You’re going to be hearing the words ‘email marketing engagement’ a lot over the coming months and for very good reason.
Understanding how readers engage with your email marketing - and deploying strategies to increase this engagement - is now firmly in the spotlight thanks to the privacy update set to be rolled out with iOS 15.
We cover everything you need to know about the iOS 15 update and the impact it will have on your email marketing here. To summarise; you won’t be able to reliably track open rates from Apple devices moving forward, so measuring engagement is going to be a crucial part of your email marketing strategy.
Before you panic - this is nothing new. Tracking and measuring engagement is a far better barometer for how your email marketing campaigns are performing than open rates.
By engagement, we’re talking about how readers interact with your emails. And not just what they click on and what they do once they come through to your website but also how engaged they are in terms of frequency and conversion.
Optimising your campaigns and lists for engagement will always improve the quality of your email marketing campaigns. So how do you do it?
Here’s five sure-fire ways to take your email marketing to the next level:
1. Put the right message in front of the right people
Think of it like this - if you send your subscribers the kind of content they want to receive, they are far more likely to engage with it in the way you want them to. Send them content they are not interested in and your emails will be making a one way trip to the bin.
That’s why you need to put the right message in front of the right people. The only way you can do this is by understanding your subscribers.
Data is the key to doing this. This includes data specifically about your subscribers (where they live, when their birthday is, what they like) and data about how they behave (how often they purchase from you, what they buy, what content they engage with.)
Once you have this data - and understand how to use it - you can segment your database and send highly targeted emails to your subscribers which stand a much higher chance of converting than a ‘batch and blast’ email - therefore driving your engagement rates up.
2. Add value & build relationships
Picture a fishmonger at a farmers market. This fishmonger sells the best selection of fish you’ve ever seen. Every week you go to the market and the fishmonger says: “Hey! Do you want to buy some fish?” You have a look, you think about it, but you walk on by.
Then one week, you turn up and the fishmonger isn’t trying to sell you fish. Instead, they’re doing a cooking demonstration with their produce. They are showing you all the amazing ways you can try the fish they sell. It looks amazing, it smells incredible and once the demo is finished, you can’t wait to buy the fish, take it home and try to do the same yourself.
The moral of this story is if you always ask your subscribers to buy, if you’re always trying to sell, you won’t always succeed. But, if you add value by giving your subscribers useful, entertaining and educating information, you’ll build great relationships with them and your engagement rates will soar.
When you focus on serving the needs of the customers, enriching their lives through your content, and giving them value - you’re tapping into their emotions and you’re laying the groundwork for them becoming loyal customers and giving you repeat business.
3. Look the part
When we’re talking about engagement, it pays to look good. Well designed email campaigns, that utilise a mix of interactive content like animation and video, are far more likely to engage your subscribers than bland, boring, generic email.
Remember, when people open your email campaigns it’s a one-on-one experience between you and them - whether your campaign is going to 10,000 or 100,000 subscribers. So give them the kind of positive experience they’ll remember by having emails that look the part.
You can read our top tips for best-in-class email design here.
4. Inspire people to act
You can send your message to the right people, it can look fantastic and be full of mind-blowing content, but if your calls-to-action (CTAs) aren’t up to scratch, you’ll be going nowhere fast.
CTAs in email are where your readers take the next step. They come at the end of your promotion and are the one component that will either work or fail. There’s a reason it’s “call to action” and not “make them act.” You have to invite them in. You have to pull, not push.
CTAs are not just the functional button at the end of your email. They are an exciting opportunity for creativity. They determine the final decision to click or not. By pulling the reader in rather than pushing them to act, your CTAs will have a higher success rate. CTAs should entice, tempt and invite, not push, make, or force - and here’s the best examples of how to do it.
5. Cleanse your data
With open rates soon to become an unreliable metric, it’s incredibly important you do what you can now to optimise inbox placement and avoid spam folders. Cleansing your data regularly - and removing dormant recipients (after giving them the chance to re-engage) - will ensure your list is optimised for reader engagement, improving your reputation with the Email Service Providers and give you a better chance of hitting the inbox rather than spam.
Finally, remember optimising your email campaigns for engagement is never done. It is a constant job and involves honing and refining all areas of your email marketing strategy to maximise success.
It’s also a tough job to do on your own. That’s why we’re here. We can help you optimise your email marketing engagement in a way that benefits you and your subscribers. Get in touch to find out how.