Email Marketing

16 proven ideas for improving email conversion rate (+ examples)

Email is a sure-shot revenue driver—but it’s also not an easy one. These 16 time-tested ideas can get you ahead of the email conversion game.

16 proven ideas for improving email conversion rate (+ examples)

Around 53% of customers complain about receiving irrelevant emails from brands. In fact, email conversion rates have already been at a low since the last 2 years—descending from 18.49% in 2018 to 15.22% in 2021.

Average Email Conversion Rates Over Time
Source

However, email marketing is an indispensable eCommerce marketing strategy. Hence, it’s important to keep a sharp eye on your email marketing elements and keep optimizing them for best results.

To help you, we’ve created a list of 16 time-tested ideas that can help boost your email marketing conversion rates.

1. For email body - UX matters

The information you share in the email body is more important than one another, and it’s important readers understand and see this as well. This is where visual hierarchy comes into play.

For example, in a single product sales or promotional email where the CTA is a very crucial element and you should take the Inverted Pyramid design approach for a good email marketing conversion rate.

The inverted pyramid is a visual hierarchy method in which every element in the email helps build up momentum towards the CTA while eliminating every possible distraction. Hence, the attention of the reader is centered on what's most important, the CTA.

the Inverted Pyramid design approach

Here’s an example of how Fitbit uses an Inverted Pyramid design approach for its email. 

Example of Inverted Pyramid design approach by Fitbit

In some other cases where you need to include a lot of content in your email without making it look jampacked, the Zigzag Pattern is highly recommended.

The Zigzag pattern is modeled after how we read books and other large walls of texts—from left to right, then a little down and back to left, in a zigzag manner.

the Zigzag pattern

This makes loads of content in the email easily digestible and less overwhelming. Each consecutive line segment, for example, can redirect readers to different product pages.     

2. Segment based on your ICPs

According to DMA, marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.

This increase in email revenue can be attributed to better engagement that comes with email list segmentation as tailored offers and messages resonate well with the target audience.

You can segment your email list audience based on demographics, interests, preferences, or engagements (both on the website and in emails).

Email segmentation is quite effective in achieving good email marketing conversion rates but you might not get the best out of it if:

  • You're not using data—avoid presumption when it comes to segmenting your email audience. Instead, segment your audience based on your various Ideal Customer Personas (ICP) from data collected on leads and customers. 
  • Your segments are not aligned with your email marketing objectives—are you trying to get purchases or some brand awareness or is it website traffic you need? Whatever the goal is, your email segments should be ones with attributes that will convert most for the objective. For example, you don’t want to bombard CBD audiences—whose interest data clearly shows that they are only curious about what’s in the product—with your purchase promotion; rather you would want to send them your educational emails.
  • Your segments are based on limited data—email marketing platforms are only as smart as the data you feed them. For example, if you haven’t collected data on the gender of your audience, you can create a women-only segment for promotions you want to target at them. Always evaluate your audience to identify the information you might need and update your data sources accordingly.

Other factors for segmenting your email audience include their stage in the buyers’ journey, past purchases, purchase amount, purchase frequency, sign-up source, etc.

For example, Lululemon sends this targeted email to its new subscribers. It successfully taps into the excitement and anticipation of a fresh customer and sets expectations for them in the form of weekly updates and insider access to new gears. 

Example of email segmentation by Lululemon

3. Make your subject lines compelling with psychology

Subject lines determine whether your customers will open an email or trash it. In fact, 47% of recipients open an email based solely on the subject line.

A great email subject line should invoke some type of emotion within the recipients that subtly persuade them to open your emails. 

Here are a few ways to achieve this in your email subject lines:

  • Create fear of missing out (FOMO) through urgency, scarcity, or social proof

Examples: “They call this x heaven on earth”, “SOLD OUT”

  • Arouse their curiosity by mentioning something strange, asking a question, or using cliffhangers

Examples: “A New Product Has Emerged That’s Slashing The Prices for x”, “Watch this space…”

  • Create controversy by using these tactics sparingly and only when you actually have something controversial or shocking in your emails.

Examples: “You’ve Never Seen x Like This”, “How to pleasure yourself”

  • Get personal by keeping the subject line casual and conversational

Examples: “We went shopping for your best friend”, “Rose, you will want in on these fire picks!”

