This is a guest post from Stella Lincoln who works as a Business Executive at Academist Help. She is a passionate blogger and owns the blog Educator House. Lincoln has many years of experience in digital marketing and specializes in search engine optimization (SEO).
In this era of globalization and digitization, marketing takes many forms. We at Process Street recommend one marketing strategy: Make sure you strongly focus on email marketing, or more specifically, your email conversion rates.
Email marketing is a successful strategy. Done correctly it can bring in the highest Return On Investment (ROI) relative to other marketing channels. Email marketing offers a return of 30x your initial investment.
But let me emphasize, such a high ROI is only possible if you get your email marketing right.
How do you get your email marketing strategy right?
One aspect is through email Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
Through intuition, I am guessing you are ready to optimize your email conversion rates – after all, you came here. Well, reader, you can use this article as your top-tip list for all things CR and email optimization.
In this article, we give you our 12 top ranking tips to optimize your email conversion rates. You can click on the relevant subheaders below to jump to that given section. Alternatively, scroll down and read all we have to say.
- Optimize your email conversion rates: CRO meaning
- Optimize your email conversion rates: Email optimization and why it is is important
- Optimize your email conversion rate with these conversion rate optimization best practices
- Use Process Street to optimize your email conversion rates
Optimize your email conversion rates: CRO meaning
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is strategically refining your marketing techniques to transform customers into buyers. It is the percentage of subscribers who complete the desired action.
CRO matters most in this world of marketing because a seller wants to optimize the conversion rate from advertisement to a product purchase. Ultimately though, the success of CRO completely depends on the type of business and your goals.
Email optimization and why it is is important
Email optimization is the method of maximizing campaign effectiveness based on budget and specific guidelines. As a tool, email is generally an effective, efficient, and inexpensive form of marketing. This is reflected in its high ROI.
In 2019, the number of email users reached 3.9 billion, a value expected to increase to 4.3 billion by 2023. With email marketing, you can tap into this large user-base, giving you huge potential for generating leads and purchases.
In this light, Email continues to be the main driver of customer acquisition (conversions), with 81% of small to mid-sized businesses relying on email as their main customer acquisition channel. With such a reliance, for CRO, you need to make sure you are optimizing your email campaigns to generate a high email related conversion rate. This is why email optimization is important. With an optimized email strategy, email conversion rates are increased, increasing your conversion rates as a whole.
Optimize your email conversion rates with these conversion rate optimization best practices
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is often used in reference to webpages. However, CRO can be used in terms of email marketing as well. Email CRO looks at conversion rates from the customer viewing the email to purchasing the product.
Email CRO best practice #1: Choose an effective subject line
The main and obligatory part of an email is its headline or subject line. The subject line is the first thing your customers will see. Reading it, the customer will decide whether to open your email or not.
You need to set a subject line based on the topic of your content.
You need to create an attractive subject line.
Mostly, people prefer to put questions in their subject line, attracting customers to click on the mail and proceed accordingly.
The best way to check how well your email marketing campaign is doing is via split testing, otherwise known as A/B testing. With split testing, you will send two or more emails with different subject lines and monitor their CR.
If you need some assistance running a split-test for your email marketing campaign, you can use Process Street’s A/B Testing checklist for free. This checklist has been designed to compare two versions of a webpage. However, you can edit and adapt the checklist as required. In this instance, this would mean editing the template so that it is more suited for testing your email subject line.
Keep reading to access more Process Street templates, uniquely designed for email CRO.
Email CRO best practice #2: Talk to your clients in your email not your targets
Based on my personal experiences, I am mostly attracted to the emails which have my name on their subject line. An email that has the chance to enhance CRO engages the reader through a dialect with them.
Think of your clients as VIPs. They have already purchased a few of your products or are going to purchase them. You are building a very important relationship. You need to talk to your customers, not at them so to speak. When writing your emails, don’t treat your clients as targets to be converted, treat them as your friend, as a VIP. See the example below.
