There’s lots of noise in the digital advertising arena these days, but the best way to reach customers and keep them engaged is email. Social media may be the best way to drive customers to your website, but keeping them coming back is a job best left to email.
Currently, there are 2.5 billion email users worldwide, a number that is expected to grow to 2.9 billion by 2019. Dollars budgeted towards email marketing has been climbing since 2014 and is projected to continue to rise well into 2019.
One of the secrets to effective email marketing isn’t much of a secret — it’s personalization. When email messages are personalized, the open rate jumps from 13.1 percent to 18.8 percent. An email signup form with more than a person’s email address is the best way to increase response.
Constructing an email signup form that feels more like 20 questions might be a good way to get to know your customers, but it can create a lot of “friction.” Friction is the psychological reaction customers have to forms, whether they be long or short.
Simply put, the more friction your signup form has, the less likely people are to complete it.
Another important strategy to keep in mind is to keep the email signup form simple. Don’t distract from what you are trying to do, which is open an avenue of communication with your customer. Lots of distractions on your email signup page just keeps people from finding the form.
It’s important to make your email subscription form easy to complete on mobile devices as well. Current data shows that 56% of emails are opened on a mobile platform, as opposed to a desktop computer.
Your email should be formatted for mobile viewing first, and your email signup form should also be completed easily via mobile. Making them responsive to screen size reduces a bit more of that psychological friction.
Personalization and adaptive formatting aside, there are also some small details that can increase people’s response to your subscription form.
- No long drop-down lists. If you have a drop-down, keep it to just a few options.
- Eschew the Captcha nonsense for double opt-ins. Captchas just end up being seen as another response field and can be a pain via mobile.
- Use large buttons that are easy to find and recognize.
Among all the numbers, a clear narrative emerges. Businesses that do not harness email marketing will be left in the dust. It’s imperative that your business has a clear email marketing strategy that remains flexible in the face of the ever-changing digital landscape.
Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite .
Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact.
Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.