Last week’s webinar on “How to Increase Opens, Clicks and Conversions of Your Emails” threw light on a number of factors that affect the performance of an email. Due to a high volume of questions, we were unable to answer all of them during the session. We have included those in this blog post and several others. In case you missed it, you can access the webinar recording below.

Increase Email Open Rate

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1. Are there any best practices for a good subject line?

That keeps evolving. Here are a few practices that have generated positive results:

i) Use Personalized Subject Lines(by using variable fields). We have experienced better open rates, when the email subject line uses Recipient’s first name.

ii) Don’t use recognized Spam phrases, like Free Free Free, $$$, Percent off, if you want your emails delivered.

iii) ALL CAPITALS is also a BAD idea.

iv) Subject Line should be kept short(less than 50 characters). However, when you are sending a specific offer to only a small group of people, descriptive subject lines would also do.

2. How many recipients should be there on a single mail?

If you are referring to sending emails using an email tool like LeadSquared and others, then the person who receives the email will only see a single email addressed to them. But if you are sending an email from Outlook by putting everybody in the “To” list, then that is not recommended because then you are kind of spamming them by sending them a bulk emails without any personalization. A one-on-one email is a better choice there if you are sending a sales email.

3. Will email marketing help our business?

It really depends. If your customers are generally on digital platforms, then you can connect with them vial email as well. Emails are a medium to connect with customers. If your customers are engaging with your emails, then it’s a good tool to use.

Without a doubt, email marketing is still one of the most effective and reliable marketing practices. A recent report published by MarketingCharts.com supports this statement. Take a look at the graph below. This data is based on the responses of 556 B2B marketing professionals, when they were asked to name their most important digital marketing activity. This data holds true for B2C as well.

increase email open rate

You can take a look at this webinar content on B2B Email Marketing to understand how email marketing can help your business.

4. How can we figure out the best days of a week and time of a day for sending an e-mailer?

There are tools available for that. LeadSquared is one of them. It will tell you what are the best days of a week and time of day to send emails. You can go and look back at your data and reports to understand what are the best times. If you are a regular email sender, you can test emails by sending them on separate days of the week and see how the emails are performing on each of the days in the report.

Now those reports may not be available on all kinds of email providers but in LeadSquared you can see that information and find out what are the best times to send emails, across the volume you have sent, across the days and the time of the day as well. It will tell you which devices are opening your emails, which email client is opening your email, etc. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect if you use LeadSquared to send your email campaigns.

increase email open rate

5. What should be in the email content to get a quick response and how long should it be?

Long and short won’t matter as much as the content of the email. If that’s good, the response will be good (quick). Follow these guidelines to find out what you need to do to get a quick response.

increase email open rate

6. Could you explain SPF and DKIM?

SPF is Sender Policy Framework: This indicates which mail servers are authorized to send email for a particular domain. If email servers find that emails are coming from an unauthorized mail server, they are automatically marked as spam.

DKIM is Domain Keys Identified Mail: This adds a digital signature to emails that you send. Email servers perform a check. If the signature matches a signature registered on their servers, it is from a legitimate domain name.

7. I am planning to use email marketing for R systems, an IT company. Can you suggest the right platform to begin with?

LeadSquared is the right solution for IT companies because the purpose is to not just send emails but also to find leads that are interested and engaged with your business.

increase email open rate

8. Is it true that most of the emails that go to spam are not delivered with images that we include in the email message?

If any email lands in spam, then the images, etc is not pulled in. Only text content is available for those emails. To ensure your emails do not hit the spam box, take a look at these best practices.

increase email open rate

9. Where can we buy dedicated IP?

You can buy dedicated IP from the provider whom you are engaging with, for sending an email. For example, if you are using LeadSquared, you can pay extra for securing an IP for your business (because dedicated IP is a cost to the business). So you can buy it from the party who is helping you send emails.

10. I have used MailChimp for Email Marketing. How different is LeadSquared from MailChimp?

increase email open rate

MailChimp is an email marketing tool that helps in engaging with the lead. In LeadSquared, you can track the complete engagement with your leads and subscribers. It goes beyond opens and clicks. It can help you find out if your leads are coming to your website after they open your emails. You can find out what they are interested in, what they are looking at, and so on. You can trigger emails from LeadSquared.

For example, if one of your leads is visiting the pricing page, then at that moment if you want to send them an email – based on the trigger when your lead visits your pricing page – that’s possible with LeadSquared, with ease. This is just the email part. LeadSquared also has landing pages, which are important for marketers to convert traffic and several other things.

If you are only using email for your business, and you are not using triggered-based email campaigns, and your business doesn’t require you to engage with your leads as and when they come to your website or do an activity, then you can continue to use MailChimp. But if you see that your subscribers/customers need more attention, and more intelligent support, then LeadSquared is the product for that.

