4 Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Email Content
Do you need more and better leads from your content marketing? Who doesn’t? You send your emails and wonder how effective your efforts are at engaging the recipients. How can you finally understand how effective your efforts are?
If you’re a digital marketing expert, email is the foundation that you use to underpin all of your marketing. Email marketing is still the go-to tool for getting and nurturing quality leads. It engages the recipients and escorts them through your sales funnel. However, ask yourself, “How many commercial emails do I delete every day without even opening them?”
You Don’t Want Them Pushing the Email Delete Button
That’s the inbox calculation that your potential readers go through, too. In fact, recipients deleted nearly 10 percent of the emails that brands sent to them last year without even reading them.
If you don’t want your emails to be immediately deleted, you have your work cut out for you. Because you have just seconds before they decide if they want to look at your message. How do you get them engaged enough to open your email?
Your relevant and engaging content is the key to your success. More than half of successful email marketers surveyed said that creating relevant content was the major factor in them reaching their goals. Unless you’re feeling awfully lucky, you must optimize your business email content by tailoring it to suit your readers and their needs.
Don’t Just Pray That Your Emails Succeed
Don’t waste your resources on email content that isn’t working. You are directly and deliberately reaching out to your own consumers and pre-qualified sales lead.
Personalize and target your emails to your recipients’ specific needs. Remember, a targeted email is much more powerful than a print or digital ad that could be viewed by millions of non-vetted, unqualified strangers.
Track and Tweak Your Emails to Add Real Value
Your first challenge is to make it past their email filters and actually get into their inbox. Then your email subject line has to engage them enough for them to open your email. The third hurdle your email faces is to have attractive easily read content that will grab their attention so that they read your email. Sounds easy, right….
To see a return on your email marketing investment, you’ll have to get serious about measuring the effectiveness of your email content to learn what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t commit to using the analytics available to you, how will you ever understand know what your market wants? You’ll just blindly send emails, hoping for opens.
Being good is better than being lucky, and you get good at email marketing by embarking on a strategic study of your email content and campaigns.
Here are four ways to figure out where to focus your efforts to see the greatest success.
Experiment With Your Email Subject Lines
As the first piece of your content readers see, your email subject lines present your first hurdle, depending on your audience’s response. As such, your subject lines dictate your open rate. Analytics can answer your questions.
Take a good look at your open rates now to get a feel for which subject lines have worked well in the past. Craft at least two different subject lines for your emails, A and B because you’re going to split test them.
To keep things fresh and write some winners, keep these email strategies in mind:
- Invoke immediacy and excitement.
- Use words aligned with your brand.
- Remember: People like to see their own names and even shout-outs to their cities.
- Use 50 characters or less—that’s all most mobile device displays can fit.
- Just as you don’t duplicate content online for SEO reasons, don’t reuse subject lines, either.
In every future campaign, run A/B tests on subject lines, so you can hone in on what makes your audience tick—or rather, click.
Use Many Anchors for the Same Link
Your main goal in email marketing is getting more visitors to your site, where your other content and calls to action can nurture your visitors along their sales journey. To understand how well your emails accomplish that, you need to your track click-through rates (CTR) for your links. An increase in CTR means more readers are finding your content applicable and clickable.
Try this two-step approach to your email links:
- Link to the same piece of site content more than once in a single email.
- Use a different language to describe each link. These are the words that appear underlined and in a different color, also called “anchor text.”
This is how you A/B test, or A/B/C/D test, use your anchor-text language to discern which will compel your readers to click.
Track Your Email Engagement Rates, Not Just Your Email Open Rates
Using Analytics determine out how long people are spending with your emails. Are they actually reading them? If they’re just opening your email, but then immediately deleting them, then the engagement rate will be less than two seconds.
It takes at least six seconds to develop an impression of just one part of your email content. Anything between three and seven seconds should be considered a “skim rate” metric; a “read rate” means emails are open eight seconds or more.
Alter Only One Email Variable at a Time
Remember, if you want to conduct a valid experiment, don’t test all the variables at once. Otherwise, when you tweak your email marketing content, you won’t know which changes worked best. None of these can be considered true optimizations until they’re repeatable.
Several email services such as Bronto, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and AWeber include these core metrics. Most of them offer a free basic service for small marketing programs that have short subscriber lists of around 250 email addresses. As your campaigns improve, you’ll grow out of the free versions, but you should first have the additional sales to cover the extra overhead.
When you understand the effectiveness of your email content, down to the level of engagement for each individual reader, you can add much more value to your messaging. Even to the point of interactive personalization.
Delivering that kind of returns to opted-in inboxes will send more engaged visitors to your site. This will provide more informed, mature leads to your sales team. Then you will be able to show a higher ROI for your marketing dollars spent.