12 Email Marketing Optimization Tips
Email marketing is a very effective way to drive your business forward. It can be used for anything from lead generation to nurturing your leads and even upselling existing customers to maximize lifetime revenue. To get the best possible results, it’s vital to optimize your emails. Below, you will learn the 12 key ways that you can get the best possible results from your emails.
1. Enhance Your Subject Line
Your subject line is one of the most important parts of an email marketing campaign because the subject line determines if your email even gets opened.
Appeal to Emotional Drivers
There are different approaches you can take with your subject line. The most important thing is to be relevant to your audience and provide value. You want to address your audiences desires, fears, or frustrations. By appealing to their emotional drivers, they will be more inclined to open your email. For example, if someone is buying a hot tub, we could send out an email with the subject line “Your Hot Tub Comparison Guide.” The reason this subject line would be effective is because hot tubs are a high cost item and buyers want to compare alternatives.
Use Actionable Language
You can use actionable language, such as ‘Download, Get a Free’ and so on. Subject lines have limited text, so keep it brief and strive for complete clarity for what your offer is.
Another subject line optimization tip is to personalize them. By using the recipient’s first name in the subject line, you can often make them feel more inclined to open your email.
Communicating benefits is a powerful subject line approach. Tell your prospects how they can benefit by opening the email. For example, in a video series email sequence, the subject line could be “How to Buy the Right Hot Tub – Part 1”. The reason why this subject line works well is because the prospect can see how they will benefit from viewing the video.
Avoid Spammy Language
While active language is powerful, you want to avoid spammy language that comes across as trying too hard. This can repel people as they get the sense that you are only out to get something from them versus offering something of value to them.
2. Use the Right Sender Name
The trust that you have built with your readers helps determine whether or not they will open your emails. Optimizing your selected sender name and consistently using that name helps build a sense of trust surrounding that name and ensures that readers quickly recognize future emails sent from you.
Email marketing works best when personalized and that means sending messages from an actual person. Sending an email from your name instead of your business name can make your messages more personal.
Include a signature at the end of your email message and if you’re comfortable with it, include a headshot photo. A picture and signature set a friendly, personalized tone and creates the sense that the message is coming from a real person and not an automated marketing system.
Try using different sender names and see what readers respond to best. If you’re using a person’s name that might not be easily recognized, you can follow it with the company name to create the connection.
3. Make it Personal
As a digital marketing company, we always say that people have overflowing inboxes, so personalization is more important than ever and it is more than just using the recipient’s first name.
AI Marketing Tools
AI-based email marketing tools can be leveraged to analyze your data and identify things about each recipient – such as browsing or purchasing behaviour as well as other interactions with your brand. For example, if they have been looking at a particular product or sale item, you can include that in an email along with a timesensitive discount to help increase their chances of converting.
This type of true personalization also keeps your emails relevant. Email marketing studies have shown that 40% of readers unsubscribe from a mailing list or marked the messages as spam because they were irrelevant. By showing that you know something about the reader – their preferences, their purchase history (but not in a weird way) you can communicate that you understand their problems and pain points while showing that you can help solve them.
In this example, Chewy brand pet food used past purchase behaviour to send relevant product recommendations and a reorder reminder.
Personalize your messages based on location, company, or by leveraging other behavioral or demographic data. Show your readers that you’re customizing your message to help them.
4. Create a Sense of Urgency
Often, if you want a reader to take action, you need to let them know that your offer will not last. This means creating a sense of urgency with a deadline that encourages them to act sooner than later if they want to benefit from your offer.
Leverage the loss aversion technique. The fear of losing out on something more than wanting something new is human nature. Remind them that they will be losing out if they don’t take action, which will help trigger a response.
Use time sensitive words, such as ‘Ending Soon, Fast, Hurry or Now’ to motivate your readers’ reaction time.
In this example from Kohl’s, the subject line, subhead and copy all have a sense of urgency incorporated.
5. Segment Users
Similar to personalization, segmenting your email list is a technique where you split your list of subscribers based on certain conditions in order to send more relevant communication to your readers. Email lists can be split by a number of conditions, such as age, location, or purchase history and once your list is segmented, your campaigns can be designed to engage and drive a favorable response.
Segmentation ensures that you’re targeting people that are already interested – and it makes way more sense to offer a smaller list of readers something they are specifically interested in, versus sending irrelevant offers to a large email list. When your segmentation is optimized correctly, readers will feel like the message or offer was created specifically for them.
Have your subscribers’ self-segment with your opt-in form. By asking what subjects your subscribers are interested in, you can empower your list to receive exactly the type of campaigns they want to receive.
