If you are a business owner or a marketer looking for a proactive tactic that boosts your revenue, email is a great place to start. However, to ensure your efforts are not in vain, you need to track your email engagement rates, and look for ways to increase them.
Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for reaching new customers and prospects directly. It has been widely used by businesses over the years because it allows marketers and salespeople to connect with their target audiences, inform them about their brand, and cultivate client relationships.
But how to make sure that you will achieve your email goals?
The key to a successful email marketing strategy is understanding your audience and keeping it engaged. Your customers are the core of all your marketing efforts, and providing them with a great experience that continues to delight them overtime is a must. To that end, it’s essential that you send them relevant high-quality content that delivers value and keeps your brand at the forefronts of their minds.
However, finding the best ways to keep your email subscribers engaged can be tricky. So, in this article, we’ll be sharing with you seven excellent ways to boost your email engagement in 2022.
Keep reading to learn more!
1. Segment Your Audience Well
The very first step towards improving your email marketing engagement rate is to segment your audience list properly. This is very important as it will give you a powerful insight into what type of content you need to create, who to send it to, and why. Moreover, this will help you ensure that your emails pique the interest of people and not simply flood their inboxes.
According to a study by Cornell University, marketers who segment their email lists can benefit from more transactions, improved lead generation, and boosted sales. So if you haven’t done this yet, now is a great time to get started.
The most popular characteristics, based on segment are demographics, job title, purchase history, website activity, and previous email activity. However, when it comes to email engagement rates you might want to consider the following metrics as well:
- Open and Clickthrough Rates. These will help you segment your list into active or inactive users – for instance, those who open your emails every week vs those you haven’t opened a single email in over three months. You can then use these insights to send specialized campaigns for re-engagement and to loyal subscribers.
- Conversions. Having a good amount of users open and read through your emails is great, but what’s even better are those users that actually buy from you, request a demo, or book a call.
- Number of Unsubscribers. Review and distribute surveys to understand why and how many users have unsubscribed from your emails. Take their feedback into account to adjust your strategy so you can reduce the number of unsubscribes.Related: Power Up Your Business With Customer Behavior Analysis [+ Examples]
Once you know who to send your emails to, the next step is to personalize your content to target individual needs. After all, if your offer speaks to the recipient, there’s a higher chance that they’ll take advantage of it, rather than mark your messages as spam.
2. One-to-One Personalization for the Win
The next surefire tactic is to personalize your emails. According to Deloitte, simply including the name of your customer in your email can improve open rates by 5.2%, and with further personalization you can achieve as much as a 55% increase in open rates.
Personalization, in the context of email marketing, means to use the data you have about a specific subscriber when targeting your email campaigns. You can leverage information like their full name, the last product they looked at or bought, the industry they work in or are interested in, and other similar data points.
Related: How to Balance Personalization and Privacy in Digital Marketing
Once you process and analyze your data, there are various ways you can use it. If you are not sure where to start, here are a few ideas:
- Add Internal Information. Use dynamic fields to include the personal information you have about your subscribers (name, location, company name, etc.) so you can make your content seem tailored to them.
- Leverage External Information. Correlate internal and external data about your customers to create highly specialized offers. For example, you can use the location data you have to navigate clients to a local store/office/service of yours that they can visit.
- Look at Behavior Data. Take account of the content and products your subscribers engage with the most and feature them in your email. You can include information such as liked products, last visited pages on your site, previously downloaded whitepapers, guides, templates, etc., and make similar content suggestions.
- Create Dynamic Content. Change your email’s content based on the user’s profile. For example, you can adjust images, text, and links, based on the age group of the recipients, or optimize links based on whether they are using an Apple or Android device. You can even go a step further and create completely different email designs for readers who engage better with written and visual information.
3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Welcome Email
Welcome emails are the first and most important touch points between your brand and your newly acquired audience. They are extremely valuable because they set the tone for how users will engage with and experience your brand.
According to Pushwoosh, the effectiveness of customer onboarding depends on the client’s very first interactions with a company, all of which start with a welcome email. In fact, Invesp has found that people are four times more likely to open a welcome email and five times more inclined to click on the links inside it, as opposed to other promotional messages.
Additionally, the average open rate of these types of emails is 50%, which makes them 86% more effective than newsletters. Also, 74% of people expect to receive a welcome email the second they subscribe to your list.
In short, if you want to make a strong first impression, you’d better make the most of your welcome emails.
Related: 9 Ways to Use Conversational Email to Boost Your Email Campaigns
4. Compel With Your Subject Line
Your subject line can really make or break your efforts to boost engagement. A survey by OpinionMonster found that 47% of recipients judge whether to open an email or not based on the subject line, and 69% use it to determine whether it is spam or not.
So how to write subject lines so compelling that people can’t resist clicking on them?
The best way to achieve this is to rely on emotional engagement – humor, FOMO (fear of missing out), curiosity, pain points, vanity, etc. The idea here is to use words that can indicate a special one-time-only offer, and suggest what the recipient can expect next. Some of the best words to include in your subject line to boost open rates are: Limited, Last Chance, In-Stock, Available, Free, Expires.
