Grokdotcom’s got a new article posted on the concept of "scent trails." If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of "scent" and online conversions, it’s about using visual cues and keywords to lead people down the right path on your website (to buy, subscribe to, or download something). Online usability expert Jared Spool’s got an e-book on "scent" here.
Be sure to scroll down and read the example of the "art store" email campaign they received, and how it did a poor job at using scent to convert someone to buy.
You learn from the article that a successful email campaign’s about more than just throwing together a pretty email, and hitting "send."
You’ve got to write a relevant subject line, which leads people to open the email, which leads people to click to your landing page, which leads people to your "buy it" page, which leads to the cash register going, "cha-ching!"
So how’s your scent? Yeah, I realize that sounded kinda funny. But take a look at your email campaigns. Are you building emails in conjunction with your website to effectively lead people to the "cha-ching?" Or are you just sending out pretty emails, and hoping people will buy something? How are your click rates? In MailChimp’s campaign reports, you can see exactly what links people clicked ("Clicks by URL"). For example, if lots of people clicked a link to a product page, but sales didn’t go up, how might you tweak your website and emails next time?
If you’d like some ideas on how you can tweak your website to convert browsers into buyers, you should check out the book, "Call to Action." I’ve got a copy myself, and I’ve used a lot of their ideas on our MailChimp site. We’ve seen a definite boost in conversions since I’ve tried some of their ideas, so I highly recommend it (even though the cover’s hideous).