THE BLOG
11/19/2014 02:17 pm ET Updated Jan 19, 2015

Improve Holiday Conversion Rates With These 13 Email Marketing Tips

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The holiday season is right around the corner, and that means it is time to get your holiday email marketing strategy ready. Technology market research firm The Radicati Group states that there will be 196,300,000,000 worldwide emails sent and received every single day this year. That is nearly 200 BILLION emails sent and received every single day. This number doesn't take into consideration spam messages that are blocked and filtered out.

Sadly, most business email marketing is ineffective and doesn't produce the kind of return they hope for. Consumers are becoming immune to email marketing and most emails get deleted without even being looked at. The following 13 email marketing tips can be used to create emails that capture your customers' attention, receive a high open-rate and result in holiday sales for your business.

1. Write subject lines that interest your recipient.

Your subject line needs to interest your recipient. An email subject line has one job, and that is to get the email opened. Avoid too many details. You want the recipient to think, "I have to know more!" as soon as they see your subject line while skimming through their inbox.

2. Make your emails personalized.

Your recipients are more likely to open an email that is addressed to their first name rather than one that is generic. Including their first and last names is too much, and no personalization at all screams "mass-spam" message.

3. Short and to the point subject lines perform better.

According to salesforce, subject lines that contain less than 10 characters have an open rate of 58 percent, which is significantly higher than the email marketing standards as a study by Constant Contact suggests.

4. Capitalize every word in your subject line.

Does "Get 13 email marketing tips now" or "Get 13 Email Marketing Tips Now" grab your attention more? You will see more engagement when you utilize capitalization throughout your entire email subject line.

5 Address your subject line in the body of your email.

A well-crafted subject line gets your email open, but an open alone doesn't guarantee success. The message must satisfy the curiosity that triggered the consumer to open the email in the first place. If you imply something in the subject line make sure the email message gives the consumer what they expect. Many businesses will write a very clever subject to trigger the open but fail to deliver what is promised.

6. Establish a plan with conversion goals.

Simply composing an email message and sending it out without a plan and conversion goals is completely useless. What is the goal of the email message? What do you want the recipients to do when they open your email? Visit a particular URL on your website to see an offer? Be sent to a product page to make a purchase? Create a plan with goals before you even write your message.

7. Use buttons for the calls to action.

Instead of linked-text calls to action such as "click here for more information" or "visit our website," use buttons that are hard to miss. Large buttons command attention and if your subject line and email body do their job, the recipient is going to be ready to click a button to take you up on your offer.

8. Ask questions before each call to action.

Asking questions spark interest, so doing this right before a call to action is a great way to increase its conversion rate. A simple "Want effective email marketing tips that will help increase your holiday conversion rates?" right above a button with "Free Email Tips" text will outperform a call to action without the question.

9. Split-test as much as possible.

My company split tests every part of our weekly email newsletter. We send out multiple variations each time, split-testing templates, subject lines, email message length, time sent and the calls to action. We track of all this data and use it each week to constantly improve our email performance.

10. Test your emails on multiple devices.

Prior to sending out an email message, make sure that you test it on several devices, including desktop browsers, mobile devices, and tablets. HubSpot states that 80.8% of users read email on mobile devices. Mobile use continues to increase so make sure your messages render correctly on mobile and tablet devices.

11. Always proofread your emails prior to sending.

It is a good idea to have multiple people read your emails before you send them out to your list. Catching a simple grammar mistake prior to sending it to thousands of potential customers can really save face.

12. Welcome your recipients to reply.

What happens when a potential customer is reading your email and has a question? When they reach the bottom of most emails they are greeted by a can-spam required footer including the company name, address, contact info and an unsubscribe link. If you want to encourage engagement include a simple "If you have any questions at all just reply to this email -- we read every message sent to us and respond within 24 hours" at the end of your emails and welcome replies for your recipients. You will be surprised at how many will take you up on the offer.

13. Resend your email to anyone that didn't open it.

If someone doesn't open your email it doesn't mean that they are not interested in your offer. How could they not be interested -- they haven't read it. Resend your emails to your recipients that didn't open it the first time. They may have skipped over it and they might be genuinely interested in your offer, so put it in front of them again.

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