Email Marketing Tactics #7: Provide Next Steps
Every email in an email marketing campaign should provide a next step for recipients to engage the company. There should be between one and three options for a next step.
If an email is informational or content driven it might have several possible ways for a recipient to interact. Some common next steps might be a request for more information, seeing company activities or events, or a promotional offer.
If an email is advertising a product or service or specific event then it should have one next step. That next step should be a call to action that prompts the recipient to convert (buy or register).
A next step is always a single action. In most scenarios a recipient should be able to make the desired conversion in 3 or less clicks. 1 is most common. Three is only acceptable if they are customizing an order for a complicated product or service.
The email might have a secondary next step for getting more information depending on the complication of the product, service, or event. However this is not the primary next step of conversion. A converted recipient means they have provided information about themselves and/or payment for something in return. If the recipient doesn’t provide anything, it’s not a true conversion.
Linking to a homepage is by far the most common error in next steps. A recipient linking to a home page is not a conversion. They might gather data and then convert but they are equally as likely to be lost and immediately leave the site. Recipients shouldn’t have to navigate to their next step. Everything they need should be instantaneously available. Landing pages are a common technique to provide all pertinent information in one place.
We all get bombarded with messaging and email marketing recipients usually have other things to do besides reading your communication. A smooth next step ensures that a conversion provides little friction. When a recipient decides to engage further with your company, next steps point them directly to what they expressed interest in and takes as little time as possible for them to obtain it.