Think Outside the Inbox→ 22 Unique Hacks to Improve Your Email Marketing Conversion Rate

Email Marketing Conversion Rate

Tired of the same recycled tips that promise you a higher email marketing conversion rate? No doubt that some of the go-tos like segmenting are rock-solid, but it’s time to dig deeper. 

You need every hack in the book because inboxes are a tough nut to crack with today’s enormous email volume, right? Much less get a conversion.

So I rounded up 22 unique hacks, fact-based, designed to improve your email marketing conversion rate.

Quick Conversion Rate Knowledge if Needed

If you’re newish to email marketing, go here to see how an email marketing conversion rate is calculated. 

Mailmuch also defines this phrase as…

“An email conversion is whenever the user is convinced by your email and completes the action you have asked them for via the copy.”

In other words, your message causes the reader to take action.

And a reader taking action is exactly what your email strategy aims for. So even if you have never calculated your conversion rate (please do!), this post gives you tips to increase conversions, which helps you regardless of the math.

Simplify Email Conversions 

#1 Get more email list sign-ups with simpler forms. Single-column forms outperform zig-zag forms (21% higher conversion rate ~World Data).

#2 Marketing studies report a higher purchase intention when participants can touch a product (use human touch in video & photos

#3 Test your subject line for max appeal (100% of unopened emails fail to convert, obviously)

#4 Network effect. Inbox Mailers gets your email opened by perfectly-timed triggers. It’s the only way to send an email when your subscriber is actively reading emails from our giant mailer network. Test Inbox Mailers in a 1:1 demo.

Stats Don’t Lie – They Convert Subscribers

#5 The 80/20 rule for engagement. Don’t miss this key segmentation tactic. Can improve your deliverability fast, leading to more sales. Read this post for guidance.

#6 Amazon sees mountains of sales due to recommendations (some estimate it accounts for 35% of the site’s sales😳). Use product / service recommendations to raise your email marketing conversion rate. Cross-sell and upsell.

#7 Subject lines get high open rates when in the form of a curiosity-spiking question. Tease readers with ‘gaps of information’ they want you to fill in.

#8 Stories sell. Proof is abundant. Example: ebay experiment where stories were attached to random items. The items sold for much more than similar items (Using Behavioral Science in Marketing – 2023).

Small Tweaks Help Raise Email Conversion Rates

Email Marketing Conversion Rate

#9 Promoting time-savings can outperform money-savings. Test your calls-to-action.

#10 Conversion rates hinge on the best word choice alongside facts. Make your stats as impactful as possible. Example… which will prompt more action from readers— “Ten percent of people go bankrupt or 1 person out of 10 in your social group will suffer a bankruptcy?”

#11 Even the best CTA may flop if your product has an unfortunate name (i.e. fruitcake). Don’t cling to offer titles with negative connotations. Words paint pictures that either cause or hinder conversions.

Preferences and Behaviors Change

#12 A recent study showed generic subject lines outperformed personalized subject lines. (GetResponse) Test to see what converts your audience.

#13 There’s no ‘right’ email length. No perfect number of characters in subject lines or preview text. Read 10 studies and conclusions will vary. Trust your data and test-read all campaigns in the desktop and mobile inbox before sending.

#14 Emails triggered by a customer’s behavior see a 35.64% open rate and 5.31% CTR— compared to average email open rates of 19.66%(pre-MPP) and CTR of 2.02%. Triggered emails boost email marketing conversion rates – use this advantage!

Building Up Conversions

#15 Audience trust leads to higher conversion. Careful not to make factual errors. Even email spelling errors can lower trust. Over 80% of consumers consider trust a deciding factor in their buying decisions (Harvard Business Review). 

#16 CTA missing something? Place positive reviews next to calls-to-action and watch your email conversions rise. A/B test to see if it plays out with your audience (or with certain segments).

#17 Priming. Can’t convert on your first email. Set up long-term success. Be 10 steps or emails ahead so your subscriber knows, likes, and trusts you by email number 10. If they feel they are part of your group (labeling) then odds increase that you will convert them. See more on labeling here.

Goals, Cues, and Prompts

#18 The EZ button. I’d love to have one! Until then, test out various buttons for your calls-to-action. Email conversions are not going to happen if your reader doesn’t even notice your CTA. Extra tip— dotted lines around offers have been shown to be perceived as a good deal.

#19 Exclusive offers and scarcity. Humans want things they can’t have. Easy if you sell rare comic books or limited edition handbags. But if you sell a digital ‘thing’ then it is not in short supply usually. Still, there are ways to convey that users of your digital widget are lucky it’s available to them. Example: Course creators often have a limited number of openings when they could easily promote a copy of the course to everyone on Earth. 

#20 Abandoned cart emails are a must to improve email marketing conversion rates. Because e-commerce brands lose roughly 18 billion dollars annually as shoppers fail to finish the checkout process. Barilliance reports abandoned cart emails averaged 43% open rate (pre-MPP) from 2016-2021 and a CTR of 8.38% in 2022.

#21 Do you really want conversions in every email? Some emails are just leading up to something bigger. Choose a goal before each campaign. Because an email designed to inform and get clicks will utilize several links while an email aimed to make a sale should have one main call-to-action. 

#22 Timing is everything. Inbox Mailers gets your campaigns in the inbox at the perfect time. Demo the platform for free to see how it’s helping many clients triple their open rates which equates to more chances for conversions. Also, psychological timing matters. When is your reader most likely to make a change and try what you’re offering? Studies show the first day of the month and week are good opportunities. Similar to how New Year’s Day prompts us humans to try new things. 

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John Gardner

John Gardner is an expert email marketer and co-founder of Inbox Mailers. He specializes in email segmentation and improving overall deliverability, helping top brands and businesses optimize their email marketing strategy.