Increase Click-Through Rate With Contextual Emails
Published onAug 26, 2020byIzzy Green
Nobody likes to receive unpersonalised emails. They tend to come across as spammy, providing offers that have very little significance to the recipient. Using contextual marketing to create emails that are tailored to your reader’s needs and preferences has, however, been proven to increase click-through rates (CTR) by an average of 14%. Offering content based around your reader’s interests or lifecycle stage can help you see this improvement in your CTR.
What is email click-through rate?
Put simply, it’s the percentage of people that have clicked on a link in your marketing emails, in proportion to those who opened it. If you divide the former by the latter and multiply it by 100 you’ll work out your click-through rate percentage.
To improve email click-through rate, it’s all about sending a relevant email to the right customer, at the right stage of their buyer’s journey and according to the status of their existing conversation with you. Being authentic and helpful through contextual marketing in this way is far more likely to encourage the click, but also increase the likelihood that a prospect will convert into a customer.
So how do you create contextual emails?
4 top tips to help you to increase your click-through rate using contextual emails
What’s the use in sending irrelevant content to a prospect or customer? Base your content on what you already know about this person, i.e. your buyer persona, their interests and their lifecycle stage. Think about what content your reader will need at this stage. Really tap into your persona’s paint points at each stage of their journey, and create content that will offer the most useful, helpful solution.
This might seem like an overwhelming task when you’re sending emails to hundreds of people, but this is where segmentation and automation come in.
Segment your lists and use automation
Segmentation and automation are a great way to make sure that you’re sending the right content to the right person, at exactly the right time. In HubSpot, for example, you can send email content specific to different segments, according to lifecycle stage or if they belong to a populated list. This way you can make sure that your Sales Directors receive sales specific tips, whereas Marketing Directors will benefit from all things marketing. In fact, a study by Litmus showed that marketers who sent more relevant and personalised emails, using dynamic content, experienced a 22% higher return on investment than those that didn’t.
Use personalisation tokens
Using personalisation tokens is a quick and easy way to create contextual email templates. Drawing information from your recipient’s contact record in HubSpot, you can choose to personalise information such as contact name, company name, and office location to really add that personal touch and engage individually with a lead or customer.
Take a look at the example below.
An example of how the Noisy Little Monkey team uses personalisation tokens in contextual emails
And don't forget, personalisation tokens can be used to create dynamic content on behalf of the business you work in too. As you can see in the example above, personalising the email sign off would work well if you needed to send a mass email to a client and wanted to personalise it from the representative who deals with your customer.
Many other email providers allow you to personalise the content in your emails. Mailchimp, for example, offers dynamic content and merge tags to help users better contextualise their email copy.
Use HubSpot’s Smart content feature
HubSpot’s Smart content is a great tool that allows you to adapt elements of an email such as calls-to-action (CTA), subject lines, and the body of the text, in relation to a lead or customer’s location, language, referral source, lifecycle stage or device type.
Let’s take a closer look at these.
Using Smart CTAs means that HubSpot can tailor calls-to-action to different buyer personas or groups for you (once you’ve created the rule, and chosen which CTA will be given to which segment, of course). This means that if you’re sending a blanket email out to a large majority of your contacts, you can still customise their experience depending on their journey stage, or where they are in a conversation with you.
Those that are in the early stages of their journey will likely benefit most from further notifications such as signing up to a newsletter or blog. When it comes to either your Sales Qualified Leads or Marketing Qualified Leads however, booking a sample or demo may be a more useful CTA, and referral discounts or invitations to private groups or events are likely to be more appropriate for existing customers.
Smart subject lines
When you use HubSpot’s email tool, personalising subject lines isn’t just about adding someone’s name into the field. You can display different content in your subject lines depending on either lifecycle stage or list membership.
For example, you’re hoping to send an email to your existing customers about signing up for blog notifications so they get alerts as soon as you hit publish on a post. You may want to differentiate your subject lines for those that are already subscribed to your monthly newsletter to those that aren’t.
“Finding the monthly newsletter useful? Sign up for daily blog updates!”
“Interested in sales enablement and outreach? Get daily sales tips from the blog!”
Your subject line is an extremely important element of increasing your CTR, as it actually gets the emails opened in the first place.
You can read more about effective email subject lines here.
You can even adapt the text of your emails using Smart rules! Instead of trying to write a blanket, catch-all, promotional email for all of your readers about an upcoming event, you can tailor this text using smart rules to give different segments different information.
An existing customer may already be aware of events that you run, have attended before, and therefore not need too much information to encourage them to click through. Those earlier on in the buyer's journey, however, may benefit from more in-depth information about the contents and purpose of the event in order for them to sign-up.
Hopefully these tips have given you enough to get started with contextual emails! Above all, it’s about understanding why you’re sending the email, and what the recipient will take away from it, so that you can create more engaging and useful emails. Remember to measure your click-through rate to discover what is working best for you and your customers.
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