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Can’t fail strategies to improve email Click Through Rates

Email marketing can be wildly successful, and it’s a channel you can control much more directly than things like social media and AdWords. But many people get frustrated when they realize just how low their email click through rates are. Here are five simple, effective strategies for improving them.

1. Email the right people

Email marketing is not the right place to implement a purchased lead list. If you really want quality click through rates, you’re going to need to email the people that actually want to hear from you. Look for those who opt-in on your website, those who make purchases from your online shops, maintain lists of emails from people who have contacted you for information, etc.

Example: Sticher

Stitcher is an on-demand podcast/radio show app. They have created a personalized email called “Recommended For You” for each of their clients depending on the types of episodes and podcasts they listen too. This allows the company to add subscribers to all of their content. It also makes their clients feel special with a personalized experience: they’re not just getting what everyone else is getting.

sticher email marketing example - recommended for you
sticher email marketing example - recommended for you

2. Lead with a great first impression

Always make your lead email an excellent one, with added value for your customers. Don’t just start a new subscriber off with a bare bones collection of links. Use compelling images, and reward them for opting in to receiving your emails.

Example: Bonobos

Bonobos is an e-commerce company that designs and sells men’s clothing. They’re known for their clean, minimalistic and easy-to-click email campaigns. Their emails are structured so the clients are not wasting time finding out if the item may or may not be in stock in their size. Also, they always make sure to create an interactive experience encouraging the recipient to take action.


3. Fuse segmentation and automation meaningfully

When people sign up to receive communications from you, it’s not because they want to be flooded with emails that show them little more than they would see on your site.  One way to ensure that you’re adding value is to segment your customers into lifecycle segments and send them automated series of emails with content that is geared towards getting them to move to the next segment. In other words, getting subscribers to become Trial customers. Getting Trial customers to become Repeat customers etc. To do this use different types of content and discounts. Subscriber might get more educational content about the brand with a 10% opening offer vs. Repeat customers who might get messages more geared towards giving them rewards and gathering their feedback. Now your customers will be looking for your emails, not deleting them without a second glance.

Example: RunKeeper

RunKeeper is a fitness-tracking app. They send regular informational email to their app users to keep them update on their most recent changes and benefits but also to reengage lost users. This method entices recipients to give the app another chance using friendly greetings and inclusions.

Runkeeper image
Runkeeper image

4. Put some thought into your subject lines

This is arguably the most important way for you to increase email clicks. Here are a few tips for great subject lines:

  • Tease with a great promise (and deliver on it)
  • Use compelling, but slightly vague language to encourage them to want to know more
  • Reference something currently in the news or a recent trend
  • Ask a question you know your customers would want to know the answer to

Example: Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods is an online catalogue retailer. Their email strategy is efficient because they are focusing on the value of acting now and give a sense of urgency. Instead of saying, "Order your Mother's Day gift NOW before Preferred Shipping ends!" this email asks, "Don't you think Mom would've liked a faster delivery?" Why yes, she would.


5. Send the emails you’d want to receive

Most of all, don’t overdo it. If you’re sending emails weekly just to have something to send, it’s going to be patently obvious. Instead, send meaningful mail that you yourself would want to read. It sounds like common sense, but a surprising number of marketers seem to think quantity is more important than quality. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Example: TurnStyle Cycle

TurnStyle Cycle is a group offering spin studio class. They’re known for sending friendly and sincere emails with catch phrase such as: "We know you are busy and would hate to see you miss out;" "Please let us know if we can help accommodate in any way possible;" "Feel free to give us a call - we want to help :)". It makes the recipients feel special and improve customer relationship.

Have you got any great examples of your own? Or any sure-fired click-through-rate boosting techniques? Get in touch!