7 Smart Tips to Increase Your Email Conversion Rate

Email conversion rates are one of the most crucial business metrics companies can track today. 


Because email is increasingly the most used and preferred method of communication between brands and their customers. In fact, recent research has found that nearly 70% of consumers have indicated that they prefer email over all other communication methods — a percentage exponentially higher than any other option on the list.

pie chart showing email is most preferred communication method by consumers

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The takeaway here: email is extremely important to your overall business results. If you want to use it as a tactic for driving leads and sales (which you should) you need to pay attention to your email conversion rate and actively implement strategies to increase it.

In this article, we’re going to cover 7 actionable tips you can use to start increasing conversions right away.

Quick Takeaways

  • Email conversions require recipients to take a specific action after opening and reading your email (like subscribing to a newsletter or making a purchase).
  • More than one-third of consumers determine whether they’ll even open an email by the subject line.
  • Emails that demonstrate value by emphasizing benefits over features are more likely to earn conversions.
  • CTAs are the most important contributor to helping emails convert. They should be clear and prominent in your emails. 

Email conversion rates: a quick overview

Before we dive into specific tactics to earn better email conversion rates, let’s define what that means and get clear on some related terms. First things first: your email conversion rate is not the same as your email open rate.

Email open rates only require your recipient to open your email in their inbox.

Email conversion rates require action that goes further than opening or reading your email. Whether it’s a link click, a subscription, a purchase, or something else — an email has only earned a conversion after that action has been taken.

email conversion rate formula

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Wondering how your brand’s conversion rate stacks up? The average email conversion rate across industries is about 1-5%. Larger blasts seeking new email subscriptions or other top of the funnel actions typically fall on the lower end of that average, while more targeted emails like personalized purchase recommendations or abandoned cart emails may get closer to 5%.

7 tips for increasing your email conversion rate

Grab attention with your subject line

Your customers can’t walk through the door if they never open it. More than one-third of consumers have indicated they decide whether or not to open an email from the subject line alone. If you ever want to get them to the point of conversion, you’ll first have to get them to notice you with a killer subject line.

Here are some quick suggestions for better subject lines:

  • Personalize using a first name (when it makes sense)
  • Don’t be cryptic. Don’t give everything away, but say enough that recipients know what your email is about.
  • Use 6-10 words in your subject line (research has shown this length is the sweet spot for open rates)

Be concise

Research from Nielson has found that people only read about 20% of what they see on any given page. This is likely even more true when they’re working their way through an inbox with dozens of new messages (or more) every single day.

What this means for email marketers: get to the point.

Don’t spend too much time trying to be cute or clever at the start of your email. Definitely show your brand personality, but do it authentically and only include information that is relevant and necessary to get your message across.

Emphasize benefits, not features

This one’s especially important as it relates to email conversion rates. If you want your email recipients to take action, you need to focus not on why you think your product is top-notch, but on how it can provide value for them as the consumer.

This is the key distinction between features and benefits. Features are traits of the product or service offerings, while benefits are the value creators.

Here’s more on framing your message around benefits first:


Keep your design simple

Email is not the place for a busy design that distracts readers from your main message. Don’t make it difficult for people to find the important stuff — keep your design clean and simple and let your copy shine through.

Include visuals

That said — visuals can enhance engagement with your emails. People remember more about what they see visually than what they read, and visuals are a good way to grab attention and share a lot of information in digestible ways. While you don’t want to overload with design, you do want to use images and videos that make your message more engaging.

Here’s a good example from Uber. Their use of bar graphs to demonstrate their rate decreases is simple while still effectively getting their message across.

uber email using visual graphs to emphasize message

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Personalize when you can

Most people are familiar now with brands using simple personalization tactics like first names to catch their attention. There’s still nothing wrong with those tactics, but there are more sophisticated ways to personalize emails when you have the right technology. Try personalizing your messages by location, past purchases, age group — anything that drives some value for your recipient and goes a step further than entering their name in a mail merge field.

Here’s a list of some great email personalization examples from the likes of Netflix, Spotify, and Sephora. Check them out!

Use clear CTAs

Perhaps more important than any other tip on our list is this one: always include a strong call to action (CTA) that gets your email recipients to take the next step. After all, how can they take action if they don’t know what the right action is? Even better is to make your CTA stand out by including it as a clickable button or embedded form.

Need ideas? Campaign Monitor put together this treasure trove of email CTA examples to help you get inspired!

Our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.