How to increase your email open rate to 72% (and CTR to 55%) 😱

Growth Channel
Marketing Innovation & Growth Hacking
8 min readMar 18, 2020

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Email has been one of the most important marketing channels for decades, and is still #1 when it comes to conversion and ROI. With more than 290 billion emails sent daily, for every $1 you spend, you can expect a return on your investment of $51.

Email marketing strategies have changed over the years, but we are still all looking at the same metrics to judge the performance: open rates, click-through rates (CTR), unsubscribe rate and bounces. These are top of the funnel, often secondary, metrics which impact the bottom line results (primary metrics) of your marketing campaigns when it comes to conversion rates and ROI.

So what makes the biggest impact on those metrics? There are so many factors in place, everything from 4 marketing Ps, to personalisation, trust and credibility… An average subscriber receives 13 commercial emails a day, so your job as a business is to make sure your email is as relevant to the reader as possible. We call it “personalisation”.

Importance of personalisation

“The more you know about the customer, the better you can tailor the experience, which includes marketing messages. Personalization done well will enhance the customer’s experience and increase sales” — Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations.

Email comes in as the number onechannel for personalised user experience (72%), followed by company website (57%) as the secondary channel for personalised content.

With the rise of personalised experiences, marketers are adopting machine learning technology to enhance the content and automate workflows.

“33% of marketers rely on machine-learning personalization, meaning using algorithms and predictive analytics to dynamically present recommendations and experiences at the individual “one-to-one” level. Among those that don’t, another 32% plan to do so in the next year.” (Source)

Rise of video marketing

From text to images, today video is dominating in content marketing.

As we mentioned earlier, trust is an integral part of conversion. And personalised videos make this possible through presentation, body language, tone and expressions.

“Add context and make interactions more memorable for the user. Personal video especially helps breed familiarity, and this is paramount to reducing new prospects’ apprehensions.” (Source)

Hubspot study also verified that most users prefer to engage with a short video instead of other forms of content.

Hubspot Study

In addition, Oberlo study also suggests that not only for increased engagement, but also for lead generation — video is the one leading the ranks.

Oberlo study

Personalised videos and email

Personalised videos are customised with recipient’s information such as their name, location, company, website or recent purchase. Personal touch makes this content much more appealing to users than a general email outreach.

A good example is an email blast for an Easter holiday campaign to thousands of subscribers, while each will receive a video customised for their company website, name and location. To do it manually might take months, but automation tools really help make it a scalable technique.

Here are some of the advantages for applying personalised videos as a part of your email marketing strategy:

  • Improved conversion results and ROI
  • Build strong personal relationship with your users
  • Improved brand affinity and brand loyalty
  • A shorter and more efficient sales cycle

Personal videos prove to be up to 10X more effective than standard emails. With the relevance and trust elements embedded, this is how it makes it work:

Messaging solutions: open rate and CTR comparison

Today we speak with Casey Hill, Growth Manager at Bonjoro to tell us how it’s done 😎

How Ontraport, ConvertKit & Design Pickle increased their conversions with personalised video

Q: How SaaS and other tech companies can successfully apply video personalisation as a part of their marketing strategy?

A: There are a lot of great use cases for video and SaaS. One of the first ones is for booking confirmations. At Ontraport, we cut our no-show rate in half by using Bonjoro and that led to a 20% increase in trial conversions.

Another great one is post-sale application to keep the relationship and personal connection strong. Those of us in SaaS (especially early stage or SMB focused) know that the name of the game is CLV. So the purchase is really just the start. It can also be used post-sale, during onboarding and roll-out. We live in a world where reviews are crucial, so that is another great use case for SaaS. Guaranteed a personal, tailored video asking for a review with an easy to click CTA to leave a review is going to get 50% more reviews vs. standard text emails.

Another frequent use case is with outbound outreach. You can easily apply personal video to improve your open rate and CTR when trying to kick off new conversations with potential leads, partners, media or even investors.

Q: What’s the workflow like when starting with video personalisation setup?

