The invention of email and its ever expanding inbox over forty years ago revolutionized the manner in which businesses reach out to their consumers. With over 144 billion emails sent and delivered each day of the year, a company’s ability to attract the attention of their consumer base via the use of marketing messages, competitive subject lines, and other strategies is more crucial than it has ever been before.
With such an elite channel of communication, businesses around the world have chosen to invest millions of dollars into developing email marketing campaigns that will increase their profit margins exponentially. While an incredible amount of funding is spent on these campaigns, it is not always immediately evident whether the campaign has been or will be effective. As a result, many companies sought to explain the science behind why people click and follow through on responding to emails they receive. Those answers and our interpretation of them are contained below. Enjoy!
Seize and Desist your Current Personalization Efforts
While your organization is most assuredly seeking to develop a personal relationship with each of your consumers, personalizing your emails with the traditional “Dear [insert name]” may not be the best option. With the turn of the century and the advent of more advanced technology, cyber security concerns are at an all-time high. Consumers no longer trust personalized emails with their names on them due to their undeserved resemblance to phishing, identity theft, credit card fraud, and other message types. Instead, seek to build relationships with your customers by demonstrating that you understand them on a more personal level. What is more personal than a name you ask? How about their purchase history or consumer demographic? Through guiding a customer to similar products they have purchased in the past, you are showing that your organization recognizes them as an important piece of your customer base. You are also more likely to increase your sales through this method because people are more likely to purchase items they have purchased in the past (98% more likely according to some studies). Overall, if your organization is seeking to personalize messages you are sending to customers, do so in a manner they will appreciate and find useful!
Size Does Matter when Creating Subject Lines
The perfect subject line is no longer created in the mind of a literary genius twirling in his office chair chewing on his pen cap. Instead, it is derived from a multitude of scientific research! The most modern research by marketing professionals indicates that subject lines between 60-70 characters do not provide an increase in open rate or click through. Those subject line lengths are essentially dead space that should be avoided whenever possible. Instead, email subject lines should be created containing more than seventy characters to engage readers in clicking through the content or fewer than forty-nine characters to increase a recipient’s open rate. In fact, email subjects with less than 10 characters, according to these studies, have an open rate of around 58%. This is obviously a significant discovery because marketers using this length for their subject lines are more likely to have their information viewed by email recipients. Whatever length you decide (longer equals greater instances of click-through whereas shorter equals greater open rates), your ultimate goal should be to try your hardest to avoid the dead zone spoken about earlier.
Prime Email Sending Time: 8:00—12:00 am
Several companies, including Experian Marketing Services, have surveyed whether emails received during the day or evening hours are more effective at engaging customers. While many of today’s emails are constructed during normal business hours (8:00 am—5:00 pm), these studies have found that the emails receiving the highest open rates are sent during the evening hours, 8:00—12:00am to be specific. During this block of time, click through and sales are sometimes increased as much as 22%.
Through a quick analysis of the chart above, you will notice that the 8:00pm—12:00am time frame is the least used, which results in emails sent during this time frame being more easily seen by consumers. Sending emails when everyone else isn’t is the key to business success! However, one factor that companies rarely consider in this effort, is their consumers’ behaviors pertaining to their review of email messages. Companies need to understand when their consumers will be online checking emails otherwise their messaging may fall upon deaf ears or blind eyes in this case! Please keep in mind that consumer preferences change overtime. As a result, it is important to frequently test when your consumers are accessing emails so that you can adjust accordingly.
Giving is Better than Receiving when it comes to Free Content
The creation of templates and tools for your customer base is perhaps one of the best projects your organization can take on. When customers receive useful products from your organization, especially those they can use for future projects, they will grow more connected to your message and your organization. These items should not be given away without a catch however. In each free template you should include hyperlinks that direct consumers to relevant pages on your website that will increase their click through rates and ultimately purchases.
Mobile Devices Account for a Large Portion of all Email Opens
Consider making the following changes in your email marketing efforts to increase your organization’s visibility on mobile devices:
It is estimated that roughly 47% of emails are pulled up on mobile devices. In order to illustrate what that might look like for your company, consider the following statistics. If your email list accounts for $200,000 in sales each month, could you truly afford to dismiss $88,000 in revenue because your emails do not display properly on mobile devices?
In order to create a more responsive design for your emails, consider the following:
- If your email template is not currently one column in width, adjust your page accordingly. This will improve the way your email shows up on a smaller, mobile screen thus significantly improving your email marketing program.
- Increase your font size so that readability is improved exponentially for all mobile device users.
Ensure that the amount of pixels displayed on mobile devices are large enough in quantity that the images are clear and easy to read.
If you choose to display your organization’s call-to-action, you will want to make sure that it is noticeable to the untrained eye and obvious enough that it can be tapped. Ideally, you will want this to be at the top of your page so that your users do not have to scroll lower to find it.
You may wish to design your mobile webpage so that users are able to tap the middle of their screens with their thumb or fingers easily. If this is not the case, users may be less inclined to click further into your webpage.
Email Reigns Supreme over New Social Media Websites
Social media website numbers continue to increase annually with millions of users creating new accounts. While many companies look at the expansion into social media as an opportunity to expand business, they fail to recognize that email is still the most powerful player in converting new customers into purchasers of your products. A recent study of over 300,000 referrals who became new customers at various companies conducted by SocialTwist, indicated that 50.8% were converted after reviewing email, compared to 26.8% for social media site similar to Twitter and 22% for social media sites similar to Facebook.
Send email on the weekends
If you recall our discussion earlier about sending emails during the evening hours, you will not be surprised to find that weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) outperform the weekdays as it pertains to email click through and viewing. The reason for this increase in email interaction is similar to the evening hours in that the volume of emails sent on the weekend is significantly lower than during the week. While the click through and open rates were not nearly as strong as the evening hour rates during the week, they still showed a slight increase! In email marketing, even the slightest increase can mean a greater profit margin!
Review Subscriber Groups and Identify Inactive Subscribers
As your business matures, you will secure an increasingly large group of subscribers/regular customers, and their contact information (ex. emails, phone numbers, social media account addresses, etc.). With the wide array of data you will be collecting from these individuals, it will become increasingly important that you maintain an appropriate level of contact with them as each year continues. This includes developing a marketing plan that incorporates checkpoints during the year in which you actively seek out opportunities to reengage consumers who have lost contact with your organization. If you consider that recent research estimates inactivity in a contact list at an outstanding 63 percent, email marketing can truly be a game changer! It is vital that you seek to engage or reengage everyone in your contact list at least once every 90 days.
Don’t wait any longer, start investing in your email marketing campaign now while these ideas are all still fresh in your mind. Through following these simple words of advice, you will see an increase in Click-through rates as well as several happy customers (many of them being returners!). We wish you the best of luck! Feel free to contact us if you would like any more guidance in this area!