What marketers and small businesses need to get themselves consistent reminds the one sole important fact – marketing isn’t about them!
Most of email marketing campaigns get lost, far away from what they ought to achieve, because they forget the most important thing- customers.
The biggest disappointment is putting all effort and strategies in place and not finding the email engagement.
It happens because you don’t communicate to the audience what’s in it for them.
You have to put the audience first to boost your email engagement. There is a change in mindset and approach required right there.
That’s the first but major! Then there are various strategies and tips you can apply to boost email marketing engagement dramatically.
Before that, you also need to have a basic understanding of what email engagement is, how it is measured, and more.
What Is Email Engagement?
The definition of email engagement is not arbitrary, and it can be well-defined through quantifiable metrics as follows:
- Email open rates
- Click through rate
- Conversion rate
Before you learn how to measure the engagement rate, you also need to know what it means.
Email engagement or email marketing engagement simply means how well users are engaging with your emails.
Because if they don’t or engage less, you won’t get the sales from your email marketing campaign
Engagement helps you understand how well you are close to achieving your target or goals set for the campaign.
How do you measure the success of your email engagement?
As stated earlier, email open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates are three major criteria for the success of your email marketing campaign.
And hence, they are also the metrics for email engagement.
But how do you measure whether your email marketing campaign was successful or not?
This depends upon how you define success. In this case, what is ‘successful’ for your email marketing campaign?
- Are you more focussed to improving your sales?
- Do you want specifically to generate leads to further nurture it
- You want to send them out to your social media links
- You may want to get more and more open rates first.
- Or you many be doing it for audience research
It depends on your goal with your email marketing campaign, and everything will be aligned accordingly.
Once you know your goal with the campaign, you know what success means to you and now you can measure it using the engagement metrics.
The idea always will be here to find your goals for the campaign and optimize them to achieve them in order to be running a successful email campaign.
How to Measure Email Engagement Using Data?
It is certainly clear that you can measure the success of your email engagement by comparing it to your goals.
Measuring email engagement helps you to know how your email marketing campaigns are performing.
This also helps you set the further strategies in place and which direction to move on. Without it, you wouldn’t know what things to improve.
Combining the data you retrieve from your email marketing software with the Google Analytics reports can be used to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
This is certainly the best way to accurately measure how effective is your email campaign in delivering towards the email marketing goals you wanted to achieve with a particular campaign.
Here are the metrics that will tell you the performance of your campaign:
- Email open rates : what percentage of your total subscribers have opened your emails?
- Click-through rates : What percentage of the subscribers who opened your emails are clicking on the link in your email?
- Conversion rates: What percentage of subscribers who are redirected to the landing page or product page from your emails are buying the product?
- Unsubscribes : What percentage or numbers of subscribers are unsubscribing from your emails?
Pro Tips & Strategies To Boost Email Engagement
Use Curiosity-Infused Intriguing Subject Lines
Your recipients are not naturally inclined to open every email sent to them. This is certainly because they are receiving dozens of marketing emails every hour.
You have to give them enough reason to click on your email. First of all, it should be something that grabs their attention and pulls them enough to click on it.
After all, the reduced rate of open rates is one of the primary reasons why you are not getting email engagements.
Subject lines are your first impression on the subscriber as well as the first and actually only opportunity to attract them in.
You have to think of it as a make-or-break opportunity as the subject line is the first thing they see of your email and judge you upon it.
If your subject line is boring, repetitive, or too salesy, they would not even think to click on it.
On top of that, your subject line has to be sufficiently intriguing and infused with curiosity that they feel compelled to click on it.
How To Make Your Subject Line Intriguing?
The question begs- how will you make your subject line curiosity-infused and intriguing?
Here are a few strategies you can do to make it so :
- Make sure you clearly state what value you are providing to the recipients through the subject line.
- You can also use some kind of cliffhanger or breaking news or statistics that can take them by surprise or shock, leading them to open it.
- Another way is to lure them by offering some kind of discount, coupon code, free trial or free gift promised in the subject line itself.
- Use emojis to make your subject lines more appealing, personalized and fun.It also removes the whole sale-sy vibe of a marketing email.
- You can also use hyper-personalization and micro-segmentation to connect more with the audience through their subject line, writing something more personal to particular exclusive to them.
Your subject line must either promise receipts that they will get immense value from it or some kind of free gift or coupon code.
Or you use personalization to tap into their actual wants, beliefs, emotions, desire, problems, fears, and insecurities to get them in.
Another way is to make your subject line something click-worthy, something that evokes curiosity, so they feel compelled to know more.
Integrate Interactive Elements
The best way to increase the engagement of your emails is to make them more interactive, and that’s what makes it more fun and interesting.
