It can be hard trying to stand out in a world where most communications are electronic. Especially for businesses reaching out to new leads. It’s sort of like a celebrity charity single where everyone is trying to out-sing each other.
But we can help you outshine (or sing) your competitors.
Emails are a fantastic way to gain sales leads.
They are direct, straight to the customer, and have the power to be personal in a shorter amount of time than calling every local phone number. Yet, like most things, people will eventually become desensitized to ‘Wow! Check out this offer!’ And this is where the challenge lies.
You only have a short space of time to grab the customer’s attention. Then, there’s the added task of getting them to open the email and take the next bit of action.
We can try throwing all possible emojis and exclamations into subject lines, but only a few digital marketing tricks will actually work wonders.
Here are seven tips that will increase click-through rates and improve sales leads.
Tip #1: Nail the Subject Line
Your outreach strategy has to be impactful. Like any initial encounter, your first words are the most vital. It could be a job interview or even meeting potential in-laws for the first time. Whatever it is, you don’t want to mess up straight off the bat.
You can find the perfect format for a subject line with a bit of research. After all, what is business intelligence there for if not to help you make the right decisions?
The ideal subject line has to be attention-grabbing. It goes straight to the customer’s phone or computer, but inboxes can be quite busy even with an all-in-one desktop app.
Tip #2: Use Segmentation
A good old list is useful in many aspects of life. And that applies to digital marketing too!
Improve leads and boost your click-through rate through segmentation. A good way to improve conversion rates is to target emails to different groups. It keeps emails relevant to the customer and, as a result, is more likely to get results.
Picture your email sandwiched between dollar signs and ‘get fit now’ subject lines. In other words, it needs to be different! It must sound legitimate, too.
Also, make sure not to burn people out by giving them too much of what they already have.
Use a touch of personalization. For example, put a recipient’s first name in the subject line. Or insert a question to arouse curiosity. When considering mobile users, make it short and to-the-point.
There is no perfect solution, as everyone’s product and customer base is different. So why not use many techniques and do some A/B testing?
Weigh the successes of using first names with adding urgency. See what works better; asking questions or using humor.
There are several ways to do this.
Age, for example, is a good way to segment communications. Perish the thought of poor 77-year-old Arthur receiving ‘Sick Deals for the Summer’ in his inbox.
Every age has different ways of being drawn in. And Arthur would rather not see “sick deals”.
The same applies to demographics, gender, and even subscription date. The list goes on. Imagine if a global business urges all subscribers to visit their London store. It will fall flat everywhere else in the world.
Also, be considerate toward a subscriber’s stated gender. Someone who signed up with ‘Ms’ as their pronoun may not open an email selling beard oil.
You get the point.
You can also track the behaviors of each segment. How can you lower unsubscribe rates amongst the least interested group? What drives the most engaged segment?
Tip #3: Keep Copy Short but Sweet
The copy is an important part of the email. You need it to get across your business’s tone of voice and explain the offer in more detail.
You can slip in some clever wordplay. But the term ‘less is more’ also comes into play with email copy.
When somebody receives an email from a company, they don’t want to scroll through your firm’s life story. Make your words count.
There’s only a short space of time before you lose their interest. We’ve all read recipes online that start with a mini autobiography. Halfway in you close your laptop and order a takeaway instead.
Let’s say you’re writing a B2B email about posting jobs. They’ll want to know the best places to post jobs. You can maybe share content or links on job interview tips to add more substance to the email.
Don’t just list everything in the email. Create a short but snappy piece of copy that creates interest. Then link the call to action to a helpful article.
The point here is that people will become bored if there’s too much copy. It will deter leads and lower your click-through rate.
Front load your best copy, keep it relevant, and don’t repeat anything.
For example, you’re a B2B company that sells a warehouse management system. You want to sell an upgrade to your clients.
Keep your email content relevant and don’t overload it with all the sparkling new features. You could inform them of your upgrades and invite them to read more on your website. Make sure to keep your upselling emails to the point.
Tip #4: Consider the Layout
To have a higher click-through rate, an email needs to be readable. It is as simple as that.
Unlike using a VoIP or virtual phone system for home and office, email marketing has a visual aspect. This can either win or lose a potential lead.
Remember the days of getting leaflets through the door? If one looks tacky or uses low-res images, where does it go? In the bin.