11. How do I find out whether my domain is blacklisted with certain email service providers (ESPs)?

SenderBaseSender Score and SNDS are good starting points. There are a couple of others. When you start researching about it, you’ll find more names. You can look at these to find out whether your domain is blacklisted or not. When the domains are blacklisted, you will pretty much come to know immediately because your emails will not be delivered.

12. Can I use promotional content in the subject line? How will it effect open rate?

The subject line will definitely play a role in open rates. The way you craft it will make a difference. If it is promotional content, the kind of content would determine the open rate. It is also a function of subscribed lists. The thing with non-permission lists or purchased lists is that you have no idea who the parties are. So basically you can write anything and it’s anybody’s guess what will be the open rate in that case.

13. What should be the ideal time to analyze the open rate or click rate?

You’ll get the picture within half an hour to 45 minutes. We have also seen in our analysis is that the open and click rate doesn’t change much after that. It also depends on the content of the email. If it is about an event (that you might be organizing), then you can keep analyzing the open and click rate for a couple of hours.

14. What all things should be kept in mind to have minimum unsubscriptions?

The first factor you need to look at is your email list. Have people subscribed to that email list? If you have purchased that list then there is no guarantee what number of subscriptions you may have. If it is permission list, then you can control the unsubscribe rate. There will be unsubscribes but you can control in 2 ways – audience segmentation and relevant content.

If you are selling multiple stuff, then you need to make sure that the person who has subscribed to the list for a particular thing is actually receiving stuff relevant to them versus everything else you may be selling to them. Segmenting the list and appropriately sending them content is going to be important from a content perspective – to keep the reputation intact with the parties.

Maybe this infographic will help you keep in mind the things you need to do, to minimize unsubscribes.

increase email open rate

15. What are your thoughts on serving individual’s name in the subject line?

You can have the individual’s name in the subject line. It is an ‘alright’ practice. But you should try other things. We have tried it and it works for us. But don’t do it all the time, because then the subject looks similar in every other email. You should play around with the subject line. Keeping it same is a stale thing to do.

Check out this analysis by Eloqua. This showcases how using personalized subject lines is one of the most important email marketing best practices, because it can increase the open rates significantly. (But don’t keep this as a standard practice. Try new things from time to time.)

increase email open rate

16. The content in the email has to be extensive or just a summary of what we are offering?

Both forms are acceptable. It’s really a function of what kind of an audience you have. Keeping it short is something that I prefer personally because then you have caught the attention of the party enough that they can go and look at the other elements on your landing page or on your website. However, you can write a long copy as well, as long as you can sustain the interest of the party who is receiving the email with that copy. This post on Email Marketing Best Practices for Better Campaign Response will help you get started.

17. How do I know if email is necessary for me to expand my client base?

Email will not help you expand your client base. If you are able to get the attention of the potential customers, and then you can market to them whatever product or service you are offering. Email is going to help you engage with your leads. You should try to put a value proposition about your business or the organization in front of them, to give them a reason to be interested in your course/program, property, travel package, etc., whatever the case may be.

18. Are LeadSquared emails automatically responsive or do we need to do something?

LeadSquared mails are responsive. We have templates that are responsive. However, as a marketer, if you bring in your own template, which we support, and if that template is not responsive then that email will not be responsive.

19. Dedicated IP is for particular mail id or for a domain?

It is for a domain. Whatever your business is, for that you will get a dedicated IP.

You can put multiple links in the email. Studies say that less than 5-6 links are good. If your email copy is long, you can have more links. However, if your email is filled with links, then there is hardly anything that is readable. It is better if there are fewer links in the email, which are action-oriented. You don’t necessarily want them to just click on the links, rather, you would want them to get the message and then click on the link.

21. What should be in the subject if we are sending cold mails for lead generation?

For sales emails like that, you can use the customer’s business name. For example, if you are talking to XYZ, you can use that name in the subject line with some reasoning. The line should make sense to the receiving party. You can try to request for a meeting. It might sound old school but it has worked for us. Then you should focus on what is inside the email. A subject line is not sustainable. Ultimately, your objective is not getting the email opened. Your objective is that some action happens after the email is opened.

Once the email is opened, whatever you have written inside, especially in sales email, will make a difference to your campaign. You could personalize the mail and write about your business. Let me give you an example.

If you write to a customer who is in a classified industry, you can tell them that you understand that their business is classified and they would probably be struggling with a few things. You can then tell them that you have worked with these 5 other organizations who are similar to their businesses. There are three things you have learnt while working with them and you would like to share that and help them solve some of their business problems.

