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How I got 80% open rate in my email outreach campaign

The suggestion that you could have 80% of your outreach read by recipients sounds like a pipedream — an astronomical figure designed to keep people plugging away on their outbox. 

With such a small canvas of visible information in a recipient’s inbox to work with, it can feel like enticing four out of every five targets to open your email is impossible.

But if you incorporate the right approaches, then it can very much become a reality. Just to give you the heads up, here’re some results we’ve managed to get in our recent outreach campaign:

In the following article, I’ve explored the ingredients needed to get 80% of your outreach messages viewed. So perhaps you’d like to pour yourself a coffee and brace yourself for an awful lot more audience interaction in the near future — the caffeine might come in handy.

Identify your targets

There are five key factors behind achieving a high open rate in your email outreach, and the first and most important is through identifying the right recipients.

A common mistake among many outreachers is their shotgun approach to distributing emails. While scattering mail across the internet into as many inboxes that can be sourced may seem like a good, time-saving and quantitative technique, it actually wastes more time that could be better invested in finding quality recipients.

Before a successful outreach campaign, you’ll need to dedicate some time to the preparation stage. Identify who your ideal responder would be, whether it’s a client, customer, consumer or collaborator, and work on devising a list of the perfect targets that fit the description.

Through the use of opt-ins and calls-to-action, you can have an interested recipient base come to you with minimal fuss and is a sure-fire approach to sending marketing emails to those most likely to view your content. By inviting your website’s visitors to subscribe to your mailing list via an effective call-to-action placed on your homepage, you get to save time on research and effortlessly come into possession of hundreds of emails – a great outreach method for websites that are in a position to offer a product or service to thousands of people.

For outreach emails with more link-building intentions sourcing becomes more difficult. If you’ve decided to target industry professionals and influencers, then tools like Email Hunter and Voila Norbert could be the answer — these services scour the internet for the relevant email addresses behind just about any active website and can help you hit the bulls-eye when it comes to finding the right people to get in contact with.

domain search for emails for search engine watch

Mastering the subject line

According to a poll conducted via Litmus, 34% of recipients believe that an email subject line is the most important factor in helping them to decide to open their mail. This means that over 1/3 of your targets for outreach will be waiting for a perfect heading before clicking on your message.

These stats illustrate how important it is to get your subject line right, and there are many schools of thought behind what’s most effective and what isn’t.

Of course, each subject line will vary depending on the type of outreach you conduct, but the best practice is to appeal to people’s curiosity, to make them believe they’ll be gaining something if they read your email – which of course they will if your campaign has been constructed well enough.

screenshot of how email outreach goes to "other" mailbox

A winning subject line needs to be short, personal wherever possible, and relevant to the topics covered by your email. Sometimes being upfront can be effective, especially when it comes to outreaching savvy marketers and bloggers.

There are a few other factors that can make all the difference in making your email stand out too. Incorporating emojis into your heading may risk your content appearing puerile, but with the vast catalogue of emojis that are more serious than a winking yellow circle with a tongue sticking out, you can really add some standout imagery and colour to your title. For example, travel companies have been using holiday-themed emojis like aeroplanes and city skylines to great effect in capturing the imagination of recipients — if you can find something relevant that appeals to the aesthetics of your email, then it could be a key addition to make.

With so many individuals checking their inboxes via their smartphones, keeping your subject lines short and punchy has never been more important — make sure you get your message across in less than 50 characters.

By adding an element of urgency to your headline, recipients will feel more compelled to check its contents. You can exercise this by adding a sense of limited-time opportunity to your subject, or by inviting them to respond before a deadline — the chances are that they’ll be curious as to what’s caused the urgency and read on.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions in your subject line too — this can be seen as a way of cutting to the chase and getting your message across immediately.

Making use of your preview snippets

Many inboxes have menus that not only feature an unread email’s subject line but a snippet of text from the beginning of a message. It’s important not to neglect the opening lines of your email because this could be a key factor in whether or not it gets read or moved to the ‘junk’ folder.

Litmus has stated that 24% of recipients check the text previews of emails, so it’s worth dedicating time to.

The most important part of nailing your email opening is personalization. Make sure it begins with ‘Dear, [Name]’ or ‘Hi [Name],’ where possible – any less than this will give off the strong impression that you’re simply using templates to scatter across the web (which may well be the case, but we don’t want them to know that).

