What is the one overarching purpose of a marketing tactic? It is to get as many people as possible to convert. Conversion could be anything from signing up for newsletters, clicking through to a landing page, or sending in an enquiry. For any conversion to take place, the receivers of the marketing message need to access it. In email marketing terms, this means opening the emails being sent.
Since opening the email is a prerequisite to all types of conversions, it can be treated as a smaller pre-conversion variable. Thus, the opening of an email can be said to be the first point of contact between the business and the consumer or the generation of the first lead. As per reports from various sources online, the open rate of messages in email marketing rarely ever goes below 14 percent and many times touches 30 percent. The actual open rate varies on the basis of multiple factors including the industry in question and the quality of the emails themselves.
Email Marketing Open Rates and Your Business
All successful businesses focus on their conversion rates or sales figures and very few report conversion rates above 10 percent when it comes to their marketing endeavours. However, email marketing does this consistently. As you can see, even the lowest email open rates are to the tune of 14 percent, much higher than general marketing conversion rates.
All this is being presented to you so that you realise the untapped potential in email marketing for your business and start working towards improving the quality of your campaigns. Essentially, you have to start by improving your emails’ open rate. To help you along, we’re going to list the top six causes behind your emails being left unopened and your email marketing efforts failing. Perhaps, if you focus on these elements first, you’ll see a marked improvement in open rates. Consider.
Generic Emails without Personalisation
Not personalising your emails is like a cardinal sin in email marketing. Personalising the email means putting in elements that result in specific traits of the user being pulled into the message automatically. At the very least, you can do this for the users’ names. Sometimes, depending on your email design and content, you can even pull in location and preference based details.
For instance, the really big companies with highly effective email marketing campaigns have their messages so personalised that they look handwritten. If you’ve shopped with Amazon, you have seen this by now and know that it is very much within the realms of possibility. Here’s another statistic to blow your mind. Personalised email marketing messages have a success rate of 20 percent more than email messages that haven’t been personalised.
Nonresponsive Email Messages
Mobile devices have proliferated throughout the globe now. Almost every individual online now boasts of a mobile device too. As is obvious, they use their mobile devices for everything but one of the primary uses of mobile devices is checking emails.
In fact, estimates suggest that more than half of all emails opened today are opened on mobile devices. This means that if your email marketing messages are not responsive, then they fail to have the right impact. Consider the fact that about 70 percent of the nonresponsive emails are discarded by users everywhere simply because they’re not user-friendly.
User experience will be the byword of everything digital in the future. When you don’t make your email marketing messages responsive, you’re basically not thinking about user experience. Needless to say, properly rendered emails perform far better than nonresponsive emails, regardless of which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you consider.
Complete Absence of List Segmentation
This one is closely connected to the first point of personalisation simply because segmenting your email list is a precursor to personalising the email marketing messages. Email list segmentation, typically, happens on the basis of various demographic and psychographic variables.
In general, email lists are segmented by age, profession, annual income, gender, hobbies, interests, and other such traits. When you don’t segment your email lists, you end up sending a generic email to everyone as opposed to emails specialised to every individual’s needs and requirements. This means that you see more drop-offs, spam marks, and un-opens.
Default “Web Version” Preheader
The preheader is the bit that shows up before the title of the email. Many email marketing campaign managers fail to fully leverage this little bit of text. The default preheader setting is usually the “view web version” method. That preheader, in today’s world, is a complete waste.
Emails with custom preheaders i.e. preheaders that contain messages based on the content of the email itself, perform far better than emails with those default preheaders. There are many reasons for this. The foremost reason is that preheaders actually end up showing in the inbox after the subject line.
Typically, the email lines in inboxes list the senders’ names and the subject lines, followed by the first few lines of the email. When you incorporate custom preheaders in your email marketing campaigns, it is these preheaders that show up after the subject line in the inbox list. As a result, if written properly, your preheaders can boost open rates.
Poor Non-User Experience Focused Designs
Design is not dead, regardless of what your minimalistic and content mad friends ay tell you. Designing is still important today despite the expected rise of content to the top of digital marketing priority campaigns. The only difference is that designs of today need to focus on user experience principles i.e. making the design elements and colour schemes as easy and functional for the user as humanly possible.
The focus is not so much about aesthetics as it is for the users’ convenience. This is the reason why poorly designed email marketing messages fail to perform. If your emails are not being opened or being opened but not generating the next conversion step, then you need to study and refine your email designs. Consider doing usability experiments, A/B tests, and even multivariate tests.
Vague and Ambiguous Call to Actions
What is the primary objective of your email marketing campaign? Is it to boost sales? Is it to establish your brand? Is it to retain existing customers? Have you split your entire email marketing campaign into smaller segments with each focusing on a separate objective?
Your emails’ objectives don’t matter so long as they are clear in the design and content to the user. You can’t have a single email message with multiple objectives as that will only dilute its meaning to the reader. This would, in turn, reduce the effectiveness of the email in question.
Every email you send should be devoted to a single goal which should be evident to the reader in design, content, and Call to Actions (CTAs). Of these elements, you need to pay special attention to your CTAs. CTAs need to reflect the objective.
They need to be framed in a way that the reader feels they’re uniquely suited to him. Generic CTAs such as “Buy Now”, “Click Here”, and “Shop Now” etc. are not as effective as other seemingly more customised CTAs. Phrasing the CTAs is important since even changing a single word has been known to have a major impact on conversions.