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Optimise your open and click rates

The most important newsletter KPIs in the evaluation of newsletter marketing are the open rate, the click rate and conversion rate. The open rate conveys the percentage of emails that were opened, from the total number sent. The (unique) click rate indicates the relationship between the number of recipients who clicked on at least one link and the total number of recipients (i.e. unique clicks divided by total no. recipients). Finally, the conversion rate indicates the percentage of recipients who carried out a desired ‘action’, i.e. which recipients were able to be converted to a customer.

Newsletter2Go has carried out research to find out what average results could be expected from using newsletter software such as newsletter2go.com: Open rate 25%, Click rate 15%, Conversion rate 5%. However, a little fine-tuning can optimise the results of your newsletter campaign a bit more. The following advice, if taken on board, will help you to optimise your open and click rates, and therefore increase the probability of a higher conversion rate.

Increase your open rate

Because a high open rate is essential if you wish to achieve a high click rate, this is where the optimisation process should begin. Be aware that almost all recipients decide whether or not to open the email simply from reading the sender address and subject line. (In some email clients the pre-header is also visible and therefore contributes to the decision.)

Three tips for writing an effective newsletter subject line:

  • Not too long: Subjects with more than 45 characters tend to be cut off after this point; on mobile devices the safe limit is 36 characters. So keep the subject line as short as possible.
  • Raise interest: Try to use unusual and emotive subject lines to arouse interest in the customer. A newsletter subject such as ‘ Special offer in Autumn collection’ is functional but not particularly engaging. Try something like ‘Leaves are falling, so are our prices’ or ‘Our prices are falling faster than the leaves’.
  • Design is everything: The decision to open an email is made within a few seconds, so make sure that the important information and essential message is conveyed at the start.

Increase your click rate

If the recipient does open your email, it is down to the design and the content to make a difference. In order to examine the click behaviour of your campaigns in the longer term, we recommend that you regularly evaluate the click maps in the statistics provided in our newsletter software. Which link did your recipients click on the most? Which type of link was most successful (image or text), and which position within the newsletter proved most popular? Which topics engaged your readers the most? (Find out more about these statistics in our blog article ‘Evaluate newsletters with clickmaps and heatmaps’.)

Click map

If you have already divided your recipients into segments, you can personalise your newsletter content with the aid of criteria such as gender, user behaviour and location. Read our blog article about newsletter personalisation and newsletter operators and search criteria.

As a general rule, the following points are important factors in achieving a higher newsletter click rate.

  • Teaser texts: Do not use long, extensive texts in your newsletter. Instead, write a teaser text  and link this to your website in order to generate more interaction.
  • Clear call-to-action: Link some images or use some buttons – make it obvious to the reader where you want them to click and what they will find at the other end.
  • Appropriate visual design: If your newsletter has a balanced ratio of images to text and the content is clearly presented and easy to read, not only will your recipients actually enjoy reading the newsletter, but they may even recommend it to others. You can find other articles on this subject in our blog.

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