Play around with different ways to personalize and engage a dialect within your emails. Take a look at how the different email versions impact open rates and conversion rates. Compare your open, bounce and click-through rates to current averages taken across all industries to access how well your emails are doing.
- The average email open rates for all industries is 20.81%
- The average email click-through rates across all industries is 2.60%
- The average email hard-bounce rate across all industries is 0.40%
- The average email soft-bounce rate across all industries is 0.58%
For your conversion rates, you ideally want to break into the top 10%. You can calculate the conversion rate of a given email campaign using the below formula.
Conversion rate (%) = # of signups or purchases / # of Successfully Delivered Emails X 100
Email CRO best practice #3: Use animations (images and GIFs)
Humans are often attracted to the things which have some sort of animation.
One of the best tips to enhance CRO is to include images and GIFs related to your email content. One of our writers at Academist Help wanted to observe the impact images and GIFs had on email CRO for herself.
She created one version of an email – version A – with GIFs and another – version B – with static frames, and the final version C – with no images. All else within the two version sets remained the same, e.g. subject line, text, etc.
After A/B testing, version A received higher click-through and conversion rates compared to versions B and C. Version B received higher click-through rates than version C. These findings support the consensus that images and GIFs optimize email conversion rates. For instance, according to the state of an email survey, 78% of people use images in their emails.
Email CRO best practice #4: Link your email content
You should link your email content to your digital properties and promotions.
When linking out from your email, you should:
- Stick to your goal
- Relate your content to other parts, for instance, your website – using links so that clients can easily go through the content
- Use only promotional links related to the email’s content
Email CRO best practice #5: Send a promotional offer email
A promotional offer email is a source of advertisement for your product. It spreads awareness and generates revenue.
There are various ways to convert your customers into buyers. Sending promotional emails to your clients is a good technique to enhance CRO.
Promotional emails are all about sales, special discounts, newsletters, etc. For example:
- Get your friend a nice T-shirt on her birthday
- It’s October 25th, so here’s your 10% discount for your next purchase
Customer satisfaction is the major goal of any business. It can be achieved through sales negotiation skills, sending promotional emails to remind your customers what it is they love.
Email CRO best practice #6: Use broadcast emails
Updating your customers about every little change in your market should be of utmost importance for a marketer. Keep your client updated by sending broadcast emails. Such emails give your clients or subscribers a chance to look forward to something.
Provide a theme for your broadcast email and prepare your clients for what’s coming next.
Broadcasting emails can increase conversion rates as long as your customer is initially attracted to the email.
Email CRO best practice #7: Pay attention to the text preview
In an email’s text preview, make sure to stick to the subject line. Your customer wants to know at first what it is they are about to read. To be blunt, readers will not read your content at first glance. They will skim read before deciding whether it is worth their time. Your text preview is your chance to persuade your customer that yes this email is useful to them.
Pay attention to your text preview and make sure the content provided is in line with your subject line, content purpose, and what the reader wants to know.
Email CRO best practice #8: Set and stick to your goal
This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Ask yourself
what is my email trying to achieve? and
what are my targets? With these questions, you can set yourself a goal. Once your goal has been set, be concise and stringent in sticking to that goal.
Think about breaking your goal down into sub-goals. This will make your targets seem less unattainable, giving you a stepped-process to achieve them.
To help with the creation of your email goals, check out our free SMART goal setting template. A SMART method is an excellent approach to setting achievable goals, covering all bases and leaving no room for misunderstanding.
Email CRO best practice #9: Test the aspects of your email
We have already mentioned the benefits of split testing, otherwise known as A/B testing. Here, we put it as a best practice. Make sure you are providing variations for every aspect of your email and email campaigns, to then test to see what variations work best.
Remember, what works for one organization may not work for another. Never depend on instinct to anticipate what sort of title, image, text preview, etc you should use. Explore different avenues and evidentially discover what works for you and your organization.
Email CRO best practice #10: Gaining insight into your audience
If you want your emails to be engaging, you need to know your customer preferences.
