According to Forbes, customer engagement is the pathway to a successful business. And when it comes to engagement, there are several ways to interpret what exactly this entails. One thing is for sure – it’s an integral part of business that marketers have put a renewed on focus in recent years. Essentially, engagement is an indicator of how well a company is communicating and building relationships with its consumers.
On social media, developers have begun to include engagements, reach, and impressions insights within their platforms. This helps indicate how a post is being received by the people who see it.
For other marketing tools, such as email, engagement is the key to increasing sales. The most common terms to define email marketing engagement are:
- Open rate
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Conversion rate
The tips below are vital to improve engagement via email marketing.
1) List Segmentation
Customers are inundated with emails each and every day. To stand out from the crowd, it’s imperative to use email segmentation to divide contacts into distinct groups, based upon similar characteristics. If the goal is to properly engage with consumers based on what they value, it is not wise to send the same email with the same message to everyone in an email list. This will result in a low open rate, and possibly an increase in people unsubscribing from future emails.
The best way to avoid this scenario is to create segmented lists of contacts. Email service providers (ESPs) allow businesses to create multiple campaigns to cater to these segmented lists. This helps a business target each likeminded segment with a unique message.
Furthermore, segmentation results in direct business benefits. The DMA reports that segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. Aberdeen gets more granular, sharing that personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14%, and conversions by 10%.
Popular email segmentation options include:
- People who’ve bought vs people who haven’t
- Opened emails vs unopened emails
2) Clean and Simple Designs
Gone are the days of highly formatted or intricate email designs loaded with images, composed with multiple columns, and overloaded with information.
Users now prefer a clean and simple design. This ensures an email’s messaging (and primary call to action) is clear, it’s easy to digest, and most importantly, it’s mobile-friendly. Nowadays, the majority of consumers open their emails using mobile devices.
Sending an email poorly formatted for mobile devices increases the likelihood of being deleted without being read. Or even worst, they’ll unsubscribe. And though it goes without saying, engagement that ends in an unsubscribe does anything but increase a company’s bottom line.
Here are a few additional tips for successful email formatting:
- Let the logo dictate the color scheme, so the email doesn’t get too busy
- Use one or two fonts maximum to increase legibility and compatibility with an ESP
- Use subheadings to define and break up blocks of content
3) Personalized Subject Lines
The subject line as the first thing that a recipient will see. According to Convince & Convert, 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. MarketingSherpa shares that personalized email subject lines increase open rates for consumer good companies by 41.8 percent!
This means that emails with generic subject lines are categorized as irrelevant, or worse, spam in the mind of the consumer. Engagement is about being engaging. Talking specifically and directly to the recipient will make him/her feel special. This increases the likelihood of engagement, and the possibility of conversion. Furthermore personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, but 70% of brands fail to use them.
PeoplePulse shared the following A/B test for personalized open-ended subject lines, and their resulting click through rates:
- #1: “FIRSTNAME, November Client Attraction Newsletter out now” – click-through rate of 20.3%
- #2: “FIRSTNAME, here’s a new 7 Marketing Trends report for you” – click-through rate of 28.0%
- #3: “FIRSTNAME, 7 Marketing Trends I think you should know about” – click-through rate of 45.6%
The benefits gained by increasing engagement happen as a result of more careful and conscious email sends. Ideally, an ESP should make it easy to segment lists, create clean and simple email designs, and offer the ability to personalize subject lines.
How does your company increase email engagement? Tweet us at @SendPulseCom with your insights, and we’ll share our favorites!