Subject Line: This is something you should be doing for every email campaign to improve open rates. Seriously—do it.
- Send to a portion of your list to test which one receives higher open rates, and then send the remainder of your list the winning subject line.
- Test using a question instead of the usual statement lines.
- Try to keep it short since longer lines are truncated on mobile—especially iPhones and Galaxies.
- Consider being a little vague to pique interest and solicit the open.
- Test the way you case your messages to see what capitalizing all words will do.
Pre-Header/Teaser Text Line: This small piece of copy that shows as a preview in mobile inboxes and at the top of layouts in regular inboxes is often overlooked.
- Use bold action lines to promote a sense of urgency to encourage audiences to open your email campaign.
From Line: Consider the way you refer to yourself to see if it intrigues audiences and improves open rates.
- Consider something that shows value to the consumer. For example, if you send from “Company Name,” try something that denotes exclusivity in the name.
Day of the Week: If you’re sending campaigns every Friday at 4 p.m. EST, try to switch things up to see if a mid-week send will improve open rates.
- Make sure you keep as many things standard as you can, so if you always send out a campaign at 4 p.m. EST, change the day but keep the time the same as well as your typical subject lines and such.
Time of Day: The same principles apply here. Consider sending a campaign earlier or later in the day to see if you can improve your open rates.
- Try to keep the campaigns you test on the days of the week you normally send your campaigns.
- Try segmenting your campaigns by time zone to find the time that works best by region.
Personalization: This is so important that I probably should have included it twice. Personalization creates a level of relevancy in a sea of sameness; in fact, emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened.
- Try to include the recipient’s name, company, job title, and/or their location to help improve open rates.
- The same logic should apply to content contained within the email layout to increase click-through rate. Use something unique to them. Show content unique to their consumer behavior instead of generic messaging.
Message/Offer: Many of my favorite retailers disappoint me on a weekly basis by repeating the same offers each time. 30 percent off this, 30 percent off that. Test different offers or messaging to improve click rates.
- Reduce the number of offers. If you’re serving up too many offerings, audiences could be plagued by a choice paradox — which reduces a person’s likelihood of selecting an option if served too many.
- Switch up the offer by trying a bigger promotion on a few specific items. Sometimes the bigger numbers will draw higher clicks to your site.
- For messaging, I also recommend testing business speak against a more personal tone to see if you can better connect with your audience.
Layout: Aside from making sure your email campaigns are mobile responsive—which is so important—push the way you display your messaging to try to improve click-through rate.
- If your sends are usually dedicated to one message with a basic hero image and complimentary text, play with reducing the size of the main message and including additional related content and/or offers.
- Consider increasing the amount of imagery if your campaigns are text heavy. Or simply vary the image used in a specific area.
- Test which pieces of content will interest your audience the most (video, PDF, etc.)
CTA: To improve click-through rate, try manipulating the way you present your calls to action.
- Start with placement and move a usually lower CTA at the base of your email campaign to the top of the layout.
- Play with the color to see if it calls more attention to the action you want them to take.
- Push a sense of urgency and/or create FOMO (fear of missing out) by displaying expiration date or limited quantity available.
- If CTAs are underlined text, use buttons to draw their eyes to the idea of action.