What do they like?
What don’t they like?
Gain insight into your audience by carrying out surveys, watch how your customers buy your product, understand communication channels, and find out exactly what is important to them.
Customer research is the heart of a business. From your research, you will gain customer insight helping you tailor your emails supporting strong customer relations.
Email CRO best practice #11: Choose an effective subject line
Let’s face it, only a select few of your customers will welcome your bulletins, and these will generally expect it from you after some time. These are your profitable clients. These are the clients you need to identify to maintain the optimum level of contact. This contact can be maintained through email, but also through other authorized channels.
Email CRO best practice #12: Mind your contents and campaigns
Many people think that emails are used for sending promotions only. But don’t constrain your email marketing as such.
You should not be primarily focussed on making money with each email. The best email advertising models have engagement and re-engagement campaigns.
You also need to use the correct emails for the specific and right reason. Do not use promotional emails with a transactional focus.
Use emails to create a sense of trust between your clients. Use emails to boost conversation. Use emails to provide useful information to your customers. Although such emails are not specifically focused on driving sales, they will indirectly improve your bottom line.
Use Process Street to optimize your email conversion rates
Process Street is superpowered checklist.
We create checklists for businesses across the globe, to assist and optimize key business processes. In this instance, we are talking about email marketing, or more specifically email CRO.
For example, check out our Email Marketing Campaign template, detailed below. This template is designed for email optimization so that you can grab the attention of your potential customers. All you have to do is follow the steps.
In our Email Marketing Campaign template, each step incorporates current best practices for a successful email campaign. For example, task 20 you are directed to perform split/AB testing on variations of your email campaign.
Below I have detailed more of our free template resources, to assist you in the optimization of your email campaign.
- Cold Email Checklist for Sales
- Contact Prospects via Phone and Emai
- Email Onboarding Sequence Process
- Email Scrubbing Template
- Email Server Security
- Evangelist Sequence Email Process
- How to Find Almost Anyone’s Email Address
- HubSpot Email Tracking Template
- Lead Nurturing Email Sequence Process
- Purchase Reminder Email Process
- Re-engagement Sequence Email Process
- Sales Email Sequence Process
- Training Sequence Email Process
- Transactional Sequence Email Process
- Upsell Sequence Email Process
- Welcome Email Marketing Sequence, New Customer Process
You can easily create your own template in Process Street, for any business operation. For more information on how to do this visit our Help Page on How do I make templates? Alternatively, watch our below video Basics of Creating and Editing Templates.
Our checklists contain features such as:
- Stop tasks to ensure task order.
- Dynamic due dates, so no deadline is missed.
- Conditional logic, creating a dynamic template that caters to your needs.
- Role assignments, to ease task delegation within your team.
- Approvals, to sign tasks off within your team. Tasks can be assessed by the relevant team member/s. The assigned approver can easily open the checklist. Information from the tasks is then used to either approve or reject, or reject with a comment.
It is with these features that Process Street checklists are deemed to be superpowered, and can superpower your email marketing campaigns.
Use our top 12 email CRO best practices and the related Process Street checklists for a successful email marketing strategy
In this article, we have given you 12 tips for you to optimize your email marketing strategy and improve your email conversion rates:
- Choose an effective subject line
- Talk to your clients in your email, not to targets
- Use animations (images and GIFS)
- Link your email content
- Send a promotion offer email
- Use broadcast emails
- Pay attention to test preview
- Set and stick to your goal
- Test the aspects of your email
- Gain insight into your audience
- Choose an effective subject line
- Mind the contents of your campaigns
Remember that improving your email marketing campaign is a continuous process. You need to maintain good and dynamic strategies to optimize your email conversion rates. If you implement our 12 tips, you will stand one-step ahead of your business competitors.
How do you optimize your email CRO? What problems have you encountered whilst trying to improve your email conversion rates? Please comment below as we would love to hear from you. Who knows, you may even get featured in one of our upcoming articles!