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05/23/14

10 Tips for Boosting Email Opens, Clicks, and Conversions

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If you’re advertising on the web, then chances are you’re also collecting email addresses and creating lists of subscribers to send offers and information to about your business.  While generating leads is a necessary step to effective email marketing, too many people put all of their effort into this part of the process and don’t focus as much on how well their emails actually reach their targeted recipients.  The following 10 tips will give you some helpful suggestions on how to improve your email opens, clicks, and conversions:

1. Segment Your Email Lists

Make sure to match specific customers with specific offers instead of blanketing all of your subscribers with all of your communications, especially if you have different products or customer bases. Not doing so results in a high opt-out rate, since most people have a low tolerance for getting irrelevant messages in their inboxes.

2.  Cater to Different Stages in the Sales Funnel

When users first enter their information into your capture form they should be treated as “cold” leads, since they haven’t done anything to show they have a high potential for becoming a customer besides signing up.  These customers should be given sample and teaser offers to try to get them to make their first purchase.  In contrast, someone who has already purchased from you before, or who has downloaded a coupon code or shown some other intent to purchase, should be treated as a warm lead and given offers that encourage them to make more frequent or higher-value purchases.

3.  Limit Subject Lines to 50 Characters

The longer your subject line is, the less likely someone is going to read the whole thing.  First, there’s a good chance all of it won’t fit in the inbox preview, especially with the large number of people now checking their email on the small screen of their smart phone, and the end of the message will just be cut off.  Even if the whole message fits, someone will usually decide whether or not they’re going to open your message or delete it before they get to the end of a subject longer than 50 characters, and won’t get to that part of the message anyway.

4.  Avoid Triggering Spam Filters With Your Opener

For example, using the greeting “Dear” as the salutation in your message has been shown to trigger spam filters more frequently.  Instead, use more familiar openings like “Hello,” “Hi,” or even “Howdy” if it fits your branding.

5. Check Services Like Spam Assassin

Spam triggers change over time. Spam Assassin in particular has a relatively transparent rating system by which email messages are assigned spam values based on the headers and content of messages.  Knowing what these triggers are and avoiding them can significantly increase the chances of your email reaching its intended recipients.

6.  Have a Clear and Consistent Call to Action

A call to action makes obvious what the reader should do, and why they would benefit from doing it.  Without a call to action, even a reader who is dying to buy your product or service will say to themselves “What now?” because there are no clear instructions for them on how to proceed.  Make sure everyone who opens your email knows what they’re supposed to do when they’re done reading, and why it would be a good idea for them to do that as well.

7.  Include Social Media Links

Let customers share the product or service you’re offering on their social networking profiles.  This makes it easy for your subscribers to pass along your products to their friends, family, coworkers, and other online connections.

8.   Optimize Your Content for Mobile Users

An ever-increasing number of your subscribers are accessing their email using mobile devices, which gives you even less space to convert them with your message.  In addition to long subject lines getting cut off, large graphics won’t translate clearly, and large blocks of text will appear imposing and impenetrable to your readers.  Make sure to include enough spacing and formatting so that your words have some room to breathe, and test your email on a mobile device before approving the campaign for launch.

9.   Put Your Most Important Link First 

Often times readers will simply click on the first link that appears in an email, so you can take advantage of this habit by putting the most important link to your business at the top.

10.  Give People the Ability to Easily Opt Out

First, it’s the law.  Not providing a method for unsubscribing violates the CAN-SPAM act.  Also, customers have come to expect reputable businesses to provide an easy opt-out process.  This is a signal to people who do want to get your messages that you’re a trusted company.  If you don’t have an easy unsubscribe link it may make your subscribers nervous, and they could block you using their email provider’s spam filter instead of unsubscribing from your list if you don’t have a link.  The results are the same though–that customer is not going to get your messages ever again.

By using these tips, you can improve the quality of your email marketing and increase the revenue it generates for your business.  Let us know which one you found most helpful n the comments!