According to Forrester research, email continues to be the top influencer in making repeated buys happen. Email is a mature channel compared to social media and has helped convert many sign-ins to buyers.
Whether you are a B2B or a B2C company your email marketing can be optimized to maximize your conversion rate. Let’s explore a little about the different kinds of emails that we use in driving conversions to understand its overall significance.
Another, major advantage email provides is the ease with which you can test out your optimization ideas through email A/B testing and quickly figure out answers and better solutions.
When emailing your customers there are essentially two types of emails you send, one is direct marketing and the other is transactional email. It is important to know that not one is more important than the other. Using both to complement each other is the key to optimize your conversions.
Direct marketing emails
Direct marketing emails are typically the promotional emails you send to your subscribers with a list of new products, discounts, testimonials etc.
These emails can be made more effective by using personalization and segmentation when composing the email. Although it is a promotional mail, if you use the customer data to personalize it a little, making it more relevant to the reader, chances are you will get higher responses and the higher the number of responses the higher the probability of conversion.
Here are some tips that can help promotional emails drive conversions:
• Visually appealing email content and design. Colorful and attention-grabbing.
• Very distinct and clear call-to-actions.
• Short and to the point email content.
Below image illustrates these points:
Transactional emails are driven by the consumer behaviour. As the name suggests, these are purely purpose-driven emails that are of ‘if-this-then-that’ style. For instance, if the customer subscribes then we send the welcome and verification email or if a shopper abandons the cart then we send a reminder email etc.
Transactional emails perform extremely well when it comes to open rates and click rates. Transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate 6x more revenue. – Experian.
The idea is simple, when a transaction occurs an email is triggered. These emails have every high value, but they are often overlooked as a source for conversions or revenue. For example, when you send a ‘Welcome to our blog email’ to a new subscriber, don’t just send a plain ‘welcome’ email, also add a link for them to invite their friends to join your blog as well.
Another example – say a customer just downloaded your ebook, when you send them a thank you email, add a link for them to subscribe to your blog. These transactional email have high open rates, use that to your advantage.
Your email must be contextual
This is a super-informed age; with internet around you safely assume that most of your customers are quite knowledgeable. When dealing with this type of customers, pure self-promotion will get you nowhere; it may in fact completely backfire.
This aversion for self-promotion is evident in how commercial advertising is going down while content marketing is on the rise.
The important thing to remember is that your email has to be contextual, the content has to be relevant to the customer.
The context is actually the reason why transactional emails have such high open rates; these emails were expected by the readers and have very clear context, unlike promotional emails where the audience isn’t really expecting a mail from you.
You can crystal clear context to your reader by answering a couple of questions in your emails:
• Why are you (the reader) receiving this emails?
• How can it personally benefit you?
Email works for conversion optimization only when it is personalized
Personalizing the email is an important part of winning the conversion optimization game.
It’s time to move away from blast and batch promotional emails. A carefully-crafted personalized email not only wins you conversions but can also help instill a sense loyalty in your prospects/customers.
It is much easier to personalize your emails when you use market segmentations. Here are some segments:
• Age group
• Geographic location
• Products purchased in the past
• Posts/articles read in the past
• Average income
These are just a few of the many possible segments, that can help you compose more effective emails. When you personalize their email, a customer is no longer receiving an email just because it’s your winter sale, but because he/she loves coats and they are now available for half the price.
See the difference?!
What can you do to your email to improve open rate?
The first step is to get your customers to open the email. This is harder when the email is not transactional or has no business being in your prospect’s inbox.
But there are few tweaks and tips you can use to maximize your chances:
• From Name/address – Your ‘from name’ will fare better if it actually has the name of a person, rather than the organization, even better if the name is that of the CEO’s. I don’t think from addresses such as ‘support@abccompany’ are impactful enough.
• Subject line – The subject line has to clearly communicate what the mail is about, in general, but you should add an element of mystery as well. For instance, ‘Do you want to know how to 10X your productivity?’ will work. Also, too long or too short subject lines won’t have a good impact either.
• Preheader – This gives you another shot to convince your prospect to open the email. You can use this space to provide context to the reader. For example, you can say something, ‘We noticed that you read a lot about productivity, here’s a great piece for you’.
Email is an excellent way to boost conversions. It’s especially great because it allows you to quickly keep running experiments and test your ideas and figure out what works best, giving you a chance to optimize the results and get maximum benefit.