Key Highlights

  • Design
  • Content
  • Contextualisation
  • Globalisation / personalisation
  • Deliverability

Medium and large scale enterprises are experiencing a paradigm shift, which has prompted them to opt for more digital infrastructure, technologies, and services. As digital communication is the only viable option for businesses to interact with their customers, email remains the cornerstone of digital communication.

Digital ID or digital certificate, proves your identity and helps prevent message tampering to protect the authenticity of an email message. Digital ID is a person’s email ID and it’s imperative to have as it acts as an important form of digital user verification. With this, one can get all the insights of customers like their online behaviour, the device used, and many other metrics.

Increased hyper-personalisation

Email is truly a digital ID as it provides hyper-personalisation, helps in building 1:1 relationships, gives product recommendations and all these can be effective while gaining data with email.

More email deliverability

Every brand wants their mail to be delivered to their intended destination. They can track the subscriber’s ISP via their digital ID, and can gain the insight on which mails will make it through those filters.

Retargeting

It becomes easier for brands to retarget their subscribers, as all the data is collected in individual digital ID by using the performance of email subject lines, content, call-to-action buttons, and many more. Digital ID helps to build each subscriber’s unified profile, which allows the brand to send more personalised and relevant mails.

Customers are receiving emails at an alarming rate from a multitude of different brands and chances are that most of these are delivered to spam folders. Route Mailer, an email solution from Route Mobile, uniquely connects businesses to their customers by placing emails where they belong – in the inbox.

Let’s take a look at five practical ways to drive engagement on your email programs

Design

Email design is the frontend that engages subscribers, so you don’t want to miss out on these pointers:

  • Get the layout right
    An email’s layout is the first to grab a subscriber’s attention, and helps to scan the mail. The layout focuses on space division and creates chunks of content. Achieve this using images and headlines. Check out the popular layout styles:
    • Inverted pyramid: Starts with a large image at the top, followed by text, and finally a call-to-action (CTA) button. The layout channels attention from the most important details to the CTA thus boosting sales.
    • Zig-zag: Arrange colour blocks and images in a zig-zag pattern to create visual ‘steps’ for easy readability. Text supplements the blocks and images.
    • One column: The layout uses images followed by text in a column, and is suitable for mobile devices. It shows the most important information first.
      Also, one should prefer a vertical layout to a horizontal layout. The ideal email width should be 500 to 650 pixels. The email layout is everything except the body of your email.
  • Pay attention to fonts
    Font or typography and colour scheme helps to present your overall message, and garner subscriber interaction. Stick to web safe fonts, for example, Arial and Times New Roman etc., which devices and operating systems use by default. Web fonts, conversely, are custom-designed and may not be found on every device.
  • Befriend the preheader
    A preheader is the first few lines of body text that immediately follow a subject line. It gives the recipient a brief preview of the mail. A recipient determines whether to open an email by reading this synopsis. This impacts your open rate. Read your body text to carefully form your preheader and summarise the former in no more than 100 characters. Be creative with the words, colour, and font. Make the preheader support or be an extension for the subject line or include a CTA in the preheader.
  • Optimise images
    An image should complement the related text. The best way to check this is to read the email without the images, and it should still make sense. Double an image’s dimension in relation to the email’s size. This helps an image stay sharp on the screen. For example use a 1,000 pixel image for an email that’s 500 pixels in size. If you’re using a GIF, keep its file size under 1 MB and use colours sparingly.
  • Conduct A/B testing
    We recommend that you perform A/B testing on all components of your email to know what works best for your particular email campaign. Monitor all CTA buttons through A/B testing to see which version is a winner.
  • Footer
    The footer of the email must contain icons with one or two CTA buttons and should have a minimum size of 44 x 44 pixels. Footers should also contain unsubscribe and social media links.

Content

Without a doubt, content has to be interesting, relevant, and clearly targeted or customised towards a particular set of subscribers. The following pointers will help to write content for email marketing mails:

