5 Steps to Optimize Email Performance

While SMS and push notifications are all the rage among marketers these days, make no mistake about it: email is still king of the marketing jungle. That’s not to say text-based solutions don’t have merit — they’re great for real-time communications and more — but they don’t match the versatility or brand-building powers of an email campaign. It’s time to get into email optimization.

Email still reigns supreme, but that doesn’t mean every campaign you deploy is going to perform at a high-level. Here are some steps you can take to fine-tune your email marketing to maximize your conversions.

Segment Audiences: Let’s face it, not every consumer will want to open every email you send, let alone read and engage with the content. The average open rate across all industries is 17.9 percent, while the click-through rate (CTR) is just 2.69 percent. Segmenting your audiences and tailoring your communications for each group based on their preferences can help you boost both of these metrics, and therefore increase conversions.

Test Subject Lines: If you’re not testing your subject lines, you’re missing an opportunity. Studies show that nearly half of all email recipients decide whether to open or discard an email based exclusively on the subject line. A/B test your subject lines to a fraction (say 10 percent) of your email list. Depending on which version performs better, utilize the winning subject line for everyone else.

Mobile Friendly: With mobile now responsible for more than half of all email opens, it’s essential that you design for a mobile audience. According to Adestra, emails that display improperly on mobile due to poor formatting are likely to be deleted in under 3 seconds. If you don’t already, get a responsive email template and be sure to test your email’s appearance on mobile, tablet and desktop before you release it into the wild.

Clear Calls to Action: Your emails should communicate an unambiguous next step for the recipient. This CTA should indicate where the consumer is being sent and what they can expect. As a general rule, the fewer CTAs the better. If you do include multiple CTAs, make sure the most important one is the most visible. In that context, bold buttons that stand out against the rest of the creative are more effective than text links.

Keep it Brief: Like most types of media, shorter is better — especially when you consider that most recipients will be reading the email on mobile. Most consumers simply don’t want to read more than a few lines of a marketing pitch. Thrift copy wherever possible, highlight priority messaging in bold and never, ever bury the lead.

By Alex Altman

Learn more about email and other marketing tactics by reading our Insights blog.

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