  • Awaken greed by mentioning a discount or special offer but don’t overdo it.

Examples: “Don’t miss a sale like this”, “Save 25% on our x …”

In the example below, Nine West led the email subject line with an hourglass icon signifying time countdown, then it skillfully awakens greed with a ‘70% OFF’ offer and finally reinforces a sense of urgency by mentioning that the offer ends in a  few hours. Anyone interested in getting a pair of boots will click to open for sure.

Example of FOMO-driven email subject line by Nine West

4. Prune your email list—but follow these 2 steps first

Now, before you rush into weeding away all your hard-earned subscribers in the name of list cleaning, here’s what many miss out on.

Your email audience subscribed to your list by themselves (and not with a gun to their head) for the value they perceived you offer. So, before you weed them out, do these 2 things below and you might just unlock some massive sales from your seemingly dead list of subscribers:

  • Identify unengaged subscribers, say those who haven’t clicked a link in your email or bought from you in the last 3 or 6 months. Launch a re-engagement email campaign to win them back.

Here’s an example from Boulevard Brewing Co

Example of re-engagement mail from Boulevard

Not only is the copy super interesting—enough to make readers re-subscribe—but the CTA is also enticing enough to make readers click in a heartbeat. 

  • Identify addresses from where your emails bounce and find out the reasons for bounces. Remove email addresses that bounce due to reasons like invalid emails and keep an eye on ones with temporary issues like full inbox and recipient server issues, they can come around later.

Having done these, you can now go ahead to clean your list and maintain a healthy list size. 

Use these few tips to effectively get it done:

  • Remove inactive subscribers from your list. These could be subscribers who have never opened your email or click-through in a long time (you determine how long you want to set the bar). 
  • Mark the subscribers that still do not engage after the re-engagement emails as inactive subscribers and remove them from your list.
  • Immediately remove subscribers that marked your emails as spam.

Always verify and validate your email lists ahead of big holiday campaigns.

5. Personalize (beyond just the fname)

Email personalization is delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.

Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates. Today’s consumers expect brands to know who they are and provide them with content they care about.

To personalize beyond a first-name basis, you need to first get your segmentation right like we earlier described. Segmenting your email audience lays the data foundation you need to pull off personalization that have a direct effect on email marketing conversion rates.

Here are 2 email elements you can personalize:

  • Offers: With audience segments like purchase recency, frequency, and monetary, you can target different audience needs in your offers. For instance, you can target your loyal customers with offers that incentivize them to keep shopping with you (exclusive pre-sale offers for example). While the audience category needs nurturing with your newsletter to help build the bond that will eventually earn you a sale.
  • Subject lines: You craft a personalized subject line such as “Clearance Sale: 80% off on Winter Coats” to target subscribers whose location segment suggests they are in the winter season. This kind of subject line personalization will get subscribers to open and click your emails because it is highly relevant to them.

Use your knowledge of your customers to talk with them one-on-one in your emails, taking your personalization to the next level. Take a look at how Misfits does it:

Email personalization example by Misfit

Misfits leverage the understanding of what their audience cares about—health and wellness—to create an irresistible offer (a wellness retreat plus their products) through a partnership with a travel brand. That’s an absolutely brilliant use of offer personalization.

6. Play around with persuasion triggers (urgency and scarcity)

Email marketing is about getting your recipients to take a certain desired action. And a crucial part of your job in getting this done is to help recipients overcome their hesitation to act.

Infusing some urgency and scarcity in your email subject line and email body helps with this. 

How?

Scarcity and urgency trigger FOMO by making the cost of not taking action higher than the cost of taking action. Humans by nature fear losing something more than gaining new. So, they respond quickly when you remind them of what they will be losing before they do, it's reverse psychology.

Now, using time-bound discount coupons is a great way to set these psychological triggers in motion but it might not set you apart in the inbox — a recipe for an email marketing disaster.

Just take a look at this:

overload of scarcity and urgency in emails

This is how recipients' inbox typically looks these days. Every other brand (even your competitors, maybe) is offering an X% off coupon that ‘ends soon’. But there are better and unique ways to increase email marketing conversion rates with scarcity and urgency.

