Let’s look at some of the most efficient tactics to boost email open rates, increase conversions, and reignite your email marketing program in 2021.
Email has always been a channel of tremendous marketing potential, and in the past year, it’s grown even more.
First, since the beginning of the pandemic, open rates saw a year-over-year increase of 31%, Omnisend reports. Also, with extended lockdowns around the world, unsubscribes decreased by 50%, which means people are more eager than ever to connect with brands through email. They’re also more likely to hit the “Buy” button in promotional emails: conversions are up 17%.
How can companies gain momentum and make the most of this boost in email engagement? What unexplored tactics could you deploy this year that would bring you better results – and a higher ROI?
If you feel like email could work better for you, consider these five approaches before you craft and send your next campaign.
Be (more) in tune with what your audience wants
To say that 2020 was atypical is an understatement. Everything changed – the way we work, live, and interact with each other. Our needs, desires, and expectations are different, too. The brands that became aware of this early on managed to stay relevant and useful. They are the brands that gained and retained the most subscribers and customers.
How can you be more in tune with what your audience wants? It pays to stay on top of what happens in your industry. Apart from keeping informed, learn about the most pressing challenges your subscribers have right now.
As an authority in your industry, you likely have pertinent answers to burning questions. Find out what those questions are and see how you can offer the most helpful solutions to your subscribers’ problems. This will give you a clearer perspective on your content plan and execution.
Use surveys, review platforms, social media, and your own newsletter as sources of information. Ask and listen, start conversations. You’ll get a better feel of what people are struggling with and also, you’ll gather a whole list of topics you can start covering in your emails.
Validate your email list consistently
When did you start building your email list? Whether it was years or days ago, its quality has likely decreased. An email address you added to your database three months ago may very well be useless today. In fact, not just useless, but risky.
Here’s what I mean by that:
• Some of your contacts could be invalid and bounce, thus staining your sender reputation and sabotaging your email deliverability.
• Others could have been abandoned. If there’s no one on the receiving end to open your emails, that only causes your engagement metrics to drop.
• If it’s a business email address and your prospect has lost their job, that email is either invalid or it’s a catch-all email. So, in the best-case scenario, you’re reaching someone who may have no idea who you are and who may label you as spam.
In general, B2B email lists are more prone to churning. In the past year, with millions of people losing their jobs, business contacts have become even more unreliable. So, consider validating your list more often than you used to – especially if you’re in the B2B space and before sending out an important campaign.
Apart from that, you can add an email verification API to your registration and signup forms to check contacts in real time. Next, if you haven’t already, consider implementing double opt-in on your forms and require every new subscriber to confirm they want to be on your mailing list.
These are easy steps you can take to ensure your database stays healthy and supports your efforts.
Test different sending days and times
If you’re familiar with the most popular email marketing stats, you probably know that the best day and time to send an email is, supposedly, Tuesday at 10:00 AM. Of course, we should all use this statistic merely as a guide and not a rule. Every industry and audience have their own particularities, so continue to test and see when your emails perform best.
When doing that, keep in mind the work and lifestyle changes we’ve experienced since March 2020. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have forced many companies to go remote. While some of them are planning to test a hybrid work model – both at home and in the office – only one in 10 companies expect all their employees to return to the office full-time.
Have you noticed a decrease in your email open rates, even though your list is up-to-date and your content is as great as always? Try adjusting your send day and time. Switch up the days of the week and experiment with different times.
For instance, at ZeroBounce, we used to send our newsletters every Thursday between 5:00 and 6:00 AM, to catch our subscribers early in the morning, right before they were leaving for work.
In the past few weeks, we’ve been sending a little later, between 8:00 and 9:00 AM, to see if it makes any difference in our open rates. It’s too early to tell, but we’ll keep testing and adjusting so we can offer people the right content at the right time.
Bonus tips: email length and cadence
Before you go, here are two extra tips to help you boost your email marketing results this year:
• Email length isn’t something you should focus on too much. Long or short, your content should be useful and engaging. However, if your emails are usually on the short side, try adding more content – if it makes sense. This may get your subscribers to spend more time reading your emails and it helps your sender reputation.
• One thing that continues to matter in email marketing is consistency. To maintain and boost your brand awareness, email your list regularly. Showing up on the same day of the week or month builds familiarity, and that reflects in your conversions, too.
All the studies and reports are showing that email will continue to grow. By 2024, more than four billion people will have an email address, Radicati found. Make the most of this opportunity: continue to build your list, send useful content, and treat your subscribers the way you’d like to be treated. It’s the best email marketing strategy anyone can adopt.