Email marketing helps you target your audience and create a personalized experience for prospective and existing customers. You can use it to foster actions (such as signing up for your newsletter or purchasing an item) or keep subscribers updated on the current happenings in your industry.
However, knowing which actions will be most impactful on your sales can be tricky. This post will guide you on an email marketing formula that will engage prospects and convert them into paying customers, even when your competitor’s strategy feels intimidating.
What Are Conversions in Email Marketing?
Conversions are the results of your email campaign—in other words, a visitor’s action on your email campaign. That includes signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, or completing an order.
How to Increase Email Marketing Conversions
1. Set Goals
Knowing what you want to accomplish helps ensures every action taken during the campaign supports the objectives.
Email marketing goals vary from brand awareness and lead generation to customer acquisition and sales.
Brand awareness is about drawing consumers’ attention to your brand and building awareness of your products and services. You achieve this by creating a favorable impression in customers’ minds without necessarily prompting them to act immediately.
Lead generation summarizes the efforts to convert potential customers into leads — contacts representing opportunities to sell products or services. If an individual has filled out a form on your website, downloaded an eBook, or asked for more information by phone, they’re already halfway towards becoming a customer.
Customer acquisition focuses on nurturing leads into sales.
2. Segment Your Email List
Segmentation is a common practice in content marketing that involves dividing your contact list into groups based on particular criteria. That helps you create a more personalized experience for each subscriber, leading to better engagement and higher ROI for your marketing efforts.
There are two main types of segmentation in email marketing:
- Demographic segmentation: This type of segmentation uses information about the recipient’s age, gender, location, and other demographic factors to divide your list into groups based on shared traits. For example, if you want to send a holiday promotion to women between the ages of 25 and 35 who live in New York City, you can create a demographic segment for this group.
- Behavioral segmentation: This entails identifying, understanding, and classifying your contacts based on their interaction with your brand. It’s different from demographic or geographic segmentation in that it focuses on what people have done rather than who they are—for example, whether they’ve visited your website recently or made purchases from you.
3. Craft Catchy Subject Lines
Your email subject line is the first thing people see when they open your message. It’s what gets them to open it and makes them decide whether or not your email is worth reading.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to writing effective subject lines. Your audience, business goals, and industry all play a role in what makes for a compelling subject line.
Generally, you want to get straight to the point. If you have an announcement, announce it; if you’re promoting an event, tell people where and when; if you’re asking for feedback or responses, mention that.
Plus, no one wants to read a long wordy email, so don’t make them do it in your subject line either. Eliminate words that aren’t helping the message. Also, try not to use all caps—that isn’t polite.
More than anything, your subject line should be relevant. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, “5 Ways to Cut Your Mortgage Payment” makes more sense than “5 Ways to Lose Weight.”
4. Keep Your Emails Short and Straightforward
A well-written email will get more clicks and shares than an email with a bunch of text and links.
The shorter, the better. Don’t overwhelm people with too much information at one time — break up every section with subheadings so people can easily find what they’re looking for without scrolling through the whole thing first.
Bullet points or numbered lists make it easier for readers to scan your content. Images help break up text-heavy emails and provide visual interest (and sometimes entertainment).
5. Include a Compelling Call to Action
Every content you send out must have some call-to-action built into it. It’s the part of your email that tells visitors what you want them to do, whether signing up for your newsletter, downloading something, signing up for an event, or entering a contest.
Ensure your CTAs match what people need from you and how they feel about doing it at this point. For example, suppose you received an email with the headline “Get these shoes now at 10% discount!” But you just bought shoes yesterday, so you’re probably not in the market for more today. You’ll likely ignore or delete that email without clicking the integrated CTA because it doesn’t align with your current needs (nor does its timing).
On the other hand: imagine a fashion outlet promoting something like “Looking for new outfits?” It’s likely to go after someone who has recently been browsing fashion blogs but hasn’t purchased anything yet, making this an ideal time frame for them before moving on to another brand.
Don’t be afraid of testing with multiple emails with different CTAs. Each may appeal best at different times depending on the segmentations used and how much time has passed since the last contact (which could mean someone might be ready now vs. later). But again, you don’t want to cram your email with CTAs; else, you leave the recipient confused. One or two should be enough.
6. Use A/B Testing
This simple process involves sending two different versions of an email to a small percentage of your audience and comparing how they respond. Which version gets more opens? Which one gets more clicks? It’s a great way to see what works and what doesn’t in your emails, so you can continue optimizing them over time.
Think about the subject lines, content, and call-to-action buttons in each version of your email. If you’re unsure which option will perform the best for your business or product, try out some variations until you find something that sticks!
7. Track Your Email Marketing Results
Tracking conversions is essential to understanding your email marketing efforts. You want to know where actions occur, what they mean, and when.
You must first understand how users interact with your campaigns. That can take the form of an exit-intent popup or a signup form on your site’s landing page—whatever gets users interested enough to take your desired action.
You can use tools like Google Analytics to see how many people open your email and click through and when. If you’re using a marketing automation platform—and you should be—it will also track the number of people who went from being subscribers to buyers (or vice versa).
Keep tabs on these stats:
- Open rates. This is the percentage of recipients who opened an email campaign. A good open rate runs between 17-28%. The average is, however, 21.5%.
- Click-through rate. It’s the percentage of recipients who click on any link or image in an email. A good CTR ranges between 2-5%, with the average across all industries currently at 2.3%.
Email marketing is a powerful way to convert more customers. It’s not just easy to set up and manage; it’s also highly effective at getting people to take action. But that doesn’t mean you can start blasting out emails willy-nilly. Email marketing requires careful planning and execution if you want it to be successful, and we hope the above strategies will help.