Did you know that 99% of all active email users check their inboxes daily? In other words, email marketing engagement is crucial to your success as a business owner.
When you consider the scope of this statistic, it’s not hard to see why business leaders and marketers across all industries have turned to email to build rapport with visitors, increase engagement, and boost sales. It provides a place for companies to have one-on-one conversations with prospects and existing customers, which is fundamental for creating a positive user experience.
Despite all the work that goes into designing email marketing campaigns, the average open rate is less than 20%. In other words, over three-fourths of the people who see emails from businesses will not open them.
If you’re using email marketing to connect with your audience (and you should!), you may be in a position where engagement is waning. Your open rate is low, and the click-through rate is a fraction of what it was when you first started building your list.
The good news is it doesn’t have to stay that way. Today, I’ll go over 6 proven ways you can gradually improve your engagement rate and optimize your email marketing strategy.
Craft Click-Worthy Subject Lines
Make no mistake; your subject line can make or break your entire email strategy. Over half of all users say they look at the subject line of messages they receive to determine if they’re worth the time.
If an email doesn’t appear relevant, subscribers will move on to other, more important messages.
The best way to craft click-worthy headlines is to segment your audience based on their interests. You can do this through feedback forms, tracking on-site behavior, and encouraging users to share their preferences when they sign up.
Once you know what kind of content or offers readers want to see, put them in the appropriate segment so your emails resonate with each person because they target specific goals, needs, and pain points.
You should also look for opportunities to use micro-personalization to make each experience unique. For example, you could include the user’s name in the subject line or send a special birthday promotion.
Format for Readability
Emails that are not optimized for your audience will quickly get deleted. Imagine opening a message from a brand you love, only to see a wall of text smashed together on a very busy-looking image. Odds are, you’d feel overwhelmed and leave before you finished the first couple of sentences.
Instead of putting your subscribers in this position, I suggest formatting your emails for readability. One of the easiest ways to do this is to leave a little bit of blank space between paragraphs. This “breathing room” makes it easy for users to scan your email, which means they are more likely to take action.
I also recommend using an email builder that has mobile responsive templates. Over 5.5 billion people own smartphones, and most use their devices to read emails. If your email looks disorganized or has poor button placement, you will have a tough time convincing mobile users to interact with your messages.
Leverage the Power of Personalized Content
We briefly touched on personalization when discussing subject lines. Now, let’s go a little deeper and find out how leveraging the power of personalized content can skyrocket engagement.
When subscribers see that emails are customized to their needs and preferences, they are more likely to want to take the next step, whether you want them to check you out on social media, participate in a giveaway, or take advantage of a flash sale.
You can personalize your message in many different ways. Here are a few options to consider:
– Curate newsletters with relevant content based on each user’s interests.
– Offer limited-time promotions to users who’ve bought similar items in the past.
– Send emails based on specific stages in their journey. For instance, a new SaaS customer receives an email with an onboarding guide.
– Use names, birthdays, and other relevant information they provided in your emails.
Are you wondering how big of an impact this could have on your business? If so, consider this; 80% of shoppers claim they are more willing to engage with brands that use personalization.
Use Automation to Streamline Your Campaigns
There’s no question that every business can benefit from email automation. The way it works is simple; the marketing team creates a series of emails and campaigns designed for users based on their needs.
Users trigger an automated email when they take one or more specific actions.
Let’s look at a practical example.
A business wants to keep its customers engaged from the moment they join their email list. In order to accomplish this task, they create an automated welcome email series that is delivered the moment a user clicks the subscribe button on their site.
Now, they can start engaging with customers instantaneously instead of waiting too long to send a welcome email and missing out on valuable clicks.
You can automate virtually every aspect of your email campaign. Here are a few other actions that could trigger an automated message:
– Downloading a lead magnet
– Purchasing a product
– Time-based (ex: after one month, new customers get an email asking for a review)
Make Sure People Are Getting Your Emails
You may be surprised to learn that 15% of marketing emails get lost in spam folders or cannot be delivered. This inconsistency between what is sent and what is received can have a massive impact on engagement.
But the bigger problem is that deliverability issues can skew your analytics, making it hard to tell when your engagement strategies are working.
I suggest scrubbing your email list at least twice a year so you can remove inactive users and fake email addresses.
Taking this step will improve your engagement rate because you’ll only send emails to people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
Aside from scrubbing your list, I suggest using simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) to send your marketing emails. SMTPs help businesses align their sender name with the IP sending the email. In other words, it creates consistency between these two points, which means fewer emails will go to the spam folder.
You should also make it easy for subscribers to adjust their preferences and unsubscribe if they wish. You’ll boost satisfaction and save time when it’s time to scrub your list later.
Ask for Feedback
People are generally more than happy to share their thoughts if you’re willing to ask. Asking for feedback is an excellent way to improve engagement because it allows your audience to speak up and shape various aspects of your business.
For instance, if enough people say they like your content but wish you published more on a specific topic, you can take this information to your content marketing team. As new, relevant blog posts are published, you can let your subscribers know via your newsletter or automated message.
There’s always room for growth, and gathering feedback can help you so much more than randomly experimenting until you find something that works.
At the very least, you should send a survey to users every 6 months. You can also send shorter surveys to specific users based on their interaction with your brand.
If your email marketing engagement campaigns are not as fruitful as you’d like, the tips presented today can help you make actionable changes. I suggest keeping a close eye on your email analytics throughout your journey so you can ensure you’re meeting and exceeding users’ expectations.
Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.