This is clearly an effort to highlight a few things - a few practical do-able things that I have learnt and absorbed over the years. The first in the series is 'Call to Action Strategy'.
Call to action strategy
Efficiency of of any promotion email depends critically on the call to action strategy. You would agree with the short attention span that promotion emails suffer from... So how do we ensure consumer action, higher open ratios, better click ratios and higher number of leads...
The subject line is the obvious one that I cant ignore. It defines the open ratio. Email Marketing theories would talk about writing the subject line by segmenting your customers into various psychographic profiles.. blah blah... However, I dont think those theories are practically possible with the man-hours dedicated to email marketing by any company today.
The subject line should have a direct consumer benefit. Teasers dont work as well as tangible consumer benefits. At the same time, the disclaimer is not to use often used (abused) words like 'offers', 'free' etc. These words have lost their significance and additionally can put your email into the Spam folder.
Next is the use of a consistent sender ID with a human name and the company name as alias seems to help achieve high open rates.
For instance, the sender ID could be Durlov Baruah [Deutsche Bank] or Customer Service [Deutsche Bank].
Creating the credibility of a sender ID is important. This will help you to find the Inbox folder rather than the Spam folder. Today, ISP have various Spam protection strategies and more often than not, your email will land in the Spam folder.
The first few email burst to your customer base should not be about promotion emailers. They should be genuine service emailers that is sure to benefit majority of the customers.
Once the email is opened, the most important strategy is to make the customer click on the email. It is how you place the links. This is intense stuff.
Few of the things that I have followed successfully..
- The call to action has to be a button visible as early as possible in the length of the mailer. The benchmark is that it should be at least in the first scroll, but thats not enough. If you see the rediffmail window, its hardly any length for the viewer to have a glance.
- The call to action should be pictorially represented. A visually attractive call to action tab would always attract eye-balls and possibly get most of the relevant clicks.
- The call to action visual should be visible multiple times. It should be present at least twice either in the same design or in different designs - in the left, in the right, in the middle - wherever possible without killing the emailer from a 'art balance' perspective.
- The call to action visual should try to entice the customer by saying different relevant messages. One should talk about the offer. Lets say, "Free Calling Card, Click Here". The next can talk about a good feature in the product, say, "Quick Money Transfer, Click Here" etc etc. I have found that singleminded-ness does not work as well for emailers. At the same time, we should not over-do. The messages in the call to action should be relevant to the overall communication.
- The flow of content in the emailer should not be linear. It should be snippeted and should be made for quick visual scan. This will also make room for multiple call to action links.
- The last rule that I follow is to give a link in the start of the emailer saying, "If you cant view this emailer, click here". All page-views through this link can be considered for calculating open ratios and click throughs.
These strategies are not hard to follow. They just need a meticulous process note to define the 'Email Marketing Policies' of an organisation.