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How to improve your email marketing performance

Email is a proven marketing method, but how do you know if your email marketing efforts are getting the desired results? Here’s how to determine your email marketing performance and get better results every time you hit send with seven proven methods. 

Critical metrics for email marketing include:

  • Open up rate: The percentage of individuals who open your email out of the overall number of people who got it
  • Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of individuals who click on a link or call to action in your email compared to the number of people who received it.
  • Click-to-open rate (CTOR): The percentage of individuals who click on a link or call to action in your email compared to the variety of people who open it.

According to a 2019 research by GetResponse, the average email open rate across all industries in the United States is 18.39%, and the average CTR is 2.78%. A 2019 analysis of emails sent through Constant Contact’s platforms found an average open rate of 13.94% and MailChimp’s 21.33%. MailChimp’s emails had an ordinary CTR of 2.62%. To measure CTR, you should aim for a 10-15% range.

Open and click-through rates depend on various factors, including industry. According to MailChimp, emails about arts, government, hobbies, and religion have the highest open rates, and click-through rates are highest in hobbies, media and publishing, government, and gaming. Constant Contact’s highest open rates were in religion, elementary and secondary education, and government or services. Transportation and publishing emails received the most clicks. 

Here is what you can do to enhance the performance of your email campaigns

1. Optimize for mobile devices

The majority of all emails are opened on mobile devices. So if you don’t optimize your emails for mobile users, you’ll quickly alienate a large portion of your audience.

To ensure a good user experience for subscribers who open your emails on mobile devices, create your emails with a responsive template, use a simple font, reduce the size of image files, keep content concise, and make buttons and phone numbers clickable and easy to read.

Before sending your emails to your entire subscriber list, test sends them to different mobile platforms and devices to ensure everything looks and works as it should.

2. Avoid spam filters

Spam filters prevent people from receiving emails they never requested, but many legitimate emails get caught in them, too. According to ReturnPath, about 21% of reputable emails are marked as spam and never reach the inbox.

The most important way to avoid emails ending up in the spam folder is to permit to send emails – make sure you have an explicit opt-in form when collecting emails, and don’t send emails to people who haven’t explicitly agreed or asked for it.

Don’t use deceptive or misleading subject lines – make sure the content of your email delivers what you promise in the subject line, and don’t use a subject line that makes it seem like the email is from a friend or co-worker or refers to a job or urgent matter that doesn’t exist.

Run your email via a spam filter like IsNotSpam or the GlockApps Email Spam Tester before sending it to catch any problems.

3. Use a double opt-in for subscriptions

Many landing pages, websites, and welcome emails use a simple opt-in form to attract more email subscribers. With a single opt-in, new emails are added to the subscriber list when another action is taken, such as placing an order. In these cases, a line may inform the user to add them to a subscriber list if they provide their email address and a checkbox that they can uncheck, but it is usually checked by default.

While signing up once is easier and faster, there is a risk that people will add to your subscriber list who didn’t know they signed up to receive emails and therefore unsubscribe later or even report your emails as spam.

To weed out people who have unintentionally signed up for your emails, you should use a double sign-up for subscriptions that asks subscribers to confirm their email address and subscription choice, rather than just adding them after a single click.

4. Write compelling subject lines

According to one report, 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. Subject lines should convey the value the recipient will receive when they open it and, ideally, convey a sense of mystery or urgency.

There is no set rule for subject line length, except that a shorter one (five words or less) is better for mobile users, so test what length works best for your email campaigns.

5. Clean up your subscriber list

If you haven’t checked your email recipient lists recently, you could be sending emails to invalid or inactive addresses or to people who no longer want to receive emails. Perform an email purge to ensure all addresses are valid and consider using a list purge service to remove uninterested subscribers from your list to avoid hard bounces.

To prevent people from unsubscribing, marking your emails as spam, or simply ignoring them, send a friendly reminder email asking your subscribers if they still want to hear from you.

6. Create triggered campaigns

Trigger-based emails are sent automatically when a specific action is completed. Signing up for an email newsletter could trigger a welcome email, a purchase could trigger a thank you email, or an abandoned cart could trigger a follow-up offer to get the customer to complete the transaction.

Studies show that triggered emails have higher open rates and are exceptionally effective at driving conversions and generating revenue.

7. Get personal

Personalized subject lines have increased open rates by up to 50% and click-through rates by 58%. That doesn’t have to be the usual “Hello, [first name]” greeting – you can also personalize the subject line by location, birthday, recent transactions, or other data you’ve collected about the user.

You can also personalize your emails by using a natural person’s name as the return address, signing it with your name, and segmenting your list to target your audience’s specific interests and preferences with tailored offers and content.

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