Boost email click through rates with these top tips

Designing a solid email template that maximises reader engagement and click through rates, can be daunting.

If you do not have the required HTML skills and design flair then using pre-designed templates from email marketing providers such as MailChimp and SendGrid is a good start.

However, there are a lot of factors to consider when creating yours, so here are our top tips to boost your CTR’s and help you get the most out of email marketing.

Establish a theme

When it comes to the use of colours, tone of voice and words used in your email, consistency is key.

Ensure they reflect the ethos of your brand because when aligned with your company values, you will not only create a sense of familiarity with promoters of your brand, but it will maximise engagement with new subscribers too.

Keep it simple, stupid

KISS is a term that has been around for an age, and for good reason! Simple design can be beautiful, so minimise load times by avoiding pixel heavy images and stick with widely recognised typefaces such as Times New Roman, Calibri and Arial.

This will prevent a messy visual display. Designing your template for mobile is also becoming more and more important with nearly 68% of all emails being opened on a mobile device in the third quarter of 2016.

Check how your images and text render on a smaller screen, are they readable? Also, ensure your template is no wider than 600 pixels, which helps scalability across operating systems, browsers and email providers.

Avoid CSS & JS

Embedding CSS and Scripts into your email is a big no-no when it comes to email structure and design. Yes, you will need to use some media queries for responsiveness, but relying on CSS to do the hard work for you will only create more complications.

Stick to old school HTML such as tables, using minimal inline CSS and always check how your email displays across all major providers such as Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo.

If this type of coding falls outside of your remit, then there are a huge amount of free templates available online.

Above the fold

The top most section of your template is the first thing a reader will see when they open up an email from you, so it cannot be overlooked.

It is within this 500-600 pixels of content nirvana that must contain your company logo, an incentive-led header, preferably with an image, as well as a call to action to prompt a response and get that click.

First impressions really matter and they will have made a decision within a few seconds on whether they are going to continue reading or not, so make it count.

Create space for your content

It is a fact that readers will quickly skim your email in an ‘F’ formation, so it should be easy to do so with lots of space between images and text.

Make sure any images you do use are crisp, with simple, bulleted lists of text and short paragraphs. Your most important information should fall within the first two blocks of text and as your audience will rarely read it in its entirety, use as few words as possible to get your message across quickly.

Do not hide the unsubscribe

In the UK it is against the law to hide or omit the unsubscribe button on all you email marketing activity, with serious consequences for those who breach it.

Most email marketing services such as MailChimp, will not allow you to even send your campaign without one. So despite it being a legal requirement, it makes your reader fell more secure that the email communications provided are law abiding.

Encourage sharing

Econsultancy recently published a study that found that emails containing 3 or more social sharing buttons were likely to get a 55% higher click through rate.

These buttons should form a critical part of your template structure and optimal placement will depend on the content in the email, so it will be wise to undertake some simple A/B testing.

Ensure you give your customers an incentive to share because generally speaking, they only care about the immediate value to them.

Small steps, big results

No matter what your current email marketing strategy is, it is worth taking a look at how you can tweak and optimise what you currently have to improve the viability of your campaigns and boost performance.

Relevant, well written content, correctly positioned call to action and sharing buttons will facilitate engagement and massively improve your bottom line.

Do not expect changes overnight, it takes time and energy to refine and perfect the email marketing process.

For support with your email marketing strategy, contact EpicGeek today.

5 ways LinkedIn can boost your bottom line

If you sell products or services to other businesses, then LinkedIn is the social network you need to put the most time into.

With over 450 million professionals worldwide using LinkedIn, it is the best marketing channel for creating B2B leads and creating an account does not take long, plus it is free!

Here are our top tips to help you get the most out it.

Optimise your profile and create an interactive company page

As you add people to your network they will receive a notification regarding your connection request.

In their profile dashboard, they will see a mini preview of you containing your name, title, and the start of the message you sent.

Most will click through to the full message or your profile so ensure you have a professional picture, a well written title or professional headline and message.

linkedin-profile-preview

Now you need to create a LinkedIn company page which offers you something unique to other social channels – it is not feed driven, which means it will only change when you add to it, allowing you to pick and choose what your customers see.

Create a suitable banner image, company description and make sure you post regular content to start a conversation, and create word of mouth for your business.

Also include the URL to your website

Create a group

Creating a group on LinkedIn is much more of a long-term commitment, however maintaining it only takes a few minutes each week.

Try to create a group that will benefit all of your potential customers and make sure the title sounds prestigious enough to entice them to actually accept your invitation. For example, I have created a group called ‘Leading Web & App Concepts’.

Once you have created the group, and added people to it, start to seed it with relevant content, writing a quick introduction for each of the articles.

