12 Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Engagement
The one thing that almost every marketer champions are building your email list. Whether you’re an old brand or new to the game, the value of building and maintaining your contact list is one of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy. As we previously mentioned in our blog about email marketing for beginners, “email marketing has been around forever, and for good reason. It’s the most direct and effective way of connecting with your leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers, consistently winning out over all other marketing channels”.
But now that you have this list, how do you keep them there? Most importantly, how do you get them to engage? Campaignmonitor.com highlights that when growing your business, acquiring new customers, launching a new product, or offering a promotion, email marketing delivers the highest return on investment.
Think about it.
How many emails have you been subscribed to over the years? What keeps you on their list all the time? Have you unsubscribed from any lists? What made you take the plunge? How many deals have you gotten via email?
Take that, then ask yourself, what are you doing to keep your audience engaged with your emails? Are you giving them more than just some random hello every now and then or do they look forward to your messages? In 2021, contentmarketinginstitute.com reported that 81% of B2B marketers say that their most used form of content marketing is email newsletters. Having recognized the value of email marketing, the increase is not only sensible but continues to serve as a vital part of the execution of a profitable content marketing strategy.
We are approaching the end of the second quarter of 2022 and some questions to help with your review are:
- How well did I execute my company’s email marketing strategy?
- What are some things that we can improve?
- How exactly do we improve them?
A great part of your overall marketing plan is establishing what your target audience needs. Is your content converting and if not, why? Email marketing has evolved for the better; you are equipped with tools and enough data to test, retest, and revamp everything you have done to adequately suit the needs of your customers. In the report from Content Marketing Institute, it was noted that the top 2 technologies B2B organizations utilize to assist with content marketing are analytics tools (86%) and email marketing software (85%). Email marketing providers go above and beyond to assist with your campaigns. New templates and support ensure that the quality of your content is on par with the market and consumer demands. What this means is that you are sending relevant, shareable content to your email subscribers.
Providers like Hubspot, are reckoned to have the best analytics tools and ranked #1 for marketing automation by G2 but that doesn’t leave other providers like Klaviyo, MailChimp, or Constant Contact out of the running. Whatever email provider you decide to use there will always be tools to aid with the success of your email marketing goals. But what are you tracking? Or, what should you be tracking?
Let’s go over some of the things to look out for when checking your email engagement and analytics
1. Number of Subscribers
You want to know that your list is growing and at what rate. A growing list means that whatever outside campaigns and landing pages you’ve set up are working. People want in on what you have to offer. Even better, those people are your preferred audience. This also means that your call to action was spot on. A great way to increase your subscribers is to present an offer they cannot refuse. A free ebook, maybe a consultation, or something specific to your services.
2. Open Rate
Mailtrap.io reported that there are a number of reasons that affect your email open rate. Notably, the bounce rate, subject line of the email, the relevance of the email to your target audience, or whether the emails are landing up in the spam folder instead of the inbox. Knowing this will help with your improvement process.
3. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Your CTR might be one of the most important measurements of your email campaign. CTR is how real engagement is measured by tracking how many times a person clicks a link or counting the number of times several links in your campaign were clicked. According to campaignmonitor.com, you can measure things like overall brand interest or fatigue, written and visual content, link placement, link count, and media type. While the open rate tracks how many people open the email, your CTR highlights the effectiveness of a particular campaign.
4. Bounced Emails
We mentioned that bounced emails also affect your open rate. But what is a bounce email and why do you need to track this? Bounce rate is a percentage of the number of email addresses that did not receive your message and were marked undelivered by the server. While deliverability is a huge issue here, a high bounce rate affects your domain reputation, a number assigned by the internet that could mark your email as spam.
If people are leaving then you will need to know how many and how frequent. People unsubscribe from mailing lists every day but if the rate of unsubscribes is unceremoniously high, then this is a cause for concern. This is proof that an adjustment needs to be made.
6. Number of Conversions
You want your subscribers to take the next step. That extra step to a download or a purchase is always ideal. But what happens when this doesn’t happen? Tracking your conversion rate helps you determine your campaign’s success. Based on the number of emails on your list, it is logical to expect a response. Google Analytics is a great tool to help you determine your conversion rate.