Let’s take a look at how Fabletics did it differently and better.

First, its email subject line alluded that the product is what the recipient would love and that only 200 of it was made. It’s only natural for the recipient to want to open the email to see what it is and make a quick decision.

Example of how to do scarcity and urgency right in email subject lines

Fabletics further reinforced the scarcity perception in the email body by showing the percentage of the products left in stock.

It also triggers a bit of urgency for subscribers to act fast by reminding them that the products are ‘almost sold out’.

Use of urgency by Fabletics

The 'limited stock scarcity strategy' wasn't the only one of the Fabletics deployed. It also created exclusivity by naming this product category ‘ultra-limited edition’.

7. Get the frequency and timing right

The question of how often you should send out emails isn’t one with a straight answer set in stone.

While more promotional emails could mean more revenue for some brands, it could mean the death of email conversion rate for others because of email fatigue.

So, exactly how many emails per week/month is just enough to optimize conversion?

You would usually come across recommendations like 3-6 emails per week works great, or weekly and some say monthly are the best. Even though some of these recommendations are based on experiments and could be valid, you should still be wary of applying them.

Why?

Because the tests were not performed on the list that matters most: Yours.

Instead, take an objective approach to determine what works the magic when your audience is concerned.

How?

a) Let your email marketing objective and your customer purchase cycle dictates

The first question you should answer is why you are even sending the emails. To drive store traffic and purchases? To build loyalty? To close abandoned purchases? To drive blog traffic? All of the above?

These questions will guide you to determine how often you should send out those emails. For instance, if your goal is to drive purchases, risking a few unsubscribes to increase your chances of getting more purchases wouldn't be a bad idea.

Also, what’s your typical customer purchase cycle? A fashion brand, for example, may send emails more frequently (an average of 6 emails per week) because clothing usually has a repeat purchase frequency. Even when a clothing brand audience is not buying, they may still enjoy browsing items.

But when you have a type of audience that makes repeat purchases only every 6 months, frequent emails right when they just make a purchase might put them off. So, get familiar with your email audience.

b) Don’t make the mistake of making your email frequency global

Setting the same email frequency for all your email audience is a terrible idea. In order to have a good email conversion rate, segment your audience based on their engagement level to determine how frequently you should send them emails.

Segment your audience into 4 categories: people who have opened your emails in the last 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. Then, determine the average number of emails it’s been since the subscribers in each segment last engaged.

This way, you can determine how engaged each of the four segments are and send just the right number of emails without ending up in spam. 

By the way, your least engaged audience segment can still make a purchase. What being less engaged means is that they are less interested or have less time, so you should only send them your top-performing offers.

c) Let your audience make the call by themselves

Instead of trying hard to figure out how often you should send out emails to your subscribers, why don’t you just ask them?

You can do this at sign-up or during a re-engagement campaign by linking to an ‘update preference form’ in your email. 

d) Use send time optimization

Email frequency and timing go hand in hand.

You must have probably observed how you send someone an email sometimes and they respond immediately and some other times, it takes them more than a day to respond.

This variation in response is due to the time you reached them. This is true for eCommerce email marketing as well.

A person at home, relaxed and chilling with a glass of wine will most likely engage an email from a clothing brand on their mobile device. You might not get the same engagement when they are busy with work on their PC.

Every subscriber on your email lists has a unique engagement pattern and with a little help from AI driven email platform you can uncover this pattern and increase your chances of reaching them.

A manual way to do it, however, is to group your audience into “morning openers”, “afternoon openers”, “night openers” or “weekday readers” and “weekend readers”.

8. Experiment with email visuals—but avoid these pitfalls

With a short attention span being displayed by today’s consumers, email visuals are no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’. 

The fact that humans process visuals 60 times faster than text shows that visuals are the most guaranteed ways with which you can get your message across fast in emails before losing readers’ attention.

The most common type of visuals in eCommerce emails are product images. You’ve probably used it as well in your emails at some point.