A: One of the beauties of tools like Bonjoro is that they are built to be tied in with your website forms, CRM and email automation system. So all you have to do is simply connect it with your existing technology stack, download the Bonjoro app, and you are good to go. There are over 30 integartions in place, from Active Campaign and Hubspot, to Mailchimp, Convertkit and Keap. Someone comes to your website and opts in and you will get the request popping straight up on your phone, which you can then just click and record for.

Bonjoro personalised video: how it works

Q: Do you have ready templates and benchmarks that teams can use as a starting point?

A: Absolutely. We have an extensive set of templates for each stage of the customer life cycle that you can use to simplify things. Although benchmarks vary by when in the life cycle you send a personalized video and your industry, if you reach out to our team we are happy to share what we know! Here is the template library called the VFP (Video Funnel Playbook).

Q: How are you different from other video personalisation tools such as Vidyard?

A: A few major things. First, tools like Vidyard or Loom are used by and large for desktop screen recordings. Bonjoro can be recorded on a desktop but the majority of our users are active on the phone app. We think that as work forces and business owners are doing more and more work on the go, having this mobile accessibility is key.

Next, Bonjoro is built around being integrated seamlessly into people’s existing technology stacks. What that means is you can have data from the CRM pop up when you go to record a video. This helps you create a truly unique and tailored message each time.

Q: What other prominent use cases are there for personalised video marketing?

A: We see personal video being used pre-sale to maximize conversions, increase call attendance rates, post-sale to get more reviews, thank customers, upsell and build more relationships with your customer base. Some of the companies currently applying this technology are cure.org, Girl Scouts of America, ConvertKit, Ontraport, Basic Bananas, Design Pickle, and even Active Campaign.

At its core, personal video is about standing out from the crowd when there is a lot of generic content and messaging going on. Personal video is actually, not even about video. It’s about a business caring so much about a customer they are willing to spend the time to make them something unique.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice to teams who are just starting with video personalisation?

A: Start with a specific test. Say for instance you want to use Bonjoro to convert more prospects on a call with your team. For 50% of the post-call follow-ups, do exactly like you normally do, and for another 50% — use Bonjoro to follow-up. I love this advice because it makes the relative impact of Bonjoro very clear and people are excited by the results.

Q: What do you see as the future potential of personalised video?

A: In a recent article from Forbes, they talked about how with the advent of 5G technology, personal video will become more and more ubiquitous. With improvements in connectivity globally we see a future where sending a personalized video becomes just another option alongside standard email. With advances in AI it might even be possible for a video version to be sent and on the backend to be a searchable script that is transcribed automatically. Today’s digital landscape has become so crowded with newsletters, promos and pitches that if you want to stand out, you have to differentiate yourself and make your brand human again.

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Casey Hill is the head of growth at Bonjoro, a company focused around creating customer delight through more personal and human connections between brands and customers. During his marketing & sales career, he has worked with small and large businesses, from mom and pops to BMW and L’Oreal. Casey runs a personal blog on entrepreneurship and business trends: musingsofentrepreneurship.com, and is also a featured contributor to over a hundred publications, including Associated Press, Inc, Citibank, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Forbes, and Databox.

So, now you should be fully equipped to go on with you A/B test to see if personalised video is right for your business and how you can improve your email conversion metrics!

Here’s to wrap things up:

  • Emails with personalised videos prove to be up to 10X more effective than standard text-based emails.
  • Personal video can help you increase conversion results, ROI, build relationship with your users, improve brand loyalty, and optimise your sales cycle.
  • Some of the tools oferring personalised video solutions are Bonjoro, Vidyard and Loom.
  • Personal video can be used pre-sale to maximize conversions, increase call attendance rates, post-sale to get more reviews, thank customers, upsell and build more relationships with your customer base.
  • To get started, integrate your personalized video solution with your existing marketing automation solutions and CRM. This way you can get the necessary user information to trigger personalisation, and also be to send your email campaign.
  • You don’t need to start from scratch, there are templates available for almost each use case.

Now back to you, dear readers, do you use personalised video? What results do you experience? Or perhaps you have some questions to our guest, Casey from Bonjoro here to help you get started? Comment all below 👇

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Growth Channel
Marketing Innovation & Growth Hacking

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