This is just an example. So basically, you are not directly asking them for a meeting.

You need to give a context, telling them what the purpose of the meeting is, what will they learn from talking to you, etc. You can elaborate on that in the sales email to make it more compelling for people to respond. We have seen good response rates for those emails. If they aren’t interested, they will say no straightaway. That is a good thing for a sales person because then, they can move on to the next person.

22. For professional service emails, are bulk mails, a good idea or bad idea?

If you are talking about buying lists and sending emails, it looks like it’s not a bad idea because a lot of people are doing it (sending bulk mails to unsolicited lists) and if they are doing it, I’m sure they are getting results. Good or bad will be decided by the business because if they are not getting results, then they would stop doing it.

However, I think it’s a good practice to get people to subscribe to your list, and then engage them with your emails. If you are sending an email other than that, then my suggestion would be to write a one-on-one email which is more professional and relevant to the party receiving it and has some context – with regards to why you want to talk to them or why they should look at your email. I think this will give you better results verses bulk emails.

For more webinar content, visit our blog to access all our upcoming and previous webinar recordings.

A number of interesting questions were asked during the webinar on How to Get the Best Traffic to Lead Conversions from your Website. We were happy to see a good number of enthusiastic participants. Those of you who missed the webinar, here’s a summary of some of the questions asked during the session.

Lead Conversion

View the Recording

Question 1

How to optimize the landing page for different geographies?

If you are talking about landing pages, then you could look at a couple of things:

  • You need to have a different kind of language to make up the headlines and the copy of the landing pages. That would really help because people would react positively to something they can relate to.
  • You can talk about having specific images that people of that country can relate with.
  • Currency will also come into play here. Make sure the landing page used for a specific geography complies with the currency used in that region.

This post from KISSmetrics will give you more inputs.


Question 2

How to increase traffic of my website and get a higher website page rank?

There are a lot of things you can do to increase traffic to your website. You can drive paid traffic using Adwords and Facebook ads. You can drive organic traffic and get a higher website page rank organically by writing blogs. You have to have proper SEO on your website. SEO is not just about meta titles, meta descriptions anymore. You have to write a lot of value adding content that people search for. You can use sources like Quora to actually see what are the kind of questions people ask and you can write posts around that.

This E-Book on Lead Generation Offers will give you more insights how to increase traffic of your website. You could go over this webinar recording as well.


Question 3

Should we keep landing page separate or should we build within website for search campaigns? Right now we have kept landing pages separate for search campaigns.

It would be easier to create a landing page, using one of the landing page tools, like LeadSquared. If you want to run it in a search campaign, then it should have your own domain name, otherwise Google will not accept that. Google does not allow a separate domain name (domain URL) to actually run a campaign that is associated with a particular website. So it needs to have your domain name anyway. If you are running a separate campaign, you can have a standalone page. For your website CTA itself, you can have other landing pages. It’s good that you have kept landing pages separate for search campaigns.


Question 4

We have a problem of people giving wrong phone numbers; any way to tackle this on the landing page itself?

You can setup automated, SMS auto responders to check the numbers there after your landing page fill.


Question 5

Should landing pages have the website’s main/secondary navigation?

Landing pages generally should not have navigation because it is distracting. They would drive people away from your action. Landing page is driven to a particular offer. If you want them to download an E-Book (example given below), you don’t want them to go and start reading some blog from the navigation. It’ll just kill your conversion there.

E-Book_example

Question 6

How many redirects are too many?

You should ideally not aim at having more than a couple of redirects. When you are deciding what kind of URLs, what kind of permalinks your website should have, at that point of time you need to decide, exactly what you would like to do there. I don’t think having more than a couple of redirects would be very advisable. It would just unnecessarily increase your lead time. But if it’s completely necessary, then obviously there is not really a way around it.

While looking through different articles on the web about redirects, I came across this conversation which should be able to help you. Its says: The maximum redirects is 5.  This is a semi-official figure recommended by the IETF to limit looping – the architecture actually permits unlimited redirects.  Google (unofficially ?) implements the limit of 5. Some browsers, especially mobile/handheld ones, implement lower limits. You can read the rest of the suggestions here.


Question 7

Is it a good idea to ask the customer to sign up first or serve them (give them something) and then get the sign up?

You cannot serve each prospect individually before you get a signup. It won’t really be possible for you bandwidth-wise or resource-wise. However, based on your business you can have an offer that your prospects would attach some value to. You can offer something for free. If you are offering a product, give them a one-week free trial. If you are offering a service, give them a case study. That way, you will get their details. Later, you can get them onboard by using lead nurturing like sending timely, relevant emails, etc. You don’t have to get them to sign up for the offer straight away. They may not be ready.


