Best Practices for Maximizing Open Rates and Click-Through Rates

April 30, 2020 in Digital Marketing

It’s hard to believe that we’re well on our way to the midpoint of 2020, and despite the technological advances that we’ve made in marketing and the absolute dominance of social media, that 93% of B2B marketers still rely on email as a primary marketing distribution method. With companies having spent over $350M on email advertising in 2019, though, marketers just can’t make the argument of letting the medium fade away when more than 59% of marketers say that email provides the bulk of their marketing ROI. 

So, we agree that email marketing is here to stay. If you’re using email marketing as part of your inbound strategy, are you getting the open rate you need to achieve your goals? Do you want to increase your open rate, the metric that impacts your click-through rate and every subsequent performance metric related to successful email marketing? GoingClear Interactive wants to help you achieve your goals, and so we’ve compiled this list of best practices for maximizing your email open rate and how to then increase your click-through rates to build up your conversion rate and drive sales to the bottom line. 

If You Send The Right Email, They Will Open It

Because it is one of the last bastions of personal data consumers maintain, and because it is so abused by less scrupulous marketing companies, people tend to protect their email addresses more than any other piece of personal contact information. Throughout your inbound marketing campaign’s various components, calls to action that include inviting readers to opt into receiving exciting and relevant content will help to open that door. But once you’ve got potential customers’ emails, how do you capture their attention and increase their exposure to the next step in the marketing chain? In order to achieve and exceed the American average email open rate of 19%, we’ve broken down some of the most important and effective best practices below.  

Leverage Your CRM Platform to Create Well Groomed, Segmented Lists

You’ve been gathering leads for weeks, leveraging your calls to action and making sure that the forms are capturing as much relevant information about your potential clients as possible. They are already invested and interested in your brand, so all you have to do is send them the right content, right? How do you do that? You make sure that you use the data you’ve captured to create very specific lists targeting user demographics, purchasing habits, or any other number of actionable details you might have on them. 

It’s important to make clear that you’ve worked hard to build and shape your CRM database with clients from all across your inbound marketing campaign. The last thing you should do, no matter how much you might want to ramp up your email campaigns, is purchase leads. While this might seem to maximize your exposure at first glance, think about the relationships you have spent the time and effort to forge with your existing database, only to then dump on top of it strangers that you don’t know and who aren’t familiar with your brand. This will only result in a lower open percentage. Similarly, periodically review your database to ensure accuracy – check to make sure people are still in position and with the same company and that there are no obvious address errors. Use the email campaign’s report to identify addresses that are no longer valid in order to save costs so you aren’t paying to send to non-existent subscribers.  

Make It Look Personal and Stay Out of the Spam Filter

While you might be using an email automation tool to craft targeted content to send out en masse to the aforementioned segmented list, your email doesn’t have to sound like that’s what you’re doing. Your email should be sent from an individual, not a company, and it should read as if you’re a personal contact, reaching out to offer help or guidance. It similarly should be sent to an individual, rather than to a department or a company in general. The less like an advertisement your email looks, the more likely it will at least be opened and read. This applies to not only the recipient and sender information, but also to the subject line – avoid sales language like “sale”, “free”, “deal” and similar verbiage to keep your email clear of spam filters.  

Be Engaging In Your Content, and Offer Unique Value 

While appealing to the recipient’s self esteem in the subject line and recipient fields, the body of the email is your time to shine. Become known by your readership for providing well-informed, entertaining, and engaging content, and your open rate will blossom. Avoid lazy repetitive content they can find elsewhere and most importantly, do not under any circumstances send your mailing list nothing but promotions of your brand. If you only ever try to sell to your list and never give back your expertise, your emails will quickly find their way into the trash bin or marked as spam. 

Give Them Something to Click On

Now that you’ve done what you can to invite your subscribers to open your email, you’ve got to get them to move to the next step in the chain by clicking on a link in the email. Your goal is for at least 3% of your readers to click on your call to action in the email – while industry averages range from much higher to far lower, 3% is the average CTR in the United States. Some ways to maximize the CTR include:

  • Focus on a responsive, mobile-friendly format, as most recipients will first view and decide whether to interact with your email on a mobile device. If it’s not optimized for mobile viewing, they won’t be able to quickly and easily engage with your content.
  • Don’t depend on images to convey your message. Images are often blocked and can throw off your presentation altogether.
  • Break content into easily scannable sections, and use subheadings to increase readability.
  • Leverage your great content to not only inform but guide the reader to the next step in their customer journey. Interactive content with invitations to click on images or data will have them making a beeline for your sales team. 
  • Leverage social media sharing links to expand the scope and reach of your marketing content. 
  • Research industry trends in consumer behavior for your segment and schedule your emails to be sent out at the peak of activity of your target audience. Sent at the right time, you can increase your open rate and CTR, as well as build trust with your readership.
  • A/B Test everything. One of the most powerful tools you have with email marketing is the ability to send out several variations of your Call to Action and focus future efforts around whichever approach has the greatest impact to your bottom line.   

Great Emails, Better Click Through Rates, The Best Partnership 

The Boston digital marketing landscape is as vibrant and competitive as you could expect from a city with such a long history of commerce. In order to stand out from the competition, GoingClear Interactive knows that we have to bring value to our clients that they won’t find with other digital marketing agencies. When it comes to email marketing and maximizing ROI on such a vital cornerstone of any client’s marketing infrastructure, our team understands the delicate balance that has to be struck in order to create effective and timely email marketing campaigns that don’t overstep customer communications boundaries. Reach out to our team today to find out why our clients rely on us for all of their marketing needs. 

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