10 Email Marketing Practices To Increase Your Conversions
Email connected to an enterprise marketing platform can convert prospects into customers and turn one-time buyers into loyal, lifetime customers.
Email marketing is highly effective for driving engagement with prospects and existing customers. These days integration with existing legacy systems such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Saleforce CRM can significantly enhance the customer experience, by drive engagement and increasing customer retention through tailored content and personalisation. Marketers and business leaders are now making data-backed informed decisions by connecting their CRM systems to their websites and email marketing platforms. The key to email marketing engagement is to leverage data from connected systems to send the right message to the right people at the right time.
According to Saleforce Marketing Cloud, personalised emails can increase click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10%.
From a customer acquisition strategy perspective now is the time for your business to double down on activity that is driving commercial business outcomes. In 2019, most brands that chose to invest heavily in building their social media audience over building their email marketing lists had a lower conversion rate. From a click through rate perspective most Facebook advertisers only get 1.6-2% click through, where email marketing, across all industries year on year gets 8% on average.
When it comes to email marketing, there are rules that you should follow to ensure that your getting the optimal reach and engagement from your email subscribers. Lets face it our inboxes get flooded with emails from brands on a daily basis, so this is why it is key to ensure that you follow best practices to get the optimal result.
1. Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to sending emails it's important that you send quality content. Quality content is highly engaging content, that answers your community's questions or topics that they're interest in. Feedback loops, are ideal for understand your audiences interest and gauging what content to send via your email marketing platform. Content that's validated by a feedback loop delivers upon the intent of why a subscriber has subscribed. Content that is segmented into interests have seen amazing results with some of our customers seeing open rates increase by 20% and click-through-rates increase by 6%, so it's highly recommended to segment your lists based on audience's content interest.
Content in email marketing, defines a business relationships. The wrong content causes a subscriber to unsubscribe and can change a brand's perception. Content can drive emotions, perception and intent to transact. It can address psychological blockersand explain your company's unique selling proposition and exactly why your customer should transact or have a relationship with your brand. A content strategy that is fueled by customer validated insight puts rigger into a brands marketing. Its common to leverage email marketing platforms to cut through the noise our congested media landscape and improve content distribution.
Subscribers receive hundreds of emails every day, so content needs to be relevant, concise and provide value. Quality content, has the ability to transform brands into thought leaders and creates positive experiences for your potential and existing customers. It's been a platform proven to retain and convert customers to advocates.
High-frequency customers are known to be driven by great experiences matched with consistent quality content. As a marketing tool, quality content, matched with email marketing enriches your brand and drives it forward.
2. Content distribution
Content delivered via email is still one of the best channels for conversion and achieving your audience growth targets. According to CoSchedule you are 40x more likely to get noticed via email than on Facebook.
With email marketing you can quickly measure and obtain a deep understanding of the relationship between your content and audience's perception. Email marketing analytics and reporting tools now provides deeper insights than ever and when used in context can drive businesses to make better business decisions.
When publishing quality content a distribution strategy is key to success. Knowing the time of day, day of the week and audience consumption frequency is key. Success in email marketing means being scheduled, on time, predictable and consistent.
Our Speedwell team has the expertise and access to Australian email insights to help you define your content distribution strategy and ensure that you're getting the right results. Timing in email marketing is key and different industries and audiences have difference preferences. Timing can be the difference between a high click through rate and not achieving your expected outcome.
2019 Industry research by Mailchimp showed that email subscribers on average can take up to 72 hours from receiving an email before taking action.
3. A/B Testing
A/B testing your emails is a common tactic used across the marketing industry to ensuring your campaigns have the best chance of producing results. Knowing the right data insights in context is key for delivering a successful A/B test. When running A/B tests or sometimes called a split test, it's recommended to run the test for 72 hours before ascertaining a winner. This is because before 72 hours results can be skewed.
When running an A/B test you set up two variations of the one campaign and send them to 50% of your total recipients. 25% of the test group is sent Version A, while the other 25% gets Version B. The result can be ascertain based on open rate, total unique clicks or on total clicks on a selected link. Based on the winning variation, the campaign is then sent to the remaining 50%. Variants can be used to test a variety of things including subject lines, call to actions, offers, images, copy, email sender, email structure, key messaging and promotional banners.
4. Integrate your data touch points
Customer data integration is key to developing relationships with your current and potential customers. 84% of customers surveyed in Salesforce's 2018 survey said that being treated like a person not a number is key to winning their business. In email marketing by having an integrated repository of customer data, marketers can tailor and personalise messages and content based on past experiences and interactions. Having a single view of the customer, eliminates the guesswork and gives marketers an accurate understanding of every customer at a glance so they can plan tactics to drive engagement.
5. Enrich your email marketing with value
Educational content is the easiest way to add value and drive engagement in email marketing. On average educational content is the highest clicked content in emails and helps validate why the person has subscribed. According to CoSchedule Educational email content drives 6x more conversions than a Twitter post.
Examples of educational content includes: instructions on how to use the product, content that solves major problems, top 10 lists, guides to and learning resources (Eg. how to care for your coffee machine, recipes for making the perfect mocha, what temperature is ideal for stretching milk, etc.).
6. Contextual Content
High performing email marketing is based on sending contextual content to your subscribers. Highly engaging audiences are those who have a relationship with the company that is sending the communication. Content is contextual, relevant and meets the value needs of the subscribers. Consistent, high-quality and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique.
7. Image to text Ratio
Image-to-text ratio is a factor which can effect email delivery. Below are our recommendations and rules of thumb that are considered best practices.
