Like all things, email marketing has to move along with the times for it to continue having an impact. In terms of ROI, it still remains the most effective marketing channel, offering countless opportunities to communicate with subscribers. However, consumer attitudes and behaviours change as does the technology they use to read them. In this post, we’ll look at five tips that will help you improve your email marketing for today’s subscribers.
If you want to improve your email conversion rates, it helps to focus your attention on those people who are more likely to purchase from you. In other words, those who have shown an interest in your products or services.
- Target interested subscribers
What you shouldn’t do, therefore, is try and get every single person who visits your site to sign up. Instead of having a pop-up subscription form appear almost instantly when someone arrives at the site (highly annoying for most users), wait for them to have shown interest. Have the form show up if they have visited the site more than once, if they have been on a page long enough to have read it or if they have visited several pages. This increases the chance that those who do subscribe are doing so with the hindsight of knowing what your website is about.
At the same time, you can use opt-in verification, where the user is sent a confirmation email before their subscription is verified, to ensure that they have a chance to reconsider. This further filters out those who are unlikely to buy from you. As a result, you are left with a smaller but higher quality subscriber list – one which will have more emails opened and where subscribers are more engaged.
- Mobile-friendly emails
These days we spend over 60% of our online time on mobiles and that includes catching up on our emails. While virtually every company now has a mobile-friendly website, not everyone uses responsive email solutions.
If your emails are created for PCs and aren’t optimised for viewing on a smartphone, it can mean that your customers will find then unreadable. The text could be too small to read or, when resized, means they have to scroll horizontally, line by line. Either way, the message you send will not be communicated well to the reader and many will abandon the mail.
Other issues include images being too small or being resized in a way that they end up blurry. Links and calls to action can also be problematic if they are too small for people to click on.
- Introduce personalisation
Personalised marketing campaigns are big news at the moment. Customers prefer them and those companies that use personalisation are reaping the rewards. Indeed, three-quarters of the income generated from email is the result of personalised marketing.
To begin the process of personalisation, make sure your emails use the name of the subscriber and include content that you know they have an interest in. This can be achieved by logging data about the products or services they have been looking at on your site so that you can send relevant posts, product information and offers to them.
Emails can also be used for remarketing, so if someone has put products on wish lists or left an item in the shopping cart, you can go back and encourage the purchase using a different approach.
Personalisation requires companies to abandon the practice of sending bulk emails to every subscriber and to set up subgroups for those with different interests. The other advantage of sending targeted content is that it will be more relevant to individual subscribers. If they constantly get irrelevant emails, they are far more likely to unsubscribe or leave the mails unopened, meaning that there is less chance of them seeing any content which would have been of interest.
- Content that matters
Sending out emails that contain nothing but sales information can be a turn off for subscribers. If they are not particularly looking for a product or service, they’ll simply leave them unopened. So, how do you keep them engaged until they are in the market for something new? In 2019, this is down to creating email content that provides value. In an age where the customer experience is critical for retaining and attracting customers, it’s key to send them more than just product ads. They need interesting blog posts, how-to articles, inspirational ideas, captivating videos and other forms of engaging content together with generous offers and discounts. Providing these not only keeps not-shopping-today subscribers opening your emails, it also sends out an important message that you value your customers and want to help them solve problems and achieve their aims.
- Encourage immediate calls to action
Successful emails are ones in which your readers follow your calls to action. However, if people decide to put off following them until later, they often lose the impetus or forget to act at all. To generate a sale, you need your CTA to strike while the iron is hot. One tried and tested way to do this is to create a sense of urgency in your email. This can be done in a number of ways, such as presenting offers which have a time limit (e.g., 20% off if you buy before…) or making things scarce (e.g., first 100 customers only).
Done well, email marketing can bring significant benefits to your bottom line. However, to ensure you get the best returns for your efforts, it’s important to keep abreast of current developments. Today, this means targeting interested subscribers, personalising the emails you send them, providing them with valuable content and making sure they can access it on their mobiles. And once they have an offer they are interested in, create a sense of urgency that incentivises them to act quickly.
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