If an email is full of dizzying bright colors and oversized photos, where does it go? Enough said.
There are a couple of ways to think of this. Firstly, has your email been properly mobile optimized? With so many people now checking their emails on their phones, you need to keep copy and images more compact. Also, are you using a proper business email address instead of a personal one?
Secondly, is it visually appealing? To improve subscription-based sales, you need to keep it neat. Don’t throw in every color. Don’t go overboard with flashing images and dancing banana GIFs. Refrain from using Chiller and Comic Sans font.
Furthermore, a call to action button could become washed out if an email is badly designed. The text can be unreadable.
Taking a considered approach toward design makes your business look more professional. It keeps the reader focused on the message. Your leads know what actions you want them to take.
Tip #5: Include Calls to Action
In a similar vein to the previous point, calls to action are very important. It may sound obvious, but an email with no call to action means no clicks through.
To gain leads, message recipients need to be wowed with a punchy CTA.
Can you imagine an early morning infomercial without prompting you to ‘buy now and save!’? It’d just be endless hours of people talking about reclining armchairs.
A galvanising call to action can be a great way to increase click-through rates. Something out of the ordinary that is specific to your brand. Rather than just ‘Shop now’, think of something outside the box.
Likewise, placement is everything. Your CTA needs to be obvious, otherwise, what’s the point in having it? Have it in a text box underneath a small body of copy. Place it at the start. Have it near the end after making your statement.
You still need to take caution with your CTAs, though. As with copy, keep in mind that less is more. Use them sparingly, as too much choice could lose a lead.
Make it clear and obvious. You know what you want from them, so they should know what you want from them.
You need to give leads a reason to act if you want to grow your business.
Calls to action can come in many forms. They can be at the end of a video, or a discount banner. They could be leading to an article. Regardless of their form, they must have value to the customer.
Tip #6: Include Social Sharing Icons
Social media holds such value for marketers. It allows businesses to communicate on a whole new level. And it can improve both leads and email click-through rates, too.
The potential for exposure is huge and it begins with just one Facebook share. If you send an offer to a customer that they aren’t interested in, they might know someone who is.
Get Response conducted some research on social sharing icons. They found that email campaigns that use them show an increase in click-through rate of 158%!
Clicking a social sharing icon brings new leads. And it can create a wider interest in your company. A social media share will bring your offer to new leads beyond your subscriber list.
It is essentially a form of free advertising. Other people are creating exposure for you, which can be very cost-effective. And a single share can be seen by so many people.
Tip #7: Use Opt-In
Let’s go back to the very start of the lead generation process. An opt-in for potential clients means email addresses are given directly to you.
There are two types of opt-in you can use. These are double and single.
Single is quicker, as it’s just a case of someone entering their email address. But this could lead to fake emails, which will make your list of subscribers messy – wait, you mean Joe_FakeName@go-away.com isn’t a real email address?
A double opt-in could be a better choice for your business. It means subscribers can confirm they are real and are genuinely interested in your business.
You can then work on maintaining a clean email list and nurturing leads.
Like call forwarding in telecoms, it ensures there is always someone at the end of your emails. They have been verified, and your messages have a recipient.
There is software available that enables you to create an attractive opt-in form. These include OptinMonster, Pabbly Email Marketing, and MailGet.
They can improve leads and increase click-through rates. This is done by creating a subscriber list who wants to hear from you. To put it in simple terms, customers and clients who opt-in for emails are more likely to open them.
Improving leads is a tricky but rewarding task. And a consequential improvement in click-through rate is what all businesses want. Think of the whole process from start to finish.
A catchy opt-in form will grab leads with plenty of sales potential. Segmenting your new and existing subscribers will set up a platform. Here, you can design your content.
Then, a personal welcome email with a great subject line creates a great first impression. Sensibly executed copy with clear calls to action will make life easier for everyone from then on.
Take your layout design seriously, too. There is no part of an email that is unimportant. Every one of these points will have an impact on how your company is perceived. Also, never forget the power of social media. A share button can work wonders.
Watch your click-through rate grow with some careful planning. And keep your leads satisfied.
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About the author
Sam O’Brien is the Senior Website Optimisation & User Experience Manager for EMEA at RingCentral, a global UCaaS systems provider. Sam has a passion for innovation and loves exploring ways to collaborate more with dispersed teams. He has written for websites such as InsideBigData and Network Computing.