SpamAssassin recommends a minimum of 60% text and a maximum of 40% image coverage, with at least 400 characters of text.
- Strive for a good balance of text and images in a way that makes sense for your business.
- Use enough text in the body of the message so subscribers get a sense of the message content whether images are on or off.
- Many email clients have images turned off by default, so an image heavy email with little text may not get a good subscriber response.
- Use descriptive alternative text (alt text) with images to help subscribers get a sense of the message content with images off.
- Send a test email to Inbox Preview like the platform litmus before sending to your subscribers to get data on spam filter performance.
- Test different image-to-text ratios to determine what works best for your business.
Quality over quantity is key when attracting subscribers to your lists. Too often a marketer's default for subscriber acquisition is running a competition. Competitions attract subscribers who aren't interested in your content. Sustainable marketing lists are those who are full of active customers and subscribers interested in your content. It is also very important to comply with Australian spam laws, or expect to cop a fine from the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
According to ABC News, Woolworths was found to have breached spamming laws more than 5 million times, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The $1,003,800 fine is the largest ever issued by the ACMA. Woolworths was found to have sent marketing emails to consumers after they had unsubscribed from previous messages.
According to ABC News, Telecommunications giant Optus has been fined more than half a million dollars for sending its own customers spam texts and emails against their wishes. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that Optus continued to send marketing messages to customers after they had opted out or "unsubscribed", thereby breaching anti-spam laws 2 million times.
8 Tactics to grow your email marketing lists
- Create Whitepapers, Guides and Checklists to attract subscribers
- Invest in evergreen content
- Use subscription forms and call to actions on every blog post
- Invest in educational events
- Invest in Blog category pages that have a category only subscription form
- Cross promote your enewsletter via your social media communities
- Promote your enewsletter on check out thank you pages
- Promote your enewsletter on guest blogs or at speaking events
9. Responsive Email Templates
According to return path 55% of all emails in 2018 were opened using a mobile device. Mobile email marketing is becoming critical as our technology moves further away from desktop computers. Mobile’s impact is undeniable, and email is one dimension of your marketing strategy that is affected by it. The impact is a positive one, but getting the most out of these new technologies means building responsive email templates that adapts to mobile devices and renders to mobile email apps and mobile browsers. 52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of bad mobile experience.
Poor formatting on mobile devices is one of the top email marketing complaints by customers. Adestra claims that subscriber is likely to delete an email within 3 seconds, if the email template is not optimised for mobile devices.
According to Hubspot 38% of people who entered retail stores on Black Friday 2019, found ads and promotions on their device about the sales via email marketing first.
More than 70% of people read their email in a mobile app, with most checking their email in the morning. Nearly 3 out of 4 people will check their inbox many times a day (or as new emails arrive). The majority of desktop users, as a group, tend to check their email once a day or less.
10. Email Design
When it comes time to designing your email there are several tips that you should keep in mind, including:
- Keeping subject lines short and to the point: Mobile devices cut down the number of characters seen in the subject line.
- Keep the preheader short and to the point
- Keep your message concise: Remember, your readers want to know the important information right away, and because they are viewing this on a much smaller screen, they don’t want to be scrolling to find the valuable stuff.
- Keep your CTAs front and center: Readers don’t have the best attention spans, so give them your call to action early on and make it as clear as you can so they know what you are expecting of them.
- Make sure that you utilise phone click to call hyperlinks. Users on mobile devices now expect to click on a phone number and it automatically opens to their phone app.
- Use google fonts that are compatible with mobile device apps and browsers.
- Use images that can scale for mobile device apps and browsers.
- Make links accessible
- Use high contrast designs. With mobile users conscious of battery life and screen brightness, keeping your designs high contrast will mean better readability.
- Minify your code to prevent clipping. Gmail and Yahoo clip emails over 100kb (not including image file sizes), so keeping your files lean is useful.
When it comes to email testing there are many free or freemium tools online that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and even the rendering of your email. No longer do you have to face the complexity of manually checking your email campaigns. Gone are the days of second-guessing, and running your email through two (okay three) manual checks before pressing “send.”
At Speedwell we have used a range of tools to check and validate that the email template that we've crafted is compatible with email providers. The top tools that we use are:
Email On Acid
Email on Acid has a preview tool, accessibility checker, deliverability checker, SPAM test feature and a campaign precheck that checks emails against spam filters and blacklist services. Using the Campaign Precheck feature allows user to complete an automated pre-deployment checklist built for every campaign and every email.
Litmus is the all-in-one, easy-to-use set of solutions your team needs to create emails that convert and get more from your marketing. Simply connect to your ESP, and we’ll equip you with a powerful set of tools to help ensure your messages get heard. From pre-send testing to post-delivery data to high-performance insights, it’s everything you need to cut through the clutter. It has collaboration feature, inbox symulations, present checks, spam checks, analysis and tracking.
Inbox Inspector by GetResponse
Inbox Inspector is one of the best free email preview tool on the market. It’s operated by GetResponse and allows you to preview your emails in 18 different email clients.
Postmark is another tool that assesses the content of your emails and gives it a score. They even have a lightweight JSON API which you can integrate to your own platform for SPAM score checking.
Email Subject Line Grader
The free email subject line checker, that allows users to validate your subject line structure, length, word count and character count. All recommendations are backed by industry best practice. Example response: Research has shown that approximately 50 – 65 character length is ideal for email subject lines.
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From vision to implementation our clients praise us for our well crafted strategies, responsive email templates and email marketing automation. Speak to our Digital Marketing experts about how we can craft strategies that align to your commercial business objectives and outcomes.
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|John King, Digital Marketing Technologist, Speedwell