In a perfect world, every last one of your subscribers would open your lovingly crafted emails. But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where email is still vital to sales, but it is harder to engage our subscribers. That’s why learning how to improve email engagement can help you break through inbox clutter, so your message is seen.
Understanding Email Engagement
Email engagement is the different ways your subscribers interact with your email. But more importantly, it’s a way that email service providers gauge how trustworthy your emails are. Emails that receive a lot of positive engagement are viewed as credible, giving them improved deliverability.
When your emails aren’t engaging? They can wind up in the spam folder.
No one wants to spend the time to create an email marketing campaign that their subscribers never see. And one of the best ways to improve email engagement is to learn what makes up good engagement.
Metrics that email engagement is measured by:
- Email opens
- High email click-through rate
- Moving emails from the spam or promotions tab to the primary inbox
- Minimal spam complaints
- Shorter time spent unopened in the inbox
- Longer time spent reading the email
Why is Email Engagement Important for Your Business?
There are a lot of reasons email engagement is important for your business, and not just because it ensures your subscribers see your emails. Email engagement can also provide you with data you can use to communicate better with your customers.
When you send an email to your subscribers, you’re writing a note to every single one of them. That’s not an easy task. But with the insight you get from email engagement, you can understand how to better communicate with your subscribers.
Engagement helps you understand which links your subscribers will likely click and the subject lines that get them to open messages. The more emails you send, the more engagement you can track. Eventually, you’ll see what times of day your emails are more likely to be read and the types of emails each subscriber prefers. This insight helps you craft better messages tailored to your subscribers.
Clarifies What’s Working and What Isn’t
Engagement helps you see which of your emails resonate with your subscribers and which don’t. After you send an email campaign, you can see how many subscribers open your message, click the links you included, or unsubscribe.
When you have this information, you can tell which emails are successful. Over time, you can learn to adapt your emails so they get the best possible engagement.
Shows How to Deepen Customer Relationships
Ideally, all your subscribers will stay on your email list and read every email you send. But that doesn’t happen without building strong relationships. Understanding your engagement can help you do that.
If your engagement data shows a set of subscribers regularly opening your email, you can send them unique campaigns to help build a connection with them. These emails can include special deals or content. The goal is to show them that you appreciate their time and attention and help them feel valued.
You spend a lot of time planning your email campaigns. When you analyze email engagement, you can plan more strategically. When you know what email subject lines your subscribers are more likely to open, you can use them for your next campaign.
You can also use engagement to plan follow-up emails. Engagement data will show you which of your subscribers haven’t opened your emails. Then you can write new messages better suited to them.
Identifies Best Send Times
Nobody wants to spend time crafting an email campaign only for it to get lost under tons of other marketing emails. When you have email engagement data, you can find the best time to send your emails, so they don’t get lost in a full inbox.
Plus, your subscribers don’t all live in the same time zone. So the best time to send an email to one subscriber might be the worst time for another. Many email service providers allow you to send emails based on time zone, which is a great way to use send time data to your advantage.
Email engagement is information that can help you send better emails. You can use this information to tailor your messages to your subscribers. It’s also data about potential opportunities.
If you have “set it and forget it” emails like your welcome messages or purchase confirmations, you may be missing out on engagement. Use the information from your analytics to redesign those emails with more opportunities for engagement.
8 Ways to Improve Email Engagement
Email engagement can help you build better marketing campaigns, but it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to improving that engagement. These eight tips will help you hit the ground running.
1. Optimize Your Subject Lines
The first impression your email makes is the subject line. It is the first thing people see when they open their inboxes. They will make a quick decision to read or delete. Your subject line is vital because 47% of email recipients open emails based on those few words.
But what is it about the subject line that makes them open the email? You have to craft email subject lines that get attention. Creating subject lines that invoke curiosity can do the trick. Humor also works. And don’t forget about FOMO – the fear of missing out. If you can convey how sorry your subscribers will be if they miss that email, they’ll be more likely to open it.
2. Prioritize Your CTAs
Your CTA, or call to action, is where you tell your reader what you want them to do. It can be directing them to make a purchase, adding themselves to a waiting list, or booking an appointment with you. But your subscribers have inboxes full of CTAs, so you have to get creative and use CTA best practices to get and keep their attention.
Don’t be afraid to play with the design of your emails and the placement of your CTAs. Change up the phrases you use and try different buttons. You never know what might work best for your audience if you don’t try some new things.
3. Conduct A/B Testing
If you’re unsure what might work for your subscribers, try A/B testing. You can send the same email with different subject lines, images, preview text, CTAs, and overall design to designated parts of your email list. When you figure out which option gets the most engagement, you can use that data moving forward to design your emails. The more you test, the more you’ll learn about your audience.
4. Personalize Your Emails
It’s easy for your subscribers to feel like just a number. They know they’re one of many in your email list, but they don’t want to feel that way. Research shows that you can increase your open rates by personalizing your emails. In fact, 82% of marketing specialists saw an increase in open rates when they personalized the emails. This tactic can help you increase engagement and keep your email out of the spam folder.
5. Ensure Your Email is Mobile Responsive
Most of your subscribers look at the email you sent from their smartphones. So if you’re sending emails that only look good on large desktop computer screens, you’re basically encouraging your audience to delete them. Most email marketing software will allow you to preview your message for desktop and mobile before you send it. Pay extra attention to mobile because that’s where your subscribers likely are.
6. Include Engaging Content
Everyone’s inbox is full, and no one wants to read another boring email. The key to keeping your subscribers opening and reading your messages is to make the sort of content they want to engage with.
Keep your messages short and punchy. There’s no need to write them a novel. Just give your subscribers the information they need. Make sure you send them important information and don’t forget to make it visual. Adding images, GIFS, and videos is a great way to keep your subscribers engaged in your email content.
7. Segment Your List
Your subscribers are unique people. They have varying needs and are at different stages of their customer journey. To make sure you aren’t sending the same messages to your new subscribers and customers who have a long relationship with your brand, you need to segment your list.
Use the customer data from your CRM software and your email engagement. From there, create segments of your list based on what those customers are looking for and how likely they are to buy. This division will help you create tailored campaigns specifically for those segments that will serve them better than general messages.
8. Keep Your List Cleaned Up
It can feel like a massive flex to have a huge subscriber list, but if those subscribers aren’t opening your emails or clicking on your messages, you don’t want them. And sending to them could be harming your reputation with email services since they don’t engage with your messages at all.
Regularly removing inactive and unengaged subscribers can help keep your email engagement high. You can also create re-engagement campaigns to win back subscribers who stopped engaging. If they don’t take you up on the offer, it’s time to kick them off the list.
What Kinds of Emails Work Best
Now that you know how to keep your email engagement high, you need to think about what to send your subscribers. These email types work best to keep your audience reading their emails.
4 types of emails to earn and keep subscribers:
- Informative. Your subscribers want to be informed. Giving them updates about trends, best practices, or things to watch out for can help them trust your brand.
- Educational. Customers want to know they’re making a good choice when they purchase a product. These emails help your customers make informed decisions by educating them about your products or services.
- Promotional. When your company has a new sale or an upcoming launch, sending a promotional email tells your subscribers the information they need to access that offer.
- Transactional. These emails update customers on their current transactions, password resets, or tech support inquiries. They don’t drive engagement but are necessary for good customer service.
Want to Improve Your Email Engagement?
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by email engagement. You can improve it! And if you need help along the way, Content Journey is here. Content Journey has the expertise to take your emails from blah to brilliant! Schedule a call today to get started with a regular email newsletter or a special campaign.