Anyone can send an email. But can you send an email that does the job you want it to?
In email marketing, the email’s job is to create conversions—the actions you want your readers to take when they read it. These conversions reflect your ability to grab your subscribers’ attention. If you can’t captivate them with your emails, they’ll click away.
But how can you tell how effectively you’re converting? And what should you do if you want to improve that rate?
You’ll learn the answers to both questions in this blog post. We’ll explain what an email conversion rate is and share three ways to improve it.
What’s an Email Conversion Rate?
The email conversion rate is the rate at which your subscribers convert in response to an email. You can calculate it by dividing the number of conversions by one of three numbers:
- The number of people you sent the email to
- The number of people who opened your email
- The number of people who clicked through your email
Your conversion rate will vary based on which of these numbers you choose to use since the pool of people you’re analyzing will change.
Editor’s note: The right formula to use to find your email conversion rate will depend on what aspects of your email you want to analyze.
- For the subject line’s effectiveness, you might wanna check how many people who received the email converted.
- To help understand how your landing page affects conversion, you could calculate the rate at which people who clicked through converted.
The conversion you’re measuring doesn’t always have to be a purchase or subscription signup, by the way. You could also examine how many people take an action that happens before purchase, like downloading a resource.
3 Ways to Boost Your Email Conversion Rate
The average email conversion rate varies by industry. For reference, the eCommerce industry’s average email conversion rate is 15.22% (when calculating using click-throughs) and 1.33% (when calculating based on the number of emails sent). Whether you find your campaign falling short or want to improve an already good number, you can boost your conversion rate by appealing to your readers’ wants and needs.
Here are three ways to create more engaging emails that improve conversion rates:
1. Align your emails with your readers’ funnel stage
You’ve got to understand the journey your readers take to get to your emails to get conversions. This perspective will help you deliver emails that feel valuable and convincing.
How do you meet your subscribers where they are? Align your emails with your intended reader’s conversion funnel stage. On the path to conversion, a lead starts with no awareness of your brand and ends with a purchase.
When you know how the conversion funnel impacts your readers’ experiences, you can tweak your conversion goals and emails to match. For example, you shouldn’t ask customers at the top of the funnel who have little awareness of your brand to buy your product right away. Instead, your conversion goals and emails should focus on lighter commitments like blog post click-throughs.
Peep how Typeform engages new customers by asking them to join their user community. Since Typeform has a multi-tier subscription model, newly subscribed customers go through another conversion funnel that moves them toward higher tiers.
This email keeps its ask low pressure—visit Typeform’s online community—while offering help to new users who haven’t become ride-or-die Typeform fans yet. It provides upfront value before asking customers to consider a higher-tier Typeform plan.
This trick also works well for top of funnel leads who haven’t converted at all yet. Offer free knowledge like quick tips and downloadable resources without asking your customer to buy something right away.
Editor’s note: A major part of lead generation in email involves lead nurturing—guiding new leads on their path to conversion. Find out how to nurture and generate leads with email in our blog post.
2. Write engaging copy that grabs your audience’s attention
Your subscribers signed up for your emails to read content that provides value and catches their attention. So, your copy’s gotta go beyond those expectations to impress them.
Start with your email subject lines. After all, this line of text will affect whether people will open your emails in the first place. MailChimp recommends these best practices for kick-butt email subject lines:
- Use personalization fields to include your reader’s name
- Keep them short but descriptive
- Limit your punctuation and emoji use
Try A/B testing your subject lines if your email service provider offers the feature. It’ll show you what your audience, not just any audience, wants from your subject lines.
Now, it’s time to tackle your body copy. If you’re scratching your head wondering what to write, try an AI copywriting platform like Smart Copy.
Editor’s note: Smart Copy has a few email-specific templates, but don’t be afraid to use a different template that describes your business or gives you a copywriting formula. For example, you could use the Benefits template to share what makes your company great or the Pain Benefit Solution template to pitch a product. Then, take the concepts the AI gives you and cut them down to the size of an email section.
Remember that AI copywriting is your first step to writing copy—not your last. Get some good ideas rolling and make them your own.
This email from The Hustle shows how much a human touch matters in email copywriting:
It starts with a goofy story to draw readers into the giveaway it advertises. How can you tell a story about your organization or product to hook readers on your email?
3. Wow your readers with social proof
Today’s customers need to know that people like them approve of your business before they’ll give it a chance. The average consumer needs to read 10 reviews before they can trust a company.
While you don’t have to add reviews to your email, you should start sprinkling social proof in them. Social proof is any proof that customers like your business, such as a testimonial, review, or social media post.
Some examples of social proof you can add to your emails include:
- Your products’ average star ratings
- Twitter or Instagram posts from customers who hype your product
- Logos of businesses that use your product
- Testimonials from happy customers
- Snippets of customer reviews
Look how Bite sent an email totally focused on sharing social proof:
This email shows off reviews from the media and customers. The media reviews explain that people who know their stuff enjoy the product, while the customer reviews tell you that customers like you approve of it.
Seal the Deal With the Right Post-Click Landing Page
After your reader clicks through your email, you have one more chance to take ’em through to conversion: your post-click landing page. Match your landing page to your email and use a conversion-focused layout with a single call to action. These tactics will create a consistent experience that sends customers to the finish line.