Practical Ecommerce

3 Ways to Increase Email Clicks, for Ecommerce

A marketing email from an ecommerce merchant will often result in a sale if the recipient clicks to the merchant’s website. But behavior patterns of email recipients are changing dramatically due to increased smartphone usage. While opens from smartphones are increasing, many retailers are finding the click rates from those mobile recipients to be declining.

This occurs for many reasons.

  • It is difficult to get a commitment from an individual opening on his smartphone.
  • It can be cumbersome for shoppers to navigate on their phones, so they opt not to click until they open on a laptop or desktop.
  • The email itself isn’t as compelling to the recipient on her smartphone.
  • The copy is stale and boring.

In this article, I’ll explore three tips to help increase your email click-through rates, from both smartphone and desktop users.

Use Video to Increase Clicks

Videos are engaging. They can produce clicks to your site, social shares, and just help build awareness or brand loyalty. They are also a good way to explain a product or service that otherwise would be difficult in a text description.

Embedding an actual video in the body of an email reduces deliverability. Instead, use a simple image with a play button over it, to look like the start of the video play. When a recipient clicks, he is sent to the page where the video is hosted. Here’s an example from Safelink Wireless.

Safelink Wireless places a play button over a video image to prompt recipients to click.

Safelink Wireless places a play button over a video image to prompt recipients to click.

Tease the Audience

Most consumers are curious. Adding teasers to email marketing messages can therefore increase engagement and clicks. On social media posts, it is becoming more difficult to get users to click. You can see examples of teasers in social media feeds, with headlines like, “She sent a simple letter. What happened next will amaze you.”

This approach is used in the social media space because it works. Why not apply the same idea to your email marketing campaigns? A good example of using a teaser is a variable discount that is unique to the individual, where the discount amount is “a mystery.”  Kohl’s uses this tactic. The recipient must go through the entire cart process before she knows the discount percentage.

In this email from Kohl’s, the recipient must complete the cart process before she knows if her discount percentage is 40, 30, or 20.

In this email from Kohl’s, the recipient must complete the cart process before she knows if her discount percentage is 40, 30, or 20.

Change the Routine

Having consistent creative and messaging can definitely save time with setting up and executing email campaigns. It can also lead to stagnate open and click rates, as recipients get bored with the same types of messages.

To keep recipients engaged and to keep your click rates steady or rising, change your email content frequently. Rotate product offers and discounts with other types of communications. This can include, for example:

  • New product features;
  • Top 10 lists;
  • Product recommendations based on previous purchases;
  • Gift giving ideas;
  • Articles, tips, or tricks.

King Arthur Flour does a good job of utilizing fresh email content. King Arthur rotates offers, recipes, contests, or other content so that every email different from the last. In this email, below, King Arthur offers $10 off for completing a survey.

King Arthur Flour rotates content of its emails, such as offering $10 off for completing a survey in this example.

King Arthur Flour rotates the content of its emails, such as offering $10 off for completing a survey in this example.

Carolyn Nye
Carolyn Nye
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Comment ( 1 )

  1. Elizabeth Hollingsworth December 17, 2015 Reply

    Love your ideas, Carolyn. I’ve begun to make use of text and MMS messages which can complement the emails and will measure their success.

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