Small business owners using email marketing tools such as Hubspot, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and other email marketing platforms, may not be getting the return rate they'd hope for.
"Every aspect of testing should be focusing on the "click to open rate" of the main call to action in your email,” says professional email marketing strategist Dain Hanson, Co-Founder of CYT Marketing.
As more and more emails flood our customers' inboxes, how do we know they're even getting viewed? What's the measure of success and best practices for small businesses looking to drive more revenue out of their email campaign?
Start with an Objective
It’s important to understand what your main objective is when sending emails. A lot of people get hung up on open rates, thinking they need to be focusing on subject lines to get more opens ("click bait"), and in turn will drive clicks. What most will find out, however, is that there's usually a disconnect between the subject line and the content of the email. People open an email but don’t find the content they expect, so they immediately click off or delete. Even if the content is good, most people don’t give it a chance if it’s not the content they are looking for because the subject line is too vague or misleading.
Instead, think about your target audience. What content will provide them with the most value? Being empathetic about the needs and concerns of your target audience is the quickest way to create meaningful email content and campaigns that will be both valuable to you and your customers.
Use a Clear Subject Line
It is far better to use a clear subject line that tells the reader exactly what is inside the email, content that describes what benefit you are providing and creates an immediate emotion (curiosity, urgency, fear, etc), and then provide an enticing call to action to drive to a landing page where the offer or content lives. This may mean sacrificing opens for a higher click to open rate, but what is more important? Generating more opens where people leave without reading the content inside? Or driving clicks which lead to conversions? Professional email marketers focus on conversions.
Use Direct Copy and a Call to Action
Write a concise email speaking directly to your target audience, and describe whatever the direct benefit of the click is. "Receive a 25% discount on your next purchase" is a clear benefit. "Receive 25% off all socks - today only" is an even more time sensitive call to action. Your reader should really want to click because there is an immediate, emotional benefit and you can also leverage curiosity. Letting your reader know there's more valuable content piques curiosity and drives the customer to where you want them to go - your site.
Have A Clean List
This involves targeting segments and taking the time to actually track those segments. Adding those fields in your email marketing tool and keeping track in your e-commerce software will actually make a big difference. Don't spam everyone on your list, assuming they will be interested in every product offer you have. For example you would only send out the above socks offer to a list of people who have purchased socks in the past, looked at socks, or checked that they're interested in socks.
Before you send out a massive email campaign, try it out first. Take two concepts you think will be successful and dry run it to groups of 5o. Look at the metrics to see which one performs better, and you know which subject line and call to action are your clear, definitive winners.
Measure OR (opens to send ratio)
Your open/send ratio will hopefully be high if you have a good opt-in list of segmented people. What's successful? It depends on industry an
d campaign. Rather than looking for someone else's benchmark, start looking at where you are today, and create a goal to move it up 5% using best practices.
Measure CTOR (click to open rate) on Your Call to Action
Every email marketing platform will have reporting included for email campaigns. Not all, however, will have the CTOR metric so people may need to do a little calculating. If you have multiple calls to action or links, then look at the “click to open rate” on all positive links.
Success should be measured when your CTOR is above your OR. This means a high percentage fo the people who opened your email converted. Google analytics can aid with measuring conversions on your website, if set up properly, to get a better idea of the whole funnel. But for people just starting out it could be a little complicated and take time and effort to design. MailChimp is one platform that connects e-commerce shopping carts and does the tracking in their reporting, an excellent feature for an entrepreneur.
No marketing play should be implemented without measuring success, including email marketing. Do you have additional tips on how to measure and increase the success of email marketing? Please share in the comments below.