Related: How to Implement Emotional Engagement in Your Marketing Strategy
For 2022, however, there’s one more trick to leverage – emojis. If you’re in B2B and think that emojis won’t do it for you, we strongly encourage you to reconsider, because, according to the WeidertGroup, emojis can boost email engagement rate in business communication by up to 31%.
Additionally, you can also take advantage of the following hacks:
- Lists. Explain key benefits of your offer in the form of a list e.g. 10 Reasons to Choose WordPress.
- Ellipsis. Create suspense in your email introduction by adding an ellipsis or as most know them as “those three little dots” (…), e.g. For Developers Only…
- An Oops Moment. Spark curiosity by including a surprising fact, e.g. Oops! Did you miss our latest talk?
- Versus. Include a comparison for better justification of product and services, e.g. Managed vs Cloud Hosting.
- Symbols. Including asterisk, brackets, forward slash, etc. to draw attention to important information e.g. [CONFIRMED] Your registration was successful.
5. Words Matter, So Organize Your Text Smartly
After you have captured the client’s attention with your subject line, you need to ensure that the content delivers on it. The more value you provide to your target audience, the more likely they are to open your future emails, and even be looking forward to them.
This rule applies to any marketing campaign, and email makes no exception. After all, your subscribers opt-in because they find your content important and relevant to their needs.
To ensure that your message doesn’t stray away from the campaign’s objectives, keep it straight to the point and include only relevant information – first, be clear, then be catchy. Here are a few email hacks to try:
- The Subject Line and the Email Body Must be Related. The crucial requirement to keep your email subscribers engaged is to deliver in the body what you promised in the subject line. This will help you provide value to your readers, and build your company’s reputation.
- Keep the Information Relevant. Relevancy is essential for email engagement. So when preparing your email’s content, make sure to focus on a current topic, and provide, either a new solution or a fresh point-of-view.
- Include Second Person Pronouns. Sending an email to prospects is like talking to them face-to-face, hence the best voice to use is the second person. This will help readers relate with and connect to your content better, which in turn will increase the likelihood of them opening your emails again.
- Present Benefits, Not Just Features. This is especially important when making an offer via email, because it will give prospects a better idea of your product/service, and help them understand what to expect from it.
- Stick to the Point. Emails are not the place for long-winded content. If you want to keep your audience engaged you better keep the text short and sweet.
- Let Your (Brand) Personality Shine. While email marketing often requires a formal or semi-formal tone, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show off your brand’s personality. Let your vigor shine through your copy and watch what it does for your engagement.
Furthermore, make sure to only send emails when you have something worth saying. Preparing an email calendar and creating a workflow to regularly feed content into it, will help you stay consistent in your efforts, and allow you to provide value, instead of spam.
Related: 9 Ways to Use Conversational Email to Boost Your Email Campaigns
6. Make Your Call-to-Action Hard to Miss
The next very important thing you need to consider to boost email engagement is to make your call-to-action (CTA) hard to miss. Your recipients should be able to easily discern what it is that you want them to do. Whether you want to encourage people to subscribe to your VIP newsletter, or test out a demo of your new product, your CTA needs to be clear and easy to spot.
The best way to make your CTA obvious enough for the reader not to miss it, is to use visual cues. These could be in the form of a button, or a call-out box with a link and simple text.
Additionally, make sure to create a clearly visual hierarchy for an enhanced UX. Even if you have other links, visuals and buttons, it’s essential that your main CTA stands out. This can be achieved by using bright colors for the primary call-to-action, and neutral colors for the secondary ones.
Here are five tips for great results:
- Add an Action-Oriented Text. For example, Submit, Get a Quote, Save a Spot, Subscribe, etc.
- Make the Text Large and Legible. Ensure your CTA is large enough for your recipients to spot, but not too large so it’s distracting.
- Keep It Short. Considering that CTAs are usually in the form of a button, the shorter the text is, the more liable they are to click on it.
- Use Personal Pronouns. Up your personalization strategy and include it in the CTA. For instance, instead of Start a free trial, write Start your free trial.
- Create Urgency. The more urgent and irresistible the offers you have, the higher your click-through and engagement rates will be. Just include words like now, today, last chance, etc.
7. Send the Right Number of Emails at the Right Times
Defining the right frequency is crucial for good email engagement. Sending too many emails can be annoying, while sending too few can lead to neglect.
So how do you know what’s the right amount?
Well, this will depend on the preferences of your subscribers and what you want to achieve with your email marketing strategy. Hence, if you want to increase email engagement, the goal is to send fewer emails that deliver a better open rate.
Test different schedules and drip campaigns to see which ones your audience responds to the best. Alternatively, you can allow your subscribers to choose their preferred option if your email service supports it, as well as offering them an opt-out link to unsubscribe at any point.
When is the best time of the day and week to send emails also depends on your audience. According to Influencers Marketing Hub, the best moment is between 10 am and 1 pm, and the best day of the week is Thursday. However, don’t take this as the ultimate time slot. Instead, consider your audience’s lifestyle, behavior, and needs.
Engaging your customers through emails and creating the perfect email marketing strategy is no easy task, but it’s certainly worth the effort. And implementing the seven tips we discussed above is a good place to start.
As you optimize your emails for better engagement, always go about it with your audience in mind. This means getting to know them well and using this information to create highly personalized and valuable content.