  • Subject line
    The subject line is the most important in email marketing as it grabs subscribers’ attention and decides whether your emails will be opened or read. To boost your email open rate it’s preferable to use seven words over three words. You can also experiment with emoticons in the subject line to add some humour but don’t overuse it. Avoid using hashtags (#) as they rarely work, as do capital letters that activate spam filters. Keep your subject line short and evoke interest through power buzzwords. For instance, you want to send an offer to your subscribers and start using words like ‘Yesterday’, ‘Tomorrow’ in the subject line for a high engagement rate.
  • Email body copy
    When your email is clickable, make sure your body copy is aligned to your subject line. Your body should include text, images, links, and videos. Also, use the 80:20 rule – where 80% should consist of text and 20% should consist of images, links, and videos. This ratio avoids the problem of spam filters that block image-only mails, and users who keep images turned off. Add user-generated content, like user reviews and testimonials to build subscribers’ trust. Use the second person as a voice to establish a direct connection with the reader and intended audience. The sign off at the end of the email should contain contact information, like an email address, phone number, and company website to leave a lasting impression.
  • Email CTA
    You might have seen the option of ‘Read the full article’, ‘Download now’, ‘Add to cart’ and many more. Those are your CTAs. Pretty often, CTA links or buttons are of different colours to help grab the attention of readers. Appropriate CTAs will encourage the reader to take action and will help you achieve your email marketing goals and eventually increase click-through-rate (CTR). Ensure the CTA is noticeable by using whitespace and unique button colours for different priorities. Keep button size appropriate so that a subscriber can easily tap it, and finally keep the number of CTAs to a minimum.

Contextualisation or Personalisation

Personalisation should be done in the subject line and email body copy whenever it is needed. Instead of using just ‘Hi’ in the email body, using ‘ Hi, XYZ’ works better and improves open rates.

Segmentation can be done based on behaviour in past campaigns. For instance, if you have sent 10,000 mails to your subscribers, you’ll see a behavioural pattern of who opened your mails, who didn’t open, and how many times someone opened your mail. You’ll get all those insights with advanced reporting.

Triggered emails are automatically sent to subscribers based on their past actions and behaviour pattern. For instance, if you have a regional offer for your subscribers, the mails will be sent to those specific subscribers. Sending triggered emails generates ROI and also reassures subscribers that they’ll receive only relevant and highly customised emails.

Globalisation

Email marketing is a great tool if you are trying to reach customers on a personal level. A personalised email has a much higher conversion rate and delivers six times higher transaction rates. You can integrate your email platforms with Route Mailer to leverage information such as name, demographics, previous purchase, and more.

The email global market has tremendous potential and mails can be sent to different regions with full GDPR compliance and global email regulation. The design of Route Mailer considers the compliance of the global market, evaluates and optimises data, as well as provides various models to understand the frauds that are taking place.

Customise your emails by sending personalised copies and offers based on segmented audiences and different types of subscribers. By analysing subscribers’ previous purchase habits, you can make product recommendations that tailor to the subscriber. Thus, it will increase sales and enhance up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.

According to a recent research done by Statista, 88.05% of online shopping orders were abandoned, and unfortunately this number is increasing. However, sending personalised emails with a relevant subject line will give your open rates a nice boost. This email should include product name, price, image, and ratings which will give you instant action.

Deliverability

Apart from interesting email design and relevant content, the most important thing is to get your email delivered to your subscriber’s inbox. While drafting an email, keep email deliverability – the final hop from an ISP to the inbox – in mind.

Ensure you take an opt-in from the user before you start to send your mails. After the user subscribes, limit your daily mails to less than three or four. For higher deliverability it is important to keep the email list updated. Stop sending mails to those who have not opened your mail since six to nine months and least active base subscribers. If you send from a new domain, see that you warm up your IP address by sending emails in small batches and increasing the volume gradually.

Every ISP always looks for the IP reputation and if you have a bad email list it eventually hampers your IP reputation.

Most ISPs inspect keywords within your email, and this inspection determines if the email will land up in the spam folder. One should consider using dedicated IP addresses if you run bulk email marketing campaigns with a large email volume. Before sending emails check out the number of emails you can send every hour as per the ISP’s restrictions.

Route Mailer uses the sender policy framework (SPF) and domainkeys identified mail (DKIM) protocols for authentication. SPF helps the receiving email servers to check the IP address of the sending email server and compare it with a predefined IP address list of authorised sending email servers. This prevents spam. DKIM helps a recipient email server to verify an incoming email message’s ‘integrity’ thus ruling out the message’s modification by forging.
Mail Transfer Agents (MTA) play an important role in the Internet message handling system. An MTA is responsible for moving an email from sender to recipient, and uses the simple mail transport protocol (SMTP) for email delivery. It also sends an auto-response message if the email fails to reach the destination. MTA takes up core tasks such as throttling, queuing, scheduling, data transfer, connection management, tracks delivery status and bounce generation. Nowadays, maintaining a separate MTA and mail submission agent (MSA) is even becoming popular in smaller ISPs, as it gives administrators additional controls over both the processes. For instance, if MSA handles all the mail submissions and verifies the authorisation of the sender, then the MTA will limit itself to talking only to other registered MTAs, they will also prevent spammers from getting connected to your MTA.

Closing thoughts

Emails are effective only after they land inside a subscriber’s inbox. When your email marketing campaign is done well, it becomes a very powerful sales driver. Follow the tips and tricks in this blog to drive higher subscriber engagement rates and brace yourself for some breathtaking conversion.

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