There are plenty of different online marketing avenues available for businesses today. They range from pay-per-click search ads to social media posts to email campaigns. Email campaigns are the current evolution of direct mail advertising. And like their predecessor, they can be highly effective in reaching a target audience.
An Email Campaign That Generates Results
The effectiveness of an email campaign varies depending on your industry. Constant Contact statistics show a click-through rate of about 8.35% for retail, while the transportation industry averages a much higher rate, about 15.73%. Of course, before you can get someone to click on a link in your email, you have to get them to open it and read its contents. Let’s look at some ways to improve all three aspects of your email campaign – open rate, content appeal and click-through rate.
1. The Three Factors in Open Rates
An attention-grabbing subject line is critical to an email campaign. It needs to pique curiosity and/or address a pain point. As important as the subject line is, it isn’t the only factor affecting open rates. The quality of your email contact list also plays a factor. It is better to have a smaller list of contacts that fit your defined target audience than a long list of contacts that have little to no interest in your product or services.
If you have a great subject line and it’s going to the right people, there is still one more factor to check – the delivery timing. What day and time of day is your target audience most likely to open an email? The best way to find out is to do some A/B testing of different times of day and different days of the week to see if your open rates change significantly depending on when it is delivered.
2. Content with Visual and Emotional Appeal
Once they’ve opened your email, will your audience continue to read or will they quickly close and press delete? Again, there are several factors that affect your readers’ response. Personalization of emails through the use of name fields in your content is a great way to make an emotional connection with past customers right away.
Secondly, your content must deliver on what piqued their interest in the subject line. Nobody likes a bait-n-switch tactic. Emails should deliver on their promise in a way that is visually appealing. Lots of words in long paragraphs without images or sufficient white space can seem overwhelming to the reader. Adding video or images to your content will further increase its visual appeal. To really grab your readers attention, use dynamic content that changes what appears based on location, gender or any number of factors.
Lastly, you will need to make sure you are delivering a responsive design, one that will look appealing and easy-to-read, no matter what size screen it is displayed on.
3. CTAs That Work
They’ve opened the email and they’ve read your message. Now, how do you get readers to act on what they’ve just read? One way to encourage that click on your link is to give them just enough information to strengthen their interest, but make them click a “Read more” or similar link to gain the full content on your website, blog or a landing page. Requesting a reply to provide input on a question can be another effective way to initiate a response. Providing social media links and requesting them to follow you on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn can be another way to provide a non-threatening CTA that can easily be tracked.
Test for Success
Make use of the reporting data your email system provides. Check your email campaign open rates, bounce rates and click-through rates regularly to see which of your email strategies has been most effective. Do A/B testing of subject lines, content and CTAs, and continue to fine tune your campaigns based on the data to reap the reward of higher conversions.
Need more help creating a great email marketing campaign? We are always here to help you out!