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In email marketing, the first step is to focus on getting high email click-through rates, i.e., get people to open the messages you send them.
That’s its own challenge.
Once you’ve mastered the art of writing email subject lines, the next thing you need to do is master the art of getting clicks.
Depending on your industry, the average email click-through rates range from 3% – 8%. For every person that gets your email, at most, 8 are clicking on the links inside.
In the end, you’re not there to get people to open your emails. You’re there to get them to click on the links in your emails and consume whatever you place on the other side.
If they don’t click then there’s no way you can generate a positive ROI. If they don’t click then you’re just spending a lot of money to maintain a huge list with nothing to show for it.
Finally, if they don’t click email marketing is useless.
We’re going to look at three ways to increase your email click-through rates.
Segment your users
I can’t stress enough how important it is to segment your list. We all occupy certain niches and serve specific groups of people.
It’s almost always possible to divide those groups of people into sub groups. Instead of just business owners, you may have:
- The business owners who’re just getting started
- Small business owners who’re generating less than $250,000 – $1,000,000/year
- More established business owners who’re making over $1,000,000/year
These are broad strokes and your subgroups will be different. The point is, you’ll have different people visiting your website and subscribing to your email list.
Each one of them will use your products and services in different ways. It only makes sense that you send messages in line with what they want. This isn’t possible unless you segment them into different groups.
Once segmented, you can send messages that appeal to their specific circumstances, goals, and use cases. Your open rates and click through rates go up because what you’re saying matters.
Let me give you a quick example, I’m subscribed to a fitness website that has courses on dieting, exercise, and strength training.
I’m not interested in dieting or weight loss. I’m interested in free weight exercise. I travel a lot so it’s difficult to find gyms and use weights.
The website I’m subscribed to has a lot of sections and one of them is training without weights. About one of every seven emails they send me focuses on that topic. Those are the only ones I open, read, and click on.
If they were to segment me based on my actions or even send out a survey to understand what I wanted, they’d find out what kind of information mattered to me. In the end, their email click-through rates would go way up.
How to segment your list
There are many ways to segment your list. My favorite is using a survey or quiz. Interactive quizzes are great because they have a high conversion rate and keep your users engaged throughout the process.
Surveys at the point of opt-in also work well because they introduce micro commitments.
In both the quiz and surveys, ask your subscribers questions that’ll help you better understand them. If I were running a fitness website, I may ask them what they’re goal is and give options such as:
- Lose weight
- Keep weight off
- Become stronger
Depending on how they answered, I would give them different email content and recommend different products.
I would also ask something relevant to me such as what their gender was. That way, I could use examples of people with the same gender.
Don’t ask too many survey questions. A good rule of thumb is to stick with four or five. For your quizzes, you want to stick with between seven and ten questions so it doesn’t get too long.
Use storytelling to increase email click-through rates
The human brain is hardwired to love a good story. For thousands of years, we had no written language. Our culture, history, and values were passed down through oral storytelling.
The people in charge of storytelling were revered in their communities.
When someone reads or hears a story, the corresponding part of their brain lights up. If you hear a story that describes pain then the part of your brain that deals with pain is activated.
If they’re describing smell, then the part of your brain that controls smell is activated.
Uri Hansen performed a study and found that the areas of the brain activated in the person telling the story corresponded to the areas activated in the person hearing the story.
You may have a brand that doesn’t lend itself to personal storytelling. That’s perfectly OK. You don’t need to be the hero of your story. Customers, partners, and employees can be the hero of your story as well.
The most important part is that you’re telling a story at all.
Before you compose an email, ask yourself: “what story can I tell?” It doesn’t have to be an involved story that spans ten thousand words.
It can be a story about the genesis of your product, the way it’s helping a specific group (think about segmentation), or even a story about your company values.
Follow the tried and tested storytelling framework.
- Hero answers the call to adventure
- They leave their comfort zone
- Gets training from a wise mentor
- Faces and overcomes obstacles (the bad guy)
- Returns home and has changed for the better
Tweak it to you needs and see how it goes.
Multiple calls to action
Usually, emails tend to have a single call to action at the very end. I have no idea why this is. Many people open your email but don’t make it to the end.
Those people never see your link or call to action.
You want a simple remedy?
Include your call to action at the beginning, middle, and end of your email.
That’s all you really need to do to see an instant uptick in CTRs. Even if you don’t segment your list and don’t tell stories, more calls to action will help.
Note: you should phrase each call to action slightly differently. If you call the first one “click here to learn more” then use “get the formula” for the second one.
Obviously, the call to action you use will differ based on the contents of your email and your audience. When you include your call to action, try to add what they stand to gain, learn, or experience from doing so.
If you just wrote a new post then don’t just tell them “click here to read it.” Instead, tell them “click here to learn exactly how to improve your email click-through rates.”
There’s a clear benefit on the other side of the click. These are simple guidelines you can follow.
There are many metrics to measure when it comes to email marketing. Arguably the most important is the number of people who click your links.
Without link clicks, you can’t sell your products and services. That’s the reason you invest so much in email marketing in the first place.
Use the three tactics mentioned in this article to get more clicks to the pages that matter to you:
- Segment your audience
- Tell compelling stories
- Add more calls to action
How are you increasing your email click-through rates? Let me know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to share.
Daniel Ndukwu is the Founder of KyLeads – a simple tool that allows you to create beautiful pop ups and viral quizzes to grow your mailing list, segment your users, and use the insights you gain to send better emails.