Apple’s iOS 15 mail privacy settings have made it challenging for marketers to rely on email open data when trying to understand their campaign success. As a big portion of tracked email opens no longer represent user behavior, it’s now ruled as an unreliable metric.
But don’t panic – there’s an alternative accurate metric that’s more reliable when understanding your campaigns: the click rate. This metric can generally be relatively low, but before rushing over to adjust your emails, hold that thought! It’s important to look at all the steps in the funnel before the click happens, to identify any pre-delivery blockers that may have impacted your clicks. For instance, one common reason could be that not all emails were successfully delivered into the recipients’ inbox.
Now, for those emails that did land in inboxes but generated low clicks, here’s where you need these nine essential practices to optimize your email marketing performance. Let’s dive in!
9 TIPS TO IMPROVE CLICK RATES AND ENGAGEMENT IN EMAILS
1. COHESIVE, WELL-WRITTEN AND WELL-DESIGNED EMAILS
Your content is critical when trying to encourage email engagement. The more visually appealing, interesting, and relevant your email is, the more likely they’ll interact and click.
Ensure your emails have a clear purpose and focus on a specific message or call-to-action.
Use a consistent tone and style in your emails for a cohesive brand experience e.g., same font, color palette, and imagery across all your emails.
Write in a clear and concise language that’s easy to understand. Swap the jargon and complex language, for short paragraphs and bullet points to break up large blocks of text.
Use professional designs for your emails for a clean and organized layout with high-quality images.
2. MAKE IT EASY TO CLICK
Use large buttons and links that are easy to click on, and ensure they are prominently placed in your emails. Use descriptive and actionable link text that tells readers exactly what happens when they click on the link.
Display clear and specific CTAs for clarity and avoid using vague or ambiguous language for any unwanted surprises.
Actionable language encourage readers to take immediate action, such as “Sign up now” or “Buy now”.
Use a color for your CTAs that contrasts with the rest of your email to make it stand out and draw the reader’s attention.
Leave behind the text links and use large, easy-to-click buttons for your CTAs to encourage action.
Place your CTA prominently in your email, such as above the fold or near the top of the email, to make it easy for the reader to find and click on.
Test different versions of your CTA to see what performs best, e.g., different button colors, sizes, shapes, and wordings.
IMPORTANT: Only use one CTA per email, to avoid confusing the reader and diluting the impact of your message.
3. A/B TEST YOUR SUBJECT LINES AND EMAIL CONTENT
Test different variations of your subject lines and email content to determine what works best with your audience to improve your open and click-through rates.
Your subject line is the first thing your subscribers see. Make it clear and compelling with actionable language, to tell the reader what they’ll get from the email and avoid using spammy or vague language.
Ensure your email content is relevant and personalized to your audience. Use segmentation to send targeted and personalized emails, and use personalization tags to insert the subscriber’s name, location, or other personal details into the email body.
Generally, it’s best to keep your emails brief and to the point, as long emails can be overwhelming and may not hold the reader’s attention.
Use A/B testing to test different versions of your emails and identify the elements that are most effective at driving the desired outcome.
4. OPTIMIZE EMAILS FOR MOBILE DEVICES
Many people access emails on their smartphones. It’s important your emails are mobile-friendly and easy-to-read on small screens. If the email content does not render well on mobile devices, chances are high that users will drop out early without having engaged with the content.
A responsive design automatically formats your emails to fit the screen size on the device. Users can easily read and interact with your emails on their smartphones this way.
Mobile users are often on-the-go and are limited in time. Keep your emails brief and to the point to hold their attention.
Use a clear and easy-to-read font that’s legible on small screens. Avoid using small or fancy fonts that may be difficult to read on a mobile device.
A single column layout is easier to read on small screens and prevents your emails from getting cut off or shortened.
Make it easy for users to interact with your emails with large buttons that are easy to click on a small screen.
5. FOSTER ENGAGEMENT
Encourage subscribers to engage with your emails by asking for their feedback, running polls & surveys, and include interactive elements such as games and quizzes. Interactivity makes emails more engaging and drives better results in your email marketing efforts.
Include a poll or survey in your email to gather feedback from your subscribers and learn more about their preferences and interests.
Include interactive games in your emails to make them more fun and engaging.
