Looking for better results from your email blasts?
Good news: I’ve got a few tips to make sure you get the best returns possible.
Find out what they are in this article.
Make Your Email Blasts Interactive
2018’s been all about interactive email.
And really, it had to be.
Consumers are no longer okay with the cut and paste batch emails that have long infiltrated inboxes; now, they’re savvier than ever and dealing with increasing demands for their attention.
Which is why any email that makes the attempt to engage with the user tends to perform better.
Take a look at this example from Burberry:
Pretty cool, right?
Because users are able to interact and swipe through carousel-style, they become more invested in the email and ultimately, the product.
But an interactive email doesn’t have to go that far. Especially when just starting out, It’s okay to start small with simpler interactive elements sprinkled throughout.
Even as small as just including hover text. Using it, you can change any text color or shadow when the user hovers over it, and it’s a great way to make important text stand out in your email.
Beyond that, you can use a hover effect to change the background or filters on photos when someone hovers over them.
From there, the possibilities are (almost) limitless.
And thanks to the ever-growing popularity of mobile formats, it’s easier than ever to include a little interactivity.
Mobile devices are made to be interacted with and make it extremely easy to do so with a touchscreen response.
And you can use that to your advantage in email.
Check out this scratch-it idea from Vertical Response:
The company reports that its very first campaign using the scratch-it campaign received a click-through rate 3-5 times higher than average.
In general, Vertical Response that users see a CTR of over 200%, an average CTOR (click to open rate) of 40%, and the average time users spend interacting with the Scratch-it itself is 24 seconds,
Another way to add some interactivity? Add in a social media feed.
Or, incorporate polls and surveys.
Whichever route you take, your takeaway is this: optimize for mobile, and make it easy to engage.
Don’t Send the Same Email Blast to All Your Subscribers
Remember how we talked about consumers being pickier and savvier than ever?
Well, that also means they have certain expectations from emails, and one of them is that they be personalized.
In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience.
That’s almost all of them, so if you haven’t taken this one to heart yet, it’s time.
I’ve talked about this one on the blog before (shameless plug: I even have a full post about how to personalize your emails), so I’ll just go over a few highlights.
First of all, to properly personalize you first need a goal.
Are you lead nurturing? Trying to reclaim customers who abandoned their cart? Pushing a new ebook download?
Each goal here will correlate with a different segment of your audience, so it’s important to have an end goal when determining where each subscriber will go.
For example, if you’re an e-commerce company trying to push purchases, you could segment your list based on browsing behavior.
So, anyone who had visited a few of your top product pages would be sent emails with recommendations and reminders of the products they were browsing.
Take a look at this email I recently received from Michael’s.
It’s a gentle reminder that they have something I’m interested in.
Or, if you want to reclaim lost traffic, send an email to users who haven’t been active over the past 30 days or more.
Dropbox has been doing this right for years:
And of course, if you are trying to develop a lead into a customer, you want to make sure you’re sending them content that’s of interest to them.
This is where relevant tracking and a good form come in handy. If you run a B2B business especially, you’ll want a field on your email form submission that asks for the industry they’re in or what position they occupy.
With that on hand, you can segment them into a “marketing managers” list and send only content that would be most likely to resonate with them.
Try Plain Text Email Blasts
I know, this one seems a little counter-intuitive.
But sometimes, simpler is just better.
And in the case of email, plain text plain outperforms its prettier, HTML counterpart.
According to Marketo, plain text emails have:
- Roughly the same open rate as HTML emails
- 21% higher unique click to open rates on the offer link
- 17% higher unique click through rates on the offer link
That’s pretty significant, and it isn’t always easy for marketers to swallow after they’ve put hard work into crafting something so visually appealing.
But clearly, there must be a reason why the stripped-down format works so well for email marketing.
Part of the high click-through rate (CTR) can be attributed to the lack of distraction a plain text email offers.
There’s no hunting for the CTA, it’s right there. And in the case, it seems fewer distractions means more conversions.
Another reason? They just seem more personal.
Think about it: when you write an email to friends or family, you don’t fancy it up with backgrounds, logos or videos.
You write a couple paragraphs and press send.
