Achieving high email engagement can be challenging, as readers react differently to emails. For instance, a reader can open your email but not click on any links, resulting in low engagement. How can you fix this? Here are some best practices that can improve email marketing engagement. Try them all and find out what works best for your audience.
Optimise Email Subject Lines
Your subject lines have a great influence on your email opens and content. Research shows that 47% of subscribers open their emails based on the subject line alone. As a result, treat them as one of the most important aspects of your email campaign.
Did you know that emails that have personalised subject lines produce 50% higher open rates? You can also include emojis to create a sense of emotion, express your brand attitude, and to grab the readers’ attention.
Make your emails stand out from the masses. Use these email tips and best practices to help you write strong email subject lines that boost open rates.
Prioritise Email Personalisation
Personalised email messages help drive high open and click-through rates. In fact, 72% of consumers say that they only engage with personalised messaging. When you send tailored content to your subscribers, they’re less likely to unsubscribe or stop opening your future emails. This is because they’re receiving valuable content from you.
To show that you really understand your customer’s needs, personalise your emails beyond the customer’s first name. The more data you have on your subscribers, the better.
For example, Grammarly uses all the data it collects from users to send weekly reports, offering them an analysis of their writing skills. This enables the user to see how their writing has progressed since they’ve been using the app and points out areas where they need to improve.
Image source: Venture Harbour
This is a great use of personalisation because it shows the user how important the app is to them as content creators, writers, or people worried about typos in their emails. This email also acts as an upselling strategy. It reminds users that they’ll get deeper insights into their writing habits and fix problems if they upgrade to a paid account.
Always Segment Your Email Lists
Segmenting your email list will help you tailor your emails to your readers’ demographics or interests. Since your readers are getting content that’s relevant to them, they’re more likely to continue to engage with your brand.
Allow the data you have on your subscribers to influence how you segment your lists. For example, you may want to send an email promoting your new branch; geographic segmentation would do the trick. If done right, list segmentation like this can increase engagement rates, build customer loyalty, and drive more sales.
Did you know that some industries have inactive list rates as high as 70-80%? List segmentation also allows you to re-engage inactive subscribers or customers.
Make an Impact with Email Workflows
Email workflows are communication journeys sent to your customers at specific times, based on their behaviour and data. Everlytic’s workflows have smart functionality like conditions, data filters, and a range of actions that help you build customer journeys that meet the needs of your recipients and your business. The more personalised they are, the more they keep your subscribers engaged.
These email campaigns are powerful since they enable you to create familiarity with recipients through the Mere Exposure Effect; the tendency to develop preferences for things we are familiar with.
A great example of an email workflow campaign is Everlytic’s onboarding series. To onboard new staff, Everlytic sends a series of five emails, starting with a welcome email that collects more data on the individual. The email also guides them through basic company information, culture, and resources they may need.
After two days, another email is sent that encourages the employee to complete product training. After another week, users receive an email with information on internal processes. The remaining emails are sent over two weeks to give the staff some breathing room.
These emails are great examples of how to increase engagement because:
- They are personalised
- They meet the staff’s needs
- They are timed
It’s best practice to space out your emails based on the workflow goals. That way, you stay top of mind without overwhelming your subscribers. But even with that said, remember to experiment and use what works for your audience.
A/B Test Email Marketing Campaigns
Testing is crucial to creating effective email campaigns; particularly A/B testing. It allows you to measure the difference in engagement between two versions of the same email. For example, you can compare email A and B to see how a single variation impacts opens or clicks. You can test email elements like:
- Subject line: Test if the type of subject line used is compelling.
- Email sender: Try sending emails from an employee’s email address instead of a generic department address.
- Copy: You could test plain paragraphs versus bullet points or a longer vs a shorter block of text.
- Offers: You can test a marketing guide versus an ebook, or video.
- Image: Experiment with different images to see how they influence your engagement rate.
The Everlytic platform picks a winning email version to send to the rest of your contact list based on how both versions performed.
NB: Test one thing at a time so you’re clear on which change made a difference.
When running A/B testing, send yourself test emails to check if they look good. An incomplete campaign sent by mistake will ruin your experiment.
Use One Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
To run a successful email marketing campaign, you must persuade your subscribers to act. How can you achieve this? Adding a CTA in your emails tells your subscribers what to do next.
Adding one main call to action to your emails gives your subscribers a focus point and direction. Too many CTA options may overwhelm them or reduce their edge to click through. The design and placement of your CTAs is important too. Make sure you place your CTA above the fold, so readers don’t miss it; people often drop off the longer the email is.
Focus on The Right Email Metrics
If increasing engagement and sales is your main goal, you need to track the correct email metrics; this will help you make data-backed decisions. Consider looking at these metrics:
- Open rate: Email opens are the first measure of engagement as opens usually give you insight on the effectiveness of your email subject line. This metric highlights your reach and is an easy way to compare campaigns, like those sent to different customer segments.
- Click-through rate: This is the ratio of users who click on a specific link within your emails and is considered an actionable metric. If the rate is high, it suggests that your audience is interested in your products or services.
- Click-to-open rate: This metric is regarded as a true measure of engagement as it shows the percentage of contacts that click on links in your emails from the pool of contacts who opened them. It provides insight into how readers interact with your email message, design, and call to action.
- Unsubscribe rate: The unsubscribe rate shows how engaged your recipients are since it highlights the number of unsubscribes you received from the list you emailed. It also affects your sender reputation because the more users unsubscribe, the more your reputation is damaged.
- Heat Maps: This displays a heat map of where readers are clicking in your emails. Analysing this data will help you understand how your audience engages with your content and what tweaks can be made.
- Return on Investment (ROI): Tracking your ROI can help you determine if your email campaigns are producing the desired financial return. Digitalstrike says that the median email marketing ROI is 122%.
Email Best Practices for The Win
Since subscriber react differently to emails, achieving a high engagement rate can be a challenge. But there are many ways to optimise your email campaigns to address this. Experiment and test the best practices in this post to see what works for your audience.