Ever heard of Sheena Iyengar's famous jam study?
In the study, one group of shoppers were given a choice of 24 different flavours of jam, and another group had only six flavours. Amazingly, 30% of customers bought jam after seeing only six flavours, while just 3% of customers purchased after viewing 24 flavours.
This study illustrates how human beings can become paralyzed in the face of too many options. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, offering more choices can be overwhelming.
It turns out that you can apply this principle to your email newsletter design to increase clicks.
The ideal way to do this is to drastically limit the number of choices you offer your subscribers. This tactic can work for all types of emails, whether it is a direct marketing campaign or weekly newsletter.
Switch up your email templates
Email subscribers will get tired of seeing the same email over and over again. Have a few templates to add some variety to your marketing as well as switch up the format of your newsletters. Most companies do a feature article and a call to action with 2 other smaller articles of interest. The best thing to do is change it up, be different and get noticed if you want more engaging click throughs.
Send more emails with less content
Rather than send just one monthly newsletter at the same expected time each month, switch it up and send 4 or 5 over a 2 month period or even one every 3 weeks. The best part is, it does not cost any more to send these additional emails, just a little extra time. Or, the secret is to break up a newsletter with many articles into 3-4 short emails that convey just one topic, one main content piece with a very clear and easy to choose call to action.
Here are a few tips:
- Less copy is more
- Eye-catching click through button
- Attractive colour palette
- Custom header image each time
- Social buttons in the footer
- One choice to click
This is especially effective with people viewing their email on mobile which is at 48% as per our 2017 benchmark reports.
A/B test your email newsletter design
When you have a few email templates, if you have the time you can set up your newsletter in 2 different styles and when you send, send as an A/B test and let the winning design impact the majority of your readers. You could even try sending your normal newsletter against a much shorter single article email and see how your audience reacts to the change - did you get more click throughs?
Too many emails have too many choices– avoid this problem by keeping your marketing emails laser-focused. Inspire your audience to help them improve their day having read your email. Tell subscribers exactly what to expect in your email subject title (don’t overdo it!), and keep your email body strictly limited to that one topic.
You may think you’re giving your subscribers more incentive to click through your emails by including as much content as possible, but you could be demotivating your audience with excessive choice.
Try simplifying your email newsletter design, have a few templates to create variety, send out less content on a more regular basis, A/B testing different content, and see if your results improve.