An effective use of the preview snippet is to treat it like a secondary subject line, or to summarize the email in the first line – doing so could be the deciding factor while your target’s hovering over your message in their inbox. If you’re using an email marketing software, make sure to use these two rules in every template.

Keeping your sender reputation in check

You could have compiled the best list of targeted recipients, the best subject line and opening text, all for it to be undone by a sender score that’s so low that your email drops straight into the junk folder never to be seen again.

Email providers are designed to give their users the best experience. And part of that is through whittling down any perceived junk automatically by filtering out any messages from users with a low sender score.

A sender score is calculated by prior interactions, and how many users generally open your emails. A great website to check if your current email address passes most servers’ junk filters is to consult Senderscore.org, which will let you know how your email is faring, and whether or not your messages will make it to the inboxes of your recipients.

sender score metrics for search engine watch

Effective follow-ups

Don’t be afraid to follow up on your emails. It can be easy to perceive the use of follow-ups as a nuisance or spammy, but in reality, a second email tends to work wonders in getting your content noticed.

example of a follow up email for email outreach

There are many reasons why recipients don’t read emails the first time around; it could’ve been received at a busy time in their day, or deleted by accident, or simply missed. Here, a follow-up offers your target a second chance to see your content and acknowledge your outreach.

Be sure to specify that your email is a follow-up – this shows that you’ve been in touch prior and clearly value the recipient’s attention. Also be sure to note when you sent your initial email for ease of reference.

While it’s worth sending more than one follow-up email to maximize your recipient’s chances to respond, we advise against mailing more than two chasers in order to limit the risk of being considered spam, or worse, being blacklisted.

Dmytro Spilka is Head Wiz at Solvid Digital. He can be found on Twitter at @spilkadi.

The post How I got 80% open rate in my email outreach campaign appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

How to increase conversions: Ideas, tools, examples

Historically digital marketers are more concerned about attracting traffic to the site than boosting on-site conversions.

This is unfortunate because conversion optimization usually requires smaller investments and provides faster results than growing your traffic.

Here are eight ways to increase your ecommerce conversions quickly by providing better usability and smoother user experience.

1. Make your checkout process simpler

The name of the game is convenience. Don’t make it difficult for the consumer to finish a purchase. The more barriers your site throws up, the more likely it is your customers will leave the cart without completing the purchase.

According to BigCommerce’s 2019 Omni-Channel Retail Report, convenience is among the top 3 reasons U.S.  consumers across all generations chose to buy from an online store. When shopping online, millennials have become used to speed and convenience while younger generations have never known shopping without these.

graph showing "what is the primary reason you buy from a brand's website"

You should have a simple checkout process because that’s what is expected from your site these days (and often the primary reason why they shop online anyway). For example, sites that force you to sign up before you can check out are frustrating, and many users are not willing to spend time creating an account. Remove the forced signup and provide an option to checkout out as “guest.”

Every section of your checkout process is another opportunity for the consumer to quit and walk away. Consider whether any given section is worth the chance of losing sales and if you can safely remove it. Or, if it can’t be removed, find a way to streamline the entire process. For example, include a duplicating button that allows users to make their delivery address their billing address, without entering the same information twice.

Create easy cart navigation and decrease the number of steps needed to complete the purchase. This will increase sales and profits as well as customer satisfaction.

Featured tool: Convert.com allows to easily A/B your site shopping experience to come up with the best solution for your customers. Additionally, for WordPress, here’s a detailed A/B testing tutorial.

convert.com tool for how to increase conversions

2. Provide one-click upsells

According to ConversionXL, it is 25 times more expensive to develop new customers than it is to re-convert your current customers. You need to work to keep re-engaging your existing customers continually.

They are more valuable to you than a new visitor. Studies have shown that if you can increase your customer retention by 5%, you can increase your profits by up to 25%.

You can keep these consumers through a one-click upsell option. It convinces customers to complete an additional, unplanned-for transaction. It’s exactly how impulse shopping works in brick-and-mortar stores. They place enticing items by the register to convince you to add them to your purchase while you stand in line.