However, avoid making these common mistakes in using static product images in your emails:

  • Never send an all-image email to avoid triggering spam filters. Always keep the text to image ratio at 80:20.
  • Avoid adding important information and CTA only to the image because email client servers sometimes fail to render images in emails
  • Never include an image without an alt text just in case the image is not rendered. So, recipients can read the text to know what the image they are missing is all about
  • Don’t send your emails without testing to make sure images are rendered properly across different email clients
  • Never include an ‘isolated’ product image in your emails. Rather, include the image of your product while in use. This gives email recipients an experience of the product by allowing them to picture your product how they want to use it.

For instance, in the example below, rather than showing the cookies in their boxes, they are shown ‘in use’ in a home.

Showing products in use

Another type of visual element that can help switch your average email conversion rate is product videos.

In fact, 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video that explains the product.

But using videos in emails is tricky because unlike other visuals it requires recipients to play it and can also be difficult to render by email clients.

Here are 3 things you should do before including a video in your emails, to avoid the potential pitfall:

  • Compress the video size as much as you can get away with. This helps ensure it loads up fast in emails.
  • Always have a fallback while embedding videos in emails to communicate the main message of the video in case it’s not rendered properly. This could be an image or the first frame of the video.
  • In cases where the video is not embedded directly in emails, ensure the thumbnail redirects to the right landing page or video.

You should be able to tell by now that videos are not something you can throw around in emails every time except when absolutely necessary. Videos in emails are like salt—just the right amount of use is what will do you good.

The use of videos in eCommerce emails is great for a new product launch and highly anticipated seasonal campaigns or when you have a human-centered brand story to tell.

💡 Bonus tip: Use GIFs in your emails, especially if humor is a part of your marketing strategy. They are fun and capture attention in a way static images cannot. They also have a relatively smaller file size than regular videos.

9. Don’t let your deliverability go down

21% of emails are said to never reach the desired inbox, even though people subscribed to receive the emails.

Good email deliverability simply means your emails reached the inbox of recipients just as intended.

We will spare you the technicalities around email deliverability and share some of the common mistakes that hurt email deliverability that we have observed from working with several eCommerce brands and how you can avoid falling into the same traps.

Here they are:

a) You’re using a generic sending domain and sender’s field

Besides the fact that an email client may flag your emails as spam, generic sending domains (usually your ESP’s domain) don’t reinforce trust in recipients. Hence, you might experience poor open rates.

Rather than this:

Example of a spammy domain name

You should use a custom sending domain:

Example of a trustworthy domain name

Also, update the “From” field from the generic text (usually, ‘no-reply’) to your name or brand name. It gives recipients the confidence to engage with your emails.

b) You’re sending emails to a dead list of subscribers

When you have a lot of inactive subscribers who do not open your emails or constantly delete your emails without opening them, ESPs flag your emails as spam.

Also, when you have a lot of invalid or duplicate email addresses it triggers spam filters and increases bounce rates—not so good news for deliverability.

To avoid getting trapped in this poor deliverability net, regularly clean your list like we earlier shared in this article.

c) You rapidly increase email frequency during holiday sales

It’s quite understandable that you might need to send more email offers and follow-ups during holiday sales.

You however need to be careful to avoid email fatigue which will cause subscribers who haven’t expressed interest in receiving such frequent emails to start unsubscribing or marking your emails as spam. Hence, preventing your future emails from landing in the inbox as your ‘sender reputation’ with the ESPs is now bad.

What should you do instead?

During holiday sales, make sure your promotional emails are highly targeted. Send your email audience only valuable offers they have expressed interest in or engaged with in the last six months.

Secondly, make your unsubscribe button in emails visible—and not bury it under ‘Email preference’. This will allow subscribers who are not interested in your emails to easily unsubscribe rather than hurting your deliverability by marking your emails as spam.

d) You’re sending crappy emails

This should go without saying but here we are; you can’t avoid ending in spam if you ignore all we have shared so far on optimizing different elements of your email marketing.

Your emails have to be responsive, your visuals have to be on point and your offers have to be valuable to your audience.

Let’s talk about making your offers valuable.

10. Modify your value offering based on behavioral data

The mistake many retailers make when it comes to creating value for their email audience is sending content and offers they think their subscribers need instead of what the audience told them they wanted.

Yes! Your audience told you but you probably weren’t listening. They told you when they browsed that particular product category, when they abandoned that product in the cart at checkout, when they made that last purchase, and so on.