Question 8

Do e-commerce websites need to update daily? If not, for how many days is it good to update banners, etc.?

Changing your e-commerce website very frequently is not a very good thing. Those people who regularly visit your site are used to a certain kind of navigation. They would not want unnecessary hassles again and again. If you do the changes very frequently, then also it can get really irritating for people.

So once you are going to do that test, you have to decide what exactly you want to change, make that change, setup the test, and derive whatever knowledge you can from them and then implement it. If it increases your conversion rates, good. After sometime if it doesn’t, you can run another test. But unnecessarily, without testing, changing the structure, changing the navigation again and again is not advisable.


Question 9

What is the difference between landing page and normal webpage?

Your landing page would have only one specific offer. Landing pages would generally be driven through certain campaigns, like Adwords campaigns or Facebook campaigns or even maybe the main CTA on your website. It would have just one specific offer and all the other elements should be aligned with that offer. For instance, if you are giving away an E-Book, everything on that landing page should be about that E-Book itself – the testimonial, the headline, the copy. However, a website/webpage would have a lot of different elements.

Here’s a landing page (focusing on one specific offer):

2014-12-02_1238

Here’s a normal webpage (having several offers/elements):

Lead Conversion

Question 10

Can I convert my website with old content, title meta tag and description into a new responsive website or do I need to write new content, title meta tag and description?

If your website has a good rank, if you think your meta titles and meta descriptions are making sense, then you can keep it. It’s not really necessary for you to change everything out there. If your pages are properly tagged, then you don’t really have to change everything completely.


Question 11

If my website is about web and apps services then what kind of landing page can I create and get more traffic to my website?

You have to really decide on your offer. If you give web development and app development services, you could probably give a couple of whitepapers, you could give a couple of case studies of people who have already been making use of your service. You could also have a “consultation” sort of CTA as well.


Question 12

What kind of SEO activities can we do for a Mobile site? I want to know more about Mobile SEO.

More or less, the stuff that you do remains the same. However, by making the site responsive, you have to make sure that the bounce rates reduce. If people search for something on Google, they come on your website, they bounce off. Multiple incidences of this would result in Google pushing your ranking down.

Untitled

It works similarly for mobile as well. You could do the following:

  • Make sure the website is responsive
  • See that the navigation is proper
  • Have a mobile application for your site

The meta tagging more or less remains the same.

For more insights, take a look at this Mobile SEO Guide that I picked up from the The Moz Blog.


Question 13

When the visitor leaves a page, don’t you think giving a pop-up is irritating?

It can definitely be very irritating. I personally find it very irritating when that happens. But it is definitely known to increase conversions. You can run a test and take a call on that. You can also ask your users, those who are regular visitors to your website. Take a survey; ask them if they find it irritating or if the offers that you are providing are of some value. Take a look at this interesting post about pop-ups.


Question 14

Does auto suggestion in Google search affect conversion?

It will affect where exactly you show up on the website. It will not affect conversion par se but it will affect the search behaviour of the user. Google has its own ways to provide information on the search page itself, which may drive traffic away from your website because people stay right there on search. They don’t really navigate to content publishers. This is not something you cannot tackle. Write content that Google will not serve right there, even if people are using Google autosuggest. If you are writing a lot of how-to articles, then at least Google will not display those answers on the search results and you’ll still get that traffic.


Question 15

Can we put up a comparison of our product with our competitors’s product? If yes, how?

The way to do it would be to put it up on your blog because that would make it more searchable. People generally look for things like that. If they are evaluating a couple of products, they would go through different comparisons of them, different reviews of the products, etc.

  • Do it on your blog – The benefit would be that it would be searchable and sharable.
  • Create documentations for it that people can download.
  • Third-party review sites like G2 Crowd are more credible since they include reviews of customers who are using or have used the product/service. You could look for more such sites and register your product there.

Question 16

Can we still rely on Facebook to get the leads?

Of course you can. We run several campaigns on Facebook. Don’t only rely on external sources to get leads. Have your website ready for lead generation as well. This E-Book on Lead Generation with Facebook Ads will give you more insights.


Question 17

How to increase the pages/session and average session duration of a website?

This is about having a clear navigation, having a clear layout on your website. Check the individual pages to see what is going wrong there. If a particular page has more number of confusing navigation and elements, then that would probably put people off. They would bounce instead of making an effort to navigate through.

If it’s on your blog, you can use elements like related posts, etc. All of these elements like surveys will also help you keep people on the page.

Here’s an example of all the navigation elements you can use on your blog to increase the average session duration:

2014-12-02_1306

If you have more questions, feel free to ask them below in the “Comment” section and we will get back to you on that. You could also check out our previous webinars here.