7 Steps You Need to Get Better Email Response Rates
Chances are, you’re all-too familiar with the age-old problem of response rates. You’re probably very aware of each best-practice recommendation for hosting a private sale and the latest trends in digital marketing.
The problem is, though it’s always good to stay on top of the latest gadgets and trends, it’s crucial that our pursuit of better response rates doesn’t cause us to overlook aspects of our marketing that appear unimportant or miniscule.
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This is because, when it comes to gaining higher response rates and achieving better results, no piece of your marketing is small or unimportant.
If you’re constantly seeking a solution that will solve the problem of the empty showroom then you might want to consider just how much emphasis you place on marketing that’s often overlooked – like your emails.
1. Remember that Words Matter
Words are powerful. If you’ve ever been involved in sales, you’ve probably learned the power of words when talking to a potential customer! Say the wrong thing and that shopper may never choose to make a purchase… at least not at your dealership.
In the same way, your emails could be saying the right things or the wrong things, depending on your copy.1 How often do we underestimate the power of words and lose sales because of it?! Studies have shown that single words can determine whether someone will take action or not.2
If your response-rates aren’t reaching their potential or have consistently stayed relatively the same, you might consider changing the messages that you’re sending. Using words like you, free, because, now, amazing, secret, instantly, etc. will produce more results.3
Once you realize how important words are and reach goals you never thought possible, it’s easy to put a greater emphasis on copy and carefully analyze the power of each word.4
2. Keep it Short and Be Engaging
Keep your emails short and to the point. Anything that requires scrolling will probably never be read… much less responded to.
Keeping your readers engaged is the key to achieving a response and when you’re writing to readers with a smaller attention span than goldfish (around 8 seconds), you don’t want to overdo it.5 In fact, data shows that the optimal length of an email is between 50 and 150 words.6 For reference, this paragraph is 78 words.
3. Keep it Simple
Ever heard of KISS? Not the band… The acronym: Keep It Simple, Stupid, or KISS, is meant to be a simple writing rule for marketing.7
You’re invading their territory. Your email is sitting in their inbox with a million other emails that are begging for their attention.
You’re interrupting the normal structure of their day. No matter how amazing your offer might be, your emails are still a distraction from something they’d rather be doing.
Consider how you can present your information simply, in a way that will evoke a positive response. You don’t want to confuse your reader or make him or her work to understand your message.
You definitely don’t want to make them feel pushed or overwhelmed by your emails! They have the right to say no (delete/unsubscribe) to your messaging – don’t tempt them to take that action!
By presenting your offer in an appealing way, you’ll have a higher chance of influencing them, and meeting them in person at your showroom.
4. Start at the Top!
Are your subject lines up to par? This is the first impression your readers will have. What message are you hoping to get across?
You’ll want to consider what will compel your readers to action – in this case the action is to open your email. What’s in it for them? What are you offering? Is it information or a discounted oil change?
The key to a good subject line is the curiosity gap.8 This means your subject line should be tantalizing enough to get a reader to continue reading or to click through, but it shouldn’t give away the whole story. After all, you want to raise their curiosity – you don’t want to tell them everything they need to know in one line. You want them to read more!
Much like the actual body of your messaging, you need to keep these babies short and sweet.9 Subject lines should be no longer than 50 characters or around six words – these tend to have the best performance.10
And don’t overdo your excitement. One study revealed that more than 85 percent of respondents prefer an all-lowercase subject line to one in all caps.11
5. Carefully Consider Your Call to Action
It’s important to have one clear call to action. What are you asking them to do? If you want them to RSVP, make this clear. Make it easy for them to do, make it clear that that’s what you want them to do, and make sure they know what they will get in return for their action.12
Again, it’s best to be brief and to the point. You should use no more than five words and your first word should be action-oriented. Begin with a clear action-verb like “Call Now”, “Get More”, or “RSVP Here”.
Make sure that readers will understand your CTA without having to read you entire message. Your CTA should be bold, easy to find, and easy to read – make the font bigger if you need to.
6. Placement Matters
In the same way, it’s important to observe that where you write matters just as much as what you write. A good headline and/or well-written CTA will only go so far towards gaining and retaining your readers’ interest.
Where have you placed your CTAs? Will your readers see your offers, or are they buried amongst a plethora of other phrases and words that distract from the actual message of your copy?
Readers quickly move from reading to scanning (it only takes a few seconds) and if your email isn’t drawing their eyes to specific offers, incentives, and CTAs, it will be quickly forgotten.13
7. Don’t Send Spam
Did you know that there are specific words that trigger spam filters? Words and phrases like “opportunity”, “free”, “save up to”, “no cost”, “no strings”, “no questions asked”, etc. will likely land you in the trash.
Avoid using all caps and multiple exclamation points. Not only will spam filters flag you, you’ll also annoy your readers and they’ll flag you.
Additionally, you might want to review your subject lines. Sixty-nine percent of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.14
The Final Thought
The truth is, there’s an endless list of possible factors that could influence the response-rates of your marketing. You probably already know many of them.
But, if you’re following these best practices for your emails, you’ll be better able to filter through which marketing strategies are working and which ones are not. You will no longer have to worry whether your emails are affecting your response-rates and, if you’re still seeing low response-rates, it will be easier to pinpoint what could actually be causing problems.
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