Is it a challenge just to get customers to open your emails? How about getting them to actually engage with the content once they do open them?
You’re not alone.
In 2018, just over 125 billion emails were sent and received each day. It’s no wonder you have a mere 2 seconds of inbox time to entice your reader before he swipes left. The good news is that improving your open and click rate is not rocket science. By making a few easy changes, you’ll see improvements in all the right areas.
1. Send Emails With Value Or Don’t Send Them At All
Let’s face it: what do YOU do with aggressive, self-promoting emails that make it to your inbox? Delete. This is where an understanding of content marketing is crucial. In order to attract customers, you’ll want to provide them with content they love rather than simply asking them for a sale each time you connect. The 80/20 rule is as applicable to email marketing as it is social media marketing: roughly 20% of your content should promote your own brand and 80% of your content should add value to your target audience (think in terms of advice, education, tips, industry knowledge).
I like the way Hubspot describes this:
By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.
Build trust in your brand by providing something of value to your customer; then when those customers and potential customers need your services, you’ll be top-of-mind because you maintained a good email relationship.
2. Write Simple, Compelling Subject Lines
Less is more. Remember, you have precious few seconds to stand out among 60 emails in your customer’s inbox each day. He’s skimming his subject lines and quickly deleting anything that appears boring or useless. A great way to get better at subject lines is to pay attention to the marketing emails you receive. Which ones do you click on? Which ones do you trash? Go ahead and take the next 10 minutes of your day to subscribe to at least 5 competitors’ email newsletters. Study what they’re doing (and not doing) in their campaigns.
Equally as important, enlist the help of software when choosing subject lines for your emails. Here’s a quick list of 10 free tools. Should you use emojis? Will personalization increase your open rates? Should you avoid exclamation points or words like “free”? Subject line software can help you make those decisions.
As with all marketing efforts, test different variations of your headlines and analyze the post-campaign metrics to find out where open rates and engagement are improving.
3. Avoid The Click Bait Tactics
Those cheesy phrases luring a customer into opening your email will come across as, well, cheesy phrases. You know the ones:
- You’ll never look at your dog the same way after reading this email.
- The genius life hack you’ve been missing.
- Man tries to hug a wild lion; you won’t believe what happens next.
Click bait tactics designed to get more opens will – in the long run – destroy your customer’s trust because he knows you’re trying to trick him. Sure, you may get him to open one or two emails. But you can’t expect longevity with this tactic. You’ll soon see an increase in your unsubscribe rate if you use click bait.
4. Write Compelling Snippets
A snippet is a brief extract of the content you’re driving your customers to. Take a blog post for example. You’ve written a super helpful article that you know customers will find useful. Your email marketing is designed to get that awesome content into their hands. But ideally, you want them to visit your website to read the entire article, so you need a compelling snippet within the email to encourage clicking through to the article.
So what’s compelling? Try 1 – 3 sentences that inform your customer of the article’s content without including the entire article. Avoid just cutting and pasting the first few sentences of the blog post. A snippet is written for a different purpose and should be crafted uniquely.
Give these tips a try on your next few emails and let me know how it works for you!