Don’t forget to engage with your group and keep the conversation going. You should aim to have 5-10 people who post regularly on your group without any prompting from you.

Also ensure you start posting in other groups, offering advice to those who need it, aligning your products or services as solutions and becoming a thought leader you are boosting your reputation and greatly increasing your chance of success.

Create a hit list

You can build up a like-minded network on LinkedIn with ease because you can see how you are connected with other members through second and third-degree connections.

LinkedIn is also perfect for searching for potential customers using the “Advanced Search” functionality.

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There are a number of filters that you can use but I would recommend starting with Title, Location and Industry. Once you have compiled your list and copied their information into a spreadsheet we are ready to initiate the first point of contact.

Perfecting your first impression

Previously we discussed what our basic invitation request looks like and this is where our group comes into play.

The goal is to connect with as many professionals in our list as possible and we can maximise the acceptance rate by adding our group title into our headline:

James Waterhouse

Managing Director of EpicGeek. Founder of Leading Web & App Concepts

Sounds good right? Not only can someone see who I am but they can see that I have a professional interest in what I do and that I am active in that particular community.

Now you have to write a couple of sentences to form your message. Look at their profile, find common ground and mention that in your invitation:

Hi (name), I have come across your profile on LinkedIn and know we would both benefit from connecting with each other. I can see that like me, you work in London and if you are open to it, I would love to connect. Thanks, James.

The character limit to each message is 300 characters, so try not to make it any longer than the one above.

Build personal relationships

The main purpose of everything we do on LinkedIn is to build a list of potential leads, but in order to get to the stage where you can request a phone call or a meet-up with one of your connections takes some time.

You should have sent between 5 and 6 messages before they will feel comfortable enough for you to ask for this.

Some good message ideas to develop this relationship are:

1) A follow up message thanking them for connecting, and an invite for them to join your group.

2) Resources – Send them some useful content that they will benefit in their professional life.

3) Upcoming events – Keep them informed on upcoming discussions and changes to your business. Let them know you value their opinion.

Five tips to help maximise email open rates

Email marketing should play a definitive role in every communications strategy.

This means optimising open, bounce and unsubscribe rates in a more and more digitally competitive and spam-intolerant world, has become a priority for small to medium sized businesses looking to connect with existing customers and attract new ones.

With this in mind, here are five top tips to help you maximise your email open rates and bolster your ROI.

Quality not quantity

Purchased email lists are a sure-fire way to poor open and click through rates and high reports of spam. Grow your email lists organically, because customers who choose to opt in to your emails, will be the most engaged.

You can do this by not only placing sign up forms on your website – on the homepage or in the footer but also on social media, enticing people in using special offers, discounts and support.

Make sure you follow through with your promises and you will start seeing significant results.

Segment and clean your lists

Chances are you will have already identified your customer personas, what they are interested in and what their pains are.

As a marketer, segmenting or aligning your lists into these personas or even by purchase activity, demographics or where they are in the sales pipeline, they are much more likely to open your email.

Furthermore, clean your lists by optimising the un-subscription process. This means giving recipients the option to unsubscribe from a certain email type rather unsubscribe completely.

Time is of the essence

The best time to send your email campaign depends on the nature of your business and the type of person you are sending it to.

At EpicGeek, we find the best times to be around 11am on a Tuesday and Thursday and according to MailChimp these are their highest sending volume days, but with better opening rates occurring between 2pm and 5pm.

The best way you can understand your ‘optimal opening hours’ is by doing some simple A/B testing at different times of day over the course of the week.

Make sure you respect your customers as well. Do not email them every day or eventually they will just ignore you or worse still unsubscribe.

First impressions always count

When you meet someone for the first time, you have a mere seven seconds to make a positive first impression and with email marketing this is no different.

The first two elements of a campaign that a recipient sees before opening any email is the subject line and the name of the person sending it.

Get creative with your subject lines, do not oversell, do not use the words ‘Free’ or ‘BUY NOW’ and do not use ALL CAPS or exclamation marks as these will almost certainly get your email placed in the spam folder.

Instead, provide a reason or incentive for them to open, position yourself in the mindset of your customer. The harsh reality is that the end user does not care about your conversions, but only about the immediate value, how your email can benefit them.

Secondly, ensure you change the name of your sender to something more personal, something your customers will recognise. The generic sales@ or info@ should be ditched, so instead opt for the first name of your Chief Exec or Marketing Manager.

Content is king

Keep your email short and sweet, do not oversell but clearly demonstrate how you can benefit your customers.

No, this will not maximise your initial open rates, but useful content and keeping the dialogue open by asking for feedback for example, will entice your customers and keep them interested.

For support with your email marketing strategy, contact EpicGeek today.