Getting Email Subscribers to Act

What do successful email marketers want?

Actions. Clicks, conversions, purchases, shares, forwards – some type of engagement. You want your audience to actually respond to your message in some form or another. You want to sell products, get folks to access your blog, or have them sharing your message on Facebook.

So how can you grow your click-through and engagement rates in your emails? Let me start with this question –
Which of these two emails will get more clicks:

  1. One that has one call-to-action, a button, at the very bottom of the message.
  2. One that offers multiple ways to click through: actionable text, headers, and images are linked; there are buttons to click; Facebook Like is included; etc.

99% of the time, email “b” will get more clicks. Why? Because everyone responds to marketing messages differently. Some people will give up and delete your email without scrolling, so if they don’t see a call-to-action right away, you don’t stand a chance. Some people like big, shiny buttons. Some people will have images turned off, so they won’t even see your big, shiny buttons. Some people know that the header is usually (or should be) linked to your website, so they will automatically click there instead of any buttons, no matter how big and shiny. Some people will get excited about the bold, inviting copy in your messaging, which will prompt them to click more so than the big, shiny button that fails to impress them.

Giving recipients multiple ways to click through your email makes them much more likely to convert. According to the DMA, email marketing’s return on investment (ROI) is $40.56 for every $1.00 spent. However, you can’t achieve a strong ROI if you don’t give subscribers an enticing offer and make it easy for them to act on the offer.

11 different ways to allow subscribers to act on your emails:

  1. Include a can’t-miss button that tells people what you want them to do: “Shop women’s jewelry now,” “Learn More,” or “Get 50% off now.”
  2. Link your headers and top navigation to the appropriate section of your website (e.g., homepage, products page, etc.).
  3. Include preheader text that gives readers more information about the email’s content, and link it to your landing page.
  4. Link up article headlines and titles.
  5. Make your graphics clickable.
  6. Include a call-to-action above the fold so that readers don’t have to scroll in order to act.
  7. Optimize your email for mobile viewing. Hold your phone at arm’s length and see if you can spot the call-to-action and easily act on it.
  8. Do an A/B split test with two versions of your email. One might have buttons while the other has linked text. See what your subscribers best respond to.
  9. Make sure recipients can act on your email if images aren’t enabled. Include alt text, and link other elements of your email, not just images.
  10. Allow subscribers to share your emails via Facebook Like, Share with Your Network, Pinterest sharing, and other social capabilities.
  11. Do you mainly send to a B2B audience? Put emphasis on the View in Browser link. Let them know that they can view images if they’re not currently being displayed. Make it obvious.

What are other ways to get subscribers to respond to your emails?

Amy Garland
Services Account Manager, WhatCounts

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