21 Jun 19 Simple Email Marketing Tips to Improve Your Email Open and Clickthrough Rates
Written by Lindsay Kolowich
Practicing good inbound marketing means sending emails to people who actually wantto hear from you.
But oftentimes, your emails still end up getting lost in the inbox clutter — or worse, in the spam folder. And then, when someone actually opens your email, they don’t actually click through.
You may often think to yourself, “Ugh. I just can’t win.”
I’ve got your back, though. Here are eight little things you can start doing immediatelyto improve the open rates, clickthrough rates, and lead generation for your emails.
19 Tips for Better Email Open and Clickthrough Rates
1) Abide by CAN-SPAM rules.
CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) is an act that was passed in 2003. Essentially, it’s a law that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law.
In order to be CAN-SPAM compliant, it’s important your email messages follow these rules, which are available on the FTC’s website.
A few highlights:
- You need to include your valid physical postal address in every email you send out.
- You need to give recipients a clear and obvious way to opt out (i.e., unsubscribe) of every email you send. (HubSpot customers: Don’t worry — you can’t save an email template unless it includes this element.)
- You need to use clear “From,” “To,” and “Reply to” language that accurately reflects who you are.
- You cannot sell or transfer any email addresses to another list.
Note: I am not a lawyer, and that you should not construe the contents of this article as legal advice. Check out the FTC’s website for extensive advice on this subject, and read this blog post for more tips on improving email deliverability.
2) Email new contacts within 24 hours.
It’s important to take advantage of the window of opportunity when your company or brand is at the top of your prospects’ minds. You can really get a pulse of what future engagement will look like by what people do when you email then within 24 hours of their subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for an offer, and so on. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for branding and setting expectations.
If you don’t have any automated email workflows set up, you’re likely missing out on some major opportunities to nurture and engage your existing contacts.
(HubSpot customers: Use HubSpot’s Workflows App to create personalized, automated email workflows that can get triggered in a number of different ways: when a contact gets added to a list, submits a form on your website, clicks a link in an email, views a page on your blog, clicks on one of your AdWords ads, or becomes a marketing qualified lead.)
3) Send your email from a real person, not your company.
When you send email from a real person, your email open rate increases. Plain and simple. This is because — based on past tests we’ve conducted — recipients are typically more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address than a generic one. People are so inundated with spam nowadays, they often hesitate to open email from unfamiliar senders — and they’re more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address than a generic one.
At HubSpot, we found that that emails sent from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot” perform better in terms of open and clickthrough rate than emails sent from just “HubSpot.” So, it may be best to do this …
- Sender name: Paul Smith
- Sender email address: email@example.com
… instead of this:
- Sender name: Marketing Team
- Sender email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
(HubSpot customers: Click here to learn how to personalize the “From” name and email address.)
Note: Our tests showed personalization works, but we’ve also found that a combination of a person’s name and a company name together in the sender name works well, too. You’ve just got to A/B test what works best for your particular company, brand, and industry as well as what’s ideal based on to whom you’re sending emails.
4) Pre-set the preview text.
Email clients like the iPhone Mail app, Gmail, and Outlook will display the first few lines of text from the body of your email alongside the subject line. In other words, it’s a text preview of the content inside the email. The exact amount of text shown depends on the email client and user settings.
Use it to provide a short, to-the-point synopsis of what you’re offering — and keep it to 50 characters or less.
When you don’t set the preview text, the client will automatically pull from the body of your email, which not only looks messy, but is also a wasted opportunity to engage your audience. (HubSpot customers: Click here to learn how to set the preview text of your emails.)
5) Write clear and clickable subject lines.
Speaking of the subject line … your marketing emails have a lot to compete with in recipients’ inboxes. The best way to stand out is to write compelling, “can’t-help-but-click-on-this” subject lines.
To entice readers to click, be sure your subject lines:
- Are super clear and understandable.
- Are fewer than 50 characters so they don’t get cut off, particularly by mobile devices.
- Use language and messaging that your target buyer persona is familiar with and excited about.
- Include verbs and action-oriented language to create a sense of urgency and excitement.
- Include an exclusive value proposition (like a 20% off deal or a free ebook) so people know what they’re getting.
- Avoid spam triggers like “Cash,” “Quote,” and “Save.”
- Are timely, if applicable. (One of my favorite subject lines came from Warby Parker and read: “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring”.)
- Include their first names sometimes (it could increase clickthrough rates), or even add something about their specific location. (You’ll want to do this sparingly, like for your most important offers, rather than over-doing it and being repetitive or intrusive.)
Read this blog post for more tips on writing clickable, delightful subject lines.
6) Keep your emails short.
Everyone’s busy and their inbox is already full. Why add to the problem with a huge, long email? People generally like short, concise emails better than long ones. Plus, when they’re scanning through all their emails in a short amount of time, they’re more likely to skim and glean the overall message before deciding to take any action.
Another reason to keep your emails short? Too much copy is actually a red flag for spam filters, too.
To keep your emails short and compelling, write your email like you were talking to someone in real life. If your email has to be on the long side, break it up into multiple paragraphs to provide visual breaks. This’ll make skimming it much easier on your reader. (Read this blog post on how to write compelling emails for more tips.)
Here’s a great example of a concise email:
7) Include one, clear call-to-action button per email.
Remember when I said a lot of your email recipients will scan your email without reading all the copy? That’s why you want to have a clear call-to-action button that’s easy to spot for even the quickest of email scanners. Without a CTA button, you won’t be calling on your recipients to take any action that actually benefits them — and the growth of your business.
You’ll want to place your CTA in a location where it’s easily visible and where it makes sense for someone to click on it. For example, you might put a CTA to download a free ebook in an email that describes new strategies for using your product.
Once you’ve determined where you want to put your CTA, it’s time to create the button itself. Click here to download 50 free CTA button templates to get you started. (HubSpot customers: Learn how to add CTA buttons to emails in HubSpot here.)
8) Add alt text to your call-to-action buttons.
Many email clients block images — including your CTA buttons — by default. That means a good chunk of your audience may not see your beautiful, optimized CTA. Instead, they see this:
When you set an image’s alt text, though, you let recipients who can’t view images in their email know exactly where to click to complete the action:
You can either edit the alt text in your email tool’s rich text editor (just right-click the image and edit away), or you can manually enter it in the HTML editor of your email tool like this:
9) Add links to your images.
Your ultimate goal in email marketing is to get people to click through to a web page. One way to increase the clickthrough without littering the copy with links is to add a link to your images in the email.
You can simply click on the image and then use your email tool’s “Insert/Edit Link” option, or you can link an image in the HTML editor using the following code:
10) Include noticeable text links.
In general, it’s a good idea to link to your featured offer in multiple places in addition to the clear and focused call-to-action button. In addition to your main CTAs and images, consider including a noticeable text link (or two) when applicable because having more links increases the opportunity for engagement. View Full Article >>