Here are 14 secret weapons that you can use to help increase your email click through rates and reduce your bounce rates

Which metric is super important for your email campaign? Well, if you said open rates, you’re 100% on track. And let me ask you: what could be the second most important metric? The answer is quite simple. It’s the click-through-rate (or CTR for short) of your email.

You see, you may always get a stunning open rate for your email campaign, but if your email message doesn’t entice your recipients to click, you’ll quickly lose plenty of contacts – your potential customers.

A good email copy always tries to do two things: a) pull your readers in and b) get them excited to click the link (your call-to-action button) inside the email copy.

If you haven’t already, make sure you do these 14 easy tweaks on your email copy to significantly boost its conversion rate (or click-through rate), literally overnight.

  1. Make your emails compatible with your website (brand)

Inconsistency can lead to more CTRs, but that’ll be only for the “unsubscribe” link.

To prevent people hitting the “unsubscribe” link more, make sure your email looks quite exactly like your website design theme.

One of the quick ways to do this is to include your logo at the top of your email.

Here’s an example of an email we absolutely like for its consistency.

Here’s an email (below) I received recently from IFTTT.

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And now, check out their website design, too.

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Notice the similarity between their email and website design.

Just like this example, if you can make your website design and email designs similar to each other, you will boost your CTRs significantly.

  1. Use “focused” design layout

The layout of your email design can also impact your overall click-through-rates.

Recently, Campaign Monitor revamped their blog email layout (see below) and saw an incredible 127% rise in their email click-through rates.

Here’s how the old email looked like:

And, here’s the redesigned version:

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According to MailChimp’s email design guide, an email with one column works best if you want your readers to take a specific call-to-action. On the other hand, emails with multiple-layout are often suitable when you have a plenty of information to share, such as newsletters that include product’s many features.

  1. Make your email width less than “600px”

Did you know that most people today still use their desktop PC to surf the internet and check their mail? In early 2013, Campaign Monitor dug through almost 2 billion opened emails from a total of almost 22 billion sent emails. To their chagrin, they discovered that a whopping 28% of email opens happened through desktop email clients, and that’s a lot!

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And, as there are so many email clients as there are stars in the sky, it can easily become overwhelming for you to create a pixel-perfect experience for all of your recipients. Luckily, there’s a smart solution: limiting your email preview width to about 600px.

If you want to learn how to build a responsive email design, check out this infographic on KissMetrics blog.

  1. Include quality images and add links and alt text

Recently, Vero went through over 5 thousand different campaigns and discovered that email copy that included an image received a jaw-dropping 42% higher CTR.

Another survey conducted by HubSpot report that 65% of recipients love getting emails with images, while only 35% said they’d prefer text emails.

While it’s true that your email message has to be relevant even when using images, it’s also very important to include an image that is meaningful to your message.

Since, by default, most email service “turn off” images from displaying up in your recipient’s email inbox, you should also make sure to add alt texts for each image so that your readers can read and tell what the image is about.
It’s easy to include alt tags for your images: Just enter the image alt tag field while uploading your images.

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Tip: you can also add links to images as they’re super easy to click through a mobile phone than clicking on a call-to-action button or text.

  1. Always follow the “F-Layout” pattern for your content

Most email readers scan message in the “F-pattern?” You may not have optimized your email for the F-layout, but that’s how most of your recipients will read it.

You can offer the most valuable message at the very opening paragraphs in your email copy to follow the F-pattern. Design for those who scan your email copy from the top and quickly make their way until the end.

  1. Use button CTAs for “mission-critical” clicks

Make people click on your mission-critical CTAs by using buttons in your email message. Naturally, when we see buttons we click on it without even realizing what we’re doing. It’s the most obvious thing for us to do.

James J. Gibson, a famous Princeton psychologist, has a term for this behavior. It’s called affordance which is the most obvious action between an individual and an object, such as clicking on a call-to-action button.

Clicking on a call-to-action button comes to us as natural as twisting a door knob or pulling a gear handle of a car.

So, always make sure you include a button CTA in your email copy because it compels your readers to click on it.

Similarly, you can use text links for secondary CTAs in your email copy. When using text-based links, make sure they’re considerably long (around 7 to 10 words long) as it will help boost your CTRs.

  1. When creating buttons, use HTML buttons

When you use button image for your CTAs, it may be possible that your recipients may never see it, as most email clients don’t display images by default.

