Email Marketing Tips That Will Increase Your Opens, Clicks, and Sales

Contributed content / By Daniel Ndukwu / 11 June 2020

Get more out of your email marketing campaigns by using the simple yet powerful strategies outlined in this article. Get more out of your email marketing campaigns by using the simple yet powerful strategies outlined in this article. 

Email marketing is often touted as the most effective online marketing channel available. It beats social media, SEO, and content marketing — but many businesses are underperforming.


Brands can make $44 for every $1 invested in email marketing. When done properly, those results are well within reach. The problem is that email marketing tools are getting more complicated and the inbox is getting more crowded. 

I’ve helped clients and customers bridge those gaps and want to share those insights with you. This article takes a deep dive into actionable email marketing tips that include segmentation, engagement strategies, crafting email sequences, and areas to test that will improve your ROI across the board. 

5 Tips That Will Take Your Email Marketing to the Next Level:

 

  1. Segment your email subscribers by behavior 
  2. Resend emails to people who didn’t open the last one
  3. Create an email series to keep people engaged 
  4. Split test your emails 
  5. Take advantage of the P.S.

1. Segment Your Email Subscribers by Behavior


Traditionally, the most common segmentation method was based on demographics. The problem is that two people with the same income, age, family status, etc. may have completely different wants and needs. 

That’s why behavioral segmentation is so powerful. It lets you personalize your messages based on actions individuals have taken. 

There are many ways to go about it.


Those Who Cannot Get Enough of Specific Pages


Email subscribers are raising their hands and telling you they’re interested in what you’re offering. This goes beyond what they click on and takes their browsing behavior into consideration. 

Look at the frequency of their visits and set up triggers that start email sequences once someone has visited a specific page at least twice. If you know the average number of times someone visits before purchasing then set a number slightly lower than that as the trigger.

Pro tip: Layer on dwell time as an email trigger. For example, instead of sending emails if someone visits the page twice, they need to visit twice plus stay for one minute before they’ll get the triggered emails.

Opening Emails or Clicking Links

If you’re like most organizations, you have multiple lead magnets or offers. You take advantage of content upgrades, dedicated landing pages, and more to grow your mailing list. You can use that information to segment people, but they may have multiple interests. 

For example, a website that shares insights about list building, traffic generation, and conversion rate optimization (CRO) may have multiple lead magnets. If someone signs up for list building, that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in conversion rate optimization.

The solution is simple. Send out a variety of emails and track the ones they open or click through. If you see they’re opening emails about traffic generation but ignore CRO then you can assume those are the topics they’re interested in. 

You can also ask about their preferences directly. For example, after someone signs up for a list building blueprint, send a welcome email that asks what they’re most interested in.  

CRO Email

In this email, we ask new subscribers what their goal is so we can send tailored content to them.

Proper customer segmentation can help you send the right message to the right person but what happens when they don’t open that message? You resend it. 

2. Resend Emails to People Who Didn’t Open the Last One


According to Radicati, there are 124.5 billion business emails and 111.1 billion consumer emails sent every single day. The average office worker receives over 100 emails a day. 


There’s a deluge of emails and there’s no guarantee — no matter when you send your messages — that it’ll be seen by the recipient. 


When seen, it may not be a top priority at that moment. Even if they have plans to revisit it later, it may not happen because life is busy. 

Increase your total open rate by resending a similar email to the recipients who didn’t open the initial one after a few days. In fact, plan ahead and create an email to specifically send to those recipients.
 MailChimp Screenshot


In this example, Dermaflage received 30% more opens by sending an email with the same message a few days later. 


Don’t send the exact same email to subscribers that didn’t open. Use a different subject line and tweak the content within the email to improve your opens and click-through rate even further. 


3. Create Email Series to Keep People Engaged


TV shows that stand the test of time are good at doing something you may or may not realize. They end episodes in a way that makes you want more so you’re excited about the next episode. 

My question is this. What’s stopping you from making your email marketing just as exciting? 

Nothing. 