They already told you what they valued and this is your key to having a good email marketing conversion rate. In fact, emails sent based on past behaviors such as these have 8x more opens and clicks, and generate 6x more revenues. 

In the example below, Royal Canin targeted a sales promotion email at a pet owner who has a 2lbs puppy based on past interest shown by this segment of their audience in that particular product. What they got was a 74% engagement that drove highly targeted traffic to their online store.

Example of targeted email based on past activity

You can gather data for this kind of behavioral email marketing from:

  •  Conversion events (subscribe, download, sign-ups, or purchase)
  • Site and social activities (cart abandonment, added to carts or wishlist, product category browsing, social comment, share, and so on)

Finally, use these behavioral data to create email content and offers that your subscribers will consider valuable.

10 Surefire Ways to Blow Up Your eCommerce Revenue From Emails

11. Make CTAs a part of your story

Imagine you’ve crafted a great subject line that’s proven to explode your open rates, then you created catching hooks in your email message accompanied with irresistible offers and you hit send.

But to your greatest surprise, you only had less than 2% click-throughs on your email. You did everything except that you might not have paid enough attention to your email CTA just like many other eCommerce brands. Optimizing your email CTA can cause as high as a 90% increase in email CTRs.

Optimizing an email CTA is beyond using power words in CTA buttons, or making it bold and a particular color like it’s often suggested. Yes, all these are important but it’s much more than that.

The mistake many brands make is that they treat CTAs like an isolated element of emails. Whereas, all other elements of the email should be a build-up for and pointing at the CTA.

Take a look at how Banana Republic does it below. 

Example of CTA-driven email by Banana Republic

It uses the email message and visuals crafted as a build-up for the CTA “GET FRESH”.

First, it includes the keyword “fresh” in its headline and also uses ‘lemon yellow' as the color scheme to further reinforce the main idea of the CTA.

12. Don’t ignore your landing page (that’s where the action happens)

The actual conversion you desire from your email doesn’t happen in email.

Yes, some subscribers who clicked your email CTA are ready to take the conversion action (newsletter sign up, register for a webinar, make a purchase, and others) but many others will need some nudge towards conversion

This is where your ‘post-email click landing page’ comes in.

If you have an awesome email campaign but are struggling to achieve great email conversion rates, you might want to optimize where you send your subscribers to take action—your email landing page.

An email landing page is where the action that pushes your subscribers further down the funnel towards your email marketing goal takes place.

While keeping to the usual landing page optimization best practices, a great email landing page will also:

a) Double-down on what you started in the email: Reinforce your message in the email, provide additional information and benefits of the offer, answer the questions they might have, and handle all their likely objections to buying.

b) Stay laser-focused on 1 action: There should only be 1 action you require the page visitors to take. Don’t be tempted to include other backup CTAs on the page in case they don’t convert, they will only cause distractions.

c) Keep the feel and look from the email: Keep the user experience that drove them this far to your email landing page. Keep the same fonts, colors, visual assets, same title, and headlines as well. Let them have no doubt the email and landing page are connected. This approach has a usability psychology effect that helps sustain the momentum you’ve built in the email towards conversion.

d) Use UGC to trigger action: Besides the usual landing page elements like FOMO, badges, and reviews used in reinforcing trust, take it a notch higher by using User-Generated Content (UGC) to drive subscribers to conversion. UGCs act as social proof from real users while also showing your product in action.

Here’s an inspiring example from BoxyCharm

Example of post-email click landing page

It serves the right purpose by keeping the landing page distraction-free and keeping the focus on just 1 CTA. Moreover, it informs the readers with enough information for them to gauge the value. To top it off, it offers an incentive to close the deal. 

13. Don’t stop at your landing page, optimize the post-click experience

Your effort to secure a good email conversion rate should not end at the email landing page because you can still lose the leads.

If you’re trying to get them to make a purchase, it might interest you to know that about 78% of leads abandon their cart at checkout. Also, if it’s a sign-up form you’re trying to get them to fill, about 81% of them are likely to abandon it halfway through it.

