Let’s face it — getting your company’s emails to stand out in a cluttered inbox can be a challenge.
The secret to boosting email engagement is knowing what your audience is willing to see and spend their time on and then designing your marketing strategy and content model around that.
If you provide stellar content that continually astounds, excites, and benefits your users, they will be more likely to engage with your emails as soon as they hit their inboxes.
Read on for our 9 actionable tips on how to increase email engagement.
#1 Do Email Segmentation
Doing email-based customer segmentation is a terrific place to start if you’re looking to increase your email metrics. Categorizing your customers into different groups depending on key criteria (i.e. common traits, shared interests, or similar website activity) helps you deliver more effective messaging that addresses specific needs, as opposed to sending generic emails to every single person that interacts with your business.
The value of using this approach is twofold: not only will you target your customer base in a highly tailored manner, but you will also be able to assess precisely what works and what doesn’t in terms of messaging.
Email segmentation can be quickly done by integrating your email client into your CRM software. You can start creating meaningful content and tracking your audience's activity in just a few minutes. With 4.3 billion email users worldwide, businesses can’t afford to use email marketing segmentation to narrow their audience.
#2 Create An Appealing Subject Line
Marketers always talk about creating the perfect ‘hook’ for a variety of marketing copy, and email is no different. The caveat is that your hook should already be in the subject line; this seemingly tiny detail can often make or break your email engagement efforts. Believe it or not, it can even affect email deliverability.
Your customers likely subscribe to dozens of newsletters and mailing lists. This means they receive dozens of emails every week — maybe even on a daily basis — containing information about new offers, products, and events. This reality means you must create subject lines that make your emails pop.
Fun, thought-provoking, impactful wording is essential to catch the eyes of as many people as possible. Certain keywords like “discount code” or “sale” are inherently attention-grabbing, but if you’re sending out an email about something other than a special offer to your customers, think of ways to make your subject line succinct but provocative.
#3 Offer Greater Value
One of the easiest ways to engage people with your emails is by promising rewards. Customers will obviously be more interested in content that directly benefits them, such as discount codes, insider deals, or new product release information.
Develop a loyalty program for your most active subscribers. This method is a great way to motivate new customers to subscribe in anticipation of emails with special offers, promotions, news about new products, invitations to events, and other content that will keep them consistently engaging with your emails.
Avoid the kind of material that is solely focused on your business statistics. Potential customers will not sign up for your mailing list in order to hear about your vanity metrics.
Additionally, captivating storytelling coupled with a friendly and personal approach will keep your subscribers clicking on your emails. By letting readers see the soul behind your brand’s marketing portfolio through behind-the-scenes material, you build a closer bond with your user base.
#4 Make Use Of Visuals
Nobody has time (or attention span) to go through a wall of text in an email anymore, not even if the content is superbly written.
Combining excellent content with engaging visuals will persuade the email recipient to, well, keep reading. Utilizing visual material, such as fun infographics and videos, is a tried and true method to raise email engagement. You can use infographic templates to save time and create appealing visuals.
In order to make your brand more recognizable, don’t stray from the color scheme you have previously established. Use those colors as borders or font decorations throughout your emails. Alternatively, use the colors found in your logo if you don’t have a fixed color scheme.
Remember to write your emails in a clear, orderly manner that makes it simple for the reader to take in all of the information you include. Stick to an easy layout so that readers don’t get confused or overwhelmed with too many different kinds of content.
#5 Craft Powerful CTAs
Each of your email marketing campaigns should have a clear goal, whether it’s to raise sales of your new product, grow your social media following, or improve website traffic.
Therefore, don’t just assume that your audience will behave in the way you want them to, or interact with your emails exactly as you think they should. Help them out by including a strong call to action (CTA) that will propel them to react, share, and engage.
A simple CTA helps readers know what to do after reading your email and boosts email engagement dramatically, which is why making your CTA clear and easy to see is crucial. Something as practical as dynamic QR codes can be a great tool to use for these situations.
Additionally, use terms that convey urgency, such as “Limited time only,” “Closing soon,” “Act NOW” to capitalize on people’s FOMO (fear of missing out).
#6 Enable Social Sharing
Even if the individual receiving your email might not find your offer that great or reaction worthy, there’s still a chance that they know someone who would. Make it easier for them to reach out to others with your emails by adding social media sharing links.
Given that gaining new Facebook likes or Twitter followers isn’t usually the point of your email, it’s preferable to include these icons in the footer to prevent readers from becoming sidetracked. Basically, give your subscribers access to your social networks, but avoid placing the corresponding icons front and center.
In addition, include a call to action alongside your social media icons. Give your readers a reason to follow you on these other channels, as opposed to merely listing them in your footer. For instance, you can suggest a hashtag they could use when talking about your brand or products online.
#7 Learn From The Analytics
Analyzing the engagement of our readers should be your top priority when learning about your audience. The rate of opened emails is a good sign that your subject lines are pointing in the right direction, while the engagement within the email can help you understand if you are offering them actual value.
Track the number of CTA clicks and try to understand whether your email marketing is actually leading users further down your sales funnel.
Is there a clear story the numbers are saying?
When carefully analyzing your results, you can further improve audience segmentation. Are there differences in response between age groups, genders, or geographical locations?
#8 Choose The Correct Timing
Another metric that can be important to learn from is the number of times the same users are opening the same email.
For some campaigns, timing can be crucial in achieving engagement. Launching a new, expensive collection and dropping it in your customers' inboxes at the end of the month is definitely considered bad timing.
Review what you know about your target audience’s shopping habits. Would they be more likely to make a purchase upon receiving their salaries? Probably so.
The same applies to seasonal discounts. Think ahead when offering a big sale prior to Halloween or Christmas. Be the first one to grab their attention before they direct their budget to your competitors.
#9 Be Open To A Dialogue
Customers appreciate it when we treat them with respect and care. Showing them that they are valuable and delivering better service to them can benefit your brand loyalty.
Nurturing existing relationships with your customers, just like any other relationship, depends on good communication. This is why more businesses are refining their communications strategy to improve their connections with the end-users.
Creating personalized, meaningful content is essential in email marketing. Enabling your readers to reach out to you and share can pay off in multiple ways. For example, invite them to give you feedback and offer a voucher for each individual.
Alternatively, you can ask them to sign up and share their images or videos while using your product. This way, you are increasing their engagement while benefiting from the user-generated content, and all this with minimal investment.
Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?
To Wrap Up
For everyone who ever signed up for your newsletter, you should keep delivering quality and value. Sending out a newsletter when you have nothing to say, just because, is leading you straight to losing subscribers.
However, you should be consistent in your brand development and communication. Create a bunch of backup newsletter stories to send out when your season is dry. If there is no news worth sharing, dig into your base and deliver something interesting, useful, and worth reading.