Before we dive into seven proven ways to boost conversions with email marketing, it probably makes sense to discuss WHY email marketing is so valuable.
Why Email Marketing?
Email marketing is not new. Pretty much since the early days of hearing the "You've got mail" notifier on AOL, marketers have been using this channel to push their products. But, even though the first email was sent back in 1971 (Yes, over 50 years ago!), it still offers one of the best returns on investment of anything else you can do. In case you're interested, AOL mail began in 1991, 20 years after that first one.
Here are some of the most valuable features email marketing offers:
You have permission
Email marketing is valuable because it's permission-based. That means people who sign up for your emails did so on purpose. They're interested in what you have to say (or at least, they're interested in the downloadable you offered in exchange for their email address).
It helps you maintain attention
Email marketing allows you to stay top-of-mind with your audience. In a world filled with constant distractions and overwhelming content, it can be difficult for customers to remember your business exists. Email marketing allows you to remind them in a non-intrusive way.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience. You don't have to worry about things like production costs, paid advertising, or print fees.
The customer can unsubscribe
This may seem like a weird feature to highlight, but think about it–if your customer doesn't like what you're offering, it's not the right customer for you. Once they unsubscribe, you no longer need to waste your time and resources sending them marketing materials. This provides you with important information and strengthens your email list even further.
Now that we know all that email marketing can do for us let's get into those seven proven ways to boost conversions.
1. Personalize and customize
Your email list is full of people who have given you permission to contact them. So, talk to them like you would a friend. Use their first name in the subject line and throughout the body of the email whenever possible. You can even segment your list into smaller groups to send more personalized messages and more relevant offers.
When you collect data from your signups, be sure to include some personal information. Of course, don't make it too personal. But, a name, occupation, and location (if your business depends on geography) are enough to get started. People are typically willing to provide this information as long as they see the value in doing so.
By personalizing and segmenting your lists, you can really nail that value that each person is looking for and increase the likelihood that your email will be read and action will be taken by the recipient.
2. Tell a story
People love stories. They have since the beginning of humankind itself. Sure, there may have been a few more grunts involved in storytelling around the caveman campfire, but that doesn't take away from the fact that stories have a way of helping us get points across that simple facts and statements can't.
An easy way to tell a story about your product is to think about how your product or service has helped others or what types of problems you can solve. Even if an exact scenario hasn't surfaced yet, you can likely think of a dozen ways your product can make someone's life better or easier.
Whatever story you create, make the customer the hero. Everyone loves a good hero story.
3. Set up automation
You can use email automation to your advantage in several ways. You can set up a series of emails to welcome new subscribers, introduce them to your product or service, and then nudge them toward conversion.
You can also use automation to send out time-sensitive offers or content. For example, if you're running a sale that ends in 48 hours, you can set up an email to automatically go out 24 hours before the sale is over as a reminder.
Fortunately, most good marketing email software can help you with this. You can use automatic drip campaigns that work on an "if-then" setting. For example, if someone hasn't interacted with you for a while, you could make a more aggressive offer (or discount) that might entice them to come back. Or if they interacted with a certain email, you can send them a follow-up that might also interest them.
4. Use better Call-to-Actions
Your call-to-action (CTA) is what tells the recipient of your email what you want them to do next. It's usually a button or a link that says something like "Buy Now," "Get Started," or "Sign Up."
Your CTA should be clear, to the point, and use actionable language. "Click here" is better than "Check this out." And "Sign up for our newsletter" is better than "Subscribe to our newsletter."
Make sure your CTA stands out from the rest of your email content. There should be no question about what action you desire the recipient to take.
5. Design better emails
Your email should be designed with your content in mind. The layout, images, and overall design should all support the message you're trying to get across.
The best way to think about email design is in terms of a traditional sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, you want to capture attention with something eye-catching. Then, as you move down the funnel, your email should get more and more targeted toward conversion.
In general, email design should be:
- Minimalistic - too much design can be overwhelming
- Single column - this is easier to read on mobile devices
- Easy to scan - use headlines, bullet points, and short paragraphs
- Mobile-friendly - more people than ever are reading email on their phones
Following a few basic design rules, your emails can look great and be easier to read. You can also find some excellent templates out there that take the guesswork out of design for you. Templates like these on Cakemail.
6. Test subject lines
Your subject line is what tells the recipient what your email is about, but it should also entice them to open it. It's the first thing they see, so it's important to make a good impression.
Unfortunately, there's no surefire way to write the perfect subject line. But you can improve your chances by following a few best practices:
- Keep it short - 6-10 words is ideal
- Use actionable language - "Start your free trial now" is better than "Free trial available"
- Include a benefit - "Get 50% off your first purchase" is more effective than "Sale going on now"
- Use personalization - "John, your custom shoes are ready" is more likely to get opened than "New arrivals just in"
The best way to find out what works for your audience is to test different subject lines and see which ones get the best results. Try a couple of different approaches by customizing what different segments of your audience will receive. Over time, you may start noticing what your audience prefers, which can drive higher open rates and conversions.
If some of your audience doesn't bother to open your email, try resending it later using a better hook in the subject line. Just don't try too many times, or you may lose them completely.
7. Optimize for mobile
More and more people are reading emails on their phones, which means you need to optimize your emails for mobile devices.
The good news is that most email marketing software will do this for you automatically. But there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Keep it short - Mobile screens are small, so make your content concise
- Use large fonts - Mobile devices have small screens, so large font sizes are a must
- Make your CTA big and bold - Make it easy for people to click on your CTA button
- Avoid using too many images - Images can take a long time to load on mobile devices
In today's world, if you're not thinking mobile-first with your emails, then you're making a huge mistake.
By following these best practices, you can ensure that your email looks great on any device.
Email marketing can be a great way to boost conversions, but only if it's done right. By personalizing your emails, using better call-to-actions, and optimizing for mobile devices, you can ensure your emails are more effective and drive more conversions for your business. If you don't currently use these strategies in emails or are unsure how to do them, then it's time to turn to an expert like Cakemail.
You can even start your account for free and see if email marketing is the right strategy for you.