Email marketing can be an incredibly useful channel in the right hands. The right mix of design, content, and calls to action can hook your audience. A solid campaign also reinforces your branding and keeps your business front-of-mind with customers.
Creating engaging email campaigns is key. As long as you’re creating useful and relevant content you can hold subscriber attention. But, businesses and marketers often slip into a state where email campaigns become little more than brand and product blasts. These offerings have little substance beyond trying to score an immediate sale. Your customers do want to hear about updates and special offers. But, they don’t want to hear them all time.
If you’re struggling to create more engaging email campaigns, try implementing some of the following ideas.
Create Valuable Content
During a rebrand, United Capital took the opportunity to shift its approach to content as well. Instead of only including curated content in newsletters, the company linked to original, value-added content within its own blog. Integrating that original content spurred a 145% engagement increase in the weekly newsletter.
When you want to build more engaging email campaigns, look first at the content. Simply put, it needs to be worth reading. To create more engaging content keep these sources in mind:
- Look at social insights to see what post topics get the most engagement
- Which topics are frequently discussed in community sites and forums? Is anything trending?
- What kind of content can you build around the most popular FAQs? What can you create that’s helpful to your audience?
- Are there topics can you target that aren’t directly related to your product/service but run parallel to your niche or business? Consider other interests your customers share.
Data shared by HubSpot and Buzzsumo shows that social posts that include visuals (images or video) consistently perform better and receive more engagement. The same tactic can be applied to create more engaging email campaigns.
Simply using the word “video” in an email subject line can boost open rates by 19% and clickthroughs by as much as 65%.
This is easy to implement:
- Include thumbnails when linking to articles and blogs
- Embed social cards from social media posts/channels
- Embed video rather than just linking to it
- Use eye-catching images and stock photos, especially with your hero image
Keep Your Emails Brief
Mobile opens account for approximately half of all email opens according to a number of sources cited by Email Monday. Despite higher open rates, the click through rates on mobile (phones and tablets) is only a fraction of desktop engagement and clicks.
Mobile users aren’t likely to settle in for a lengthy read. They’re more likely to check, open, and skim the content quickly.
When designing and planning your email campaigns stick with the “less is more” mantra. Link to an article with minimal preview text or just a title, don’t write blocks of text, and keep your calls to action brief and powerful.
Change the Frequency of Email
Your subscribers want to hear from you, but they don’t want to hear from you daily. Depending on what you’re sending and your industry, each week might even be too much.
The biggest turnoffs with email marketing are receiving too many emails (44%) and irrelevant emails (37%).
If you send frequent emails and find engagement and subscriber drop off with each email, consider testing a change in email frequency.
Try a New Email Template Design
Visuals matter a lot with email marketing. A poorly designed template can tank engagement rates when there are navigation issues, or if the elements just aren’t visually appealing. In some cases, there’s really nothing wrong with your template. But, you can still improve it in order to boost email engagement. That was the case with Dell.
While transitioning to a new email provider, Dell took the opportunity to change and split test a new email template. The email campaigns often saw a lot of email-to-site traffic, but via the navigation coded into the email templates. Dell moved the navigation from the email header to the footer with the idea that the clicks wouldn’t be lost, but instead refocused to the hero image or core message of the email campaigns.
The result was a double-digit increase in engagement as customers were driven to the primary call to action more consistently.
Don’t be afraid to test out new templates and email layouts to drive customer attention and improve engagement. Split testing can provide the best insight into how design iterations perform and how you can continue to improve engagement rates.
Segment Your Email Lists
When you send too many irrelevant messages to your subscribers, you’ll struggle with email engagement and unsubscribes will increase with each campaign.
You can avoid this by segmenting your lists. Use tags and categorize customers based on a variety of data you likely already have. Segmentation ensures specific email campaigns are only viewed by the intended audience.
According to data shared by Campaign Monitor, segmented emails can drive much higher engagement and as much as a 760% increase in revenue. And customers love this kind of personalization. According to Martech, creating more personalized experiences via email and other channels make customers feel valued and appreciated.
Most platforms have built in support for segmentation with presets along with the ability to segment by your own set of custom rules. And, it works.
Dormify struggled with a batch-and-blast approach to email that blanketed its subscribers with the same content. Then it switched to a segmented, personalized approach by sending the most appropriate content to select groups. The brand saw an instant boost in engagement and a 92% increase in revenue generated by its email campaigns.
Building engagement is crucial to growing customer retention. While it may seem like an insurmountable challenge, it doesn’t take much to start seeing a shift in the right direction. The right combination of content, design, segmentation, personalization, and timing can break down walls and capture the attention of your email subscribers.