Emails. Whether you receive 2 or 200+ each day, as a professional in the workforce, you use email to communicate. Email provides a platform for internal business communication and serves as an efficient, personal marketing tool for reaching current and potential customers. Whether you already utilize email marketing, or you would like to start, here are some tips to help improve your open and click-through rates.
Subject lines provide an email preview for the reader - your first chance to draw them in. Don’t waste the opportunity! Many email marketers focus so much on the email content and then slap a quick subject line on just before sending. As a better alternative, try strategically crafting your subject line early and test A/B subject lines.
Completing A/B subject line testing includes creating two different subject lines and sending one to a randomly selected sample of 50% of your audience, and another subject line to the other half. This will allow you to track which subject line drew in more readers to the same content.
Try using a call-to-action as your subject line, such as “Read more on x” or “Watch the replay of x.” Call-to-action subject lines often draw the reader in to open the email in order to complete the action. Another strategy is to include a short section or bit of information contained in the email. This short highlight acts as a sample for the reader, encouraging them to gather the full story around the quick tidbit.
Other strategies include using all lowercase letters in your subject lines (instead of capitalizing each word, which can seem too formal and robotic) and using short subject lines (5 words or less) .
From and Reply To
From and Reply To fields matter…maybe more than you realize.
Imagine you see an email in your inbox from John Smith (assuming this does not happen to be the name of your boss or someone else significant in your life). Now imagine you receive an email from Jeff Bezos. Which email are you more likely to open? The CEO of Amazon likely attracts your attention more than an unfamiliar name. In your emails, consider making the sender someone of importance that is recognizable for the recipients. If your firm is small, your president or CEO may be an appropriate sender. If your firm is large, a department leader or the consultant that has touch points with the client or prospect could be your sender.
The Reply To email address does not need to match the sender email address. If you are sending an email from your CEO, they likely do not have the time to respond to all replies. Email replies should be directed to an email address that is closely monitored so that timely responses can be sent. The worst you can do is engage with your audience and then leave them unanswered when they engage back.
Of all the emails you receive, how many of them were unnecessary? Do you enjoy receiving those unneeded emails? Chances are, your answers are, respectively, “many” and “no way!” Which means that no matter how awesome your subject line is and no matter how appropriate the from and reply to email addresses are, your email content matters. You, as the expert in your field, can make the choices on good vs. bad content, but here are some formatting tips to help good content go the distance.
If you have the resources in your database, personalize your email greeting . Though many times email openers include one word (for example “hey” or “[reader’s name]”), the most effective greeting includes two words: “Hey [reader’s name]” . If you do not have the resources to make your opener personalized, consider writing a quick greeting at the top of your email to still give the email a personal, human-like touch.
In the body of your email, simple, unformatted, text-based emails tend to perform well as they seem less like advertising and more like human conversation . Avoid using bullet points and opt for paragraph formatting for best results .
When including links, make them clear, easy-to-find, and easy-to-click-on. Especially when you guide readers to your website, you do not want the link to be hard to find. Using buttons with a call-to-action like “Read More” rather than a long website address typically improves click-through rates.
Overall, keep your email body as brief and short as possible. Assume that your readers are short on time and put your most important content at the top of your email. Do not assume your reader will scroll down to the bottom of the email to read the good stuff, but rather, plan to wow them from the top.
At the bottom of your email, including a signature and contact information is a great way to help your audience engage with you outside of email. This is a place to put your phone number, website address, and social media pages. Most email platforms such as Constant Contact and MailChimp allow for social media icons to be easily added with links directly to your pages.
Although we hope no one will ever unsubscribe from our emails, it still happens. To encourage your audience to stay engaged on some emails, consider creating an unsubscribe page where recipients can select exactly which types of emails they wish to unsubscribe from and which they still want to receive. For example, people may not want to receive your emails with new offers, but still want to get your newsletter. This allows your audience to be selective and allows you to see which emails are working.
To sum up, keep your marketing emails short and straightforward with a recognizable sender, call-to-action points, and great content to engage your reader from start to finish. Happy email sending!