There’s no silver bullet when it comes to email marketing success. You need to maximize your time and focus on little things that make a big difference, according to email communication expert Jay Schwedelson.

Changing things as small as your email subject lines, the time you send campaigns and even the words on your submit buttons can improve open rates.

email communication

Effective Email Communication

There’s only one way to find the right combination of email tips and tricks that resonate with your audience — testing.

“Any best practice you hear, including what I tell you, do not believe anything. You need to test things yourself.”

Schwedelson placed an emphasis on testing new strategies during our webinar where he shared illuminating research that suggested how to increase your open rates and become a better marketer.

Enticing Subject Lines

Many small business owners neglect email subject lines because so much time is spent on what’s inside the emails. However, if your email isn’t opened, who cares what’s on the inside, Schwedelson explained.

The subject line is the determining factor of whether someone will open your email, he continued. Here are questions to ask yourself while trying to stand out inside of inboxes.

How do you personalize email subject lines?

Personalization is a good strategy for higher open rates. For instance, geography or life events that align with your target audience can make the recipient feel the email is specifically for them and not everyone else.

“The faster you can tell somebody who they are, the quicker they will engage.”

Should you use emojis in email subject lines?

No one’s brand identity is too serious to incorporate emojis into their email communication strategy. Schwedelson noted that even stuffy Goldman Sachs uses emojis all the time. He also reminded us that we are people marketing to people, and people enjoy emojis.

Schwedelson’s recent research showed businesses that use the following emojis saw an increase in open rates.

⏰ — 25% increase

⌛ — 22% increase

📅 — 21% increase

👀 — 19% increase

✔️ — 18% increase

How many characters should be in an email subject line?

It’s not about how many characters are in your subject line, but the words you use, Schwedelson said. People are lazy, and no one’s reading the entire subject line anyway, he added.

Most will skim the first half before either opening it or deleting it, which is why it’s crucial to put your offer in the first half of your email subject line. Schwedelson said this could increase your open rate up to 37%. Here are other text-based tips you can add to your email subject lines today:

  • Use “new” as the first word and promote a limited-time offer or new service = 24% increase
  • Include the word “most” to show off your most-read blog or most-downloaded content = 25% increase
  • Use ellipses to create suspense in subject lines like “The sale starts in …” or “You have access to …” = 22% increase
  • Ask questions that pique your audience’s interest so they can’t resist clicking to find the answer = 27% increase

Maximize Landing Pages

Your email communication strategy doesn’t stop at the end of the message. After a recipient opens the email and clicks through to your landing page, they still need some convincing.

How do you make email marketing more user-friendly?

First, Schwedelson suggested maintaining a comfortable user experience by using the same primary image from your email on your landing page. This, he said, could increase your conversion rate by 23%.

Another easy way to ensure a streamlined experience is linking the company logo on your email to a landing page, not your home page.

Your audience is intrigued by your email offer but still on the fence. Don’t interrupt their journey by making it seem like they took the wrong turn.

How many fields are too many on a form?

Your landing page has one goal — obtain client information. Form fills are the best way to do that. Although, you can turn off potential customers with lengthy forms. No one wants to see all the homework, Schwedelson said.

He suggested implementing single-column forms on multiple pages which can increase conversion rates by 27%. Forms with one column appear less cumbersome than zig-zag forms (multi-column) and increase conversion rates by 24%.

Lastly, most consumers won’t abandon the form-fill process after they’ve started, Schwedelson said. Try starting with a single-question form on your landing page that captures something about them, like a zip code.

After they provide that first answer, you’re on your way to collecting the rest of their information on other pages.

What are the best call-to-action buttons?

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are supposed to implore action, and you won’t persuade your audience to click by using commitment words like buy now, register or submit, Schwedelson advised.

Try using benefit words that also restate the offer for a 17% increase in conversion rate. For example, save my seat, I want in, get my free quote. Restating the offer reinforces what the consumer initially wanted when they got to your landing page.

You could also see a 24% conversion-rate boost by adding a testimonial from one of your clients near the CTA button, Schwedelson said. Make sure the one you choose is short and to the point.

Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

If your email communication strategy isn’t working, you don’t have to overhaul it. You can rack up email marketing wins simply by tweaking little things like word choice, testing what works and replicating the ones with the best engagement.

Watch Jay Schwedelson’s full webinar for more quick and easy ways to win business by improving your email communication strategy. You don’t want to miss all these tips!