However, there’s no need to panic as those stats only apply if you fail to properly optimize the post-landing page click experience

Here’re some top tips for optimizing your post-click experience:

a) Cut out your checkout fluff and make it stupidly simple: Take out every distracting button, link, and content. Only leave content that provides essential info that nudges leads to complete checkout and use accordion for these content to reduce distractions.

Here’s an example of what your checkout should look like:

Example of a checkout FAQ

b) Help them check out or sign up faster and easier: Introduce auto-fill, allow them to use their saved cards, and make order edit possible at checkout.

c) Always optimize the sign-up form and checkout form for mobile: Place your CTA where it is easy to reach by the thumb and make it full-width.

Take a look at how the CTA by Casper below is designed; bold, blue, and full width just like it should be.

Example of strategically placed CTA in checkout form

d) Only add fields that are absolutely necessary to your form: there’s such a thing as too short or too long form. So, the solution is to only request information that’s absolutely necessary for making deliveries or for store use.

14. Send the right type of emails

Getting sales from your email audience does not start and end with special offer emails. There's a need for other types of emails.

Some will help you nurture a relationship with your audience and encourage them towards purchasing a product (promotional emails). While others will help you create an exceptional customer experience (transactional emails).

Let’s take a look at some marketing emails and when you should send them:

a) Welcome emails

When done right, a welcome campaign can boost your email revenue by 10x. To get the best conversion rates from welcome campaigns:

  • Welcome them to your brand’s community within the first 24 hours of sign-up. Invoke excitement and use a friendly/jolly tone (use subtle jokes if it’s on-brand)
  • Don’t hesitate to flaunt what stands your brand out. Connect with new subscribers on an emotional level by sharing your brand story
  • Invite subscribers to browse popular categories on your store
  • Offer new subscribers some incentives on their first purchase

b) Lead nurturing emails

50% of leads are not ready to make a purchase. Hence, you need to have a lead nurturing email sequence to get your subscribers better ready to make a purchase decision.

To make your lead nurturing campaign effective:

  • Don’t make the mistake of lumping your leads together in one campaign. Segment! Segment!
  • Hang on tight with the promotional emails. Provide relevant and helpful content first in form of blog content, videos, case studies, and customer testimonials
  • Set up a lead scoring system to know when to strike hot with the promotional emails
  • Set up a concurrent behavioral email sequence to trigger follow up on leads that show interest in any of your products

c) Special offer emails: 

These emails can get you the sales you want but ironically they are the ones that get ignored the most or end up in the Promotions tab. To avoid this:

  • Create excitement for special holiday sales with countdowns
  • Send only offers tailored for segments based on shopping behavior
  • Experiment with subject lines to increase open rates
  • Create exclusivity by personalizing coupons and incentives for different audience categories
  • Use scarcity and urgency to subtly persuade subscribers to act immediately

d) Re-engagement emails: If your subscribers haven’t engaged with your emails for some time, a re-engagement email is what you send. Usually, it contains special offers incentivizing the passive subscribers to take some action.

An effective re-engagement campaign:

  • Gets the inactive subscribers to communicate. Their feedback can be quite valuable to re-activate them and others
  • Gives unsubscribe or selective subscription to email content as options
  • Offers incentives in form of discount coupons or loyalty programs
  • Offers pre-populated cart to reduce friction at checkout

e) Abandoned carts emails: Cart abandonment emails typically help recover about 10% of lost revenue.

To launch a cart abandonment campaign with higher conversion rates:

  • Send within 24 hours of when a customer abandons their carts while buying from your store
  • It should contain a list of what’s in their cart and the total cost
  • Offer free shipping as hidden costs are the #1 reason for cart abandonments
  • Prompt them to purchase without signing up (#2 reason for cart abandonments)
  • Offer an easy return policy that gives them a chance to experience the product

f) Transactional emails on the other hand are automated messages that are usually triggered by customers' actions and inactions on your store. They include purchase receipts, order confirmations, and shipping notifications.

Here’s the interesting fact about transactional emails; they have about 4-8x more open rates than traditional emails because people look forward to the information they contain. This is an opportunity for you to drive more revenue or build brand loyalty.

So, make sure to:

  • First, tell them why they’ve made the right choice
  • Subtly offer them relevant products as upsells
  • Prompt them to refer a friend (in exchange for some incentives)
  • Persuade them to join your community or a loyalty program

See how Dollar Shave Club used its order confirmation email to cleverly cross-sell customers who just made a purchase in the example below. 

