Following all the segmentation rules? Seeing good open rates? Click rates solid? So where’s that promised revenue increase? Isn’t there supposed to be a pot o’ gold at the end of the Email Marketing Best Practices Rainbow?? Here’s where some of that gold is, and how you can get ahold of it without bargaining away deliverability. ?
We all know that deliverability is ? KING ? in email marketing. But just hitting the inbox regularly might not be enough to make your numbers.?
The missing link to recover some of that missing gold, though, is surprisingly simple. To get more sales revenue, you need to reach more inboxes with the same email. Spam algorithms show much more deference to plain text than pictures ?. After all, those pictures each have a hyperlink, a telltale sign of the salesman come calling ?
It’s a simple matter to clone your freshly delivered email, strip out all the pics (along with their links of spam-filter tripwire) and add some verbiage about how the original version was misdelivered to the wrong email box (silly ESPs!). Then, voilà, refurbished email with spam-filter street cred that delivers your offer to more inboxes!
Here are the results of such an easy solution below (and we have dozens more like it):
Besides getting double your revenue ? and the love of ESPs everywhere ?, you also get larger, more engaged segments. ? All those plain-text recipients who open, click or buy are now much more likely to receive both your regular campaigns (filled with lavish imagery) and your upsell flows.
Further, they are also now more likely to open emails from you when they do. And so goes a new virtuous circle ?each time you do a plain-text resend.
So with all these benefits, we started split-testing to determine what the very best kind of plain-text email might be. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
Q: Must all links be stripped away?
A: No. First, you must keep one unsubscribe link (we recommend only one). Second, it’s still important to keep the pathway to your landing page as easy-breezy as possible. Nothing makes landing on a page simpler than a hyperlink, hence the invention of the Internet in the first place.
Q: But if I had to be really strict about links, couldn’t clever instructions and an enticing invitation guide my subscribers to my product via my home page’s navigation?
A: You don’t have to be that strict, it turns out. We tested this and learned that clever, enticing instructions about home-page navigation are hard to write. More importantly, we found that even two links (the required unsubscribe link and that very important call-to-action link), tripped no spam alarms. We do not recommend more, though.
Q: But no pics at all, not even a logo?
A: Not exactly. We’re still testing logos, but, so far, they’re an unnecessary risk. Plus, recipients seem a little intrigued by the unconventional format of plain-text emails.
But that doesn’t mean absolutely no pictures. We tested naked hyperlinks against colorful call-to-action buttons and found that the latter worked much better and still passed by the spam filters.
We’re still running experiments to learn as much as we can. This tactic, though, has made a lot of money and continues to perform well in over a dozen verticals.
As far as we’re concerned plain-text is the new black. ►?
Anna Hrychukh and Thomas McClintock