80% of retail professionals say email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention, and customers who purchase through emails spend 138% more than those who don’t receive them. Getting your emails right is one of the most important steps you can take to win over customers and to build loyalty. But, the fact is, your customers’ inboxes are overflowing with promotional emails. According to The State of Personalization in Email report by Dynamic Yield Reporting, about half of consumers in North America receive between 5 and 15 emails a day. 25% receive 15 or more.
And, they’re usually only clicking through on one or two of those emails, if that. 41.6% of respondents click through to a retail site or app once or twice a day and nearly 35% aren’t clicking through at all. Less than one-third click through more than two times a day. How can you make your emails attractive enough to open and motivating enough to click through to your website or app?
Send Emails at the Right Time
One of the simplest changes you can make to your email marketing strategy is to refine your timing. When are you setting your automation software to send emails to your customers? If it’s first thing in the morning or even during the workday, you’re probably missing out on the majority of the engagement you could be getting.
45% of consumers claim the only time they’re likely to interact and click through to make a purchase is after work. That early evening, after dinner time is prime time for browsing on smartphones or getting on a computer to check emails and make any purchase decisions.
After dinner and before bed is still a wide time span. Test your timing with your email contact list. What percentage of your emails are opened when you send them out at six in the evening, 7:30, 8:30? Once you find your timing sweet spot, periodically test your email timing to make sure you are using the clock to your brand’s advantage. Research can point you in the right direction, but it is rigorous testing that will pinpoint the unique preferences of your customers.
Keep the Special Deals Coming, But Make Sure They Are Actually Special
If you want to stand out in your customer’s inbox as the most attractive email, don’t underestimate the power of the classic promo offer. Research shows that 55% of consumers enjoy targeted promotions and discounts. But, there’s a catch. Your promotions need to be personalized for the user. With a CRM that uses AI to deliver predictive analytics, you can learn what offers your customers are the most likely to respond to, creating highly targeted offers so relevant that your recipients come to anticipate them.
Personalized offers aren’t just attractive, they’re expected. Offer a promo for your coffee products to your customers who are heavy tea drinkers and you’re probably going to see your unsubscriber list grow. Use your CRM to identify what people like and to predict what new offers they will appreciate the most and your brand will never succumb to your customers’ junk folder.
Never Stop Optimizing Your Email Subject Lines
Think you’ve figured out the perfect email subject line formula for your customers? There’s a sense of urgency. You use numbers, offers, and keywords that your customers identify with. And, more people are opening your emails. So, you settle.
However, that’s where you make the fatal error. With email subject lines, the way to make them appealing is to keep testing and refining. They are too important not to stay laser-focused on – nearly half of email recipients will use the subject line as the sole factor in deciding if they will open your email or not. 69% will decide to make your email as spam, not because of the content inside but because of the impression the subject line gives them.
Keep up with the A/B testing. Decide your factors to test (odd or even numbers, number of characters, first-name usage or ‘you’, localization, free or not free, the possibilities are pretty endless), isolate, and never stop testing.
Don’t forget, what your recipients are the most responsive to will change over time. Even when you think you can settle on one subject line feature, you’ll still want to test it out against alternatives periodically.
Make Your Email Messaging Authentic
In a digitized, automated, AI-driven world, a personal touch is more powerful than ever. When a customer has become a highly qualified lead or has been a loyal customer, reach out with a manual message.
Of course, you have limited resources for this high level of outreach. That’s where technology comes in. Use your CRM to score your leads and customers. When someone hits a certain level or set of criteria, you can create an individualized message to send out. This way you can give your best customers that human touch, making a huge impression, without overextending your marketing team’s resources.
Keep Community in Mind
Why do customers like getting branded emails? Sure, the discounts are great. Learning about a new product that they’d be interested in is helpful. Well-written and curated newsletters offer value and insights.
But there’s more to email marketing than getting something. It’s also about identifying and connecting to something. Your brand community. People like to be a part of something bigger – a community of other like-minded individuals with shared interests and tastes.
Make this larger community a part of your email campaigns to motivate people to keep tapping into your brand. Let them know about branded events. Use contests and other forms of gamification to keep them involved. Share the best user-generated content from your social media profiles in your email newsletters to invite further engagement with your brand. And, to let them know there’s a whole world to be discovered – if they just keep clicking on those emails.