6. Improve Body Copy
Your message needs to be compelling and concise. Before you even begin to write your email, understand the language, tone, and even layout that will work best for your readers to help guide them to click through and purchase your offer.
Every Word Serves a Purpose
Make sure that every word in your message serves a purpose and works towards clearly conveying exactly what your offer is and the value behind it.
Make Content Easy to Read
Use short words, paragraphs, and bullet points to visually break up the text, which helps to not overwhelm your readers.
Keep your message short, interesting, and compelling – tell a story, use a case study to make a point, and incorporate strong language.
7. Optimize for Mobile
If your email layout isn’t optimized for mobile, you don’t stand a chance. Readers will not strain to read text that is too small, running off the screen, or have to do too much scrolling.
Your email campaigns can be optimized to look fantastic on all devices. To do so, use mobileoptimized templates to build your email and optimize each section to create the best mobilefriendly experience possible.
Reduce Image File Sizes
Reduce the image file sizes so that there isn’t a delay in loading images. Studies have shown that every 1-second delay results in a 7% drop in conversions!
8. Include an Unsubscribe Link
It is a legal requirement that your email campaigns include an unsubscribe link in them. By making it easy for someone that isn’t interested in your list to unsubscribe, your open and click-through rates will become more accurate as you’ll only be measuring people that truly want to receive your offers.
How to Optimize Your Unsubscribe Link
How do you optimize your unsubscribe link? For starters, make it easy to find. If someone cannot locate how to unsubscribe from your list, they may mark your email as spam, which can contribute to damaging your sender reputation.
This example from Art.com allows users to easily locate how to unsubscribe. By using the colour blue (uniform for all types of links), separated from other element in the footer text and with an enlarged font size, it can’t be missed.
Motivate to Maintain Connection
Try to entice your readers leaving your list to still stay connected by sharing your social channels. Another option is to let your readers decide which communication they wish to unsubscribe from – they may choose to not leave your list entirely but segment themselves instead.
9. Create a Strong CTA
Your call-to-action (CTA) is what can turn a click into a conversion. An effective CTA should tell your reader exactly what to do next. This can be anything from following you on social media, downloading a free eBook, or scheduling a complimentary discovery call. Whatever you want your reader to do, clearly tell them in the CTA and give them the incentive that they need to take that step.
In this example from Dominos, the reader instantly knows what action to take.
Keep Your CTA Simple
Don’t get carried away with copywriting on your CTA. Especially when it comes to transactional emails. In these circumstances, a CTA with familiar text, such as ‘Buy Now, Shop, Subscribe’ can have a better chance of driving the reader to take the intended action.
10. Automate Your Campaign
There are a multitude of email marketing campaigns that you can built that are completely automated, including: Lead Nurturing Campaigns, Sales Conversion Campaigns, Ecommerce Campaigns, Onboarding Campaigns, Reviews Campaigns, Customer Experience Campaigns, Upselling Campaigns, Retention Campaigns, and Reengagement Campaigns.
As with your other marketing initiatives, testing is the key to ensure your email campaigns are working effectively. Use A/B testing on all of your campaigns to identify what leads to increased open rates, click-throughs, and conversions.
12. Analyze Your Metrics
As a Pardot Consulting Company, we always recommend that changes to marketing should be based on the numbers. Below you will find the key metrics to use to understand what is working and what is not working in your emails.
The open rate shows you the number of opened emails from the total number of delivered. There are three variables that have the greatest impact on your open rate. The first is the sender’s name. The second is the subject line. The third is the prehead test, which is the first paragraph of your email.
Typically, you want to achieve between a 25-35% open rate for an internal list. For a rented list, you want to achieve between a 15-25% open rate.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The CTR is the percentage of clicks on the links from the number of delivered emails. Your offer and content have the greatest impact on this metric.
The bounce rate tells you the number of emails that were not delivered. You can either have a hard or soft bounce. A soft bounce means that your email wasn’t delivered because of a temporary problem, such as a full inbox. A hard bounce occurs because of an invalid email address. To establish a good sender reputation, it is important to remove inactive subscribers from your mailing list.
The unsubscribe rate indicates how many people unsubscribed from a particular email.
The conversion rate shows the number of people that converted from your call to action in comparison to the number of sent emails.
Optimizing your email marketing campaigns doesn’t have to be difficult. When you follow the 12 essential steps above, paying attention to key elements will soon become second nature and you’ll start seeing an increase in your click-through rates and conversions. If you have any questions at all, contact us today at 1.888.533.4886 or at [email protected].