Example of a confirmation email
5 High-Converting Welcome Email Templates

15. Keep an eye out for mobile view

Your email content will most likely not get read if the email design is crappy and difficult for your audience to view on mobile—making them zoom in and out, or scroll endlessly. 

More than half of emails are viewed on mobile and about 70% of users say they will immediately delete an email if they can read it on their mobile devices.

A mobile-responsive email design is one that automatically adapts itself to the screen resolutions of any smart device—whether it’s a mobile phone or tablet.

You can create a simple mobile-responsive email by choosing from an existing template available. In case you plan to design an HTML email template from scratch, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use a single-column layout. Multiple column layouts appear cluttered and difficult to navigate on mobile screens.
  • Go for fonts that are clear and easy to read. Use 13-14 pixels for the body text and keep it between 20-22 pixels for the title.
  • Create an information hierarchy based on importance. Keep your main message or most valuable offer above the fold.
  • Keep your CTA buttons large enough for users. Use a minimum of 40 x 40 pixels with lots of white spaces around it for your CTA button and avoid using hyperlinks.
  • Use small responsive images to avoid poor loading time. Include alt tags.
  • Test your emails before sending them out to ensure it renders perfectly on all major mobile devices.

Below is an excellent example of a mobile-responsive email from Billabong. The email text, CTA, and images re-adjust on mobile screens to fit perfectly while remaining distinct.

Desktop view:

Billabong email desktop view

Mobile view:

Billabong email mobile view

16. Test everything

Every email audience is different, so it is important you split-test all elements that move the needle of email conversion rates.

A/B test involves creating and sending two variations of the same email campaign. When done right, A/B testing can improve email marketing conversion rates by as much as 49%. It helps you uncover the most effective email design, subject line, offer angle, incentives Etc. for your email campaign.

However, there’re right and wrong ways of doing email A/B tests. To make your A/B testing effective:

  • Don’t test email elements randomly. Understand why you’re testing and have a clear rationale for every test
  • Test one thing at a time, except it’s a multivariate test
  • Focus on testing email elements with the most impact on your email marketing conversion rates such as subject lines, CTA, offers, and images
  • Ensure your test groups comprise subscribers from the same email segment
  • Ensure your test groups are large enough in order to have a statistically significant result.

Email conversion rate FAQs

a) What is a good email marketing conversion rate?

Researchers have argued that a good email conversion rate is anywhere between 2-5%

However, the truth is conversion rates vary based on industries. Some industries tend to record lower than others.

What we’d recommend is that you try to improve on whatever conversion rate you currently record. Work to increase those figures because recording higher than the industry standard is a plus for your brand. 

b) What is the average email conversion rate?

The average email conversion rate for the eCommerce industry is between 4-5%.

c) How to calculate email conversion rate?

Simply divide the number of conversions by the number of people who interacted with your email and multiply by 100. 

Alternatively, you can use this formula to calculate conversion rates in email marketing:

Email Conversion Rate = [ No.of purchases / No. of total recipients] x 100 

d) How to track email conversion rate? 

The go-to answer would be to track email opens and clicks. While these are indications that show that people are willing to interact with your brand, it doesn’t tell if there’s actually an action taken.

So to effectively track your eCommerce email marketing conversion rate, add a UTM tag to your email links and then track it on your analytics tool. You’ll be able to determine how many of your subscribers actually went back to your store to purchase an item.

e) Which type of email campaigns has the highest conversion rate? 

Remarkety conducted a study based on the eCommerce businesses that use their platform. This research tracked email campaigns, open rates, click rates, and conversion rates. 

Conversion rates in this context were the percentage of customers who placed an order within three days of interacting with the email. 

Here are the conversion rates tracked by email type: 

Conversion, open, and clickthrough rate by email type
Source

As observed from the table, abandoned carts and order follow-up emails have the highest conversion rates by email type.
Around 53% of customers complain about receiving irrelevant emails from brands. In fact, email conversion rates have already been at a low since the last 2 years—descending from 18.49% in 2018 to 15.22% in 2021. 

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