Use social media icons and place links prominently in your emails, such as in the header or footer of the email. This makes it easy for subscribers to look into your brand via social media platforms.
6. SEGMENT YOUR EMAIL LIST
By segmenting your email list based on location, demographics, interests, purchase history, and more, you can send more targeted and personalized emails for better relevancy and engagement to your subscribers.
Segment your email list based on your subscriber’s interests, such as product category or content topic.
Segment your email list based on the products or services your subscribers have purchased in the past. You can use this to send targeted emails related to their previous purchases or for upselling related products.
Keep your email lists fresh, clean, and up to date by regularly removing bounces, unsubscribes, and invalid email addresses.
Remove subscribers who have not opened or clicked on any of your emails in a certain amount of time, such as 6 or 12 months. These identified subscribers are unlikely to engage with your emails in the future and could negatively impact your deliverability.
7. USE AUTOMATION TO SEND TARGETED AND PERSONALIZED EMAILS AT SCALE
Email automation helps you send targeted and personalized emails to your subscribers based on specific actions they take or inactivity.
Set up trigger emails: These are automated emails that are sent based on a specific action a subscriber takes, e.g., signing up for your email list or making a purchase. These can be used to trigger emails to send welcome emails, confirmation emails, or thank-you emails.
Send abandoned basket emails: Send automated emails that are sent to customers who have added items to their online shopping cart, but have abandoned the purchase. This reminds customers about the items in their cart and encourages them to complete the purchase.
Set up drip campaigns: These are series of automated emails sent over a period of time. You can use drip campaigns to nurture leads, onboard new customers, or upsell to existing customers, as common example.
Use personalization tags: Personalization tags customize your emails using individual subscriber information, such as their name, location, or interests.
8. OPTIMIZE YOUR SEND-OUT TIMES AND FREQUENCY
These have a big effect on open rates and click rates, so it’s worthwhile investing effort into optimizing the send-out times.
Test different send out times: Best sendout times depend on your audience and the type of emails you’re sending. To determine this, try testing different send out times to see which emails perform the best.
Consider the type of email: Different types of emails may perform better at different times. For example, promotional emails may perform better when sent during business hours, while newsletters or updates may perform better when sent in evenings or on weekends.
Know your audience and what they expect from your emails: If you are sending emails to a business audience, you may be able to send emails more frequently than if you are sending emails to a consumer audience.
Test different frequencies: Determine the optimal email frequency for your audience, by testing different frequencies to see which performs best. You can start by sending emails once a week and then increase or decrease the frequency based on the results.
Sending valuable and engaging emails: Result in your subscribers to be more likely to want to receive them more frequently.
9. LEVERAGE DATA AND ANALYTICS
Track key metrics: These include open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate to understand how your emails are performing.
Analyze your email campaigns and identify trends and patterns: This can help you understand what is and isn’t working and make data-driven decisions about your email marketing strategy.
Use Message Categories and Click Link Categories: Categorizing messages and CTAs helps you to understand patterns related to types of emails and gain insights into click behavior.
Monitor user centric KPIs: Audience reach, active users, and inactive users can add actionable insights in how you may need to adapt your overall email marketing strategy
GROWTH HACKING TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL MARKETING STRATEGY
Best practices are a great starting point, but every brand audience is different in their preferences and behavior. Insight-led marketing is key in your marketing, and you’ll only know what works if you implement an approach where you test, learn, optimize, and repeat. Growth hacking is a highly recommended approach to conduct this testing and optimization cycle to drive your marketing performance.
Mapp’s Strategic Data Consulting is a team of experts in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Digital Marketing to help you improve your marketing results. We provide individually designed Dashboards to help deliver meaningful insights that guide customers towards new marketing tactics, question the established email sending habits, or refine targeting and segmentation strategy.
We’re big on insight-led marketing and we’re following a Growth Hacking approach that’s all about being data-driven using an agile methodology for delivering results fast – without long and complex approval processes or roadmaps. Instead of gut feeling we work data-driven. Instead of long discussions we run fast tests. Instead of involving big teams, we keep it simple and implement as much as possible ourselves, always in close cooperation with our customers.
Get in touch if you want to take the next step and grow your marketing results!
This article was first published by Mapp. Permission to use has been granted by the publisher.