6 Tips for Unleashing the Power of Email Deliverability
In today’s digital landscape, it’s almost impossible to name a major retailer without an online presence. With U.S. e-commerce sales growing 15.7 percent year-over-year in last year's third quarter, this comes as no surprise. According to a recent survey from Retail TouchPoints, email is the main mode of customer communication for retailers, thus a necessary investment for business growth. However, given the flood of marketing emails and spam received by consumers, it’s also unsurprising that many retailers believe they haven’t achieved the marketing goals they’ve set for email, such as generating awareness, increasing return on investment and predicting customer behavior. The same survey corroborates this concern, with more than one third (37 percent) of respondents admitting that they completely ignore emails from retailers.
It’s undeniable that email is still a powerful tool for marketers in reaching target audiences, but only if campaigns are executed with certain considerations in mind. Equipped with the right best practices and technology, marketers will be able to successfully increase the effectiveness of their email marketing campaigns and further boost online sales at their organizations.
Tips for Increasing the Effectiveness of an Email Marketing Campaign:
- Craft your email copy around your call to action. Begin emails by highlighting the benefits of your product or service and conclude with your call to action. Make sure your call to action is concise to ensure recipients have a clear understanding of next steps. Avoid giving audiences too many call to actions, which can discourage them from acting at all. As a point of reference, successful call to actions for marketers can include the following: Shop Now, Learn More, Request a Demo or Register Now.
- Test subject headings for all email marketing campaigns. Testing the effectiveness of your email subject headings is crucial when it comes to the successful delivery of emails. For example, marketers might assume discount offers result in higher engagement, when in fact they may have a negative effect on engagement rates. Every business and email list is different; therefore, it’s important to use A/B testing to gauge what works best and what doesn’t with your recipients.
- Keep subject headers concise. While most organizations draft seven-word subject lines, it’s actually three-word subject lines that have the highest engagement rates. Out of the shorter subject lines, recipients also prefer certain words over others. For example, subject lines referring to “yesterday” and “tomorrow” have higher engagement rates than “today.”
- Avoid including links and hashtags in subject lines. Subject lines that contain URLs and hashtags tend to underperform, with the average engagement rate totaling less than 10.5 percent.
- Utilize your pre-header. The pre-header is the snippet of text that's visible in the inbox following the subject line. This piece of prime real estate is often underutilized. Rather than leaving the automatic placeholder, which might say, “Can’t view this properly? View in web browser,” use this space to showcase the call to action or to provide context that you couldn’t fit into the subject line.
- Prioritize responsive web design to ensure compatibility for mobile devices. Marketers need to ensure that email campaigns across multiple platforms are compelling and unified for consumers using desktop and mobile devices. Because email templates are typically designed for a standard desktop, which is too wide for most smartphones, consumers may have trouble accessing or viewing websites properly. To prevent this, include a plain text version in HTML email and leverage responsive design templates.
By considering these tips in their email marketing campaigns, online retailers can avoid the spam folder and stand out amongst a sea of companies fighting for consumer attention.
Scott Heimes is the chief marketing officer of SendGrid, a marketing and transactional email platform.