How to increase your email click through rate by 3x

 In Email, Interactive Content, Reveal Marketing

Nailing your email strategy is tricky. There are so many factors at play that feed into those core email KPIs that indicate a job well done or a need to go back to the drawing board! Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.

At Zembula, we’re no different.We have those golden egg campaigns, but we also miss the mark sometimes. And from one marketer to another, I know it helps to hear how others crushed their email goals. So I want to walk you through one of our best email campaigns to date where we managed to triple our click-through rate.

First and foremost, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that at the core of our best campaign is interactive content. We love it and so do your customers! 82% of consumers surveyed in a recent report stated they prefer interactive content in their emails. So give them what they want! Your KPIs will show it.

Here is how we tripled our click-through rate:

Overview and goals:

  • It was late August. The weather was hot and website traffic was nearly dead just like it is every year as office dwellers creep out for their final summer hurrah. And on top of that something far more interesting was at play – the total solar eclipse!
  • We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight this awesome event, but also, hopefully, newsjack it just a bit and show off our product. To our advantage and dismay, the eclipse was on a workday, during work hours. This meant that while some would be out of the office to catch it, many would be in front of their computer wishing they were outside in the path of totality.
  • We planned to use language that captured this FOMO that people might be having and give them a little light-hearted experience to distract them from what they were doing. 
  • How you can do this:
    • Is there something big going on? Maybe even just locally? Go ahead and newsjack it! Be funny or cute, and don’t just focus on selling your brand, rather focus on giving a memorable experience that will surprise and delight your audience.

Design: get creative

  • We created the experience first before doing the email. This does not always work in your favor, but for this particular campaign we wanted the experience to be the focal point and it made sense to design it first since we were going to make a mini-eclipse with our interactive experience.
  • This experience design was pretty straightforward. We needed it to look like, well, the eclipse! We used transparency so the movement of the moon could cover the sun just like it would in the eclipse. It is hard to explain fully so check out the example below.
  • How you can do this:
    • Get a little creative with your design. Don’t be afraid to forsake your branding a little in the name of creating an immersive coherent experience. Make sure your email and all the materials that go along with it are extremely tight! Each part should lead into the next.

The email: no cognitive dissonance

  • It is really important that your email experience, from subject line to the final destination, flows from one step to another and makes the user feel they are on the same path that is easy to follow. Every step is crucial!
    • The subject line:
      • You know it’s important. You need to capture attention, give a preview, and pique curiosity all in a couple words. Try to ask a question or be surprising. We went with “Will you see it?” and added three emojis. A moon, a sun, and earth to give a little hint about what we might be talking about.
    • How you can do it:
      • Short, punchy subject lines are best. Ask a question. Use emojis!
    • Email copy:
      • We wanted the copy to be short, sweet and light-hearted. We needed to be straightforward about the eclipse but also induce FOMO that they were missing it.
      • Here is what we said:
    • How you can do it:
      • Keep it simple but also a little funny if your brand allows. Lead them on to the next part of your campaign.

The final destination: take them where they want to go!

  • For our campaign we wanted to really give our audience what they wanted – the eclipse! And since they couldn’t be there physically, NASA’s live stream was the next best thing.
  • The destination doesn’t have anything to do with us, but we saw this as a win because we were truly creating a viewer-centric campaign that was likely to be remembered with all those warm and fuzzies.
  • Bonus: by flexing our creative muscles on this one, we are inadvertently showing how flexible and awesome our product can be. Win-win!
  • How you can do it:
    • Avoid the temptation to send them to some branded content that sells your product if that doesn’t fit the flow. Go ahead and send them somewhere that has nothing to do with you as long as it matches the rest of their experience. Trust me, it is much more pleasing to the viewer this way. No one wants to end up on a sales page with no idea how they got there.

So… what did we get?

  • In the end, this email ended up being our highest click-through rate ever. It got a 30.9% click-through when our average is 11.85%. Pretty great!
  • On top of that, we had higher than average engagement with our experience and higher than average redeems.

If you are wondering whether or not to send that email that’s fun and shows your brand personality but doesn’t necessarily lead to a hard sell, I say go for it!