patterns, to see what is actually working in your campaigns. Here are a few of the things you’ll want to monitor.
What you will find, is that for your list, emails sent at a particular time receive higher open rates in relation to other times. Each list is going to be different, and so you can’t just read a blog post and expect to know what the best times are to send emails. However, by analysing the data provided by your email marketing platform, you’ll be able to pinpoint the best time to send emails.
Now, of course, this is assuming you vary the times you send emails. But if you don’t, it might be a good idea to experiment with a range of different times. We’ll talk a bit more about split testing later, but consider sending morning emails, afternoon emails and evening emails. See which time period gets the highest open rates, and then start adjusting mailing times by the hour.
You’ll also want to monitor which forms of content get the best click-through-rates.
When you have this information, you’ll be able to figure out the kind of content your audience resonates with most, and hence you’ll be able to provide more of it in the future.
This of course, depends on the niche that you occupy. E-commerce websites sometimes need to send emails that are very image heavy. Either way, see which emails perform best — those with a lot of images or those that don’t have any images at all. By analysing the data, however, you’ll be provided with a definitive answer.
Another thing that can massively impact email marketing conversions, is the copy you use. To keep things simple, we’ll split email marketing copy into two categories — the subject line & the email body.
[Tweet “33% of people open an email because of the subject line alone.”]
When it comes to subject line copy, there are a ton of things that you can experiment with. However, here are a few things that you can try right now.
The first is to use numbers. Just as with blog titles, you’ll find that numbers can help increase the open rates on your emails.
The second is to use questions. Questions cause people to stop and think. If your question causes enough intrigue, recipients can’t help but open your emails.
The third is to use words that are relevant to the audience that belongs to your list. Chances are you can think of 3-4 keywords that your list really identifies with. By using these keywords, recipients will keenly open emails, because they know the email is of relevance to them. There’s data to show that for B2B companies, when the keywords ‘money,’ ‘revenue,’ and ‘profit’ are used, open rates rise.
The fourth is to use brackets. Brackets give you permission to say more in your subject line, without over complicating things. You could, for instance, use a bracket to include a call to action, or mention that there is a ‘bonus inside.’
The fifth is to use the recipient’s name. As we’ll discuss later, personalisation can greatly impact how people relate to your emails. In fact, personalized subject lines get a 22% higher open rate.
The sixth is to use some urgency.
Urgency can encourage action, as recipients will know they have a limited amount of time to benefit from whatever is on offer.
You can also adjust the body copy of an email. As mentioned before, adjusting the body copy of an email, can depend on the kind of emails you are sending out in the first place. If you’re sending out an email that is image rich, make sure that the ‘Alt-tags’ of your emails are descriptive. Otherwise, if the images are blocked when emails are opened, recipients won’t know what the images are about, and hence won’t enable them.
If you’re sending out plain text emails, it might also be a good idea to ensure that you’re spacing out your text properly. This means you don’t want to include massive chunks of text. Keep paragraphs short, and ensure that they don’t become longer than 3 lines.
It is also worth bolding any ‘calls to action’ you may have. This will help make them more obvious and could hence boost conversions.
Personalisation can also be used in order to maximise email marketing conversions. Most email marketing platforms will allow for you to include some personalization.
The most obvious places to include personalization are the subject line and in the bit after ‘Hi/Hello.’’ However, you might want to include personalization in the body copy of email too. Depending on the information you collect ahead of time, you’ll be able to include forms of personalization that aren’t just using the recipient’s name . You may for instance, also use location. This is something to keep in mind when setting up your opt-in forms.
This is not to be confused with the analytics section that we covered earlier. The analytics section was about discovering what works, based on past results. Split testing is about experimenting with new ideas and going against best practice, to see if there is a better way of doing things. You can essentially take everything that has been mentioned so far, and try some wildly different approaches by doing the opposite. This is your chance to be creative, and experiment. Go against what has worked in the past to find something better.
This might sound a little odd, but your email marketing conversions might be a little low, because you’re not sending enough emails. If all you’re doing is sending a welcome email, then you’re missing out on a lot of other opportunities to connect with customers. Provided that you’re always providing value, people won’t mind receiving extra email from you. The more emails you send, the better you can build a relationship with customers. This will build momentum, and hence people will begin to look forward to your mailings.
Another way you can maximise email marketing conversions, is by combining your current efforts, with emails sent out based on user behaviour. Thanks to the advancements provided by email marketing platforms, this is relatively easy to do.
An example of this is the ‘cart abandonment email.’
This is where people are sent an email, after they abandon a cart on your website. This can be a good idea, considering that cart abandonment emails get an incredible 40% open rate. The email might ask them why they abandoned their cart, and if there is anything that can be done to fix the issue. You might even provide in the email a discount, to encourage people to complete the checkout process. You could even send this kind of email, if people didn’t attend a webinar, notifying them of a replay.
Email marketing can help build your business into a formidable force. Yet sending out emails is not enough. You need to have a clear understanding of how you can make your emails convert. That’s because if you can’t get people to open your emails, and click on the links inside, chances are your emails won’t be making you any money.
As you now know, there are a number of ways you can do this. Whether you personalize your emails, or you study the data to figure out the best times to send emails, there are many options open to you. Whatever option you choose, the most important thing is that you get started now, so that you can improve your email marketing efforts as soon as possible.