Ten Tips to Increase Clicks in Your Marketing Emails

Earning a click-thru on a marketing email is a badge of honor. It ranks higher than an email open and is a measure of an engineer’s engagement with your content and your skills as a marketer.

With upcoming changes Apple will be implementing to protect user privacy (see companion article), clicks will take on even more significance as an email marketing metric. Here are ten tips for increasing click-thru rates on marketing emails.

1. Place buttons “above the fold”

“Above the fold” is a newspaper term referring to the top half of the paper. In an email, it refers to the area a user can see without having to scroll. Make sure the first appearance of your call-to-action (CTA) button is visible without scrolling, making it possible for a quick decision to click.

2. Use both buttons and text for links

Buttons in bright colors are attention-grabbing and might attract clicks, but text links within copy are just as important for users who block images or like to read the copy. Sprinkle both buttons and text links in strategic places throughout the email.

3. Use action verbs on buttons and text links

Make it easy for your email recipient to understand what to do and what they will get if they click. Action verbs get the job done. Words like Download, Read, Register, Watch, Get, Listen, Calculate, Compare and other action verbs are perfect for enticing clicks.

4. Offer different types of content

Notice some of the action verbs in the tip above: read, watch, listen. Each of these words promises a different type of content. Many engineers prefer to read the content. A growing percentage are watching videos. Podcasts offer another option for delivering content. Not every email has to contain all content types, but try out different formats and track your metrics to see what is popular.

5. Main offer, secondary offer

Each email should have one specific purpose with a CTA you are using to entice your audience to click. This main offer should be front and center to command the attention of your audience. However, it is also effective to add secondary content and click opportunities to your email. An engineer who does not find your main offer attractive might notice and click on a secondary offer.

6. Create a sense of urgency

Offers that are good for only a limited time or limited to a certain number of people such as event registrations that are closing soon or even “breaking news” are all ways to instill a sense of urgency in your audience and possibly increase clicks. However, do not deceptively use this tactic. If a discount on an event registration always applies, do not say it expires in two days.

7. Use responsive email templates

More than half of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices. For this reason, you need responsive email templates that render the content in an easy-to-read format on any device, whether the recipient is using a desktop, tablet or phone. An email that is too small to read on a cellphone or requires horizontal scrolling will likely be ignored. You will not get many clicks that way.

8. Use A/B testing

A/B testing is simple: divide your list (or a part of your list) in two and test two different versions of an email to see which one gets more clicks. Create your first email, then change only one aspect of it to create a second version. It might be your button placement, offer, headline, or another variable. You should only test one thing at a time in order to understand the results from that one change. If you have multiple changes you’d like to test, then you can perform more than one A/B test.

9. Segment and personalize

If you only have one product, one message, and one customer type, then you can ignore this tip and send everyone the same email. But it is more likely you have different types of customers who have different interests. The more you can segment your list and personalize content for them (even ‘Dear Dave’ is helpful personalization), the more likely you are to get clicks.

10. Be relevant

We would not be the Maven if we did not harp on relevancy. This is the most important tip of them all. The more you are tuned into your customers’ wants and needs—and address them with targeted content in your marketing emails—the more they will pay attention and the more clicks you can earn.

Content Marketing Digital Media E-Mail Marketing Marketing Measurement Marketing Strategy Marketing, General

Take a step back

Like many people, I follow a number of companies and people on Twitter . One that I always appreciate catching is the Harvard Business Review. They have statistics, quick tips, and links to relevant articles that I enjoy. One such stat was “To Make a Task Seem Easier, Lean Back a Little.”

The tip itself is simple, People who leaned back so that their eyes were an average of 38.8 inches from a computer screen found the task of pronouncing meaningless strings of letters easier than people who leaned forward to 12.5 inches…”

Straightforward? Yes. Logical? Yes. Something we think to do? Perhaps not. I know I can use a reminder. When I’m concentrating, I lean into my work – literally. So to be told to step back, while seemingly a common sense suggestion, is one I can use on a regular basis. As I thought about it, I realized it went beyond my physical posture.

When deep in the middle of a project I often find myself buried in the details. Are all the tasks being completed? Are we on track? Are people prioritizing appropriately? All items that need to be addressed. However, at the risk of mixing my metaphors, at times we can’t see the forest for the trees. I get so mired in the day to day that the big picture becomes a little fuzzy. When I do take the step back, the project while not any smaller seems a bit more manageable. That step can take many forms; talking it over with a co-worker who isn’t involved directly, reviewing the Gantt Chart (which I find more difficult than the original creation), or just revisiting the project plan. Once I’ve taken the step back, the project seems more manageable, and I may have new insights to overcoming obstacles that appeared insurmountable.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Do you find yourself mired in the details? How do you step back?
 

Marketing, General