You need to remember, no one wants to spend their time on a boring email with a lot of text at the start of their day.
And here comes the interactive elements which can boost the engagement on your emails.
These interactive elements can be quizzes, polls, games, GIFs, animated stories, maps, and other elements.
There are so many interactive elements available today to craft an exciting email where users would love to invest their time.
In this way, you can also make your emails so much fun that they might even look forward to your emails.
The idea is to hook their attention and indulge them in the email in one way or another.
Not just it increases the engagement for your email campaign but also develops your brand image.
Utilize Social Proof
One of the reasons why prospects are not engaging with your emails even if you can see high open rates, is they lack trust.
They can see the kind of good products you have and they might even have checked your online store for a while but yet they are hesitating to engage further.
This is the stage where low engagement is stopping the customer to take initiative and purchase the product, hence no conversions.
So, how do you establish trust in your subscribers regarding your product or services?
One of the tested and approved ways is utilizing social proof to eliminate doubt from a potential buyer’s mind.
The Psychological Impact Of Social Proof On Potential Customers
Humans are psychologically-engineered to rely on the opinions of their friends, families, or simply others.
For example, if you know your friends are buying something and they have been talking about it, you would be naturally inclined to purchase it yourself.
So much so that sometimes you don’t even need those products. But here brands play on relevance.
When you want to buy a product but you are not sure whether you should or not, there are some doubts and hesitance.
All you want to know actually is whether others are buying it or not. People just like and when you know it, chances are you will make the purchase.
This is called social proof. All the reviews and testimonials, like how many times you have checked for reviews to buy something or check reviews of the movie, or place you are going to.
Marketers utilize this to convince potential customers and encourage them to buy using customer testimonials and reviews.
This can skyrocket your engagement rates on your email campaign especially in the form of conversions.
Do you know why subscribers are not engaging with your emails? One top reason can be the fact that they are not getting strong enough reasons to do so.
Now, what does that mean?
Well, what may be interesting and relevant for one person might not be for others and that’s what is happening to your emails?
And this is even if all of the leads are collected regarding the same things, product or niche.
But the thing is, humans are complex and emotionally-driven beings.
What reasons, values, emotions, interests, and preferences you’re using to target one of your contact lists may not work for another, also from your contact list.
So it is not surprising the same emails won’t work on everyone. You won’t get a collective result.
This requires the segmentation of the list, which means you are categorizing your contact on the basis of different factors such as location, gender, age, etc.
Factors on which you can segment your list depend upon how creative and smart you are with understanding your audience.
List Segmentation Explained With An Example
For example, Suppose you are selling photography courses, and you have multiple types and levels of courses that cost different ranges.
Now, you are simply sending emails to your contact list who are definitely interested in photography as that’s why they signed up in the first place.
But you’re not getting much engagement and hence clicks or conversions.
This can happen for multiple reasons :
- Not all the interested parties are at the same level of photography skills, so your courses can be either too advanced or too basic for them.
- Not all aspiring photographers, some might be already professional, so they rather want to learn how to get more clients and other kinds of advanced issues.
- Your subject lines don’t promise what they actually want, that’s why you’re not getting high open rates.
- Not all are professional photographers, they might even be hobbyists or thinking about it.
All these points, and there can be more scenarios, means that your target customers are at different stages of their purchasing journey or learning journey.
Their wants, preferences, and problems can be exclusively different from others.
So, sending the same email to all of them won’t give high engagement or conversion.
Hence, you need to segment your contact depending upon the important and relevant factors.
Adding Personality To Your Transactional Emails
Transactional emails are usually boring and dry. And most of the time, they are just limited to what they have been proposed for.
These emails are about order confirmation or delivery information about your parcel.
Most of the brands or businesses are considering it just as a transactional email and they are supposed to be like this.
But many brands see it as an opportunity to interact with the audience.
Either way, you are providing them information or an update but what if you can use this opportunity to subconsciously establish your brand image as well.
Getting Creative With Your Transactional Emails
Just like the brands do whether they make their transaction email a bit more creative. They try to bring some personality or style of what their brand represents.
Transactional emails do not necessarily have to be boring, dry, and robotic.
The best part of this is since it is a transactional email regarding the essential information that a customer is definitely going to open, you’re going to get high open rates on these emails.
And hence, it is called an opportunity to cleverly impart your brand image and style subconsciously.
You can use creative copy, unique graphics, animations to make it more appealing. This makes the brand more friendly and assertive to approach.
Micro-Segmentation To Hyper-Personalize
Segmentation as you’ve already learned is a great tool to increase engagement as it helps you to tap into more personalized and targeted aspects of your subscribers.
