How to Increase Email Performance Rates in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Dakota VanOs – August 16, 2021

Getting a Salesforce Marketing Cloud email campaign running is a goal for a lot of marketers. Once you find the right email marketing platform for your team, collect a qualified list of email addresses, write great content, and send it, the performance rates might not be as great as you hoped. Luckily, the certified Salesforce Marketing Cloud consultants at Digital Mass have pulled together a few tips that they've learned along the way to help you increase your email performance rates.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant, Kristina Humphrey, gave her tips for increasing performance rates on an episode of The Developers Speak. Watch it here

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How to increase email performance rates

Of course, you need to write informative content and have an engaged audience, but once you have that figured out you still need to make sure that your email makes it passed the spam filter, to the inbox, and that the design is rendered correctly. Let’s dive into how to do all of those things and increase your overall email performance. 

Write a great subject line

The first step to increasing overall email performance rates is to write a great subject line for the email. The subject line is the first thing an email recipient reads. If you leave the subject line blank it will likely go unread or get lost in a cluttered inbox. 

The typical inbox on a desktop will reveal about 60 characters of an email’s subject line, while mobile phones only show 25-30 characters, so you’ll want to get to the point in 6-8 words. Our Salesforce Marketing Cloud consultants recommended placing the most important words at the beginning of the subject line since you won’t know exactly how many words will be displayed on a mobile device.

Don't leave the preheader empty

The next step to increase open rates is to fill in the preheader! There are a lot of people who check their emails on their mobile devices which makes use of the preheader text a very important consideration for any email marketer that wants to increase their overall email performance rate. 

The preheader is the summary text that follows a subject line when it’s viewed in the inbox. It offers the email recipients a quick glimpse of what the email will be about if they decide to open it. With most email clients, email users will see the first 5-8 words after the subject line, so you don’t have much space to catch their attention. It’s an easy box to overlook, but filling in the pre-header will increase open rates if the copy is intriguing. 

There are recommendations for the number of characters that should be used in the preheader and a science to writing copy that will capture the reader's attention, but a tip from our Marketing Cloud consultants is to use emojis in the preheader to help your email stand out in users' inboxes.

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Use Salesforce Marketing Cloud's Content Detective

The next step to increasing overall email performance rates is by utilizing Salesforce Marketing Cloud's content detective within Email Studio. Content detective identifies words, phrases, or patterns in email content that will trigger spam filters, moving your email away from the inbox and into the spam folder. If you can prevent an email from going into the spam folder it can have a dramatic effect on the amount of open and click-through rates that you'll see. Small actions like this will have a huge impact on the overall performance of your email marketing campaign.

How to access Content Detective in Email Studio 

To access Content Detective, login into Salesforce Marketing Cloud and click into Content Builder. Once you’ve found your Email folder, you’ll see a list of emails that you can scan with Content Detective. On the right side of the page, there will be drop-down arrows next to each of the emails. Click the drop-down arrow and then select Content Detective.

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From there, Content Detective will automatically run, looking for anything in the subject line, preheader, body, or the email’s code that could trigger spam.

The list of words that will be flagged by Content Detective is being updated on a regular basis, but they follow the same pattern as these examples:

  • Free
  • Read
  • Save
  • All natural
  • !!!
  • $$$
  • Earn $
  • Free gift
  • Money at home

After Content Detective runs, it will tell you if there is a word, phrase, or pattern that is triggering spam. You’ll still be able to send the email if you don’t make changes to the text, but it’s not recommended because it will likely activate the spam filters and negatively impact your overall email performance.

Create a mobile-friendly email 

The third thing to keep in mind is to always create and format emails to be mobile-friendly.

99Firms reported that 85% of people access their emails from a mobile device. Knowing that, it’s a must that emails are mobile-friendly. After doing all the work to get the users to open your email, a mobile-friendly design ensures that the email recipients will have a good user experience. They won’t have to zoom in or out on the small screen in order to view the content. Making it easy for email users to consume your content will improve click-through rates and the overall performance of your email campaign.

When building an email to be mobile-friendly, take all of the aspects of the email into account:

  • Subject line: Keep the subject line under 30 characters to ensure that all the words will be displayed on a mobile device
  • Use preheader text: With most email clients on mobile devices, email recipients will only see the first 5-8 words (35-50 characters). 
  • Keep the content scannable: Mobile email viewers are typically reading on-the-go. Keep the content easy to read and scannable.
  • Avoid large files and images: Because mobile users are typically on-the-go, their connectivity might always not be the best. Avoid using large files and images that will take a lot of time to download.

Design emails to dark mode friendly

Design emails to be dark mode friendly to increase overall email performance. 

Dark mode is a reversed color scheme that uses light-colored text, UI elements, and icons on a dark background. It’s been one of the most popular digital trends in the last two years and for good reason. Dark mode is easier on people’s eyes, it saves battery life, and makes it easier for them to consume content on their phone. 

Designing emails to be dark mode friendly gives email recipients a greater user experience. When applying styles to emails across email clients to be dark mode friendly, take these six things into account:

  1. Optimize logos and other images 
  2. Enable dark mode in email client user agents
  3. Add dark mode styles for media
  4. Duplicate dark mode staples 
  5. Apply dark mode only to the body html
  6. Keep testing! 
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After all of the time spent writing great emails and building an engaged list, a mobile and dark mode-friendly design will ensure that your emails are rendered correctly, regardless of how the user views them. 

Getting Salesforce Marketing Cloud email campaigns running is a goal for a lot of marketers. Once you’ve checked off the big items from your to-do list, designing and optimizing emails with the tips that our certified Salesforce Marketing Cloud consultants have pulled together, you’ll see even better performance rates. 

At Digital Mass, our Salesforce Marketing Cloud consultants understand the value of effective marketing. They’re expertly trained to work alongside your team to ensure that your next Salesforce Marketing Cloud email campaign is designed and optimized for great overall performance. 

Contact our team of Salesforce Marketing Cloud experts today.