Email marketing is one of the essential components of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy. It can also be one of the most difficult strategies to execute successfully, especially when it comes to mobile devices.
The average inbox is deluged daily with emails that range from important and time-sensitive to total spam. How can you make sure that your customers not only open your emails, but follow through with the message inside? If at first you don't succeed, test, and test again.
Use these 5 easy tests and crunch the numbers to see where your mobile email conversion optimization efforts could use a little help.
1. Test Different Subject Lines
Whether they're sitting at a red light or waiting in line at the pharmacy, people are always checking their phones. The problem is that they quickly scan through emails, so you only have a split second to catch their attention and compel them to open your email.
Your main challenge is to write an engaging, value-driven subject line that leads your subscribers to open the email. How do you know what will work? Brainstorm several ideas and run some A/B tests (remember to only test one variable at a time, a la sixth-grade science class). Try asking questions; using personalization; and being very, very specific.
See what types of subject lines perform better, which will give you a feel for what your particular audience responds to. This will help you craft future titles for conversion optimization.
Note: If you send a regular email with the same subject like, ex. "November news and tips from Story Block Media," shake it up!
2. Test Delivery Times and Dates
There's plenty of data out there about which days are the best to send your emails (Thursdays, generally) and even what times of day produce the best conversion rates (try sending just before or after lunch), but these numbers don't always apply to mobile phone users.
People aren't just checking their email first thing when they arrive at work or during their lunch break. Using their smartphones, they could be reading email while lying in bed or pumping gas--just another reason why it's important to do your own testing and get to know your audience's habits.
3. Test Varying Message Lengths
Keep in mind that people are viewing your email on a smartphone screen. They probably don't want to do a ton of scrolling, and they might not have the time or attention span to read a novel-length newsletter.
Conversion optimization dictates that you should find a length that works for your content and your audience. For some companies, a blog post-length email might work. For others, a short-plain text message may supply the highest conversion rate. You'll never know until you try different versions.
4. Test Different Layouts and Designs
Just because you found a template that you like and it's easy to work with doesn't mean that your customers will enjoy viewing it on their mobile device. Spend some time on coming up with several design options that vary in their distribution of text and images. Remember to consider the use of white space!
Every little variable can influence open and conversion rates. Leave no stone unturned when testing.
5. Test Different Levels of Urgency
Depending on your industry and your customers, some people respond better to urgent messages than others. Advertising a reader's "last chance" or that your promotion lasts for a "limited time only" may motivate people to open your email immediately.
Don't rely on this trick too much, though. Just as readers get hip to too-frequent sales, if they start to figure out that every email you send is "urgent," then urgency loses its importance.
When it comes to email marketing and conversion optimization, there are best practices, but no hard and fast rules. There's no closely guarded secret to success; basically, it all depends. You won't know the best strategy for your business until you test.