Email Design

Issues with email marketing click-through rates

Some years ago I paid to attend a problem-solving course. In many ways, it changed my life despite the methods I was taught being all too obvious. I was given a model, with lots of sub-routines, but the main thrust was to break a problem into many smaller ones. The model works for wars as well as email marketing.

You might think that starting with one problem and ending up with a dozen or so is not a solution but stick with me. Let’s take for example the main point of email marketing; return on investment. You might feel you want more but there are so many things you could change.

You should divide the process into self-contained sub-routines. Take click-through rates. If a subscriber has opened the email, many of the other processes have already shown their worth, such as the From Line. So you will know that you will have to change something in the email design to modify the CTR and then test it.

An email design has various aspects that should work together to convince the subscriber to click through to a landing page. First of all, it will be targeted so you will need a segregated email marketing list with say 10% exposed to the change. A comparison will show if there was any improvement.

Then, one aspect at a time, change the headline, the overall design, the ration between images and text, the tone of voice, become more forceful by use of time limits and words such as ‘Now’. Conversely, become more conversational. Limit what is in the marketing email to just the essentials, emphasise newness or, if you feel that particular email marketing list might respond, go for dependable; in fact, test everything you can think of. 

Don’t exclude anything. It is all up for grabs, even the obvious. Don’t measure your CTR against that of your competitors. There’s no point as there’s no magic figure. Don’t doubt the returns. If they show a 0.2% or 25% improvement on your CTR following a minor change, then believe it. 

One little bit at a time is all you need to change.




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