The factors on which segmentation works are well-defined. Primarily you can segment your list on five bases:
But Micro-segmentation is an even better and much more advanced form of segmenting your contact list.
It is a powerful way to personalize your email marketing campaigns specifically designed to send out to your micro-segmented list.
You use much more customized and detailed factors to micro-segment your contact list as compared to segmentation.
Rather than using more categorized factors, you dig deep to focus on more intricate information to create micro-segments.
Micro Segmentation vs Traditional Segmentation
Micro-segmentation as it cores, still a traditional segmentation, it is just more advanced and detailed, and also focuses on more precise factors for creating micro-segments.
If you look at the traditional segmentation it is still largely used in comparison to micro-segmentation.
This is also because micro-segmentation started as a recent marketing trend leading up to this year and coming forth.
Traditional segmentation is much more practiced and versed in by marketers and businesses.
They use to identify different ideal customer groups within their contact list to focus their marketing spend and efforts on subscribers who are most likely to convert.
The basic segmentation works on four distinct lines of data :
- Geolocation: by the location of the user, their region, city & country
- Demographics : by their gender, income, age, education etc
- Psychographics: by user’s lifestyle, preferences, values, social classes & more
- Behavioural data: by their previous purchases, buying patterns, app usage, choices.
Now, if you compare it with micro-segmentation, it isn’t really based on these category-based segments.
Rather they can be as precise as “ college students living in New York interested in photography as a career”.
Or even “ married females between the age of 25 to 50 living in Maryland who have abandoned the cart in last 60 days “
Micro-segment isn’t based on one category but many constraints based on your observation or requirement.
It is the technique that also utilizes machine learning and Artificial intelligence to zoom in to the precision for creating a micro-segment.
Micro-segmentation includes advanced marketing technology including AI, machine learning tools, RFM analysis, Intent-Based Segmentation, and other algorithms.
Knowing Your Customer Lifecycle
Knowing your customer lifecycle is about knowing your customer in and out, not just where they are but also where they were and where they will be.
Understanding different stages of your ideal customer help you target them better and more importantly at a better time.
To craft emails that are extremely engaging, something that your target customer cannot stop themselves to open, interact and engage with, requires knowing the psyche of your customers.
And for that, you need to collect information about them. More data means more understanding.
This will help you to build a strong comprehensive buyer’s persona for your products, giving you a fair idea as to how your ideal prospects are.
You have to collect pieces of information such as :
- Customer contact information
- Their age
- Their preferences
- Social status
- Financial status & background
- Previous purchases
- Their product searches
- Records of the interactions you have with them
- Records of their social media profiles
- Descriptive data
- Behavioural data
And there can be even more, and better descriptions on them help you know what kind of customers you’re targeting.
Optimizing According To The Five Stages Of Customer Lifecycle
Some information is even more crucial such as their interests, preferences, intent, and others.
Then there are different stages of the customer lifecycle through which you send them particular emails reserved for those different stages.
This helps you bring the highest engagement meeting towards the email sales to funnel, to the extent of conversion.
The Awareness Stage
The Awareness Stage is the first stage of the customer lifecycle. This is the stage where your prospective buyer starts to explore your products or services.
When you know that your subscriber is at the awareness stage of their customer lifecycle, you already know that they are somewhat interested.
And since they are growing your products or services, go through your websites or apps.
Apparently, this is not the stage for you to send email as they might or not have signed up for your email campaign.
They are aware of your product but whether they are showing interest or not depends upon the next stage or the fact that they sign-up for your email subscriptions.
The Interest Stage
Now, this is the stage where your email marketing begins and usually, this is the stage where you find your customer for the first time in terms of an email marketing campaign.
The earlier stage was more of a pre-condition where your customer has been before you met them at this stage.
At this stage, they are on board with you, showing interest in your product or services.
So here you will send them welcome emails and more of that content that can impress them and hook them on a long ride.
Don’t get hurried to sell them with your first email as that’s what kills the engagement with subscribers.
Focus on sharing exciting content and helpful resources to develop communication and high engagement at the very beginning.
The Consideration Stage
This stage is where your prospective buyers started to research through your products and not just yours but your competitors as well.
Engaging with potential buyers at this stage or creating engagements at this stage will help you gain the best results ever.
So when you craft your emails considering that they are at this stage exploring their options, you can optimize your emails to grab their attention first.
Then you present them the best offer you can to beat the competition. The focus should be to not let them go to your competitors at this stage.
You need to make your case as to why your product or service is better than others in the market.
So you can send them case studies, product features & benefits, product comparison reports, and other things to swing their vote on your side.
The Intent Stage
This is the stage where you need to gain their confidence towards purchasing using social proof and credibility.