7. Website Traffic
The links in your email will land on your website. Similar to tracking your conversion rate, Google Analytics, is a useful tool that tracks your website traffic.
Before making any changes to your email marketing strategy you will need to know what’s going on. Paying attention to your CTR, bounce rate and conversion rate among other factors will keep you abreast to aid in future strategy and campaign decisions.
There is always room for improvement
After an email metrics assessment, there is always room for improvement. Having identified some of the most affected areas of email engagement, you now should aim to improve your overall engagement. Making these changes will require some testing. The A/B method is always useful and should be implemented to assess the effectiveness of your campaign. There are other effective ways to amplify your engagement and when done correctly and consistently, the likelihood of an improvement will be achieved.
Here are 12 ways to increase your email engagement
1. Clean Your Email List
Content isn’t the only factor that affects your email conversion and engagement. In a study, it was noted that one in five emails goes undelivered, 70% never reach their inbox or spam folder but get blocked by the gateway. To fix this Hubspot.com, recommended that having a clean list could improve your engagement levels and decrease the number of unsubscribes. Some best practices mentioned by Hubspot include:
2. Schedule time to maintain your email list hygiene
To keep your list clean, define how often you “scrub” your list. As your list grows you will need to undergo frequent thorough reviews. In this part of the process, you are checking for incomplete or even duplicate email addresses.
3. Consider using double opt-ins
In the clean-up process, make sure the subscriber wants to get your messages. Send a campaign directed at these subscribers. This extra step allows them to not only verify their email address and their interest in your content.
4. Manage bounce rate
As mentioned above, your bounce rate affects your domain reputation so managing your bounce rate should always be included in your cleanup efforts. Keep in mind that if your email bounces, then the intended recipient is unaware that the message exists. Your engagement rate drops, deliverability and open rate also take the plunge, and let’s not mention your conversion rate. As dismal as this sounds, staying on top of your email hygiene should help fix these issues, should they exist.
5. Use automation
Another great way to use automation is to help you identify and clean up inactive users or move them based on certain activities to a specific list.
6. Provide an “opt down” option
Instead of completely opting out of your list, give your subscribers the option to opt down. What this means is that they can take a mini-break. Your subscribers do experience email fatigue and when that happens, the likelihood of them unsubscribing increases. Journeys.autopilot.com noted that during this time they will still be able to get important updates and you can adjust this later.
7. Remove inactive subscribers
After much hemming and hawing and finding all options to re-engage some subscribers, there will come a time when removing inactive subscribers is your best option. You have to know when to let go, especially for the sake of a healthy email list.
8. Improve your Subject Lines
You hear it all the time. A catchy line is a sure way to entice your audience to open their emails. MailChimp offered a few tips for improving your subject line. Here are some we thought might be helpful:
9. Add something Personal
Adding a subscriber’s first name, or location might increase the open rate because of its specificity.
10. Keep It Short
You want it to be catchy and to the point. Activate that wit.
11. Be Descriptive
MailChimp recommends staying away from trendy things. State exactly what you are offering, especially when it is a discount for something.
12. Don’t Overdo the emojis
Be mindful of your audience when using emojis. The best practice is only to use one at a time and use them to amplify your message rather than as replacement words.
Be Consistent with Providing Value
One-off emails will not keep your audience interested. Showing up consistently and armed with valuable information not only keeps your audience engaged, but also keeps them on your list for a while. This also increases the chance that they’ll become your biggest “fan”. Sharing your email content whether via social media or email is a definite way to increase your brand’s visibility and also attract new leads.
Utilize Social Proof
Your mailing list is basically your home but sometimes you can wander out to the lawn and greet some folks. That’s what we’ll describe utilizing social media for now. Sharing your emails on social media opens the door to new audiences but also lets your old subscribers know that things are happening in their inboxes. Folks will miss messages so stepping out and giving them a heads-up could have a potential impact on your engagement levels.
You own your email list. That alone should be motivation to keep them engaged. When social media platforms experience outages and delays or unexpected algorithm changes, your best bet to keep your brand going is by providing your email list with valuable content. Take the time to clean your list as often as possible. In addition, improve your content offering by consistently providing value with your best subject lines.