OPINION: 5 ways to increase email engagement

Annabel Mulliner

Annabel Mulliner

Email marketing is an invaluable tool in driving lead conversions. It provides you with the opportunity to communicate directly with potential customers. However, creating and maintaining an effective email marketing campaign is easier said than done.

If you’ve built up your email subscriber list, this is just the first step. Businesses can expect to lose up to 30% of their email subscribers every year. So, it’s crucial that you keep your subscribers engaged with your email content.

 

How can you measure email engagement?

Email engagement measures how your audience responds to your email campaigns. You can measure it using these metrics:

  • Open rate: this measures how many unique subscribers open your email, and how many times your email is opened overall.
  • Click rate: this measures how many times links in your emails are clicked by readers. This can show you what type of content, or which of your services, your subscribers most value.
  • Conversion rate: which of your emails are resulting in sales? This can show you what type of emails are most helpful in driving conversions.

However, how important each of these metrics are will depend on your business’ strategy. Ask yourself the following:

  • What do you want to achieve from your email marketing campaigns? If you want to redirect traffic to your company blog, what is the click rate for your blog links?
  • Which metrics need the most improvement? If your open rates are low, then this will have a knock-on effect on your other engagement metrics.

Additionally, consider that these metrics will only show you the performance of a single campaign. Customers interact with your brand through a series of campaigns, so to see how customers are interacting as a whole:

  • Where do your customers engage? Knowing whether your customers are viewing your emails on mobile or desktop can help you to tailor your campaign’s content and design.
  • What is a customer’s relationship with your business? You can evaluate the long-term relationship a customer has with your brand by asking for feedback through surveys, testimonials and reviews.
  • What do your customers engage with? Note down what type of emails your audience engages with most, for example blog posts, announcements, or special offers. Whatever works, keep doing it! Modify your approach to anything that doesn’t help you achieve results.

 

Create an introductory series

The aim of this type of email is to help your customers get to know your brand better, and form an emotional connection with it. Telling your story provides an opportunity to open up conversations with your audience, and invites them to reach out to you. The average open rate for a welcome email is 50%, so it is more effective than your average newsletter.

Our introductory email series has led to prospective leads getting in touch via the phone, email, and connecting with us on LinkedIn. This provides us with the opportunity to nurture relationships with prospective customers, which eventually increases lead conversion.

Use your welcome mailer to introduce your business, remind customers where they signed up, and set up expectations for what type of emails they can expect to receive from you, and how often.

Forging this sort of relationship with your customer is exactly what email marketing is all about. Nurturing customer relationships is a far more cost effective method of marketing compared to traditional, transactional marketing that focuses solely on increasing sales.

 

Perfect your email design

Poorly designed emails can be highly off putting for your audience. Using a drag-and-drop email marketing automation platform like Mailchimp can make email design much easier. When designing an email, consider the following:

  • Mobile format. 46% of emails are opened on mobile, so it’s important that your emails are optimised for mobile viewing.
  • Visual elements. Communications that include images can have up to 650% higher engagement than text-only posts. Using visuals, whether that’s photographs or graphics, can help keep a reader engaged with your content.
  • Image sizes. Using the correct image sizes for your email template will help your newsletter to look professional and readable. More importantly, images that are too large or too high in quality will increase your email’s download speed. When an email takes longer to download, your audience can lose interest, resulting in less engagement.

 

Master the perfect subject line

Your email’s subject line is your audience’s first impression of your email, and so is the deciding factor in whether your email is opened or not. Essentially, your subject line is a defining factor in your email marketing campaign’s success. A 2020 study by Yesware found that subject lines that included questions or numbers achieved double the average opening rate. The study also found that subject lines drive more email engagement when they:

  • Use social proof, eg. testimonials or reviews.
  • Provide value
  • Address customer needs

For a subject line to achieve these things, you must tailor your email content to match. This brings us to our next two points.

 

Send targeted, personalised emails

Though personalisation can be something as simple as addressing your email to “Dear *Customer Name*”, you can take this personalisation to the next level by segmenting your audience.

You can find out your audience’s specific individual interests based on link clicks, site tracking, and submitted form fields. Once you have done this, you can segment your audience to send targeted, relevant emails.

Audience segmentation helps you to solve each individual’s specific problem, rather than forcing sales in each email. For example, you could send out a survey to your email list asking them what they currently need help with regarding their business finances – are they struggling with their accounting? Do they need advice on business insurance? Once you have this information, you can let individual customers know exactly how you can help them.

 

Add value

Your email campaigns must always provide value to your customers. Give your audience a reason to open your email, a reason to follow your links. Before you hit send on your next email campaign, ask yourself what you are attempting to achieve. If you can’t think of an answer right away, take your email back to the drawing board.

Only send email campaigns when you have something valuable to say. This doesn’t mean that you can’t send several emails out weekly, but that you need to plan ahead to ensure that every email is pulling its weight.

One example of email campaign content that can add value is educational tips. What are your top pieces of financial advice that your audience can use within their business? To take it a step further, how can your services complement this financial advice?

 

 

Annabel Mulliner is a Content Writer at Little Seed Group, a marketing, PR and social media agency based in York.

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