9 Email Marketing Tips to Spike Conversion Rates
Handwritten email addresses. Default opt-in tactics without instant unsubscribe options. No Pinterest account.
These are a few of Experian Marketing Services' (EMS) least favorite things e-commerce marketers do. According to research announced on Jan. 14 by the New York-based marketing services provider, handwritten email addresses lead to transcription errors. Default opt-in leads to deliverability problems and lacking a Pinterest account results in a huge missed opportunity.
"Words like 'Pinterest,' 'Pin us' or 'Pin it' in subject lines generate open rates that are 11 percent higher than other mailings and unique click rates that are almost 25 percent higher," says the research titled "Email Market Study: Acquisition and Engagement Tactics."
Based on the study's findings, EMS found prescriptions to heal what ails these marketers:
1. Adopt a Mobile-First Policy
"The highest percentage of emails are opened on mobile devices," according to the report. That's 44 percent, with desktop opens following at 29 percent and Webmail right behind at 28 percent.
EMS advises marketers to modifying your existing template to these:
- Limit the overall email template width to 560 to 580 pixels wide. "We've found this size to be a good width when factoring [in] desktop, mobile and tablet."
- Make all subcopy at least 14 to 16 points. "Since your email still will be reduced on mobile, you want to be sure the text size does not start out too small."
- Calls to action should be at least 40 pixels apart. "Too many links situated right next to each other could be frustrating to users, causing them to accidentally tap on the wrong one."
2. Avoid Handwritten Email Addresses
If that's impossible, ensure customers can fact-check what gets typed in. This may sound old-school to some, but the research shows "78 percent of brands use sales associates to collect email addresses [and] 36 percent of brands collect email addresses on paper."
To increase deliverability and reduce chances for human error, EMS suggests marketers employ data hygiene practices, allow mobile payments that provide customers with e-receipts or use credit card machines to allow customers to opt in to email and mobile offers.
3. Link to Pinterest
If you've got it, flaunt it. "While 98 percent of marketers promote their Facebook page[s] in emails, only 32 percent promote Pinterest," according to the research that highlights the above-mentioned 11 percent higher click rates.
4. Give the "Gif" That Keeps on Giving
"Animated gifs and cinemagraphs produce higher transaction-to-click rates," EMS says. It gets the email recipient's attention and, if the animation is subtle, it pulls the eye to call-to-action buttons or special promotions.
5. Make Opt-Out Easy for Auto Opt-In
Keep that "opt in for email alerts" button checked, as long as the immediate welcome email sports a prominent unsubscribe option. "Automatically opting in subscribers to your email program could negatively impact your deliverability rates," according to the research.
6. Use Customer Surveys
"Regardless of the offer, marketers are seeing strong survey completion rates," according to the report. But because many email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, won't allow survey buttons, provide recipients with a link.
7. Employ Symbols in Subject Lines
They can provide up to a 15 percent lift in open rates, EMS reports. "Remember, the same subject line rules still apply when using symbols," it says. "The more relevant they are, the more your subscribers will understand and enjoy them. If you test using symbols in your subject lines and see great results at first that then taper off, perhaps the 'newness' has worn off. Try testing new symbols or testing symbols against no symbols."
8. Track Email Acquisition Source
This helps marketers track, segment and market to customers differently and determine sources where hygiene issues may arise. "This is imperative when experiencing deliverability issues and when segmenting your list for reactivation purposes," the study reads. For instance, loyalty program customers are less likely to use fake names.
9. Collect Only Basic Information Up Front
In the acquisition form, only ask for the information you need, such as the customer's email address and ZIP code. "Once you have that information, other fields can be collected through a secondary collection page, follow-up emails, surveys, preference centers or other channels," says the research. "Always ensure you aren't overwhelming your customers."