Step 1 — Test your subject lines
To increase your open rate you can test your email subject lines to see which types are the most effective. You can do this by sending your emails out in batches, with one batch receiving one subject line and the other a different subject line.
Step 2 — Format your emails well
Emails are read on different device types. Your emails need to be equally easy to read on a mobile device as they are on a desktop, and each of your call-to-actions (CTAs) need to be easy to click too.
Test sending plain text emails, emails with images, emails with lots of branding, and emails with videos.
Step 3 — Optimise the flow of your content
People scan emails like they do with blog posts and books, so test the flow of your emails too.
Some people scan emails using a classic F shape, from left-to-right, down, to the right, then down. Others follow a U shape, from top-to-bottom and then back up again.
Step 4 — Use your personality. Don’t be “brandy”
People hate boring generic emails from businesses so use some personality in your emails.
Step 5 — Personalise emails with names, etc
As well as using your personality, personalise your emails with your customer’s name.
Step 6 — Use incredible CTAs
Your CTAs REALLY have to catch the eye and make people want to click. If they’re not persuasive then nobody is going to give them any attention and click them.
Step 7 — Don’t use TOO MANY CTAs
Don’t go too crazy. Using too many CTAs can have the opposite effect on people, resulting in them ignoring them altogether.
Step 8 — Use urgency
Using a deadline for a discount or live event (in the case of free webinars, for example), can persuade people to act immediately rather than waiting to return to that email later in the day or week.
Step 9 — Test your CTAs
David Ogilvy once said, “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”, so you MUST keep testing your CTAs if you want to see your click-through rate increase.
Step 10 — Test your emails
Once you’ve tested everything to this point you really need to go back to the beginning and re-test everything again.
Never stop testing the format of your emails, or the type of language you use, or how many images you include.
Step 11 — Send your emails at the best time
Try sending emails at different times of the day to see when people are opening them. Depending on what your CTAs are, you may find that your people who open your emails in the morning don’t click your CTA, but people who open them in the evening do.
Step 12 — Re-send your emails to non-openers
Try re-sending your emails to people who haven’t opened your emails yet. Don’t do so on the same day (as some people just won’t have seen their emails yet), but a day or so afterwards should be perfectly fine.
Step 13 — Filter and segment your mailing list
Not everyone will love your content equally. Depending on your industry, some people may like some of your content but not everything, so separate them into different segments within your mailing list
Step 14 — Clean your email list
If people on your mailing list aren’t opening your emails and clicking on your CTAs then should they be on your mailing list?
You’re removing the people who, if they’re not going to open your emails are probably never going to convert anyway, so make your mailing list healthier and remove anyone who hasn’t been active for the last few weeks or months.
Step 15 — Refresh your emails
Old emails in your automated chain may not have been improved since you originally wrote them. It’s not uncommon for businesses to not have returned to improve their emails FOR YEARS so don’t fall into that trap.
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