7 tips to generate email engagement

Engaging your email recipients is vital for converting prospects and building customer loyalty

Engaged and loyal customers can help boost a company’s revenue. Engaging your email recipients is vital for converting prospects and building customer loyalty. What’s more, looking your best in the inbox increases your brand’s reputation.

Engagement can be hard to measure numerically and objectively. Put simply, it’s an indicator of how interested your contacts are, and therefore gauges the success of your email campaigns. Generating more engagement means that you’re making a bigger impact with your recipients.

The start is always the hardest, but here you’ll find some great ways to increase customer engagement and encourage your recipients to take more actions through your email marketing.

What do we mean when we talk about customer engagement? The definition is broad and might change depending on who you’re asking, but let’s look at some examples of how to inspire customer engagement.

Personalize your campaign

Have you ever received an email which started with ‘Dear valued customer’? Chances are, you didn’t feel very valued at all. Whether you use a CRM or keep your data in other formats, it will contain plenty of valuable information, from recipients’ first names to their purchase history.

Ensure you use this information to create personalized subject lines and messages that speak directly to each individual recipient. It’s harder to ignore something that feels intended for you, which is why personalized email campaigns usually have higher open rates than generic ones.

Nobody wants to be treated as though they’re a cog in a machine – they want to feel like they have a personal relationship with your brand. If they get this impression, they’ll be more likely to engage.

Personalize by using your recipient’s names in your email campaigns. You can also extend this in landing pages and surveys.

Address specific audiences

The operative word here is ‘specific’. Like the denim jeans of this world, one size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to email marketing. If you offer a variety of products or services, chances are you have different customer segments with unique characteristics. If you’re not using segments, why not?

To take full advantage of customer engagement, prepare messages that specifically address the needs, wants, and interests of different groups.

Inspire action

Don’t get lost in the crowd. Make life easier for your customers: write actionable subject lines that set the expectation of what your messages are about. You want to inspire customer engagement by letting customers know what they can do with the email.

Most emails are won or lost at the subject line

Most emails are won or lost at the subject line; not only does it determine whether your email is ever opened, but it affects your recipient’s mood and nature from the outset.

Write something appealing, unique, and compelling; avoid using exclamation marks and salesy language in favor of something clever and original.

Also, don’t forget the preheader text. So many marketers don’t even know what this is, and yet the preview, or preheader, text in your email can make or break your open rates.

Generally, this is pulled from the first sentence when you’re sending personal emails, but, in the marketing world, it normally consists of image alt text or browser instructions.

Your dotdigital Engagement Cloud platform provides you with the space in which to choose what text gets shown in the preview. Using 35-90 characters to capture the recipient’s interest—and supplement your subject line—will help you get those higher open rates.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Your business is unique, and so are your recipients. You need to determine what types of emails drive customer engagement for your business. Experiment with different strategies and see what succeeds. In email marketing this is called A/B (or split) testing.

The idea is to run two nearly identical versions of an email campaign and compare the performance of each version. The campaigns might differ on variables such as subject line, layout, or friendly from name. Once you learn which factors lead to higher engagement, you’ll be able to create more effective campaigns in the future.

Allow omnichannel opportunities

Not everyone wants to engage in the same way, and that’s OK. Omnichannel marketing means retailers can now offer a consistent experience across all channels – you can let your customer choose when and where to engage.

If you have a strong Facebook presence, get involved in our Facebook Audience Program Extension. A Facebook Audience channel extension can be used in programs to automate the enrollment of new contacts into your audiences. This enables you to easily maintain and grow your audiences and improve your re-targeting efforts. Optimizing your ad campaign spend, you can target your ads to people who aren’t engaged through other channels, such as email. You can read more here.

Easily maintain and grow your audiences

Offering multiple ways to engage with your business maximizes marketing results, customer engagement, and brand reputation.

Cater to mobile audiences

If your email design caters to mobile users by being stackable, clean, and easy to engage with, you’ll likely see far more customer engagement.

Making simple changes to the styling and layout of your mobile-first campaign can help you generate more engagement, multiplying your ROI.

47% of email is opened on a mobile device.

Take a look at this article I wrote that covers important mobile-first hints and tips.

Use triggered and automated emails

Triggered and automated email campaigns come in many varieties, but they all share the same incentive: sending custom emails to recipients based on their previous actions and interests, all without any manual input – perfect.

Captitalize on existing customer interest

Automation is super-effective not only because it saves you time, but because it lets you capitalize on existing customer interest and intent. For instance, you might send out reminder emails to customers who’ve put items in their cart but haven’t yet checked out. You could enrol contacts onto a replenishment program – this would work particularly well for stationery brands that supply their clients for monthly or annual events, for example.

To plan out your programs, download your automation worksheet here.

Let’s wrap it up

The examples in this article should help you get more customers engaging with your existing email marketing campaigns; they’re a great base to help kick-start your new engagement strategy.

Embracing new strategies and ideas, while acting on useful information from industry experts, can lead to increased engagement. All you need to have is the willingness to experiment.

If you need a helping hand with implementing a tailored strategy, please reach out to your dotdigital account manager.

For more customer engagement inspiration, download our epic guide here.

Driving customer engagement