When it comes to engagement, return on investment and of course, conversion rate, it’s hard to beat email campaigns. Properly done, they’re one of the most successful forms of digital marketing available.
Getting a good conversion rate through email marketing isn’t just a simple case of sending an email and waiting for the cash to roll in, though. A lot of work goes into conversion rate optimisation, gathering an audience, market research, layout, A/B testing and more.
You can also expect different types of emails to have different conversion rates. Some, such as newsletters, aren’t necessarily designed to convert by themselves, while others may just be poorly optimised.
If you’re aiming mostly for high-converting emails, however, here are a few types you should consider.
Personalising emails is about more than just drawing from a database of names; it’s about sending emails your customers actually want to receive. Whether you’re an ecommerce store, a B2B company or an independent blogger, you’re not going to sell anything to your audience that they don’t want. The trick is figuring out what they want and directing them to it.
You should personalise emails based on previous purchases and behaviour, or based on any relevant marketing data you have. If your customers have already bought something from you, show them a complementary product or service, or follow up with a similar offer when it’s time for them to start looking around again.
Even for B2B companies and bloggers, you should know what your audience is looking for. Study the emails they’ve opened in the past, and note the topics covered. Push more of those to them.
People are, of course, more likely to buy what they want than what they don’t want, but sadly this reality is often ignored. The result: generic, batch-sent emails with low conversion rates. Don’t fall into that trap. Personalise your email campaigns.
Following up with customers is a form of personalised email worth a category of its own. An individual follow-up email doesn’t necessarily have a high conversion rate itself, but the right email can – and the campaign as a whole will – certainly increase your conversions overall.
There are plenty of opportunities to follow up with customers and win their attention; abandoned shopping carts are a second chance to convince them to buy, either with a gentle reminder or, if you really want to seal the deal, a discount on the item they abandoned. Post-purchase emails can offer complementary products or services, and show that you care about the customer’s experience. A welcome email when a potential customer has just signed up can make them feel appreciated, and gives you the opportunity to point them towards specific areas of your site rather than passively waiting for the prospect to find them.
All in all, keeping in touch with your customers makes them feel valued, and allows you to personalise emails. Even if every single email doesn’t have a high conversion rate, the campaign as a whole will see your conversions increase.
One of the best ways to improve your conversion rates is to keep your emails simple. Overwhelming the customer with too many options leads to indecision and inactivity, causing people to navigate away from your site. This, of course, damages your conversion rate.
A simple email needs just a quick introduction along with relevant copy or pictures and a quick, obvious call to action. Any more risks overloading the senses. When people are directed to a single call to action, they’re more likely to click than when faced with too much choice.
Since most people browse their mobile during short bursts of free time, they’ll appreciate a simple email is. Getting them onto your site is the most important step towards converting them, so don’t turn them away at the first opportunity.
One of the simplest ways to increase conversions is by using your email marketing to send out coupons, deals and special offers. Becoming well known for sending out deals in email is also a great way of building your email list and increasing conversions through a combination of campaigns.
Special offers and discounts aren’t for everyone, but an occasional sale can increase interest when it’s starting to wane. Alternatively, you can use a personalised email campaign to send coupons to specific parts of your audience, either encouraging them to purchase something you know they want, or rewarding them for being loyal customers.
Be careful, however, not to offer too many deals. People may eventually become unwilling to pay full price, knowing that the next deal is just around the corner. While your conversion rates may increase, your conversion value will almost certainly drop. It’s important not to get so caught up in conversion rates that you neglect your bottom line.
Drip-email campaigns are a series of emails that follow on from one another, leading the customer along a particular path. They’re often used by bloggers and usually require sign-up. As with follow-up emails, a single email won’t normally have high conversion rates, but the series will.
An example drip-email campaign could consist of:
1. Welcome email
2. Our story (some information about you and your company)
3. Relevant tips and advice
4. How the customer can put your advice into practice
5. Promoting your service
Start off by letting the customer get to know you, draw them in with something useful, and finish with a promotion and a strong call to action. By the end, the customer should be hooked and ready to buy, much more so than if you just started at Step 5.
The great thing about drip campaigns is that they don’t necessarily need to be personalised or new. Once set up, you can keep drawing new customers in without additional work. Just make sure it doesn’t get too dated, and consider improving it from time to time.
It’s also worth remembering that quality and testing count. A well-made, complex, batch email that’s built on research can still outpace a poor attempt at personalisation. The most important factors in improving your conversion rates are making sure that you focus on quality, and learning from your campaigns.
Use the feedback and data you get to make each email better than the previous one, regardless of type. If your simple emails have lower conversion rates than your complex ones, maybe you shouldn’t be using simple ones. If you can’t personalise without it feeling forced, don’t turn customers off by trying.
You know your business better than anyone so use these tips as a starting point, not as a tick box to work your way through.