8 simple email marketing tips to improve your open and click-through rates

by Ana Lopez

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

More than 4.3 billion people around the world have an email address, Statistics shows. For businesses, email is the most important transaction channel: this is where we receive our invoices, receipts, and notifications. Aside from that, email is one of the most lucrative marketing channels, with a average ROI of $43 for every $1 spent.

Is your ROI not quite there yet? To identify the problem, start with the basics:

  • Make sure you use a reputable email provider. You need a reliable way to send emails to ensure they are delivered.
  • Check your email list, especially if you haven’t checked it in over six months. Invalid and dormant contacts prevent you from reaching people.
  • Reassess the relevance of your content. It’s hard to convert prospects who don’t resonate with what you’re sending.

Once you’re sure you’re technically sound and that your content is useful to people, the simple tricks below can help you get more out of the emails you send out.

1. Include a subscription link in all your templates

Just as all your email templates have an unsubscribe button, they should also have a link that people can click to subscribe. Your emails will go to potential customers who have already signed up, but if they decide to forward one of your emails to a friend, make sure that person can easily get on your list. To grow your database, you need to share that subscription link in as many places as possible.

Related: 8 tricks to make your emails more successful

2. Simplify your template

Putting a lot of effort into your emails is admirable, but sometimes marketers can overdo it – and it usually shows in overcrowded templates. A crowded template with too many elements and colors can deter people from reading your content and clicking your links. You can include several sections, but make sure they all come together in a cohesive, easy-to-follow style.

3. Tease your next email on social media

This tactic is especially effective if your emails contain exclusive content. Before every email you send, post a few teasers on social media to get people to subscribe. Let them know that the content is only available to your email list and use this long-term incentive to boost your subscriptions.

4. Link your images

Do you add links to every image you include in your emails? If you’re not, consider changing that. Images stand out in your email and can significantly boost your clicks. For example, we noticed that on average 12.50% of the clicks we get on our Zero Bounce newsletter come from images. In a recent campaign, 17.6% of people who clicked chose to click the image, not the call-to-action button. Clickable images provide a better user experience and promote healthy engagement.

5. Segment your email data

Validating your email list is a must before sending another email. But is that email relevant to your entire target audience? It’s a question worth asking, as segmentation can be increase your open rates by 14.31% Moreover, clicks are 100.95% higher for segmented campaigns, so it’s worth reaching people with content made just for them. Use criteria such as gender, location, purchase history and habits to delight your audience with better emails.

6. Target only the most active subscribers

To boost your email engagement and sales, consider further segmenting your audience based on activity. With the right tools, you can find out which segment of your email list is spending the most time checking their inbox. You can then apply additional segmentation criteria and refine your email to appeal to those potential customers.

Related: 8 proven strategies to get people to open and read your emails

7. Encourage answers

It’s easy to do and benefits your email program in several ways. First, encouraging people to respond to your emails shows how much you care about what they think. It can spark conversations from which you can learn more about your subscribers so you can always improve your content for them. Plus, replies support your email deliverability, meaning more of your emails end up in the inbox instead of spam.

8. Make every email count

Did you know Americans spend about five hours a day check email? However, they only open 53% of emails they get and find only 31% of it “useful”.

So, how can you make every email you send useful to your audience? The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, can help you stay on track. To keep engagement high, make 80 percent of your emails educational and only 20 percent self-promotional. Over time, your prospects will come to see you as a source of useful information, which will keep them opening your emails.

Do you want to make your promotions more attractive? Focus on the benefits rather than the product itself and your clicks and ROI are likely to increase.

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