PayKickstart users have demonstrated powerful proof of concept: Many of them have seen both their average customer value and the total revenue more than double after they implemented one-click upsells:

paykickstart showing benefits of increased conversions after adding upsells

3. Make your shopping experience mobile-friendly

Mobile shopping is continually growing. More people are using their mobile device or tablet to shop on ecommerce sites than ever before, and with the fast adoption of smartphones worldwide, the numbers will continue to go up.

Users are more likely to abandon a cart and navigate away from your site if it’s difficult to browse on a smartphone. You don’t always need to develop an expensive app, but you do need to make your website easy to read and use on a smartphone.

One powerful way to make your shopping experience mobile friendly without investing into a standalone app is to use web design platforms that support progressive web apps (PWAs) which act like native mobile apps but don’t need to be installed by your customers. According to Google, PWAs are “a new way to deliver amazing user experiences on the web.”

PWAs also support many app-like functionalities that most mobile-optimized websites do not, such as push notifications, which can be especially useful for omnichannel retailers.

Duda allows agency professionals to roll out progressive web app versions of their clients’ sites with one click of a button:

duda platform showing progressive web apps (PWAs)

4. Provide personalized shopping experience

Several studies found personalized experience is a growing ecommerce trend that shouldn’t be neglected:

  • 59% of e-commerce shoppers find it easier and more engaging to shop on sites that are personalized.
  • 56% of shoppers are increasingly more likely to return to a site that recommends products to them.
  •  53% of shoppers believe that e-commerce retailers that offer personalized shopping provide a valuable service.

With Amazon leading the digital marketing industry, most of US consumers already expect to receive personalized treatment whenever they shop online.

Alter helps you set-up personalized shopping experience without the need to invest into an in-house solution. It works as follows:

  • Visitors read content or research products like they normally would on their favorite websites and blogs
  • Alter anonymously determines non-personal visitor interests based on the web pages they’re viewing (e.g. shoes, cars).
  • Visitors see personalized content based on those interests to help save time on websites they visit later (marketer websites).

image of how to provide personalized experiences

Some content management systems also provide for solid personalization options (which would be even easier to implement). For example, Duda allows you to personalize CTAs and special offers based on time of day, geolocation, number of visits and more:

duda platform for how to edit special offers

5. Match your customers’ expectations

Many of your customers discover your products through Google search. Are your landing pages doing a good-enough job matching their expectations?

Search intent optimization is often overlooked. Yet, it’s what often determines your users’ on-page engagement. Whether they will instantly see what they expected to see determines whether they will want to stay and give your landing page a chance to convert them into buyers.

Text Optimizer is a great way to optimize your landing page copy to meet Google’s and its users’ expectations. It uses semantic analysis to extract important concepts from Google’s search results. Use these terms when crafting your landing page copy to optimize it better and engage more of your site visitors:

TextOptimizer tool for how to improve copy for increased conversions

6. Add a sense urgency

Have you ever had a case of FOMO or fear of missing out? You’re not alone. The fear of missing out on something amazing or special or even extremely ordinary is a powerful psychological force that you can tap into.

Add a sense of urgency to your shopping cart page to develop FOMO in your costumer. This can give hesitant customers the extra push they need to complete the purchase.

Amazon uses FOMO extremely well by adding a countdown timer tied into your shipping. It tells you to buy the product in the next XX minutes to qualify for one-day shipping.

image of amazon example of adding urgency for how to increase conversions

You can use this tactic by adding a timer to your cart page, or a countdown clock to the end of a sale (here’s how). You could even go simply by writing “checkout now” instead of only “checkout.”

7. Add breadcrumbs

Site navigation can be tricky. If you’ve never been on a particular website, you might struggle to find your way around after you move from the landing page.

This is especially troublesome for e-commerce sites. You need to implement clear site navigation for both SEO and  usability.

Setting up breadcrumbs throughout your pages is a simple way to help your users feel confident at each step of their journey. Make it obvious where the consumer should go and what they should click next, and you are likely to see your conversions go up.

Conversion optimization may seem overwhelming. Luckily there are tools and solutions that can make it quite doable. Before investing in attracting more traffic to your site, try implementing the tips above to get the most of those visitors you already have.

Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on twitter @seosmarty

The post How to increase conversions: Ideas, tools, examples appeared first on Search Engine Watch.