77% of Buyers Favor Email Marketing. Make More Money with These 3 Conversion Optimization Tips!

77% of Buyers Favor Email Marketing. Make More Money with These 3 Conversion Optimization Tips!

  • Email marketing is still the top choice among marketing strategies that require user permission, favored by over 75% of consumers.
  • More than 60% of subscribers will decide whether to trash your email or not based on the subject line alone.
  • Sidestepping email client image blocking features can improve ROIs by 9+%.

It’s a truism already: email marketing is a huge driving force, as far as conversion and sales lead optimization go. Anyone who claims to know anything about digital marketing will tell you that the force of the optimized email is one to be reckoned with. However, in case you’re still doubtful about this reality, or feel that sales newsletters have lost momentum (or that they were never that popular, to begin with), we’ve got the data to contradict you. The 14th Subscribers, Fans, and Followers Channel Preference Survey from ExactTarget shows just how far the power of the email goes. Of 1,500 US online buyers, ages 15 and older, an impressive 77% said that email is their top choice, as far as permission-based marketing strategies go. Need more proof? The same poll showed there was no other method that even comes close to emailing: direct mail came in second, with 9% of votes, and text messaging was a remote third, with 5%.

Image source: MarketingLand.com

Even more figures for you to ponder on:

  • Email marketing keeps getting more popular by the year. The very same survey ran by ExactTarget in 2008, also had it pegged as the most popular choice, but with a lower 72% of preferences.
  • Customers are keen on getting receipts, order confirmations, and general service info via email. 77% voted yes for receipts and confirmation and 76% said their preferred method of general communication is emailing.
  • A whopping 66% of all those polled said they had made at least one online purchase after they learned of a deal, product or service from an email.
  • The younger the consumer, the less likely they are to favor email. The email preference for respondents aged 15 to 34 was significantly lower than 77%. This demographic expressed a stronger than average liking for text messaging and social media (Facebook, Twitter) messages.

That being said, it’s clear as daylight that the importance of email marketing in driving conversions upward cannot be underestimated. Your goal in this respect is to get your consumers more engaged, to communicate easy to understand messages to them, and to actually have them looking forward to opening their inbox and checking out their latest message for you. Here are 3 tested and true strategies that you might want to try out, in order to achieve just that.

1. Put all your money on a short, punchy subject line
Of course, the subject line is the most important ingredient of the magic recipe of email marketing conversion optimization. As SalesForce’s own Chadwick Martin Bailey puts it, over 60% of subscribers will decide whether or not they want to open an email from a brand based on the subject line alone. And, according to ConvinceAndConvert, 35% of recipients will base that decision on the same criterion.

Image source: SlideShare.com

Need some style pointers on the most clickable subject lines? Try these:

  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Make them laugh.
  • Tell them something they really don’t know.
  • The one-word zinger always works.
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Lists and questions always work.

2. Your B2B customer always knows best
As is the case with most industries, the B2B market segment comes with its own set of particularities. Check out the ones we’ve deemed most important below and pay heed to them. After all, B2B customers are by far the most profitable–but also the toughest sales, especially when it comes to marketing efforts (this figures, since many of them are personally acquainted with the field).

Business clients are still checking their email off non-mobile devices. In 2012, the rate of B2B staff opening emails off mobile stood at 35%. With the increased accessibility of such technology, that rate has dropped to 27.2%. As such, it’s a wise idea to keep focusing email campaign efforts for desktop devices; however…
… most B2B marketers don’t really know what they’re doing on mobile. We’re not being mean here–according to the fleximail “Email Barometer 2013–2014 Report Belgium” (2015), 43% of professionals in this particular segment of the industry have no idea how for mobile email design optimization could impact their sales.
Whichever way you look at it, the B2B segment is still keen on emailing. As a matter of fact, The Successful Email Marketing Guide cites statistics from Earnest Agency, which say that 72% of B2B buyers are likely to share content they deem valuable via email.

Image source: UIDigital.com. A description of the typical email marketing campaign process stages.

3. Focus on the visuals
The visual appeal of emails is just as important as the written content–and it’s not just A/B testing results that confirm this statement. All you need is one look at a couple of stats, delivered by Jay Baer at the Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer. They’ll give you an inkling on the type of UX design and real-time optimization you need to implement, in order to improve your conversions.

  • The image blocking feature in most email clients drives ROIs down, but working your way around it could improve returns by upward of 9%. Or, to put it differently: it doesn’t matter how much time and money you’ve spent on that personalized email infographic or photo session. That is, it’s irrelevant if your subscriber can’t see it. But sidestep remote content blocking functions and you could see massive profit growth.
  • Young users are big on previews. The data says that 88% of email users aged 18 to 34 use an email client, or browser-based provider, which means you could benefit a great deal from improving your email layout. Not only are these young users getting sneak peeks at the content of the email, which makes the visual aspect matter that much more–but it’s also important how you conceive of the email’s fold. Test your email layout across channels and devices, optimize it dynamically and make sure you create a sense of empathy, relatability, and/or urgency above the fold.
  • .gifs are the flavor of the hour. An Experian survey says 1 in 2 marketers use .gifs in their email campaign–that’s 52% of your direct competitors. While conversion data is not yet available for this strategy, the takeaway here is that you don’t want to risk losing face to your adversaries, just because you weren’t thinking on your feet. Are your subscribers expecting animated visuals? Then give them just that.

Image source: Pinterest.com. This is a great example of an animated email .gif, used in a campaign from popular fashion label Opening Ceremony.

About Conversion Hub

Conversion Hub is a Singapore internet marketing company. We provide digital marketing services using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. We also provide usability testing in Singapore. Our Ask-Alvin unit provides small business marketing solutions including press release distribution. For more information, visit http://ask-alvin.com