TRIO Takeaways: Industry Advice for Optimizing Your Emails

How often do you trash emails before even opening them? When emails come from a corporation, it’s easy to file them as spam without taking the time to read what a marketer has carefully crafted for your consumption.

That’s why it’s our job as marketers to provide compelling content that’s actually useful to the reader: the kind of content that makes the reader not only open emails but look forward to receiving them.

For us, it boils down to putting yourself in the shoes of the person on the other end of the screen. What do they need to know? Why do they need yet another email clogging up their inbox? What solution do you have to offer that they need?

We found a few interesting data points on how to optimize your emails for better open rates. Below, the top insights we found thought-provoking:

  1. Optimize the time in which you’re sending.
    1. It’s easy to let MailChimp optimize the time, but it’s also good to research what times work best for your audience’s open rate. For instance, did you know that 58 percent of adults check email first thing in the morning? (Ezanga via Emma)
  2. Optimize for mobile.
    1. It’s widely accepted that 50 percent of email opens occur on mobile devices. While most email platforms, like MailChimp or Constant Contact, automatically optimize for mobile, what are you doing as a content creator to also optimize? Even though you’re probably creating the email on a computer, think about your own habits on mobile and how likely you would be to read long content (the answer is: not that likely).
  3. Add video content for extra pizzazz.
    1. While you can’t usually add a native video to an email, Wistia found that using a video thumbnail instead of a plain image resulted in a 300 percent lift in CTR.
  4. Subject line = first impression.
    1. Did you know that 35 percent of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone? (Convince&Convert via Hubspot) And that emails including the first name of the opener in the subject line had higher CTR. At TRIO, we also like to play around with emojis and A/B testing through MailChimp to see what’s working. Personally, we’ve found that subject lines using emojis are much better received and research also backs this: according to Experian, 56 percent of brands that use emojis in their subject lines had a higher open rate.

A recent Hubspot article also derived some really fascinating lessons from Amazon’s email marketing. Check out the top three learnings we took from the piece:

  1. Make sure your email design complements your site design.
    1. When building a brand, everything must be cohesive in order to build recognition. Hubspot said of Amazon’s emails: “Amazon made sure that the look and feel of the email is similar to that of its site; when I got that email, I had no doubt I was dealing with Amazon — I was on Amazon.com.”
  2. Don’t add unnecessary steps.
    1. Hubspot correctly recognized that “Research has indeed shown that interrupting user flow by adding unnecessary extra steps that affect user action can kill conversions; Amazon is aware of this and is careful about ensuring that steps users have to take from the email to action phase is as direct and straightforward as possible.” They also note that CTAs should lead to an action, not just more information. This is one of those nuggets that seem obvious, but one that marketers often forget.
  3. Less is more.
    1. Nielsen has found that 79 percent of people only scan emails, and this is something Amazon has doubled down on, paring their email content down to the basics. They know what you want to see and that’s all they show. They’re not wasting time attempting to provide fluff that they hope you might like.

We use MailChimp, Constant Contact and Pardot for our client base and have found that each service has pros and cons. If you need a hand with your email efforts, drop us a line. We’re eager to share what our team of experts has learned from our years of email marketing experience.