Tuesday, 28 August 2012

How to give your emails the best chance of success

When creating emails advertising your online business and the products you have for sale, having the right subject heading is going to make or break your email. When deciding on what your message will be, the subject heading should be one of the first things you consider. If the subject heading isn't right, it's not going to encourage customers to open it and your email is not going to be seen.

An infographic created by email marketing company, Mailer Mailer, looked at the different aspects which make up a successful email. They found that having a subject line of between 4 and 15 characters gives you the best chance of success when compared with other subject headings of varying character lengths. The heading between 4 and 15 characters was by far the most successful with an open rate of 15.2%. This means that for your online store, you should look to create an appealing message that is within this character limit. However, you do not want your email to sound spammy as it will put people off opening it. This means try to not have a subject heading such as "Buy, Buy, Buy" as it may seem, from the point of the recipient, to just be random junk mail rather than a great opportunity to purchase from your store.

While these statistics suggest that it's something that every business should be trying, it is very much something that is dependant on who your customers are. Some small businesses, such as eBay stores, tend to find that short subject headings don't work, discovering that they engage with their customers though more thought provoking headings, consisting of well over 30 characters. By all means you should try out the 4 to 15 character subject heading to see if it is just as successful for your business. However, if it doesn't work out well for you the first few times, don't keep doing it in the hope that it will eventually work. Sometimes less isn't always more. 

If you are able to come up with 3 or 4 different subject headings and just can't decide which one you would like to use, this is where split testing comes into play. This means sending out small test batches of emails containing the various different subject headings. You then measure the success of each different heading and then send the most successful to the rest of your customers. This ensures that you are using the most success subject heading you can, rather than sticking all of your eggs in one basket and just randomly trying with one message to see what happens. 

Once you have sent out your email marketing campaign, the best time to measure its success is generally within the first 16 hours. The research carried out by Mailer Mailer found that around 70% of the total opens for your email occur within the first 16 hours. This means that if after 16 hours you have not achieved round about the number of opens and click throughs you were looking for, you email message may not have been correct. If this happens don't panic, analysing where your email let you down is easy enough. If your message had a lower open rate than you initially wanted, it is an indication that your subject message is what let the message down and something you should look to change for future emails. If it is the click through rate that was low, then it is the message contained within the email and the external links you provided.

Here's something that may surprise you. The research carried out found that the best day to schedule your emails in order to achieve the best opens and click throughs is in fact Sunday. Now the reason for such a high success rate on the supposed day of rest could be because people simply have more free time on Sunday than they do on any other day of the week, so are more likely to take the time checking the emails and purchasing products from various ecommerce stores

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