Email can be an incredibly powerful tool. In fact, it has a median ROI of 122%.
But it’s also a fragile medium. Over-do it and you’re sure to annoy your subscribers. It needs to be handled with care in order to build trust. Once you get there, it can be unstoppable. But it’s not easy; building trust via email takes careful consideration — and testing.
So where you do you start?
First, you must know your conversion rate
Before you optimize something, you must understand its current state. Do you know your email conversion rate across the board? If not — it’s time to figure it out. Check your conversion rates by looking at email campaigns and opt-ins on your site and divide the number of unique visitors by the number of conversions.
Say you send out an email about a free e-book on personal dental care to 1,000 people. Of those, 43 click the link, and 20 people download the e-book. That’s 2% conversion rate for your e-book.
But is that any good? Without cluttering this post with a huge table, check out the data from MailChimp here. There we can see a lot of email data, among other things open rates and click rates.
If we check for the dental industry, the average click-rate is 2.25% — and yours was 4.3%. So right off the bat, it seems you did a pretty good job. Make sure to get your basic conversion rates down for what it is that you want to measure — for example your weekly newsletter. Then you can cross-reference that with MailChimp’s industry-data for a good idea of where you’re at.
And even if you’re above industry average, it doesn’t mean you can’t do better!
5 steps to boosting your email conversion rates
1. Optimize for mobile
Mobile is king. Emails are opened more on mobile than on desktop these days. And if that email happens to be improperly formatted — it’s deleted within an average three seconds in 70% of the cases. Suck on that statistic.
Furthermore, mobile traffic is more valuable than desktop traffic. Yes, people do buy on mobile.
Bottomline? Ensure your emails are formatted for mobile. Usually it’s something you can do yourself, without the help of developers. Not only do you risk being deleted, you risk missing out on your most valuable traffic.
2. Split-test, and the test some more
This section could be a blog post (or two) on its own. But for now, let’s dedicate a few paragraphs to split-testing. If you’re not familiar with split-testing — or A/B-testing as it’s also called — it simply means to test different versions of the same email, landing page, etc.
There are several elements you can test, but start big and then narrow it down. Test things like send-time and subject lines, for example. Or button-colors — which has almost become a CRO parody. Since true conversion optimization doesn’t come from psychological trickery. It comes from knowing your customer and tailoring the language to speak to your target audience. It’s about being relevant and providing a valuable offer.
In the beginning, you should start by testing different offers. Will customers respond better to a 14-day no-risk trial or getting the first month for only $10? You don’t know until you try.
This should not only apply to your emails — apply it to your opt-ins as well. An optimized opt-in is just as important, because without it, you wouldn’t have any email campaigns.
Split testing should be the pillar of your email strategy. Record your experiments, and ensure they’re statistically relevant. Over time, you’ll make sure to have an optimized offer.
3. Add personalization
Email is a great tool for personalizing your offer. According to Marketing Sherpa, 4 out of 10 users mark email as spam because they deem it irrelevant. And adding name and company personalization is standard these days — most of the time it doesn’t cut it anymore.
If possible, add stuff like location, role, and pages the users have viewed on your site. Furthermore — recording short customized videos can work wonders. Yes, it’s not for e-commerce mass marketing, but for certain B2B industries, that can be the way to go.
4. Segment your lists
Don’t send the same thing to everyone. As above, the days one-size-fits-all messaging are gone since long. Segmenting your lists will ensure you can tailor your messages to your audience. Segment based on interests or where they’re at in the buyer’s journey.
It might seem like a hassle, but it’s usually worth it. Campaign Monitor has documented a whopping 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns.
5.Combine social and email
Social media can help skyrocket your email marketing — since there is definitely a synergy. In the most simple and straightforward way, take your subscribers’ email addresses and plug them into Facebook or Twitter.
From there on, you can run retargeting campaigns based on your email campaigns. Furthermore, you can:
- Create unique Facebook groups for your subscribers only.
- Boost your amount of shares per article, before your choose to share that article with an influencer. That way you already have social validation.
Email is all experimentation. If you’ve got a substantial list, you can polish your A/B-tests very quickly. But remember to not spam your users, there’s not better way to cannibalize your list. With structured A/B-testing, segmentation, and a solid mobile strategy, you should be ahead of the bulk. Add social media into that, and you can be sure to boost your email marketing conversion rates even further.