Email marketing is an important tool for driving customer engagement, but also, it has to be optimized in the same train. After all, it is important to attract subscribers’ attention and their willingness to interact. Not an easy task in a world where so much is happening. In this blog post we want to provide you with some ideas on how to master this challenge.
4 Pillars of Engagement
First of all, we would like to classify the term “engagement”. By email engagement, we mean above all the measures that can be taken to promote the interaction of newsletter subscribers with the content of email campaigns – and the brand. Of course, the interaction already creates points of contact with other communication channels and touchpoints. That’s fine! We accompany our customers on their journey. Email marketing not only encourages participation, but can also be used to provide orientation, point out attractions, ensure special experiences and bind the customer to us.
Therefore, the factors that influence engagement seem much more important to us than a clear definition of terms.
- Values & emotions
Values & emotions form the basis of relationships
Even if we believe that we are acting rationally, our decisions are always based on our values and feelings. A banal example: Some people like a chubby fitness trainer – an ally who pulls together with them. For another, he neither embodies the ideal image, nor can he authentically convey important values for him. Of course, nothing can be changed about these values, but we should be aware that they have an impact!
What about your customers? Do they have a strong need for security or are they looking for adventure and variety? There are all kinds? Perfect. Email marketing allows you to target your customers and take personal preferences into account.
If you manage to pick up your newsletter subscribers emotionally, this is the best prerequisite for a high level of engagement. Don’t just think about positive feelings. Also address pain points or fears. If you show sense of tact, you will be sure to get the reader’s attention.
Long-term benefits matter more than conversion rates
With the aim, that an interaction should follow – or even better, to bind the customers to your brand in the long term – the underlying values and emotions must be satisfied.
Here is an example:
Security may be the basic need of an insurance customer. But that doesn’t automatically mean that he wants to be bored with dry facts in the newsletter. One of our industry customers proves that the dusty image of insurance companies is outdated. They therefore not only provide information about their products, but also liven up the offer with funny articles that make you smile or arouse curiosity. The articles are real click magnets and ensure that the subscribers do not get tired of the newsletter, although other information from the insurance company is not relevant at the moment.
Here it becomes clear: It is not just a matter of getting more clicks in a single email campaign. Engagement must be thought of in the long term. Relationships only work that way.
Relevance provides the impetus for action
Interaction can only occur if the content is really relevant. Put those articles that offer added value for your readers at the beginning of the mailing. mailworx has developed an intelligent algorithm to take into account the different needs and preferences of each individual. The iRated® technology sorts the newsletter sections based on the personal interests of the respective subscriber and ranks them according to their individual relevance.
Ideally, you should also take the context into account. How is the recipient interested in your company? Where is he in the customer journey? What other points of contact are there? All of this information can flow into your email marketing. How? The best way to do this is to automate email campaigns that are sent to specific triggers.
Curiosity breaks the last “resistance”
Seduce your subscribers by holding back the really interesting information and only revealing it after clicking on the corresponding link. Raise questions that will be answered on the linked landing page or in a download document and use appealing call-to-actions. You may also be able to increase the suspense with a series of emails. However, this should not be too long to keep subscribers interested.
6 tips for more engagement
#1 Use the power of A/B tests
The most important prerequisite for email engagement is that your subscribers actually open your newsletter. This brings us to our first – very simple, but important – tip: Do an AB test! Our current mailworx research shows why this optimization measure is worthwhile in any case. The effort you put into formulating a second subject line is negligible. But the opening and click rates in AB test campaigns are significantly above average! Here are tips for formulating effective subject lines on our blog.
#2 The E in email is for experience and entertainment
Interactive newsletters have been considered one of the top trends in content marketing for some time. There is a good reason for this: Interactive elements shorten the path to conversion, they increase the recipients’ awareness of the content and the time they spend with it. Here are some ideas for implementing interactive email campaigns.
Also think about using other proven tools, such as storytelling. Stories speak to our emotions and therefore reverberate longer in our memory. In this way, you can anchor a specific image of your brand in the minds of your customers and also increase the willingness to interact.
#3 Create relevance through social proof
You can claim that your product is the best, or you can prove it. Create identification through testimonials that authentically report on their experiences. Provide the opportunity to share newsletter content with others – whether via email or social channels. You benefit from this approach in two ways: Not only in building trust, you also emphasize how important the opinion of your customers is to you. This will strengthen brand loyalty in the long term.
#4 Relevance through the right timing
Getting the right time is another prerequisite for interaction. The likelihood of an opening drops rapidly just a few hours after the newsletter has been sent. In our research, we examined which days and times are particularly suitable for sending email newsletters and give you tips on how you can approach the ideal moment. Automation is another way to build long-term relationships and strong customer engagement.
#5 Convince with a personal touch
If you manage to hit the right note in communicating with the customer, this will assure a high level of engagement. Create an atmosphere in your newsletter texts, provide entertainment and, above all, remember to use every opportunity to address subscribers personally. Some ideas can be quickly implemented: individualized (product) recommendations, goodies for personally relevant occasions or just an email in which you thank subscribers for their long-term loyalty or ask for the customer’s opinion.
Videos in email campaigns are particularly suitable for conveying important messages and emotions. Personalized videos have a surprising effect compared to conventional videos because the content is precisely tailored to the user.
#6 Reward engagement
Appreciating your customers is not only a prerequisite for a high level of commitment, it can also become a driver of engagement. Reward loyal or active subscribers. Emphasize the achievements of your customers, the experienced handling of your product. Show best practice examples – in this way you not only provide good methods and ideas, but also create a social proof and incentive for other customers.
Measurability of engagement
Finally, we would like to briefly discuss the measurability of engagement. A look at email marketing key figures can provide first clues. But the opening rate, click rate, reading rate or click-to-open rate of a single email campaign are not enough to evaluate engagement. Real engagement can only arise over a longer period of time – after all, it is about relationships. Professional email marketing software therefore provides you with tools to tackle this topic in the long term. Appropriate statistics on email activity help. Much more important, however, are tools that will help you understand your subscribers in order to address them properly. Which devices do your customers prefer? What topics are they interested in? Which content do they particularly respond to? These are the questions that really count.