Before GDPR rolled out in May 2018, our inboxes were overwhelmed with emails and requests from retailers hoping to keep us locked into their mailing lists.
Despite the threat of a GDPR apocalypse and businesses culling entire mailing lists, email marketing still remains as one of the most effective means of engaging customers.
This means that retailers need to be more canny with their approach to email marketing and avoid the ‘batch and blast’ approach that may have worked in the past.
Customers are bombarded with marketing messaging through so many different channels these days that it takes something special to make your offers stand out.
Sometimes even the most simple changes can harvest huge results, so here are 9 email hacks that you can experiment with to improve your email response rates.
1. Optimise for mobile
More people than ever before are accessing our inboxes on the go rather than on desktops, even though the overall experience isn’t always that great.
Around 50% of all email opens come from mobile. This means that if you don’t mobile-optimise your mail-shots, there’s a huge chunk of your audience that you’re missing out on.
Start by making sure you’re taking advantage of responsive design on your template. Then, use a range of devices to test elements such as images, video and text to ensure they all fit on screen.
2. Test different sender names
Trust is a huge factor when it comes to email marketing. Ensuring that recipients are clear on who exactly is appearing in their inbox can make all the difference when it comes to open and click rates.
If your sender name and address doesn’t match up with the rest of the email or is unrecognisable, you run the risk of your email being deleted straight away. In a worse case scenario, users may even flag your email as spam.
Real estate in the inbox is at a premium so make every character count. It could be that emails being sent from a person have a higher open rate and click through rate (CTR) when compared with those sent from a company name.
3. Overhaul your subject line
Arguably the most important element of your email is the subject line. The subject line should entice users to open your email and there is no shortage of hacks you can test to improve your email response rates.
The optimum length of a subject line is around 50 characters, but remember that mobile and tablet emails may only display around 25 characters of subject lines.
With such a rationed character limit you might avoid using personalisation. However, CTR’s can benefit from an uplift of 17% when using your customers’ first name.
Whilst traditionalists might scoff, using emoji in your subject lines really works. The key is to keep it relevant to the context of your email, don’t use them on every email send and only use one or two at a time.
Good to know: Over 50% of senders who used an emoji in their subject lines reported higher open rates than those who did not.
4. Tweak your preview text
The preview text is a snippet that appears in most email clients following the sender name and subject line. It’s a good opportunity to capture users’ attention, particularly on mobile or tablet, but most senders aren’t taking advantage of it.
If you don’t add relevant preview text, most email clients will lift content directly from the body of the email. This results in errant codes, image file names or alt tags being used instead.
The best preview texts compliment the subject line, capture interest with a compelling message and encourage clicks to open the email by standing out in the inbox.
Depending on device and email client of choice, not every user will see your preview text. Make sure you take this into account by adding in around 50-100 characters of copy.
5. Segment carefully
Technology such as DotDigital and Mailchimp make it incredibly easy to divide your email contacts into targeted segments. So, there’s really no excuse for batch and blast!
Good to know: Segmented campaigns can improve revenue by over 700%
While it’s important you don’t go too granular with your segmentation, splitting out sends by customer interests or last interaction dates can immediately improve your email response rates.
6. Improve your CTA
The vast majority of email sends exist to help encourage users to complete an activity. Whether it’s pushing customers towards a purchase or downloading an eBook, your email should convince your reader to take action.
Including a call to action (CTA) button within your email body is an eye-catching and attractive way of ushering users towards your website.
Make your button large, experiment with colours and try different methods of overlay text to really hook in your customers.
If you’re focused towards a sale, include only one prominent CTA button and optimise this to avoid drop outs.
7. Optimise your images
An eye-catching design can make or break your CTR’s. Whilst it’s important that your emails stand out, you don’t want to promote style over substance.
Images can be the cause of all sorts of spam or deliverability issues. Whenever you use them within your email body ensure that they are not too large and compress wherever possible.
Although it is tempting to use solely images rather than text, many users and email clients won’t load images immediately.
That means that providing a text version of your emails, using ALT tags on your images and creating compelling copy should still be on your to-do list.
8. Timing your sends
Despite hundreds of blog posts that might beg to differ, there really isn’t a “best” time to send out emails.
Traditionally, open rates can drop off at the weekend whilst Tuesdays and Thursday may see an increase in open rates. Everything else is completely dependent on your industry, your product and your audience.
Find a schedule that works for you. Experiment across various days and times to see what drives the best open rates, CTR’s and sales.
Scheduling in a re-send email to those who didn’t open the first time around can be extremely beneficial. This is because you stand a better chance of reaching a more engaged audience or those who may have genuinely missed it first time around.
To take it even further, test different subject lines and times of day to trigger the re-send. As a result, you can gather even more data on what works and what doesn’t.
Hopefully the above email hacks will give you a starting point to create emails that convert.
The most crucial aspect is to find solutions that suits your business’s needs and provides results for the metrics that matter to you.
So test different methods, measure results, tweak your tactics and repeat until you find the techniques that work best for you.
As DotDigital partners we can create email marketing campaigns that truly convert. Contact us today to find out how to transform your email strategy.