As unlikely as it may seem, email marketing isn’t always a surefire way into the hearts and minds of your target audience. In fact, the uptick in participation on this front has led to a unique situation in which the brands that do things right are reaching unprecedented levels of success, all while those who fail to captivate audiences face a lackluster or damaging response. To ensure you’re always on the right side of this split, let’s talk about the best ways to bolster your presence in the inbox despite the sagging click rates experienced by the industry.
Understanding the Core Issue
Before delving into the solution to this issue, it’s a good idea to cover the basic overview of the problem that is affecting the world of email marketing. According to Judy Loschen from the Epsilon blog, the issue with click rates might not seem like much of a problem at first, but it represents a very concerning trend.
Essentially, the problem stems from an inverse relationship between average open and click rates leading up to the current calendar year. While this past year saw a rise in open rates – around six and a half percent over the 12 months of 2014 – the amount of clicks fell significantly, thus heralding a decrease in consumer activity and engagement.
What Caused This Problem?
So what caused this curious case of rising open rates, but falling meaningful interaction with consumers? As Loschen goes on to explain, the prime cause behind this shift is the continued rise in mobile usage and consumer reliance upon these related devices. Simply put, more people than ever before are opening emails on their phones and tablets, but these same consumers are just as quickly ignoring and forgetting the less than stellar options that end up on this channel.
Taking the First Steps to Safeguarding Your Inbox Presence
Now that we know that the mobile surge has created an increase in visibility, but also encouraged viewers to interact less with run-of-the-mill offerings, what does your brand need to do to break the cycle and boost click rates? In his look at garnering increased engagement, Entrepreneur magazine’s Eric Samson suggests building empathy with your inbox audience.
Instead of firing off email blasts that barrage the reader with “buy this now!” content, try and understand where your messages fit into the consumer sales cycle. Are these mobile viewers out and about browsing for products or services? What about addressing the lack of knowledge surrounding these offerings before a purchase? Answering these questions and other related queries can help slot your brand into the proper phase of the sales process and ensure that your inbox content always hits on key points regarding consumer needs and concerns.
Additionally, Samson points out that those who win on this front take advantage of the allure of mobile-friendly emails. Having great content is part of the process. However, to truly get your email marketing campaign off on the right foot and capturing enhanced click rates, it’s important to also tailor your content to as many app and mobile platforms as possible. This way, regardless of what device or email service provider your audience members prefer, you’ll always have a message that comes through in a clear and agreeable format.
Going Above and Beyond for the Future
Outside of tailoring your content and message templates to this new wave of modern viewers, Joe Rosenthal of Business 2 Community also notes that tweaking the small things – like the “From” field of your email and the timing of the message – goes a long way toward promoting increased engagement.
Since 43 percent of all viewers make a decision regarding the validity of an email based on the “From” field, it’s beyond vital that you get this part of the process right as soon as possible. Generally, you’ll want to steer clear of vague or unclear selections and instead directly identify your company name or alias.
As far as the timing of the message goes, Rosenthal suggests honing in on Tuesday and afternoon time slots for general audiences. Obviously, the ideal timing can shift based on your audience, but you’ll be hard pressed to come up short if you stick to these high traffic periods.
There’s no denying that the rise in mobile usage has changed the face of audience interaction and caused a shift in what viewers expect from brands like your own. However, with this new understanding of what truly garners increased click rates from the people across the web, your brand will be ready to revamp its approach and regain a strong standing in the inbox in no time.