Visual data is used by marketers to easily interpret trends and tell a story.

This includes graphs, images, and dashboards, on hover activity (mouse movement tracking), scroll patterns (how visitors scroll through online content such as on a website), attention areas (places most viewed by the user) and a crucial category in email marketing – clicks (what users click on within your email communications). A visual representation of this is known as a clickmap report, and allows you to step into your recipient’s shoes and put emphasis on the user experience by locating what gets them to react.

How Professional Investors Interact with Emails

With the amount of saturation most professional investors have in their inboxes daily, they very rarely read emails or web content word-by-word – this goes for anyone really. They skim the content for value and then search for individual paragraphs, images, links and calls to action that can get them the information they want.

Visual reports can help you not only with finding the best place to include links in emails, but also steer you towards better content decisions without having to really dig for the information. Does certain wording of the call to action perform better in your monthly or weekly campaigns? Is underlined text performing better than a button? Use the visual data to tell you.

You can use a reporting tool like StoneShot’s reporting dashboard to look beyond the open rates, find which links are getting the most clicks and analyse how many people read, skim, or glance at your email and why that might be.

This valuable information will help you to focus your time and effort on putting together an email campaign that maximizes your goals.

What Might Affect Clicks

According to our own research conducted from January 2017 to July 2017 which covers financial marketing email campaign trends and preferences, buttons and text links are the best call to action design elements in emails.

Image links (such as a banner link), see far fewer clicks than text links. Also, many recipients will not have images in email turned on, which means less of a chance of getting them to click.

Clicks by link type

The chart below shows the relative number of clicks by link position in email. Clearly the most activity follows the reading direction left to right and top to bottom. The highest number of clicks is in the top left of an email. It is also worth mentioning that most important CTA links should be positioned “above the fold” (the term derives from newspaper publishing and refers to the upper half of a newspaper where the most important news story is located), the portion of the email that is visible without further scrolling.

Clicks by link position

Research from Nielsen confirms our findings. It suggests that, generally, readers scan content in an F-shaped pattern. First, they glance horizontally across the top of the page and then move down and scan horizontally again.

Use Data to Gather Design Suggestions that Draw Attention

Learning from visual data will help you with the right design decisions and provide you with valuable information before evaluating your next email campaign plan.

Here’s why:

  • You can gain visual direction of reader behavior
  • It will hep you decide on optimal placement of key messaging and calls to action
  • You can discover ideas for A/B testing
  • It will help you identify new opportunities
  • You can use it to effectively organize your content
  • You can identify if there is too much information, and a separate communication is needed

Half of all recipients will spend less than 7 seconds on an email. Driving your decisions based on organized data and designing the emails to be skimmable or to include summaries is a good practice.

Email read times

Getting the Most out of Your Email Campaigns with StoneShot

All email marketing platforms offer some sort of reporting, especially ones that offer many different options for personalising your content and engaging with your audience.

When choosing one, it is most beneficial to know what you are looking for in terms of data to drive your next informed marketing decision, be able to easily access and share it, and to act on next steps.

StoneShot works solely with the financial services sector allowing us to capture email marketing benchmark data within the industry. The advanced reporting capabilities of the StoneShot app provide all necessary information to help you with understanding and testing things like what wording works best for your audience and what link position gets the most clicks. In terms of email design, StoneShot email builders include several different layout options and help you to design an email which draws attention.

We also analyse the different email platforms and devices your subscribers are using, so you can craft the perfect email for your audience.

You can get detailed, visual reports about click rate and the most popular links, but also the link location, so you can actually see which links in the email get the most clicks.

It’s important to know that email design, link type and link location are equally as crucial as the content of your email campaigns, especially when the main function of the email is to invite the recipients to take an action, like visit your website or a custom landing page, register for an event, fill in a survey form or download a report.

If you’d like to learn more about advanced email reporting, or have any questions about our offerings, we would love to hear from you.