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6 Essential Tips to Make Your Emails More Engaging

"If Social Media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel." Erik Harbison | CMO & Co-Founder | The Marketing Help

The world today is dominated by social media, mobile apps, and smartphone technologies. There are countless ways you can connect with your customers, but just one channel continues to perform well year after year, and that is email marketing.

According to news reports, email generates $44 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,800% ROI, making it one of the most profitable and effective marketing tools available.

Currently, 60% of Americans use Facebook, 35% of Americans use Instagram. However, over 90% of Americans use their email! That’s a huge audience!    Tweet This!  

Are you still thinking email is dead? Not even close!

If you are into B2B marketing, email marketing is an essential part of your business. But as effective as email marketing is, it’s not enough on its own.  In fact, 44% of the marketers say, increasing engagements is their number one challenge.

"Reaching the inbox isn't your goal - engaging people is."

Matt Blumberg CEO at R&R for the Summer

If you are putting time and effort into your email marketing campaigns, it must be in your routine as well to pay attention, whether people are opening the emails you are sending. After all, if no one is reading your messages, you’re just wasting time and valuable resources. Reason? Mailing the right emails at the wrong time to the wrong prospects, will make your subscribers opt-out of your email list, or maybe even worse. Chances are they can move to your competitors!

It’s depressing!

Does it feel like a big challenge to get people to open and read your emails?

It doesn’t necessarily need to be tough! If you send the right emails at the right time to the right prospects. You will create a lifetime brand promoter for your business. You need to sound smart; your approach and body of the content should be informative and personalized enough to persuade the recipient to not only pay attention but engage in your recommendation or request.

As of any marketing channel, marketing strategies change and shift over time. Things that worked last year, doesn’t necessarily work this year. So, if you have got people to open your emails, what next? How do you keep them engaged? What’s the best way to increase customer engagement rates? 

Stop racking your brain and follow these six essential tips to make sure your email is engaging and effective before you hit the send button. 

"There is no formula for the perfect email – Authentic and honest messaging works"

Really? Well, quotes apart, here we go:

1. Make Sure to Send a Traditional Welcome Email

This must seem to you pretty basic and obvious, but it’s one of the best email marketing practices for engaging prospects. Welcome emails are the mails where you thank visitors for joining your company newsletter and pace expectations for what’s to come. This will be your first opportunity to introduce yourself and tell them more about your business. If your introduction to a new prospect isn’t memorable, any other emails you send won’t be either. Write your welcome email in a fun, humorous way as you write to your friends or colleagues. Avoid using more of the corporate language. An example of the most popular email by Derek Sivers, that produced MILLIONS, would be enough to understand this point. Nobody had ever written an email like it before. 

Derek Sivers founded a company called CD Baby. He rewrote the automatic email that was sent to customers after they purchased a CD. Initially, the email said, “Hey, your CD has been shipped.”

Here is the email, have a look! 

 

2. Make a Good First Impression with an Enticing Subject Line

Your subject line is your first impression, and if it is bad, it can likely be your last as well. If you received an email with the subject line ‘“A WEBINAR FOR EVERYONE…CHECK OUT UPCOMING WEBINARS!”  How excited would you be to open it? You wouldn’t even be reading the body line.

Repetitive much? Not only is this subject line boring but it uses webinars twice. To create customer engagement, its always good to use simple direct human language without getting too technical. Strong subject lines are short, descriptive, and promising so that people scanning your emails read the entire subject line. Research suggests keeping your subject line fewer than 50 characters. 

"Treat your subject line like the movie trailer – give a preview so they know what to expect."

To stand out of the subscribers’ list, these days marketers are effectively using emojis in their subject lines to attract prospects with the relevant subject. Most personalized and humanized strategy to engage with the recipients.

56% of brands using an emoji in their email subject line had a higher open rate than those that did not. (Forbes, 2017).

 

Source: shortstack

Using emojis in your subject lines is to ensure they are both eye-catching, on-brand, and on-topic.

3. Add a Personal Touch to Increase Click-through Rate

Remember the personalization, we mentioned earlier? Unless you have established brand trust, you should be talking to your prospect as a human and not as a company name. This is because you are trying to get readers to know, like, and trust you. One way to add personalization to your emails is to make your subscribers feel like you're talking directly to them, and not just one of the hundreds of other people. 

