“Why are my open and click through rates so low? What can I do to increase email marketing engagement?”
This is a real life quote from a client in a meeting just last week, who was struggling to see a return from email marketing.
Our client was sending out one product/service based email per week to their entire database, as well as a monthly newsletter that included information about the company and the latest content they’d published.
Where were they going wrong?
Of course when these questions arise, it’s easy to jump head first into exciting campaign ideas that will encourage interactions and conversions. But before doing that, it’s important to check that you are considering these 5 key email marketing best practices:
1) Define a clear goal
Every email you have needs to have a clear purpose. It can be hard to pick an appropriate goal for your email send, most of the time we can get stuck into a rut of sending an email ‘just because it’s what we do’.
To make sure your email is completely focused consider goals along the lines of:
- Registration to an event or a webinar
- Download or read a specific piece of content
- Making an enquiry
- Collecting feedback
By choosing a quantifiable goal, you’ll not only find it much easier to write the content, you’ll actually be sending well thought out emails that people will want to read.
2) Content + Context =success
This is one of marketing’s greatest love stories, when content and context are brought together, only success will follow.
When you serve the right content, to the right audience, at the right time, you will witness a great and positive change in your results. It’s time to change the way we produce our content, by shaping your emails around what your audience want to hear, not what you want to say.
3) Personalise, personalise, personalise
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, there are times when we just can’t avoid sending those mass email blast to thousands of contacts. But that doesn’t mean that the email has to be impersonal.
Personalisation is a key factor to increasing your open and click through rates, in fact, it’s been known to improve overall conversion rates by 10%. So what can you do to ensure that your emails aren’t impersonal, and robotic?
- Avoid sending emails from a generic address - people want to hear from real people, not made up no reply email addresses. For higher open rates, make sure you’re sending your emails from an actual human being.
- Include personalisation tokens - even little things such as a company name, a recent conversion or a first and last name can make all the difference to a recipient and in turn increase your engagement rates
- Don’t send irrelevant information - for example, you target a number of industries, but when you’re doing a industry specific campaign, you don’t segment your database. Sending an irrelevant email to contacts is a sure-fire way to damage your reputation and find your way into the recipients trash inbox.
4) Focus on engagement
Once you’ve determined your goal, and you’re ready to get down to writing the content, your main focus needs to be on how you want your recipient to engage with the email - and the steps you need to take to ensure they complete the goal.
The main things you’ll need to consider are:
- Time is money, make sure the purpose of your email is clear as soon as you open it.
- Make sure you’re clear on what the person will be clicking through to, avoid the use of ‘clickbait’
- Use actionable wording and ensure that your calls-to-action stand out.
- Take every opportunity to point your recipient towards clicking through. Make sure your links are natural throughout the text.
5) Test, analyse and tweak
With any marketing activity, you’ll never know what has worked and what hasn’t worked without testing, analysis and making tweaks. Here’s an all inclusive list of the things you’ll want to analyse following an email send:
- Delivery Rate: This will answer the question: Did you even stand a chance at success? This metric will inform you of the health of your email list. Both hard and soft bounces are good indicators of the shape of your contact database. Lots of hard bounces means fake or out-of-service email addresses, while soft bounces means your email is making it into the inbox but getting caught in a spam filter.
- Open Rate: This metric only tells you the effectiveness of your subject line, not your email content . If you’re getting low open rates consider tweaking subject lines and the people who are receiving the email.
- Click Rate: Simply put, this metric will track people engaging with your emails. These are the people who have read what you had to offer and were interested. Of course this is only the first step in the journey towards completing the goal of your email.
- Do you have a good or bad CTR, check which parts of your email are being clicked on the most ,this will help inform decisions on future email sends.
- How many people are unsubscribing from your emails, and what kind of contacts are they?
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