You’re on the right track to a successful email strategy.
You’ve captured customers for your list using various landing page tools and lead magnets.
You’re even getting a decent open rate.
Now all you need to do is keep them active and engaged.
Sounds easy enough, right?
According to email marketing reports, most companies lose an average of 30% of their email subscribers each year. That means that your bucket full of leads is gradually dripping opportunities away month by month.
That’s why it’s so important for business leaders to ensure that they’re not resting on their laurels after they’ve captured some potential customers. Once your customers are on your doorstep, you need to figure out a way of keeping them around.
That’s where email engagement strategies come in.
Improving Email Engagement: The Basics
The first thing you need is a good understanding of what email engagement is. How does it affect your list, and why do you need it?
In basic terms, email engagement is a measure of how people interact with your email content. Click rate, open rate, and conversion rate are all examples of email engagement metrics.
Convincing customers to sign up for your email list and open your content is a good first step, but what do you do with your audience once you gain their attention? How do you encourage your people to actually do something valuable for your brand?
That’s where email engagement comes in.
Fortunately, we have some excellent tips for increasing your engagement.
1. Leverage Social Proof
One thing that always seems to drive decision-making activity in the email landscape is social proof. Your customers are always a little nervous about buying something online.
They want to know that someone else has taken the plunge before them. That’s why around 70% of consumers look at reviews before they make a purchase.
Seeing what other people think about your products improves the chances that your new leads will want to go ahead and make a purchase too. A few ways to use social proof in your emails to boost engagement include:
- Showing off a celebrity face: Invest in an influencer and ask them to share their thoughts or opinions on your top-selling items in your next email.
- Demonstrate your industry authority: Include seals of approval from relevant groups in your email content. For instance, a dental company might have “Approved by local dentists” on their email.
- Share actual reviews from other customers: Show your leads exactly how much other consumers love your products.
In this email example by Ban.do, the company includes genuine reviews written by happy customers, perfect for earning engagement:
2. Create Engaging Content
One of the easiest ways to generate email engagement, is to invest in content that inspires and connects with your audience on an emotional level.
While every email campaign shouldn’t necessarily highlight your key missions and values, it’s worth reminding your audience why they felt enough affinity with your brand to sign up for your newsletter in the first place. Remember, Forbes research tells us that younger generations just aren’t engaged by ads anymore.
Instead, your customers are wired to respond to well-told narratives that speak to their values. That’s why companies like Lush highlight their USP in emails through statements about their “ethically sourced ingredients”, and vegetarian cosmetics “made by hand”:
Every now and again in your email, think about what makes your business special, and how you can demonstrate that to your audience.
In this Lush email, the company doesn’t just highlight its values with words, it also shows pictures that back up its claims. Remember that the more assets you can share to underline important information about your brand, the more likely it is that your customers will believe you.
3. Teach Something Useful
Remember, your customers probably didn’t just sign up to your email newsletter because they want access to the latest promotions and deals in their email. They also did it because they’re interested in your brand, and what you might accomplish.
As a growing company in the modern marketplace, your aim should be to deliver real, helpful information about your business and industry.
Aim to demonstrate your thought leadership to your customers and remind them regularly of why they want to do business with you.
Take a look at Salesforce, for instance.
The company does an excellent job of moving its leads towards resources on its website that they might find helpful after they subscribe to the email newsletter.
This does a couple of things.
First, it provides customers with useful information about a business. That way they know that they’ve signed up for a newsletter about something they’re genuinely interested in.
Secondly, it encourages the audience to come back to the Salesforce website and spend more time there, improving chances of conversions.
4. Personalize the Emails You Send
We frequently talk about the statistics of personalizing your emails here.
That’s because today’s subscribers want to know that they’re connecting with a brand that understands them and appreciates their unique nuances.
According to Campaign Monitor, personalization is the number one goal for 38% of businesses, but also the number one challenge for 36%.
Think about how you can adapt your emails to suit the expectations and unique needs of your customers. One great option is to segment your audience according to where they’ve come from, what they’ve purchased in the past, or even how long they’ve been with you.
For instance, JetBlue regularly sends emails to customers based on their “anniversaries” together.
These kinds of celebratory personalized emails helps your audience to remember that you care about them. At the same time, it’s a great opportunity to engage your customers with things like celebratory gifts and discounts.
Who doesn’t love a freebie?
5. Send Targeted Recommendations
Speaking of personalizing your emails. It’s much easier to engage your audience with the messages that you’re sending, if you’re tailoring that content to suit their individual needs.
Start by using your email marketing tools and website monitoring services to find out the interests of individual customers or groups based on links clicked and forms submitted. From there, you can tailor the content you send according to the wants and needs of each customer.
Take a look at the Platinum Skincare brand. The company wasn’t sure how to properly engage its audience, so it used audience segmentation to convert 17% of its leads into paying clients.
To get started, the brand sent out a quick email asking audiences to take a quiz to find out what they needed most in their skincare.
The quiz was engaging because it created a gamification experience for the audience.
At the same time, it meant that Platinum Skincare could learn some crucial facts about its customers.
Once customers completed the quiz, Platinum Skincare responded by sending out emails that targeted the specific needs and pain points of their customers.
The email correspondence became less about forcing a purchase in every message, and more about showing customers that the company understood their needs.
6. Surprise and Delight
Finally, one of the best ways to keep subscribers happy and engaged is to occasionally send out emails that have no other purpose but to delight your audience.
The content sent in an email like this is dependent on the kind of brand that you’ve built and your unique tone of voice. For instance, if you’re a very serious and professional brand, then you might delight your audience with a recent case study.
On the other hand, if you’re a more playful company, you could send a message showing off the pets of people in your team.
Look at this email from Glossier, for instance:
It shows off one of the team member’s pets and encourages engagement by getting audience members to click on the “Good Dog” CTA to get directed back to the main website.
The subject line even says, “Click for cute”, earning the immediate interest of the target audience.
If All Else Fails, Clean Up
Finally, if no matter what you do, it feels like you can’t engage your audience, it might be time to clean your list a little.
If you’re emailing your customers regularly with engaging and delightful content, but you’re not seeing much of a respond, it could be that your audience just isn’t as into you as you thought. That means that it’s time to clean out your email list and remove anyone who’s not going to convert.
Don’t feel bad if you need to clean your list occasionally. This is an important and common part of regular email marketing maintenance.
Contacts can end up leaving your lifecycle because they’ve changed their email, added you to your spam list, or just lost interest in what you had to say.
Rather than wasting your time and your money on these individuals that don’t care much about your brand, it makes more sense to update your email list and focus more exclusively on the people who are engaged.
Ready to Engage Your Customers?
Convincing audience members to join your email list is just the first stage of the battle. After that, you need to continue building new opportunities by engaging your audience with compelling messages and unique ideas.
Don’t forget, measure the response to your email engagement tactics by checking things like click-through rate, subscriber drop-off, and even open rates. This should help you to determine which methods are most effective.