Marketing emails require considerable investment to create and distribute. There are the endless strategy meetings where ideas are spitballed into oblivion and eventually coalesced into a compromise that everyone is relatively happy with. There’s the time spent designing an email which will display equally well on desktop and mobile devices, starring a compelling call-to-arms front and center. Then there’s the assembly of distribution lists, tailored to optimize relevance and studiously managed to prevent people who’ve opted out of being included.
By the time a marketing email arrives in a recipient’s inbox, it’s experienced several developmental stages and cost a great deal of time, and sometimes money. Being able to maximize click-through rates is vital for justifying any up-front investment, but what should companies do to ensure marketing email drives traffic? How can you ensure that your carefully crafted masterpiece doesn’t return a 0.2% click-through rate?
Below are ten easy ways to maximize click-through rates in marketing emails – starting with an obvious suggestion many firms still fail to consider:
1. Design for mobile.
Single column designs will display equally well on any device, ensuring headline messages capture everyone’s attention. Write like a journalist and put the most important information front and center, and in descending order of priority.
2. Choose a spam-free subject line.
Spam filters hate words such as ‘free’ or ‘bargain’, and nobody clicks links in junk mail. Small-scale A/B testing may determine which words and phrases evade the filters. Short subject lines are more compelling, too.
3. Lead with your best punch.
If you’re offering customers a 10% discount on their second order, make that the subject or the first line of your message. Avoid rambling PR introductions like: “as a valued customer, we wanted to let you know…”
4. Keep body copy concise.
In this age of social media, it’s hard to keep people’s attention focused for long. Each point in this list is 45 words or less with good reason. Re-read draft copy, deleting the least valuable words or phrases until every line matters.
5. Offer to solve a problem.
This might be something like reducing a cost, same-day delivery, a new service or a unique product. Consumers are tired of being told they need something, but they’ll jump at the chance of an easier/cheaper/quieter/safer life.
6. Write informally.
Address the reader directly – active voice terms like “you” and “we” sound more intimate and appealing. Avoid unnecessary jargon, though slang can work. Limit yourself to one comma per sentence, and three sentences per paragraph.
7. Break up the page.
If you need to say a lot, break it up. Use bullet points, sub-headings and short paragraphs. Bold text lets you highlight key points, statistics or phrases. Images obviously play a crucial role in this, too…
8. Choose hero images.
A couple of well-placed photos make a real difference to a marketing email in terms of holding attention and emphasizing key points. Paid image platforms like Shutterstock are great, but consider free websites like Stockvault too.
9. Set a deadline.
An open-ended offer is easily forgotten, but a time-limited one encourages a sense of urgency. There’s more opportunity to maximize click-through rates if people feel they can’t come back to your email at a later date.
10. Explain what’s on the other side.
People are fed up clicking links and ending up on homepages with no way to find expected the content. Make it clear what happens once they click that graphic, hyperlink or button – and deliver on those promises.
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