Stop sending emails from addresses without human names in them. Anonymity does not work and buyers don’t look at the emails coming from marketing company names.  Address your prospects or subscribers by their first name in the subject line or at the beginning of your email body. Everyone loves the sound of their names. Sending emails with the personalized approach will hook and engage your prospects for a longer period. There's more than one noteworthy thing about this email below, what all can you notice? What better example can be to understand how to engage your subscribers with such personalized email.

As a marketer, you should practice using more data in a deliberate way for personalization in content execution. It’s all about sending targeted content to those who want it most. It will assist you in putting your clients into records in light of client socioeconomic preferences, and other rich information about your existing and potential customers. Learning more about the people who sign up to your list can help increase engagements and build stronger relationships as well as target subscribers based on their interests.

4. Avoid Generic Messaging and Offer Real Value to Your Subscribers

People want to interact with people, not mailboxes. Rather than sending generic content to each and every subscriber, take time to tailor your email content relevant to your best contacts and strongest leads. Segment by industry, location, spend, and other related factors that differentiate one section of your target audience from another. Highly focused email campaigns perform better and will keep your subscribers engaged. 

Real value can come in different forms. For example, if you want to educate your B2B customers about the service or solutions you provide, it can come in the form of a blog, an ebook, or in the form of valuable information like articles that walk readers through a process. Instead of saying something in a marketing tone like, ‘download this whitepaper’, explain why. Try painting a picture of how your whitepaper will lower their anxieties over a pain point they continually experience. 

40% of B2B marketers say email newsletters are most critical to their content marketing success. (Content Marketing Institute, 2017)

Statista offers its subscribers real value with every marketing email they send out. They run an ongoing daily campaign called “Chart of the Day” that promotes a data report on their site.

Providing a handful of relevant information, valuable insights, and breaking new statistics to your email subscribers will keep them interested in your daily updates and hence keep them more engaged.

5. Utilization of Interactive Content to Increase Interaction

The utilization of interactive content for email is the number one design trend in 2019. Emails that contain games, quizzes, image carousels, gifs, and visuals are going to keep the beneficiaries locked in. For example, a customer’s purchase should be followed by emails like a survey invitation that requires some action from the recipient. 

The use of interactive content can help boost sales for the brands that embrace interactivity.

6. Consider the Context of Your Emails

When a prospect gave you their email address, they did so for a particular reason. They sign up for your email list to get something useful and valuable. Don’t send them a generic mail promoting all of your products. Send them an email they want and need. If you want your email engagement rate to go up after they get what they came for, you need to give them things they value. Here are some ways you can actually engage with your subscribers and generate revenue from the list:

  • Design a paid email course
  • Share links to featured product pages on your website
  • Regularly offer exclusive sales and discounts
  • Create a lead nurturing email series
  • Provide them gated content

If you're rendering valuable content and you have a passion for what you're doing, you're already halfway there. But always remember not to overdo it. Sometimes you can provide them more educational emails. 

You already have lots of data about your users. Use that information to teach people something about themselves. When you educate them about themselves, their interest will be even more heightened. It’s not only a compelling email to open, but it also motivates people to re-engage to gain more insights about their behavior and progress. 

Every Friday, Mint—the personal, online financial manager—sends a customized statement of illuminating information for all of their customers’ accounts, straight to their inbox.

 

Source: customer.io

Wrapping up With Bonus Tips

As we head into 2020, it’s your chance to give your email programs a restart with efforts on innovation and creativity to keep pace with demanding customers.

  • Always focus on getting feedback from surveys, testimonials, and online reviews to evaluate your approach of creating a long-term relationship with your prospect.
  • Find out where your customer engages more, on mobile or desktop. Once you are aware of this data, send them emails that suit their preferences for better engagement.

(Mobile opens accounted for 46% of all email opens)

(Apple iPhone is the most popular mobile client for reading emails with 29% of all opens occurring on this platform. Gmail is a close runner-up at 27% {Campaign Monitor, 2018})

  • Research and find out what customers want to engage with. It can be an offer, an announcement they are expecting from you, maybe a discount coupon, an informative article or news updates, educational blog post or whitepaper, or maybe they can expect a webinar mail. Make a note of your most engaging emails and use them effectively.

Smart email marketing is essential to the success of any inbound marketing program. Find out what works for you depending on your industry and audience. If you need further help, you can connect with our Deck 7 email marketing specialist today to leverage the power of email marketing campaigns and to keep pace with demanding customers.

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