In this weeks video we are going to delve into the topic of user engagement. In other words; what tips, tricks and tools can we use to boost the amount of your subscribers; opening, reading and interacting with your mailer.
Getting users to engage with our email is always the end goal. But it does not end there. Email service providers such as outlook, gmail, yahoo and more are constantly monitoring how your subscribers are engaging with your mailer. Better engagement is rewarded by better inbox placement for your mailer, so this is always one to keep an eye on.
So, let’s find out how we can become the masters of email engagement. For this weeks video, we have put together our top 10 tips:
1. Be human.
Always send from a real person. Your subscribers will be more receptive and give you greater attention if you can demonstrate that your lovingly created newsletter was created and sent by a real person, not a faceless robot. So how do we achieve this?
Your send from email address, should be your normal day to day email address so firstname.lastname@example.org, always avoid generics such as marketing@. The send from name, should also be your name, not the name of your company.
Along with this promoting better subscriber engagement. Email service providers spam filters will score you more positively.
However, there is one scenario where this does not apply, if you are a household name such as M&S, research shows it is better to use your household name.
2. Subject line. Go long or short.
This is a fairly new one, for years we have always been told that your subject line should be around 60 characters long.
New research is showing us the opposite. Longer and shorter subject lines are attracting better read rates, with subject lines less than 49 characters 12.5% higher than the average. and longer subject lines trigger up to 75% higher click through rate.
3. Stay on topic.
On average you have 11 seconds of your subscribers attention before they either click through to your website, or bin your mailer. Those 11 seconds are your make or break.
For this reason, keep your content text brief, clear and to the point. Large walls of text will deter your subscribers from taking the time to read your mailer. Always remember to well paginate your mailer with plenty of white space to make it easy to pick out key points and navigate.
4. Pride of place for call to action.
Avoid burying your call to action in the footer or right at the bottom of your mailer. While that is always the temptation, make your point, then position your call to action after. Ensure that your call to action, or duplicate of your call to action is placed above the fold. So in the top section of your mailer before the screen will cut it off.
Not all subscribers will scroll down to the bottom of your mailer. So always ensure your call to action is visible without a page scroll.
5. Hot link Intros.
As a subscriber, the first few lines of your mailer is where your eye will fall first. If it sparks interest, you will continue reading. Include hot links or web links to your website inside the first few words. This is the area that gains most attention and will prompt a higher click through rate.
6. Be inspired with your call to action.
Click here, call us, submit etc are just dull and as a result not likely to gain much interest. Take the time to come up with a clear call to action button that is inspired and meaningful. Perhaps phrases such as ‘Join in’ or ‘Let’s get creating’. Focus on something that is applicable to your business while at the same time inspired and positive.
7. Don’t over use colours.
Colours draw attention to your mailer, that is great, but don't over use bright colours. Have a pre-defined colour palette for your mailer and stick to it. One or two bright colours followed by several more subdue colours, such as greys and blacks for text.
Use bright colours for the focus points of your mailer, such as our call to actions as previously discussed. If everything has a bright colour, your mailer is going to look like a paint by numbers, key points and important areas will just get lost in a sea of colours.
Plan your colour palette and stick to it.
8. Get personal, get accurate.
Use mail merge fields inside your email to create a more personal tailored feel. For example, address the email to your subscriber such as … dear bob. Also intersperse additional mail merge data such as the customers company name, shopping habits or perhaps date of birth if it is a birthday email.
Making your email more personal will promote engagement. But if you are doing this, make sure your data is accurate. This weekend I am going away for a short break, yesterday the hotel sent an email to remind me of my booking and say that they are looking forward to seeing me. This is one of the big hotel chains in the UK. They personalised both the body of the email with my name and the subject line, or tried to. My name was correct in the body of the email, but i had someone else name entirely in the subject line. This looks very bad.
9. One call to action.
Outline the target of your mailer before creating it. As we mentioned, you have on average 11 seconds of your subscribers attention to convey your message. This is not long, it is not enough time to get across multiple call to actions. Keep it simple and stick to one clear call to action. If you have other points you want to make, then do a mailer tomorrow featuring your next call to action. Bundling your mailer with multiple call to actions will make it come across as muddled, especially when you only that that 11 seconds of attention.
10. What’s in it for me.
Remember to focus on the benefits for your reader. Your subscribers really do not care if you have a new website or re-designed your logo.
Your mailer should focus on what the benefit is to your subscribers. If you have a new feature on your website, that is great, talk about how this will help your customers and what benefits it will bring to them.