So, send the best customer testimonials, reviews, and success stories you have regarding your product or service.
Show them how many consumers your product has across the countries or cities making the case that they are all happy with your product or service.
This is the stage where they are going to make the decision whether they should buy your product or not.
The Purchase Stage
The final stage comes after when the users made their purchase. This is very important as well because your work ain’t over here.
You don’t want just them to purchase once but a repeat customer, a long-term relationship with them.
Not just that, you want to make their overall experience great, so they can recommend others.
This stage is as important as any other stage in this customer lifecycle. So make sure you send a thank you email to them.
Also share the relevant information regarding customer support and continue with follow-up emails
Retention maybe not the primary stage of this customer lifecycle but it is essential to the whole process.
When you have successfully converted a prospective buyer into a customer. Your aim as mentioned in the earlier stage is to retain them.
You should now focus on nurturing this relationship so they not just turn into repeat customers but also brand loyalists and advocates.
Keep building connections with them, send them product-related updates, any news related to your company, industry-related updates, etc.
Also, you can often congratulate them or wish them on their birthdays, holidays, and festivals.
Embed Videos To Your Emails
A good email marketing copy asks to be concise and not too crowded with its content as it overwhelms the reader.
Are you one of those marketers who want to convey a lot of information through your emails but don’t want to add too much text to your emails?
Well, the best solution to this, and to your original problem of lacking email engagement is – integrating a video to your emails.
Now when you are integrating a video into your email, you have to take care of a lot of things, and you have many questions like these:
- Do users even watch videos in an email?
- What kind of videos to add in your emails?
- How long ideally should videos be?
Let’s take it one by one.
Do users even watch videos in an email?
The real question here is whether or how videos are engaging for users when they receive them in their email inbox.
Visual is always more engaging, especially videos that are more capable of demonstrating or conveying your message in an interesting way, and in less time.
It requires less attention span and willpower as compared to the text.
So, yes, videos do create high engagement in your emails. You just need to focus to plug the relevant video.
It should be informative and valuable enough for users to watch it. Also, make it precise and a not too long video.
What kind of videos to add in your emails ?
This is more simple than you think. Focus on putting the videos that are highly relevant to the value you want to provide.
It should be the direct answer to the promise you made to the audience in the subject line and a copy of the email.
However, informative videos, how-to videos, list videos, explainer videos, animation videos are some of the formats that work best.
Rest, depending upon what you want to deliver. You can also send a message from the founder or owner of the business as a talking-head video directly addressing the subscribers.
Interviews from industry leaders are also good content that users engage with.
How long should the video be?
You should definitely try to strive for video as short as it can be but having said that, the focus should be to deliver the required information.
If that means, making a 20-minute video, so be it. If you are sharing some invaluable or exclusive information through email, it might be longer.
The focus should be on the fact that it should be well-edited, point-to-point and concise in its delivery.
It needs to be entertaining and interesting for the audience to capture their interest long enough to get all the information you want to convey.
Optimizing The Copy Of Your Emails
Your email marketing copy is what actually interacts with the subscribers. So whether they engage or not, it is pretty much dependent upon your email copy.
So needless to say how important it becomes to optimize your email copy to increase the chances of user engagement.
The better your copy will be, the more capable it will be to communicate with users and even before that attracts them enough to open it.
Here are a few things you can do with your email copy to increase user engagement :
- Keep your subject line short, concise and snappy
- Focus on ‘writing less, impact more’ in your email copy
- Evoke curiosity through your subject line
- Make your subject line intriguing
- Your email body should be easy to read
- Use emojis in subject lines and email copy to make it fun
- Write more personalized email copy
- Use capital letters to emphasize
- Try to provide value through your email copy
Requesting Your Subscribers For Feedback
Feedback isn’t only important for businesses to collect suggestions and complaints from the consumer to grow and evolve but it is also a method to create engagement.
It is needless to say that it creates the scope of engagement when you request your subscribers for feedback.
Not just that, it is quality engagement where your subscriber gets to see the good side of the brand if you show them.
Asking for feedback can be done by adding a quick survey in your emails or asking a couple of multiple-choice questions.
You can also ask for a review as well. Either way, it creates an opportunity where customers will be engaging with your brand through email.
The obvious benefit apart from the engagement you’re getting is all the valuable feedback from customers to make required improvements.
But to do this, you need to encourage your subscribers on a time-to-time basis to fill out the surveys or feedback form.
What you can also do to push them is offer some kind of incentive to do so such as a discount for their next purchase or free gift.
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I am certified and awarded Email marketing expert. I’ve spent the last decade reading and writing marketing books and blogs as well as my articles helps people to start their Email Campaign from scratch or boost their existing business.