Actionable Ways to Increase Engagement on Your Email Marketing Campaign

Online marketing has several channels that brands use to capture potential consumers. Email marketing is one of them, and it’s quite powerful. About 89% of marketers consider email marketing as the primary channel when it comes to generating leads. Additionally, it is the most effective marketing channel, according to 29% of marketers. And it’s not just marketers—72% of customers prefer to use email as their primary mode of communication with businesses.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a type of internet marketing that reaches out to consumers via email. These emails can be newsletters, updates, promos, and special deals. Compared to websites, blog posts, and paid ads, email marketing feels more personal because emails go straight to the consumers’ inbox.

In email marketing, the consumer usually subscribes to a newsletter. For example, a company can ask a website visitor if they want to receive updates and newsletters via email. They can choose to receive emails or not, which can be a basis for the company to measure customer and brand loyalty. Moreover, email marketing is an excellent tool to maintain that loyalty and increase customer retention. However, when overdone, email marketing can become annoying. Sending too many emails tend to be spammy, and it will most definitely drive consumers away. So, it’s best to strike a balance and find the best time and frequency for sending emails.

What is email engagement?

Yes, you have email marketing covered. The emails are sent. The subscriber list is growing. Now, it’s time to think about email engagement. Email engagement measures how subscribers interact with your email marketing campaigns. After doing everything to have the best email marketing strategy possible, you need to track how consumers respond to your emails. Their engagement can be measured through the following metrics:

Open rate

This metric measures how many emails have been opened by the recipients. Email marketing services have these features that will simply signify opened emails. Keep in mind that open rates are different for every industry. The average rate for lifestyle, art, and non-profit organizations is 25%, while the beauty and eCommerce industries have a 15% open rate.

Click-through rate

Click-through is measured when a recipient clicks a link in the email and explores all the other links. The click-through rate is determined from the number of clicks on the links versus the total number of emails you had sent. Click-through rates also differ in every industry. Hobbies and news incur a 5% rate while real estate, restaurants, and beauty care only get 1%.

Click map

Aside from the click-through rate, you should also monitor all the clicks on all the links in your emails. This is where the click map comes in. It’s a comprehensive analysis of the content of your email, telling you which part of the email is doing well and which part is interesting for the readers. The click-map can reflect patterns that will tell you how to make your future emails.

Unsubscribe rate

Marketing emails have a tiny “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of the email, which is a huge indication of email engagement. After all, nobody wants to lose subscribers from their email list and having a high unsubscribe rate tells you a lot about your marketing campaign. In general, a 0.05% unsubscribe rate is not bad, so this number (or lower!) should be your goal.

How to Increase Email Engagement

Increasing email engagement poses a challenge—as most marketing channels do. But it’s nothing good strategy can’t fix. Combine email marketing hacks and data, and you’ll find yourself hitting those metric targets in no time.

Craft the perfect subject line

When the email reaches a subscriber’s inbox, it doesn’t automatically show the content. Instead, what they see is the subject—and that could be your make-it-or-break-it moment. The subject line is what makes your email stand out from all the other subscriptions flooding in a consumer’s email. It’s their first impression, and it should catch the consumer’s attention. A good subject line should express these things:

  • Urgency. Will the subscriber miss out on something if they don’t click the email? Creating a sense of urgency compels a person to click on the email and read its content.
  • Curiosity. What will they get when they open your email? Pique their interest a bit by making them feel like they need to open your email to find out more.
  • Offers. Is there anything new or special that they can avail themselves of in this email? Remember that people love free stuff, discounts, and feeling special.
  • Personalization. Adding a subscribers’ name on the subject line will catch their attention by showing them this email is made only for them.

Email list segmentation

People from different countries, cultures, gender, etc., have a unique set of behavior and preferences. Marketing recognizes this and uses analytics to monitor the consumer behaviors of every group. Once they have found a trend, marketers use it to tailor specific campaigns for each group. This strategy applies to email marketing as well.

Email segmentation involves dividing email lists into groups and subgroups based on customer demographics, psychographics, and behavior. The categories that you use for segmentation depend on you and your industry. A category that you could use for personalization is their open rate or click-through rate. Another category would be consumer behavior, where you use information from their last purchases to tailor your emails.


So far, personalization has been mentioned a couple of times in these tips. It’s not because it’s merely an email marketing trend. It’s because personalization is incredibly powerful in marketing. Personalization is the top strategy businesses use to increase email engagement. Below are the parts of the email you can personalize:

  • Sender’s name. The name can be personalized to contain information that will make an impression to the recipient, whether it is the brand name, a representative, the manager, or even the CEO—but avoid a “no-reply” name.
  • Email content. From the text to the copy to the images, these can be customized to capture the recipient’s attention. A common way to personalize the content is by adding the recipient’s first name or information from their last order (e.g., size and color).
  • Recommendations. Businesses have an idea of customer behavior and preferences based on previous orders. Consider recommending related products to consumers via email to encourage them to make another purchase.

Content matters

Email marketing is not just about promotions. Consumers need to gain some value from reading your emails as well. Creating valuable content and information convinces consumers to engage with your email while preventing them from hitting that unsubscribe button.

One way to create value is to offer help to the recipient. Cart abandonment emails, appointment reminders, or telling them that a product on their wishlist is finally available—these emails make lives easier for the recipient. And they might actually appreciate it. Newsletters are also great tools to offer valuable content to your recipients. Let your recipients learn new things by adding fun facts, an anecdote, or a whole article to the email campaign. Adding visual aids to the text may also help capture and retain their attention.

Start a conversation

Most of all, start a conversation. It shouldn’t be a one-sided relationship. From time to time, foster a one-on-one connection with the recipients. Perhaps, you could ask for their feedback or encourage them to reach out to you. At the end of the email, add a call to action. This feature signals the recipient to engage with the email by—get this—telling them to engage. It also initiates a connection between your brand and the consumer, benefiting customer retention and increasing loyalty.

The Key Takeaways

Email marketing is one of the most personal channels out there, as it reaches the consumer straight to their inbox. Remember that personalization appeals to the consumer because it shows that they are valued and not just seen as a statistic. Make sure your email campaigns give value to the recipients’ lives. Because email is more personal than other channels, it’s important to start a conversation and build a relationship with your audience. After all, fostering connections breeds loyalty.

David Williams
Latest posts by David Williams (see all)

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