Mary Dolan

// Content Marketer

Conversion is the ultimate goal for many areas of life – makeovers, home improvement, science fiction B-movies with creepy body snatchers… and one of the places where conversion matters most is the all-important area of email marketing. But how do you optimize these conversions? 🤔

During Email Camp 2020, we learned a lot about optimizing conversion rates from Paresh Mandhyan, Director of Marketing at VWO. There are a lot of strategies you can use to optimize your own conversion rate, and we’re here to help you understand a few of the very best. Let’s dive in and see how to increase customer conversion – no body snatching needed.

What is the conversion rate and how is it measured?

In digital marketing, the conversion rate is defined as the relationship between the website visitors and those who carry out a certain action during a specific period of time. In email marketing, this conversion rate is calculated using the click-through rate, which calculates the percentage of people that click on a link from all those who receive or open it.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an essential part of online marketing strategies. Measuring the conversion rate is an important part of all types of digital marketing campaigns: email marketing, Adwords campaigns, social media publications, web page optimization on e-commerce sites or landing pages, pop-ups, SEO strategies…

Conversion tracking is essential to determine the strategies you should use to attract a higher number of visitors to your CTAs (call to action), and to increase the number of conversions that complete the desired action. To achieve a good conversion rate, marketers should monitor key metrics in web analytics tools (like Google Analytics) to know their average conversion rate and determine campaign benchmarks and conversion goals.

Strategy #1: Use A/B testing to increase your conversion rate

As Paresh reminds us, marketing often needs refinement – and your emails are no exception.

A/B testing – or testing different elements of your emails to different members of your audience – can help you understand exactly what subject lines, preheaders, and other elements your target audience responds to. Most brands test “top-of-email” elements like subject lines, but you can get creative and test messaging, images, and any other pieces of content that you think can be optimized.

An example of an A/B test would be to test different calls-to-action in your emails to different segments of your audience. Paresh mentioned a test he had done with two different CTAs. One was specific (“let’s set up a time to chat”), and the other was vague (“reply if you need any help”). Ultimately, the more specific CTA won out, and it had the added bonus of directly impacting conversions by initiating contact with prospects.

By doing these types of tests, Paresh says, you can figure out which CTAs, images, and more lead to the most opens, click-throughs, and, ultimately, conversions. The winning elements can then be sent to the remainder of your audience – they’ll like them best, and you’ll be more likely to receive their interest. It’s a win-win situation.

“You optimize email for [conversion] opportunities – and ultimately, you get more opportunities…by creating a better experience for the user.”

Need some tips on how to start (and properly execute) A/B testing? Look no further than our A/B testing guide.

Strategy #2: Leverage personalization and segmentation

As you may have noticed from our above foray into A/B testing, engagement is key when it comes to expanding your audience conversions. You need to hook your audience in and appeal to them before you can convert them. Audience members will not engage with, or respond to, rote form emails or cold sales pitches that don’t appeal to their needs.

This, says Paresh, is where personalization (adding an audience-member-specific personal element to your emails) and segmentation (dividing your audience into groups based on their demographics and interests) can majorly boost your success. Both of these strategies are ways for you to make genuine connections with your audience members and pay them attention based on their needs.

“Basic personalization is a given, but think about whether your email adds tangible value to the user. When you add value, it gives more results in the long run.”

This is an opportunity for you to become truly involved – don’t pat yourself on the back for basic name inclusion, copy-and-paste anniversary notifications, or other quick fixes. Instead, figure out what your audiences truly need and want (for example, by using A/B testing), and give that to them.

An example of personalization that truly connects to your audience is reminding them of milestones from your brand journey together. The below example email from David’s Teas shows how your email copy can be directed at each of your audience members, and how it can remind them of their personal interactions with your brand.

The email is simple and attractively and playfully designed, and it takes a fun “how we first met” approach to brand milestones, which pulls the audience member in without seeming rote or sales-focused.

When your audiences are truly engaged with your emails, they are much more likely to become a new conversion – or a repeat conversion. Increase your conversion rates with personalized appeals, reminders, and thanks – after all, it worked for the body snatchers, right?

Strategy #3: Incorporate email marketing techniques into the larger customer experience

Guess what? Email marketing techniques aren’t just for emails anymore. As Paresh says, you can incorporate email marketing techniques into other customer-facing experiences for a smoother, more harmonious audience journey. Emails are important, but you can’t rely on having engaging messages and no other premium brand content.

“Look at email marketing from an optimizing mindset. It’s not just about conversions and interactions – it’s about how you can add value for customers…and create a better user experience.”

To create a consistent consumer journey, incorporate personalization, segmentation, and other techniques into your web content, social media, and other communications. Interested consumers will want to see other examples of your content – make sure that it is consistent and engaging across all platforms.

As Paresh points out, you can use these techniques to increase customer immersion and, ultimately, conversion. A well-thought-out, smooth customer experience will create good impressions in the minds of your potential customers – and make them more likely to build lasting relationships with your brand. 👍

Wrapping up

VWO Director of Marketing, Paresh Mandhyan tells us that there certainly isn’t a “magic” formula to getting higher conversion rates via email. Instead, consistent conversion rates and strong relationships stem from using sensible, adaptive strategies to introduce customers to your brand, and to create an interest that becomes a conversion and a relationship.

Want to learn more about how to optimize your conversion rates? Check out Paresh’s session at Email Camp 2020 below.

Adventures In Experiment-led Growth – Strategies To Optimize Your Conversions from Mailgun x Mailjet on Vimeo.

Strategies like A/B testing, segmentation, personalization, and more enable you to understand what your users want and need, and to have the power to convert them quickly and efficiently into paying customers. It may not be as exciting as conversion via body-snatching, but these techniques will help you get attention when it matters most. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start converting. 🙌

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Watch the full Email Camp 2020 event or replay your favorite sessions here!