Are you wondering how to make your email campaigns effective, and how to ensure they engage your members? Our article on email campaign analytics goes into a number of ways you can check how successful your campaigns are at reaching and engaging the people who receive them, but once you’ve gone and checked those numbers, one question remains: now what?
This article will discuss how to improve your click rates — that is, how often the members who open your emails go on to interact with the message by clicking a link inside. Often referred to as the CTR or click-through rate, this measurement is one you want to maximize.
Here are a few guidelines for maximizing your click-through rate:
Segment Your Audience
Remember that your audience is not a single, uniform group: customize your campaigns to fit different demographics and engagement levels. Creating a message that goes to loyal and engaged members should be a different process than designing a message trying to get disengaged members on board.
One of the single most effective tactics you can use in email marketing is creating a sense of urgency: invite the reader to act now to avoid missing an opportunity. Whether you’re alerting the reader to an event whose registration is ticking down to an early bird deadline, or suggest that the reader should buy something, giving them the impression that time is of the essence will motivate them to act sooner rather than later.
Use a Single Call to Action
By a call to action, we mean a statement that suggests an action to a reader: signing up for a mailing list, reading a petition or joining an event. A plea to your member with a clear way to take action helps get them emotionally involved: you have a cause, and they can help by taking this one single, clear action. Don’t overburden them: keep it to one suggestion. This will keep the message from being overwhelming or intimidating, and reduce it to a single action they can take without a lot of effort.
Don’t Rely on Images — But Do Use Them
Many email clients do not show images by default, as a matter of avoiding intrusion by unknown senders and as a way to cut email loading time. Design your emails while bearing in mind that they may show up without the images loaded, which means ensuring that the email contains enough text to get the point across.
That being said, images provide easy places for your readers to focus, and make your messages more attractive than plain text, so don’t make your message rely on them, but don’t neglect them, either.
One good practice for adding images is to use the option in the campaign editor that allows you to add ‘Alternate text’ to an image. This is a line of text that users will see if they hover over an image that has loaded, and if an image has not been loaded, the alternate text will appear in its place.
Test for Readability — and Don’t Forget Mobile Browsers
The email campaign editor contains a button at the top that allows you to preview the message or send it to select test recipients. Use this to preview the campaign from the browser you’re using to edit it, and check to make sure that the text is big enough and that the most important information is available at a glance. For more tips on increasing readability, consult this article for extra guidance.
As well, don’t forget how many people check their emails via mobile devices: try sending a sample email to yourself and opening it in a mobile browser. Make sure it’s readable on a mobile device, as you are liable to lose engagement from a significant part of your readership if the message can’t be seen properly on a phone.
Whatever your campaign aims to do, following these guidelines will help improve the rate at which members engage with your content, which helps keep your member base enthusiastic and involved.