When putting together the marketing strategy for your business, email marketing should be one of your best tools. Although there are plenty of marketing channels at your disposal, email marketing is a great way to communicate with your audience, but it can — and should — also be used as a channel for generating new leads.
While it’s a powerful strategy for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) advertisers, in order to convert more leads, you have to first get your readers to open your emails, and click through on them.
So how do you create that perfect email? What are some tips you can use to compel your readers to open your email when they have dozens of others in their inbox?
Put together by the team at 99firms.com, the following infographic provides efficient and effective tips — supported by case studies. Whether you’re just getting started with your email marketing strategy, or you’ve been doing it for years, here are 15 hacks that you can use to optimize every email you send.
Email marketing optimization hacks
According to Sikich, 70% of digital marketers see email as the top medium for return on investment (ROI) and 62% of B2B marketers plan to continue to increase spending for email marketing.
- 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line. However, 69% will report email as spam based solely on the subject line.
- Subject lines with only 3-4 words received the most responses (48%).
- Using emojis in the subject line boosts open rates by 45%.
- Emails with personalized subject lines are 16% more likely to be opened.
- Subject lines with movie titles and song lyrics have an open rate of 26%.
- Separating topics of your email can bring 74% more opens than trying to summarize them into a single sentence.
- Keep it short: 50 characters or less work best. 28-39 had the highest click rate in a study of 200 million emails.
- Using the word “alert” in subject lines can increase opens by 61.8%.
- Never “bait” user with inaccurate information or false promises.
- Avoid the words “miss” or “deals” in a subject line: they can decrease open rates by 4.8%.
- Open rates increase by 30% when using an email pre-header.
- Optimizing preview text can impact open rates by up to 45%.
- Start with a headline and keep it short.
- Leave it empty or repeat yourself.
- 68% of Americans open their email based on the “From” name they see.
- 42% of people around the world check out the sender name when deciding whether to open an email.
- 64% of subscribers claim they are likely to read an email because of who it’s from.
- Dedicated email address is the 4th most important trust factor for consumers.
- “From” name needs to be similar to your “From” email address.
- No-reply email address is known to decrease response rates and overall deliverability.
Segmentation: Choose the right targets
- Email segmentation gives better open rates, revenue, leads, transactions and deliverability.
- You’ll receive 15% less spam complaints with segmentation.
- Do segmentation of email lists by date (29.56% increase in open rates), interest (9.92% increase in open rates) and subscriber activity (10.44% increase in open rates).
- Don’t send all of your customers the same emails.
- Don’t make email segmentation overly complicated and time consuming.
- 94% of companies said that personalization is critical to current and future success.
- Personalized email marketing can increase an average ROI by 122%.
- Great email personalization starts with a customer or company name.
- Don’t use inaccurate information, it reduces the open rate.
Automation & triggering
- Companies using automation get 53% more conversions.
- Open rates for trigger emails are 95% higher than for traditional emails.
- Triggered emails drive 624% higher conversion responses.
- Send reminder (69% more orders), welcome (86% higher open rates), replenishment emails (open rates of 53.6%) and use holiday email marketing.
- Refresh your email list regularly. Email lists having +10% unknown user addresses get only 44% deliverability by ISPs.
- Don’t use triggering if the email doesn’t have to be delivered within a few seconds.
Buttons and call-to-action
- Emails with a single call-to-action (CTA) increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.
- Emails that included social sharing had a 115% higher click-through rate (CTR).
- Performable found that red CTAs boosted their conversion rate by 21%.
- Two-step unsubscribe reduces the email unsubscribe rate by 19%.
- Use valuable and actionable words such as “Download Now,” “Get Your Free Trial,” “Speak to an Expert,” or “Buy Now.”
- Don’t be too wordy.
- 55% of consumers turn on the images in the emails they receive.
- 65% of people prefer emails that contain mostly images rather than mostly text.
- Emails with 3 or less images and approximately 20 lines of text result in the highest CTR.
- Don’t make image files too large, as it can create significant spam and email deliverability issues.
- 51.9% of marketing experts worldwide name video as the type of content with the highest ROI.
- 59% of business executives prefer consuming your message via a video rather than written content.
- 64% of users are more likely to make a purchase online after watching a video.
- Video in email leads to a 200-300% increase in CTR.
- Use static images with a play button, animated GIF and use the words “video” in your subject line.
- Don’t embed a video in your email directly. Most big providers don’t support embedded video, so you risk ending up in the spam folder.
Fear of missing out
- Subject lines that create a sense of urgency boost open rates by 22% on average.
- The British are 39% more likely to open an email if it helps to relieve the fear of missing out.
- Create scarcity and urgency using words such as “Breaking” and “Order Today” in your email marketing campaign.
- Don’t yell at your customer (IN ALL CAPS).
- People are more likely to open your emails between 8pm and midnight.
- 61% of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly. And 15% would like to receive promotional emails every day.
- Experiment with various timings on different days of the week.
- Don’t send emails inconsistently.
- 42% of opens occur on mobile devices.
- In 2016, mobile opens rose to 56% while desktop opens remained at 19%.
- 1 of every 3 clicks within an email occurs on a mobile device.
- 55% of smartphone users have made at least one purchase after receiving a mobile promotional email.
- 70% of consumers delete emails that don’t render well on a mobile device.
- Optimize the size of your images for a faster download and test your emails across different devices and browsers.
- Don’t include downloadable resources. Downloading large PDF files can jam up mobile devices and bring the interaction to a screeching halt.
- Emails written at 3rd grade reading level are 36% more likely to get a reply.
- The best email length is between 50-125 words, all of which yeild response rates of over 50%.
- Ask your customers. Emails with 1-3 questions are 50% more likely to get replies.
- Don’t focus on the product only, don’t forget about the customer.
- A plain text email has a 25% higher open rate than HTML.
- More than 60% of email clients block images by default.
- Use a short plain text note coming from a real person on your team.
- Use at least one image inside of each email.
- Don’t use only images.
Email marketing fun facts & stats
Top subject line keywords by open rate
- “Upgrade” – 65.68%
- “Just” – 64.76%
- “Content” – 59.05%
- “Go” – 55.84%
- “Wonderful” – 55.1%
Top 4 email tools to deploy and measure the performance of the campaign
- Litmus: Basic $79, Premium $399
- MailChimp: Free up to 12,000 emails, Paid from $10 per month
- ReachMail: $10-70 per month
- CakeMail: 500 contacts for free, $8 per month paid
Top 5 average 2016 email marketing open rates in the US, by industry
- Pet and animal services: 22.1%
- Architecture and construction: 19.9%
- IT services: 18.8%
- Food, beverage and agriculture: 18.3%
- Entertainment: 8.3%
Time of checking emails by complimentary activity in the US in 2016
- Watching TV: 69%
- Bed: 57%
- Vacation: 79%
Looking to start an email marketing campaign and need some help?