Marketers spend untold hours and dollars dreaming up inbox-level inspiration. From the concept to the code, our teams invest themselves in delivering perfect email experiences. But where do our subscribers go from there? When only about 30% of recipients even take the time to open and engage with our work, and then an even smaller number take the action we’ve asked them to, we need to treat those who click through like email VIPs.
Clicking through is like stepping onto a flight with our brand, and following the email with a less-than-optimal landing experience undermines the work we’ve done and the time they’ve taken to engage with us. Think of the email-to-landing page journey as an opportunity to pamper your email elite: What can you offer them along the way to make them feel like they’re flying first class?
1. Make the journey creatively seamless. Keep an eye on delivering a consistent creative experience, using headlines and images that make it easy for subscribers to click and keep clicking. Too often, we expect subscribers to make a mental leap between our inbox creative and our landing experience. For example, this Anthropologie email with the subject line “Let’s back it up a bit, shall we?” cleverly delivers subscribers to this product grid of shirts with back detailing. While it’s a unique approach, the user experience could flow more easily if the landing page included a prominent headline explaining that the product grid features items with “back detailing,” taking away the second or two in which the subscriber has to read the fine print and orient herself.
To demonstrate, while this lively Gap email also whisks subscribers to product grids, these grids begin with color blocks and headlines linking back to the portion of the email that the subscriber clicked on, providing a more effortless transition.
In addition, make sure to use organizational creative elements that subscribers are accustomed to. This Restoration Hardware email delivers a strong impact with its imagery but misses the mark with an unfamiliar header layout on the landing page. The header presents customization options not mentioned in the email, and it’s not clickable. In order to continue the journey, subscribers must pause to understand the offer presented at the top of the screen, so they lose momentum in their journey. This Nike email also offers a customizable product, but it’s announced prominently in the email and the landing experience follows familiar conventions. This approach makes it easier for the subscriber to understand the customization options immediately, facilitating a more comfortable journey.
2. Understand the device on which subscribers read emails, and optimize from there. We have subscribers reading messages on their laptop and desktop screens, on tablets and on their mobile phones, and each device poses unique considerations.
Subscribers spend the most time in front of desktops and laptops during the day -- throughout typical working hours. In this environment, they enjoy a large screen and engage in frequent multitasking, both of which facilitate easier and more frequent online actions (such as purchases). Subscribers spend about three seconds on each email they open on a desktop or laptop. In comparisons, tablets are more of an evening and weekend treat, with subscribers browsing leisurely and multitasking more often off-screen. Tablet email readers are often also watching TV, listening to music and interacting with family.
Average smartphone users interact with their devices from literally the minute they wake up until the moments before they go to bed, checking their phone about 150 times each day. Reading email is one of the top activities on mobile devices, but these subscribers scan their inboxes with the eyes of a triage team: they spend less than a second on each subject line and less than two seconds on each email, quickly returning to other activities. Load times for pages and emails are key constricting factors on mobile email interaction, and mobile users often interact with brands for reasons other than shopping, like locating stores or checking phone numbers. Online conversions from mobile devices are rare (thought they may lead to more in-store conversions, according to this report). With this understanding in mind, we might run separate campaigns for our heavy mobile readers, more tailored to the types of information they need on the go.
Once subscribers click your email, the landing experience should feel classy regardless of where they are seeing the screen. Gather data on your subscribers’ habits, keep up with developments for email on mobile and tablets, and optimize your website for multiple formats. The more you know about the ways your subscribers interact with your website, the better choices you can make about how to present your content in a way that’s friendly for all of them.
3. Take the flight for yourself. Finally, before sends, it’s crucial to do more than review creative and test emails for deliverability. You need to take your turn being the subscriber: start on the flight that you’ve charted out for your customers. Does it feel like a first-class experience? Are there spots along the itinerary where it could be made easier to take action, or where the next step could feel clearer and more comfortable?
After sends, review your conversion metrics and identify the places where the most subscribers drop off after the click-through. How can you target those points for increased pampering: more guidance and comfort? Run A/B tests of not just emails, but your landing experiences as well. Boost both your emails and landing pages up to first-class levels and send your subscribers flying.