According to recent studies, the average employee receives a whopping 121 emails per day. When you’re dealing with that much competition, it’s going to be tricky to stand out from a crowded inbox.
In reality, many businesses send large amounts of emails which are just treated by recipients as irrelevant. This means most users just unsubscribe or ignore it.
This is the challenge; you’ve got a great opportunity to make engaging emails that get results. However, in order to do that, you need to put real effort in!
Let’s go through seven ways to improve your email marketing, and ensure your emails get read and engaged with, and ideally generate new leads.
It starts with the day and time
The first step to improve your email marketing is considering when the best sending time could be.
If you send me an email on a Sunday to my work email address, I am likely to find it amongst 30 other commercial emails on Monday morning, and then just bulk delete it. Send it to me late on a Friday, when I am already preoccupied? Same thing.
Day and time really matter, and it isn’t always the same for every audience. I once worked on a nightclub newsletter that was most read on a late Friday. The trick here is to try different days and times and find the day that works best for your audience.
We find the general rule is during business hours, Tuesday to Thursday, for B2B emails. B2C can be a little more liberal with days and times.
First impressions start with the subject line
Be careful here not to use spammy words, like free, special, etc – these often mean people just delete without even looking. That, combined with the real threats of phishing means recipients are cautious and you have to be careful.
Try adding their first name (if you have it) or an emoji – I have found emoji’s work really well for me.
Who is the sender?
Instead of sending an email with the sender name as ‘Sales’ or ‘XYZ Pty Ltd’, try sending it with yours or an employee’s name. For example, you are more likely to open an email that was sent by ‘Sarah Davies’ than ‘No Reply’, right?
“We change the sender name with each monthly newsletter,” says Miles Burke from employee pulse survey tool, 6Q. “By rotating between our team members, we find we get better open rates” he added.
Look at your own inbox – the sender’s name gets quite a bit of real estate, alongside the subject. Choose one that resonates with your recipients.
Always think what’s in it for them
Before starting to type out your email content, take a step back for a moment. What would the recipient find interesting? That’s what you should be writing – not what you want to tell them.
These are very distinct changes in direction, however, the ‘what’s in it for them’ text will be read far more, and engaged with, than your own promotional content. That’s exactly the same rule as social media marketing.
That’s not to say you can’t talk about yourself – you just need to consider the best way to do that, within the confines of the first direction.
Keep that email succinct
There have been various studies that have shown the longer an email is, the less likely people will click through on a link or hit reply. Your email is designed to elicit a response, to keep it succinct and to the point.
According to Marketing Sherpa, the average email user only spends an average of 20-30 seconds on each email. So, make every second count.
Place your CTA above and below the fold
You’ve spent lots of time working to improve your email marketing, and then you stick the CTA at the very end? No! If you have a link or an offer which is your call-to-action (CTA), make sure you give it prominence and include it in the first two paragraphs, so it can be seen above the fold.
“It is a best practice. So the top most important parts of page will usually do best above the fold,” says Brian Massey from Conversion Sciences.
Create a sense of urgency
Rather than an overly relaxed tone, try adding some sense of urgency. This offer finishes this Friday, or at Midnight, etc.
Be careful with time zones though – you don’t want to assume everyone is in the same timezone as you.
For example, one service is offering a lifetime discount as an incentive – however, it is only valid before they launch their product. You can see an example of that in their what is guest blogging? article.
The above seven methods should help you achieve a better open and click rate with all of your emails, and help you to build your email list and improve your email marketing. Those six points, just to iterate again, are;
- Consider day and time first
- Have a great subject line
- Think of the best sender name
- Always think what’s in it for the reader
- Keep the email succinct
- Place your CTA high in email
- Create a sense of urgency
Done well, email can be a powerful channel to nurture and convert leads into sales within your business. Good luck!