Increasing Customer Click Through on Emails

Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read – Leo Burnett

In today’s world, when online marketing is all about leveraging social media, email marketing has become rather old hat. Increasing customer click through is not something too many people talk about these days. According to some experts email marketing campaigns have been edged out more other marketing tactics in recent times. Many disagree however. Email marketing is still relevant and effective – even when you factor in the fact of spam filters and statistics telling us that the average person receives about 121 emails in a day.

Email marketing has been around for a very long time; however it still has significant advantages over social media marketing and other modes of digital marketing.  The first of these advantages is the linear delivery model of email. Further, email helps create value by permitting personalization and increasing engagement.

If a potential customer has signed up for something, this signals a willingness to engage via email. It makes sense to take advantage of this inclination and to push home the advantage by sending targeted, relevant and regular emails designed at increasing customer click through which ultimately translates into sales. According to a study, a majority of adults do still check their email first thing in the morning; so email marketing is something you cannot afford to ignore.

The content of your email, the subject line, its content, frequency and timing are all important. The email recipient’s ability to control and personalise the emails they receive is also important in preventing the user unsubscribing from the emails and in increasing customer click through.

If someone has subscribed to your newsletter or email update, they are reasonably agreeable to receiving emails from you. In the confirmation email that you send (typically the one with user name and password and similar information), urge the recipient to add your email address to their address book, to mark it NOT SPAM, to white-list it or otherwise ensure that messages from you are not filtered and misdirected to the spam folder.

For increasing customer click through, you first have to ensure that the recipient is interested enough to open the email. Make the subject sound interesting, mysterious or beneficial to the user. Catch their attention and make it intriguing enough. It’s not enough to say “Sale” or “clearance”; instead say “extra X% discount on specified purchases”. Create urgency by setting a deadline: it isn’t enough to say “last chance”. Instead say “last few hours” or “stocks running out fast” or “extra incentive (gift or extra discount) for the first 100 buyers” etc.

Quickly explain what you mean to say. Don’t be wordy and don’t use big words and impressive verbiage. The reader isn’t interested in this and they don’t have the time and patience for it. Be as concise as possible to get across the message. Use a bit of humour to engage with the reader and to catch their attention. Create a call to action – something that the reader finds irresistible and add a call to action button.

Make sure there are attractive images to encourage the reader to click through. Don’t underestimate the lure of images: trendy clothes or beautiful locales, invigourating services or useful, innovative products that stir curiosity… images of anything that you hope to be able to sell!

Influencers and user generated content can also help in increasing customer click through and building excitement around a product launch, sale event or similar. While celebrity endorsements are very effective; they are is neither feasible nor affordable for most businesses. In the event social influencers… people who are popular on social media sites and so on can help. With just a comment, post, or like (which you can quote in your email) these influencers can help drive traffic to your website.

Quoting user generated content such as customer reviews on sale pages, or on social media can be great to include in your email as well. This is good old word of mouth; still as effective today as it always was.

Another tip to increase the attention that a would-be buyer pays to your email: reiterate the message via SMS. Essentially the same message, delivered in a succinct one-liner could act as a reminder or attract attention to what you are trying to say.

Researchers found that sending an email 24 hours before a promotional deadline is an effective tactic, giving the reader enough time to react, but not too much. The time of day or night you send an email is also important in deciding what reaction or the amount or attention it gets. Frequency of emails is another factor you want to control. If emails arrive too frequently they become annoying and ‘spammy’. You can decide the best frequency depending on your product or industry and on the frequency that would suggest the best results.

You can also leave the reader free to decide how frequently they want to receive emails from you. This offers the user a sense of control and autonomy that may work in your favour and ultimately help in increasing customer click through.

You can include “Specially for you XYZ” in the subject line; XYZ being the name of the recipient. Such personalisation is more likely to catch the attention of the user. Research has shown that personlised emails could offer six times higher transaction rates by increasing customer click through.

Also personalise in other ways depending upon the users likes, dislikes, preferences and their lifestyle. What pages of your website have they visited? What items have they bought or shown interest in? Browsing history or buying history could be useful indicators.  If the recipient is vegan or prefers gluten free products, emails can be designed to dovetail with these aspects for instance.

Segment or divide your mailing list by geographical region, by age, personal taste and preferences. Research geared towards increasing customer click through shows that such segmenting translates into better open and click though rates. This technique helps narrow focus and lets you send more targeted messages that are more relevant to the user.

One study showed that opens were 14% higher, unique opens were 10% higher, clicks were 100% higher in segmented campaigns than non-segmented campaigns. Unsubscribing rates fell, bounces lowered and abuse reports fell as well.

Segmentation can be done by interest groups – users can be asked to indicate interests when they subscribe (use checkboxes or drop down menus to make this easy for users). Subscriber activity will also help in segmentation so you can create targeted emails.

Did a user add items to their cart but not complete the purchase? Email them asking why. Was it a problem with the payment gateway, was the site loading too slowly? They may have simply have been interrupted by something and may have forgotten to complete their transaction. A reminder or followup email can also help in increasing customer click through… the user may go ahead and complete that purchase, or perhaps make a new one. Even if that doesn’t happen, a follow-up email like this catches attention and shows that you care… always a good message to send out!


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