Getting clicks on your newsletter is one of the elusive goals that requires a combination of the right information at the right time to the right recipient. No sweat, right? Well, it makes sense that the percentage of people who click is usually in the single digits. According to the Email Stat Center, the average click-through rate is 5.9%. You aren't going to be able to meet everyone's need in the right stage of the purchase cycle. However, there are a few things that you can do to encourage those on the fence to go ahead and learn more.
Right off the bat, you need to know that you have very little time to engage the person who has just opened your email. Think about that person for a moment; she has just deleted 12 other emails, she's drinking her morning coffee and she is checking her day's schedule. Or maybe your recipient is wrapping up before lunch (because at least one time zone always seems to be at lunch). He is seeing your email amongst social media notifications, YouTube videos from his sister, and all he can think about is that club sandwich in his future.
All that is to say, after you spend the time perfecting the content of your email, consider that you only have two seconds to capture the attention of your subscribers. That means that you must share what you're offering in a clear, swift and appealing manner.
Here's a good test: Hand your email to a colleague who has not helped design or write it in any way, preferably one who's unfamiliar with your campaign. To be generous, give him 5 or 6 seconds with it. At the end of that time, he should be able to answer the following questions:
- What are you offering me?
- How can I get it?
You don't have to be offering a coupon for this test to be relevant. If you are offering your expertise on choosing a wine to pair with dinner, that's valuable. It just has to be clear.
The "How do I get it?" question is where you really figure out if your message is effective and actionable. Here are some tips (and some of our favorite click-related articles) for optimizing your emails.
- Make it easy to find. Your "click area" should be immediately obvious. Is it a different color? Does it have a giant arrow pointing to it? Is the model in your image looking toward the button? (That has been shown to increase clicks.) It should be very obvious, and you should use visual design techniques to grab the attention of readers. Try different shapes, colors and sizes of your buttons. Experiment with different areas of the page, too. Put the button above most of your copy and see if more people convert.
- Make it easy to click. Again, an immediately apparent button is going to help. (For mobile readers, make sure that your button is at least 44 by 44 pixels and preferably a few lines away from another button to avoid mis-clicks.)
- Make it convincing. The text matters, and slight variations can really make a difference. "Learn More" and "Buy Now" may bring you to the same landing page, but they will appeal to people on different ends of the buying spectrum.
- Limit your subscribers' choices. Giving too many places to click may overwhelm or confuse your readers. Remember, you only have 2 seconds!
- Use some psychology. Did you know that we lose far more joy by missing out on something than we gain by actually getting it? Consider this as you design your messages.
The small changes go a long way, so give one or two a try and report back — we'd love to know which strategies work best for you.