Email marketing is still one of the most effective methods of reaching current and potential customers. However, its effectiveness depends on several factors. Here are some metrics to watch for as well as some strategies to incorporate.
Email Open Rate
You’re not going to sell anything if people won’t even open your email. The more people who open your email, the more likely someone will do something. A high open rate is mostly determined on its deliverability and its subject line. Your email program will tell you what’s a good open rate for your industry. Usually, depending on the size of your list, a 7-10% open rate is good. Lower than 6 or 7% needs improvement. Higher is excellent. When you do see a higher open rate, note what the subject line was.
Here are some tips to improve the open rate:
- Personalize the subject line — most email platforms today allow you to add the person’s name to the subject line. It makes the message more personal. This is why you should always ask for at least their first name on your email sign-up form.
- Avoid spammy-sounding phrases — these will land you in the spam folder and you’ll have less of a chance of getting seen at all. Phrases like: ‘Free trial’, ‘Increase sales’, ‘Earn money’, Best price’, ‘Guaranteed’, may trigger whatever spam filter your prospect uses.
- Your name, company name and URL in the return address — When you add your name to the “From” line, it’s also more personal and more likely to get opened. Having your company name URL rather than “gmail” or “hotmail”, gives you more credibility. And please don’t put “no reply” — that, to me, is the coldest most robotic thing to do. Be human. People prefer to deal with humans. If they want to reply to your email with a question or comment, let them!
- Use the headline analyzer — this isn’t just for blogs! You can use it to compose an enticing subject line.
- Use emojis and keep the subject line short — look and sound friendly, not spammy.
For example, if you sent 1000 emails, 100 people opened it (10% open rate) and 10 people clicked on the call-to-action link. That gives you a 1% click-through rate. Remember when we used to do direct mail? A 1-3% response rate was consider good. The click-through rate depends on how you delivered on your subject line — which enticed them to open it. Once they open it, what entices them to click through?
Here are some tips to increase your click-through rate…
- Have a well-designed email message — Your logo is on top so the recipient knows where it’s coming from. Branding is consistent with your website and social media profiles. Be visually appealing.
- Use a mobile-responsive template — You want your email to work on all devices.
- Have enticing calls-to-action — You have to tell your email prospect what you want them to do. Put yourself in their shoes. What’s going to convince them that they need your product or service? An article excerpt with “Read more…” or “keep reading…” is a better command than, “visit website”. “Watch video”, or “Learn more” for an educational piece. “Grab your spot now!” or “Only a few left! Get yours now!” gives a sense of urgency.
- Use color in your links and buttons — Links in text should be blue and underlined — this is standard and what people look for. Buttons should be red or orange with white lettering. Red and orange create a sense of urgency.
- Don’t have too many links and choices — If you give someone too many choices, they’ll get confused and not choose any.
- Newsletters should have pictures with links also — If you share 2 or 3 articles in a newsletter, make sure you add pictures and link the pictures.
- Use User-Generated-Content (UGC) — Nothing like one of your customers sharing a picture of themselves wearing your product! Here are some tips on how to use UGC.
Email Bounce Rate
This bounce rate is different from a website bounce rate. More than likely, with each send to your email list, there will be undeliverable emails. There could be many reasons why an email bounces. Your email platform should explain each one as they may differ in classifications.
A hard bounce is a bad email address. Sometimes it was just entered wrong and there’s a typo like: “gmial” rather than gmail”. Those can be edited manually. But if the email just doesn’t exist anymore, it needs to be deleted. Check your email program to see if they automatically unsubscribe these people or if you have to do it. I do it for one client after every send. Leaving these in your list will hurt your deliverabilty.
A soft bounce could be either an out-of-office auto-reply or mailbox full. Leave those alone and they’ll eventually get the message. An abandoned email address will keep sending the “mailbox full” message and eventually be considered a bad email.
You can’t please everybody all the time.
Reasons why people unsubscribe…
- They signed up just to get your initial lead generation offer then unsubscribed.
- Your content is no longer relevant to them.
- You send too many emails
How to decrease your email list unsubscribe rate…
- Segment your list by asking 2 or 3 pertinent questions in your lead-generation offer form — these will help you personalize the emails, offers and content you send to that prospect’s interests.
- Be relevant — based on what the person answered in the initial form, you send them content or offers that pertain to them.
- Don’t try to sell them initially — offer them free advice again, based on their answers.
- Be wary of how often you email them.
They opened your email, clicked on a link and bought something or set an appointment. That’s a conversion. That’s a sale. If out of the 10 people that clicked through from the example above, 5 converted, then you have a 50% conversion rate — which is excellent! If zero converted, then you have to wonder if there’s something wrong with your product or message that’s not convincing enough or something is wrong with your payment gateway.
Things to consider to increase your email marketing conversion rate…
- Are you trying to sell a product or service to the wrong target?
- Is your message not convincing enough? You may need to sell your prospect a little bit more.
- Are you trying to sell too soon in the buying journey?
- Is your strategy or tactic wrong?
- Are you priced too high? Research your competition.
- Does your website not work on a mobile device? Make sure your website works on mobile. It’s frustrating when you click on a link in an email, then you realize that the website doesn’t work right because you’re viewing in on a mobile device. Sometimes it could be your cookie acceptance button that’s not fully visible on a mobile device that’s stopping the visitor from converting.
- Is your purchase to payment process too complicated? It should be quick, easy and secure.
- Is your website not secure? It should have a lock icon at the address bar. If not, then you need to talk to your webmaster or hosting company.
Not everybody buys right away. That’s where a workflow strategy like the one pictured below comes in with email marketing automation…
Remember that there are people behind the email addresses. These people have been affected by COVID-19 in one form or another. Here are some final tips to improve your email marketing efforts…
- Show empathy
- Be human
- Be transparent
- Make things easy
- Have a clear call-to-action (CTA)