There are multiple ways to go about this:

1.    Email Courses


Email courses allow you to educate your subscribers about a specific topic or series of topics while introducing them to your products and services. 

They can be useful for everything from e-commerce to B2B and SaaS software. It can also be made as plain text emails or even a series of videos. Below, NuSchool targets designers.

Get What You're Worth As a Designer
 
NuSchool offers a 7-day email course targeted at creative professionals. The course effectively focuses on a single topic that its audience struggles with.


When you’re creating an email course, there are a few things to keep in mind:
•    It should be between 7–21 days
•    It should address a specific customer pain point
•    It should tie in with a product or service you’re selling.


Keeping these in mind and actually using them in your email course will do wonders.


2. Create an email series to keep people engaged 


Challenges are as effective as email courses. People sign up with the understanding that they’ll only get results by participating. 

With an email course, a few people will put the lessons into practice but the percentage that takes action during a challenge is much higher.  

The image below shows how you can structure the challenge sign-up page.

Free 21 Day ChallengeSource

The challenge lasts for 21 days and shows what participants will gain. You can choose any amount of time for your challenge but it has to last long enough for people to get a result. 

For example, it wouldn’t make sense to create a 7-day “everything there is to know about SEO” challenge. However, you could create a 7-day writing challenge to help build the foundation for a writing habit. 

Challenges are a unique opportunity to naturally pitch relevant products. Think about what your customers struggle with and use that as the focus of your challenge. 


4. Split Test Your Emails


Split testing is considered an advanced and difficult methodology but it doesn’t have to be. The process is simple. Take an email, change a single element, and set a goal. Whichever one achieves that goal more often (in terms of percentages) is the winner.


When to A/B Test Emails 


It may not be useful to A/B test individual email blasts with a small list. The data pool is too small. 


Rather, focus on your evergreen email campaigns. For example, your abandoned cart automations, welcome series, and product sales sequences are great starting points. 


Even if you don’t have a large list today, it’ll grow over time. That means you’ll be able to collect statistically relevant data. 


What Should You Split Test?


This is the million-dollar question. As with any A/B testing campaign, there are many email A/B testing ideas to try. Here are a few suggestions that’ll produce the highest impact.


Subject Lines and Preheader Copy 


In the example below, Profitwell tested both the subject line and the preheader copy to promote the latest episode of their show. 

Neel from ProfitWellSource

Notice how both of these subject lines have the same driving point. However, one is more likely to get more opens than the other. It’s up to you to figure out how to implement that in your subject lines.


Email Content

 
Test the following elements first:

  • Length of the email
  • Imagery
  • Angle you use (for example, free shipping or $15 off)
  • Plain text links versus buttons
  • Link placements and number of links

After some success, consider creating a standard operating procedure (SOP) your team can use to improve results. Take a look at this list which includes 150 more split test ideas


Remember, test the most impactful areas first before moving on to the next test.


5. Take Advantage of the P.S.


The postscript (P.S.) is neglected by many email marketers but it’s effective because readers interact with it. It’s an opportunity to summarize the email content for skimmers and add another CTA to ensure people perform your desired action. 


The image below shows how you can add a P.S. CTA. 

AppSumo EmailSource

The main email focused on content from the AppSumo blog and partners but a short P.S. adds a CTA that returns to business as usual.


You can also choose to share more information in your P.S. as Ramit Sethi does. 

P.S. Example
 
Take note of the design and how it draws attention to and highlights the P.S.


Whether you choose a long P.S. or a short one, keep in mind that it’s there to deliver a final call to action, share important information the reader may have missed or skipped in the main body of the email, or give move value. 
You’re just getting started.

Start Increasing Your Opens, Clicks, and Sales Now


Emailing is a huge subject with many nuances. We’ve only scratched the surface with these tips but it’s enough to start seeing marked improvements. 

These are the strategies we’re using right now and seeing results with. Start with one or two you think will have the most impact and then focus on them. 

Slowly add in more of the tips as you get more comfortable. Over time, you’ll see the power of email marketing first hand.

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