Optimising email cut-through - Hints and tips

Back in the 90s email was new and exciting. We all remember our first email address, even if some of us would rather forget it! Nowadays however, emails are just one of many forms of digital communication, having to fight for our attention amongst a plethora of content: blogs, tweets, snapchats and Facebook posts to name a few.

So perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise that email cut-through rates are at a five-year low. How many emails from retailers have you received in the last week? And how many of these have you read? Recent data shows that only 15% of marketing emails received in 2015 were opened and only 2% resulted in click-through to a retailer’s website.

The vast majority of brands use email marketing to share products and offers. And they have the potential to be a valuable tool; not only can emails encourage purchase but they also have potential to inspire consumers and build brand affinity. But what does it take to unlock this potential? How can brands cut-through the noise and capture consumers’ attention?

In a world where notions of mindfulness and consciously decoupling from technology are popular, and consumers already feel that they get too many emails, the focus should be on quality over quantity. Emails need to work hard to capture and sustain people’s attention. Below are several tips taken from our recent guide designed to optimise email cut-through:

1) Encouraging consumers to open an email

Subject line is crucial in getting people to open an email. As important as the retailer sending the email. Specifically, subjects that refer to a promotion or discount are most likely to be opened. Whether the purpose of an email is inspirational or tactical, we recommend pulling any discounts or promotional messages into the subject.

2) Encouraging consumers to read an email

Emails should contain product information that is relevant to the consumer. This goes beyond just personalising the email by addressing the consumer by name; consumers expect retailers to personalise the product content within emails. Linking email content to past purchases or preferences outlined on sign-up both have the potential to satisfy this need for relevant content.

When it comes to style, emails should be inspirational. Whilst this is of course a priority for emails whose main aim is to inspire, given the appetite amongst consumers I believe it is important to consider style even within tactical emails. Although there may not be scope for large-scale elaborate photoshoots for tactical emails, consider nods towards inspiration with colour palette, font or language.

3) Encouraging click-through

Including information on the price of products in emails is most likely to encourage consumers to click-through to a retailer’s website. Time-poor consumers don’t want to risk wasting their time by clicking through only to find the price points are prohibitive. Even within inspirational emails, information on prices of products shown has potential to optimise click-through.

To access our full guide of do’s and don’ts for optimising email comms, and to see who were the winners and losers of email marketing over the Christmas period, please contact Anna Lewis – a.lewis@trinitymcqueen.com