Do you read messages from friends and do they read your emails? If “yes,” then you know the best ways to generate click-throughs. Here are some strategies to generate click-throughs that don't involve loud, flashing “click me” links.
1. Contain one main message in each email, or clearly articulated and delineated messages for newsletters.
Your recipient can quickly read, understand, process, and take action on one main idea. Strong messages don’t “distract with extraneous information,” according to Jeff Finkelstein, who masterminds Internet marketing campaigns for client organizations and corresponds with clients via email as well as phone calls and face-to-face meetings for his company, Customer Paradigm.
My experience in sending and receiving emails confirms Jeff’s stance. I may write an email with multiple questions, but unless sender and recipient are actively engaged in a conversation or expect to share loads of information, then just one message actually gets through. I’ve also inadvertently ignored requests simply because I missed a two-fold (or triple) inquiry, or I’ve delayed because a multi-part response takes a while to develop.
You may have lots to show and tell. But, rather than overpower with many main ideas or inundate with a series of messages, focus on getting a response to one message, and then share more information during an extended (website) visit or subsequent messages.
2. Make a specific offer (or request).
Make a single offer, such as free shipping, 20 percent off any purchase, half-off all items in a designated category, a free webinar, an article on a hot topic, or a request to enter a sweepstakes or complete a survey.
Similarly, when you are in the early stages of a friendship, extending an invitation to a specific event at a designated time and place rather than mentioning you’d like to get together sometime is more apt to produce results.
Creating just one offer when your organization has so much to offer can be difficult. Though the ultimate goal is to build a profitable, mutually beneficial relationship, the immediate objective is to generate a click-through.
3. Give a clear call to action, preferably one that requires swift or immediate response.
Explain the action needed to accept the offer or get more information about the offer. Tell the recipient how quickly that action needs to take place in order to receive the benefits of the offer (when “free shipping” ends and shipping charges apply, for example).
4. Have a descriptive but compelling subject line.
Differentiate your emails and reference your offers in your subject line. Otherwise, all of your emails will look alike and won’t inspire curiosity or click-throughs.
If you are sending a highly anticipated monthly newsletter that consistently provides great value (expertise, information, insight, etc.), then you may be able to generate click-throughs without a distinct subject line. Articles should deliver the information promised in the titles.
5. Embed easy-to-find links that allow message recipients to take immediate action required to accept offers.
Ideally, there will be multiple gateways to offer pages (not to the home page or an unrelated page) through clearly-identifying links contained in email messages.
Eye-catching images that entice click-throughs are desirable. But message viewers (which may be mobile devices or unfamiliar interfaces) can lessen visual impact. Provide text links, such as “To view this email as a web page, go here” or, “Want to view this email in your browser? Here’s the link.”
6. Give customized recommendations that make sense to the recipient and, ideally, fulfill wants and needs or provide solutions to real-life problems.
To get high click-through rates (CTRs), offers should be designed and messages crafted to reach customers based on segmentation or past behaviors. A friend will ask about and remember common interests and preferences.
In an article on click-through benchmarks, Lyris, provider of online marketing tools, states that CTRs for “highly segmented and personalized email lists (B2B and B2C) are often in the 10 percent to 20 percent CTR range” and “trigger or behavior-based email campaigns (emails that are sent to recipients based on some behavior they showed, such as clicking on a product link, visiting a specific Web page, etc.) are often in the 15-50 percent range.”
7. Your company has permission to send and the recipient welcomes your contact.
Few click-throughs may signal a problem with your approach to getting contact information. Don’t pressure site visitors to sign up for special offers or newsletters (by requiring an email to access information on a landing page, for example). And try not to ask for registration so early in a site visit that the prospect isn’t fully aware of your company’s mission, positioning, and scope of product and service offerings.
Even if the intended (message recipient) loves your company, adores your products, and admires your ethics, she needs a reason for clicking through. And, people are unpredictable…so test various types of messages to determine the best ways of generating high click-through rates for your organization.Wise Bread is a leading personal finance community dedicated to helping people get the most out of their money. Get daily money tips by following Wise Bread on Facebook or Twitter.