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17th July 2019
5 Minutes with Tracy Benson
1st August 2019
Tracy Benson

Is your website harming your email marketing efforts?

Email marketing isn’t just about email. We’ve talked before how there’s more to a good email than just the email itself, it’s about a multitude of factors that support and surround every email you send. But it goes further than that.

Despite doing everything right and having a perfectly crafted, beautiful newsletter that you send to an interested and engaged audience, you might not get the results you want and that is frustrating.

Before you tear your hair out and decide email just isn’t for you, let’s look at why your open and click rate isn’t translating into money in the bank.

Your Website, Bounce Rates and You

The first place to check, the only place really, is your website. This is where you as a company exist on the internet. It’s more than your Facebook page, your twitter account or your Instagram handle, it’s essentially you. Not the social stuff, not the interactions, but who you are and what you do.

If you’ve never heard of the term “bounce rate” – that might be why you’re not getting results. A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that land on your website, take one look and then… leave. There’s no clicking through to read anything else, no filling out a form, there’s no browsing to be had. Someone went to your website and thought, “nah”.

Here’s a list of the most common reasons that you get a high bounce rate, and how you can fix them.

Slow Pages

“I love having to wait for things!”

– said literally no one. Ever. When was the last time you checked if your website is making people wait? When it comes to website loading times, the general rule of thumb is that people will wait about 5 seconds, then they’ve had enough.

Fix this by:

  • Optimising your images
    don’t use loads of images, and don’t make the ones you do use too large
  • Upgrade your hosting
    you get what you pay for when it comes to web hosting, make sure you’re getting enough
  • Keep it simple
    your fancy javascript, pretty sliders and custom fonts have to be downloaded before anyone even reads your page

Unrelated Content

However you landed up on this page, you came here looking for more information about your website and how it may be harming your marketing. You didn’t come here for facts about badgers, pop-up ads, or even information about our Trust Velocity Matrix. I know this, because all of those are completely unrelated to the topic of this post (ok, maybe not the Trust Velocity Calculator, you should really check that out).

Fix this by: Every time you send someone to your website, make sure they’re ending up where they need to be, the first time.

Un-skimmable Content

Have you ever heard of the phrase, TL;DR? If not, it stands for Too Long; Didn’t Read. And you definitely don’t want for users to have that reaction to your page!

The difference between skimmable content (like this blog) and a big ol’ wall of text is breaking it up with visuals, design elements, headings and subheadings. If you don’t have that, it’s honestly taxing on the brain to have to read, meaning that users will quit on you long before you’ve gotten to the point.

Fix this by: having someone that’s never seen your website before look at it for 5 seconds, then ask them if they got the point. If they didn’t grasp what that page was trying to say in that time, you need a rethink on your layout and design.

The Wrong Page Entirely

This falls in line with the “Check yourself before you wreck yourself” mentality, but before you send people to your website, are you’re sure you’re sending them to the right page? There’s no use having a link that says “Contact Us” that doesn’t go directly to your Contact Us page, or a “click here for directions” that doesn’t go to a map. It seems very obvious, but don’t send users to your website and expect them to hunt around for the reason you sent them there.

Fix this by: checking if the link matches not just the page, but the reason for going to the page in the first place.

Poor Spelling and Grammar

There’s a running joke in the office that I have to proofread everything that certain people write and “Tracy-fy” it, otherwise it just won’t make sense. You know what else doesn’t make sense? Having spelling and grammar mistakes on your website. It’s something so small, so pedantic, and yet so important for professionalism.

Fix this by: installing Grammarly – it’s free!

No Calls to Action

Why am I here? Why are any of us here, really?

If you don’t want your users to have an existential crisis on your website, you need to give them something to do. Have a clear “next step” and guide them through the process you need them to follow. If they aren’t doing that, maybe your next step isn’t too clear.

Fix this by: hold your users’ hands and guide them. Don’t expect them to Bear Grylls their way through the wilderness you dropped them in.

Too Many Calls to Action

Speaking of asking too much, you want the process for your user to be as smooth as possible. Yes, you want to gather information for segmenting and targeting, but at the same time you don’t want to ask for eight different preferences, four contact methods and their middle names. Only ask for what’s needed, and use it for its intended purpose.

Fix this by: asking yourself, is this really necessary? Do I need these details, or do I just want them? Also ask yourself if you would be willing to provide that much, for whatever payoff you’re offering.

No Website at All

Well, that’s a doozy. In this day and age, there is no company in the world that should not have an internet presence. As we mentioned in the beginning, your website is you – it’s your brand, your story, who you are. If you don’t have a website, then we know where you need to start!

Fix this by: getting a website!

In Summary

Here are the steps you need to take, and a handy infographic to download

  1. Your landing pages should take less than 5 seconds to load
  2. Your landing page has the content your subscribers are looking for, front and centre
  3. Your content is easy to skip and quick to grasp
  4. The page you send people to is relevant
  5. And the people you send to the page are relevant
  6. Your content is professional and easy to read with no spelling mistakes
  7. You’re guiding the user’s journey
  8. You’re not distracting the user from the journey
  9. You’re only asking for relevant information
  10. You have a beautiful website that speaks for you, says what you need it to how you want it to, and tells your brands’ story in a way you are proud of.
Is your website harming your email marketing? An Infographic

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