A plain text email mimics that, so subconsciously it signals a more personal experience, which could contribute to consumer’s overall positive reception of them.
Do keep in mind that if you decide to go the plain-text route, there are a few rules to keep in mind.
- First, keep it short. With no visuals to break it up, too much text can easily get overwhelming.
- Break it up into short paragraphs. No long walls of text.
- Don’t include too many links. Remember, you want your important CTA to be easily noticeable
- This one goes for any type of email: Proofread! Mistakes will be all-too-obvious.
Use Real-Time Marketing in Email Blasts
This one plays into the interactive email theme.
And in marketing, it’s nothing new. In fact, according to Adobe, 77% of marketers have real-time marketing as an important part of their business.
In terms of email, real-time marketing is relatively new.
Real-time marketing refers to any up-to-date event or situation.
You’ll commonly see it used in travel-related emails, like this one from Delta:
They sent this email to customers after they booked flights to show them seats available for booking. And the email increased click-throughs by 123%.
And with CTRs like that, you can bet it helped increase sales as well.
You’ll also see booking companies send out recommendations to customers who recently booked in a specific area, or send out any last-minute deals in an area they’ve expressed interest in.
The cool thing about real-time marketing is that you can use it to align your strategy with almost anything current.
Museums can send out rainy-day discounts via email to attract more customers on a day ideal for spending indoors.
Marketers can use it to push relevant content in the event of an unexpected Google update or other major marketing shakeups.
One of my favorites is actually from AAA Ohio.
They use real-time marketing emails to send reminders to customers when their membership is about to expire.
And they take it a step further by incorporating a countdown timer.
Countdown timers are a sneaky little trick that helps creates a sense of urgency for the user (and another great strategy to incorporate in your emails whenever possible).
Unsurprisingly, AAA saw a great return from their real-time emails, including a 238% increase in click-through rates and saw their click-to-open rates go from 13.6% to 26.7% – a 96% increase.
If you decide to do this, keep in mind that this is an excellent strategy to combine with interactive marketing. If you’re sending recommendations based on upcoming trips, make them easily scrollable, or allow someone to see and click on seats right in the email if you’re an airline sending an email like Delta did.
5. Stick the Landing (Page) Associated With Your Email Blast
A good email blast is leading the user somewhere. Usually, that’s a landing page.
Your email blast needs to be enticing, sure. But in the end, it’s really the teaser. Your landing page is what the seals the deal.
It’s where they’ll download your ebook, sign up for your newsletter, or buy the product. It’s where the magic happens.
So first up: make sure the landing matches what the email promised.
If your email is advertising a sale on your workout leggings, don’t link it to your swimwear page. It’s misleading and won’t score you many points (or sales) with your subscribers.
Also, keep continuity in mind. So if you have a color scheme or image type you’re working within your email blast, make sure the landing page features the same design, or at least a complimentary one.
The point of that is to not disrupt the user experience. You have a very specific goal you want the subscriber to complete, and even the slightest disruption could derail the process.
Another tip: be very clear about what you want.
You can stand to be slightly vague in your email copy, especially if your goal is to try to create intrigue, but once they click through to your landing page, give ’em the goods.
Don’t make them try to interpret salesy jargon like “Save more this season!.”
Be up front and tell them “Save 25% on electrics this month.”
There should be absolutely no confusion about what it is they’re buying or signing up for.
There also shouldn’t be any obvious distractions.
You’ll rarely see a good landing page filled with your typical menus and social media buttons. That’s because you want users to have as few opportunities to navigate away from the landing page as possible.
On a regular page, you would encourage folks to stick to lower your bounce rate, increase time on site, and give them more time to become invested.
But a landing page serves a singular purpose: complete one action.
Give them one button to click, one CTA, and call it a day.
Other things to keep as you design your campaign:
- Keep the page brief, with the most important information above the fold
- Test the most important elements of the page – the CTA, the headline, the form field, the product description, etc.
- Make sure the page is mobile responsive
- Close the deal by outlining clear benefits
Concluding Email Blast Tips
Email blasts are a hard thing to get just right.
The tips above are designed to help you create a seamless, more engaging experience for your users. And ultimately, get better results.
So tell us, which ones will you be trying?