Sometimes, any lag in your image server may also cause the button images not to load properly in your email body.
So, instead of using button images for your CTAs, try HTML buttons instead.

The small drawback of not using button images in your emai copy is that you may have to compromise on the aesthetics, but that should not be a huge problem. Your emails will still get opened, read, and clicked when you use HTML buttons.

Look how WunderList uses HTML buttons in their email body. Even if the images are switched off from displaying, the CTA button really stands out and grabs reader’s wandering attention.

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  1. Offer only one primary CTA

There’s only ONE critical thing you need to remember if you wish to send your email CTRs up through the sky: include just one call-to-action into your email copy.

When you want to offer options to your email readers, remember that less is always more. More options will often make your recipients confused, ultimately leading to lesser conversions. This tactic also applies to your CTAs.

There are tons of proofs to prove this. For example, according to a research done by Marketing Sherpa, Whirlpool received a whopping 42% CTA boost by simply decreasing the number of CTAs in their email copy from four to one. Likewise, according to the same study, HelpScout improved their CTR by an incredible 17% when they included only one “primary” CTA in their email copy.

  1. Always place your CTAs on the right

When you include your CTAs on the left side of your email copy, you make your readers feel more inconvenient when taking an action as it forces them to go back (to the left). This is a classic example of the infamous “Gutenberg pattern.”

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Ideally, you want to allow your readers to read all the content before they actually see your offer (or your call-to-action button or text). Putting your offer on the right often does that trick because we read from left to right. It’s for the same reason why scroll bars are on the right side of your browser, and not on the left.

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  1. Prompt clicks with “directional cues”

You can also use visual cues such as arrows to improve your email click-through rates.

However, if using arrows feels awkward to you, try using other methods such as white space and eye direction. For example, you can include an image of une femme looking at the offer (your primary CTA) in your email copy.

  1. And don’t forget the P.S. sections

The P.S. section in your email copy is just as valuable as your email’s opening line. Many successful marketers know this and have used it all the time to boost click-through rates.

The psychological term for this tactic is known as Serial Position Effect. It states that any piece of information placed at the end of a message (in this case, the P.S. section) drives as much attention as the piece of information attached to the start (or opening line of your email copy).

Since the P.S. section is always at the bottom of your email copy, it will also draw the equal attention of your recipients as the first sentence in your email copy.

Also, you probably don’t have any clue about the number of subscribers who actually skip everything at the top or the middle of the email body and read the end section of your email.

So, make sure to include at least one P.S. section at the bottom of your email copy to get additional CTRs from email scanners.

  1. Make your emails mobile responsive

Litmus recently published an exciting news: mobile open rate received a rise of whopping 500% in just 4 years between the year 2011 and 2014.

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Likewise, Campaign Monitor also revealed a report that highlighted how their mobile email open rate has increased by 30% between the year 2010 and 2015.

The same study revealed another shocking story: “mobile users who receive emails from companies for a second time through their computer are also 65% more likely to click through a CTA.”

By making your emails mobile-friendly, you’ll provide a great mobile experience for your subscribers as well as be able to hold their attention for longer periods (and, also get more clicks).

  1. Include social sharing options

GetResponse recently shared an intriguing infographic about how social sharing buttons in their email copy contributed in the boost of CTR.

They received 158% higher CTR by including social media buttons in their email copy.

This impressive CTR involves clicks generated through social media buttons inside the email copy and clicks made by those who read the email through social sharing.

  1. Pass the Squint test

First of all, check out the screenshot below. Did you notice the large yellow button in spite of the blurred image? Yes, I did that too, and it was easy to spot.

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Now, for a second, imagine that the same email had a text-based CTA and not the big yellow CTA button. Would you still be able to identify it? I don’t think so.

What I’m getting at here? It’s simple. When you use buttons for your CTAs, make sure they always pass the squint test. If it doesn’t, then your CTA buttons won’t be as obvious as the huge yellow CTA button above, and it won’t be as effective as you would want it to be.

Go ahead and download this free Chrome squint test extension, and use it before sending your next email. Make sure your CTA button pass the squint test.

Over to you

Just performing these few simple tweaks can dramatically increase your CTRs. How about you? Has any of the above email design tweaks generate wonderful results on your CTR? Please share in the comments box below.