Five tips to improve the performance of your email communications

We design and broadcast email campaigns for many of our clients and know how easy it is to fall into the trap of ‘this is how we always do it’ and wondering why open and click through rates either don’t improve, or in worst case scenarios decline over time.

To ensure your email communications perform well we suggest keeping the process fresh.  By this we don’t mean overhauling your design every quarter, but that a little regular tinkering here and there can make all the difference.

Here are five ways you can tinker with your email campaigns to improve performance:

Don’t send to known bounces – when measuring the performance of your email campaigns known bounces can distort your open and click through rates .  Suppressing known bounces will improve your performance rates, sometimes dramatically!

Check how your email message appears if the images aren’t downloaded – is there sufficient text or alt tag content to allow your viewer to understand what the message is about and prompt them to download the images to see your email in its full glory?  If not, use a short paragraph of text at the top of the email to introduce its content.

Consider recipients viewing your message on their mobile phone – an ever increasing number of recipients will read your message on their mobile phone, particularly in B2C marketing.  Your usual html email, and sometimes even your usual text email, will be hard to read on a hand held device.  Offer your viewers a ‘simple’ version which is mobile friendly to encourage them to seek out your communciations when they next turn on their computer.

Test subject lines – sometimes this is the only part of your email a recipient may read before deleting it.  It’s your  one and only chance to grab their attention, don’t waste it by simply putting ‘Our newsletter’ in your subject line.  Who has time to read other peoples news?  Each company’s target market will respond differently to different types of subject line.  Try sending one subject line to half your data and another to the remainder.  See which one works best, then next time round, tweak it and test it again.  Keep going until your open rates sky rocket!

Hit inboxes at a time that suits your recipient – contrary to opinion, there isn’t one perfect time to send an email campaign.   If you can separate work ( ie @companyname) and home (ie @hotmail, @gmail etc)  email addresses you can work towards sending to people at work whilst they’re at work and at home whilst they’re at home.  This should improve campaign open rates as your emails are less likely to be deleted during the quick clear-out most people conduct upon opening their inboxes.

These are just five top tips to help you improve your email campaigns, we’ll be sharing more in the future and would love to hear about yours in the meantime.