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9 Email Marketing Tips and Tricks to Boost Engagement

9 Email Marketing Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Engagement

Email marketing remains a highly effective strategy for businesses of all sizes. But with the daily emails we receive, how can you ensure your emails stand out and engage your subscribers? That's where these email marketing tips and tricks come in. From crafting the perfect subject line to segmenting your email list and optimising your design, this guide has everything you need to know to take your email campaigns to the next level. So grab a coffee and get ready to boost your engagement rates and maximise your ROI.

Why Email Marketing Still Matters

Even with all the other bells and whistles that digital marketing offers, email marketing continue to hold its own. But why? First, it provides a direct line of communication with potential customers. That's right, no bouncing from platform to platform or trying to track down leads. Email marketing puts everything you need in one easy-to-use place. And with an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent, it's no surprise that businesses of all sizes are turning to email marketing to boost their sales.

But what about social media, you ask? Sure, Facebook and Twitter are great for engaging your audience, but they can also be fickle. One minute your post is “trending,” and the next, it's lost in endless scrolling. Email marketing, on the other hand, is a direct line of communication to your subscribers' inboxes. You don't have to worry about algorithms or whether or not your message gets seen because your subscribers have already opted in.

Now, I know what some of you sceptics are thinking. “Email is dead,” or “No one reads their emails anymore.” But let me tell you, that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, according to a recent study, 99% of consumers check their email every day. That's right, every day. And with the rise of mobile devices, people can check their emails anytime, anywhere. If you're tapping into the power of email marketing, you could be taking advantage of a massive chunk of potential customers.

9 Essential Email Marketing Tips

Now that we've established the importance of email marketing let's dive into some tips and tricks that will take your campaigns from “meh” to “wow” in no time.

1 – Segment Your Email List

Customer Segmentation Performance Matrix

One of the biggest blunders many marketers make is sending the same email to everyone on their list. Gasp! Talk about a snooze-fest. Your subscribers are unique individuals with their interests, preferences and past behaviours. So why are you treating them like cookie-cutter clones?

Thankfully, there is a better way – to segment your email list. By segmenting your list based on demographics, purchase history, engagement and other factors, you can deliver targeted messages to the right audience at the right time. This increases the relevance of your content and can lead to higher open rates, clickthrough rates and improved conversion rates.

By focusing on personalisation, you can also create a deeper connection with your subscribers that may not be attainable through generic email campaigns. Your subscribers will feel like you've taken the time to understand their wants and needs, which can improve customer loyalty in the long run.

How can you go about segmenting your list? Well, there are many ways to slice and dice your data, depending on your specific goals and what information you have available. For instance, you could segment by demographic information such as age, gender or location. You could also segment by purchase history to tailor your messaging to those who may have purchased from you or last purchased a while ago.

But wait, there's more! You can even segment your list using engagement metrics, like open or clickthrough rates. This helps you identify subscribers who may need extra nudging or are all-in and ready to buy. Whatever the case, using your segments to deliver targeted, personalised content that resonates with your subscribers is vital.

All in all, segmentation is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have' option in the world of email marketing – it's a ‘must-have'. By segmenting your list, you can deliver content that speaks directly to your subscribers' interests and needs. So, go ahead and get started with segmentation today. Your subscribers (and wallet) will thank you for it.

2 – Craft a Compelling Subject Line

Best Email Subject Line Tips

The subject line. The make or break element of any email campaign. It's your first impression on your subscribers; as we all know, first impressions count! So, how do you create a subject line that will entice your subscribers to open it?

First, you want to ensure your subject line is short and sweet. After all, attention spans differ from what they used to be, and no one wants to read a novel before they've even opened an email. Please keep it to around 50 characters or less, ideally. But you should still have descriptive language.

The descriptive language in your subject line is crucial to catch your subscribers' attention. Using compelling and actionable words that convey the value of your email can make all the difference. Think terms like ‘Free', ‘New', ‘Exclusive' or ‘Limited time offer'. These words are like candy to subscribers' eyes, and they are more likely to click and open your email.

Here's a tip: Use personalised subject lines! Adding your subscriber's first name to the subject creates a feeling of personalised communication. A study by Experian found that personalised subject lines boosted open rates by 29.3% compared to no personalisation. That's not insignificant!

But let's not forget – some tactics to avoid. You might think click-bait tactics are the surefire way to success. After all, if it worked for BuzzFeed, it should work for you. Wrong. Using misleading or spammy language in your subject line can be detrimental in the long term. Not only will subscribers likely unsubscribe, but they'll also be less likely to trust you in the future, ultimately hurting your brand reputation.

3 – Optimise Your Email Design

10 Brilliant Email Marketing Examples For Ecommerce That We Love

Good design can be the key to increasing engagement rates. So, what separates a good email design from a bad one?

A good email design is visually appealing and easily read across different devices. With so many people on the go and checking their email on their phones or tablets, it's essential to make sure your email can adapt to those different screen sizes. So, when designing your email, test it on various devices to ensure easy reading.

Next up, clear and concise messaging. Ain't nobody got time for paragraphs upon paragraphs of text. Your messaging should be straightforward and to the point, while remaining informative and engaging. Stay on topic and deliver your message with confidence. If subscribers can't quickly determine what the email is about or what action to take, they will likely move on to the following email in their inbox.

But let's remember the design elements themselves. While visuals are important, don't overload your email with distracting images or fancy fonts. Please focus on the message and use visuals to enhance the content rather than overpower it. A clean and simple design will look more professional and improve the readability of your email, making it easier for subscribers to digest the content.

Oh, and don't forget about accessibility. Ensuring your email looks good is essential, but it's equally important to ensure it's accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. This includes using descriptive alt text for images, providing proper colour contrast for visually impaired subscribers, and avoiding audio or video-only content, among other things.

4 – Focus on Your Email Copy

What Is Email Retargeting

While the design may attract the eye, the copy captures the heart… and the wallet. That's right, folks! Your email copy can make or break the success of your campaign. So, how do you ensure your copy is up to the task?

For starters, clarity is critical. Your messaging should be straightforward, concise and easily understood. Avoid fancy jargon or fluff that only serves to confuse your subscribers. Know your audience, and tailor your message accordingly. Use language they understand, relate to and speak to their pain points and interests. Doing so makes you more likely to engage and resonate with them, ultimately driving action.

But let's not forget the ultimate goal of your email: a call-to-action (CTA). Whether it's to purchase a product, sign up for a webinar, or download content, your CTA should be clear, concise and actionable. It should stand out, be easy to find and use active language to compel your subscribers to take the desired action. It may seem like a small detail, but trust us; it can make all the difference.

How do you make sure your copy is hitting the mark? Test, test, test! Conduct A/B testing to see which messaging resonates best with your audience. Try different subject lines, copy, design elements and CTAs to see which performs best. And don't be afraid to switch things up! What worked best last year may not work best this year, so stay open to changing trends and new ideas.

5 – Implement A/B Testing

The thrill of the unknown, the excitement of untapped potential… okay, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves, but hear us out. A/B testing is where it's at when maximising your email marketing efforts. It's the key to unlocking the mysteries of how your subscribers engage with your email and what drives them to take action. So, how can you harness the power of A/B testing to improve your engagement rates?

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It starts with testing different email elements to see what resonates best with your audience. For starters, test other subject lines to see which ones grab your subscribers' attention and drive opens. But don't stop there! Try testing different email designs to see which ones look great and are easily read on other devices. And let's remember the almighty call to action (CTA). Test different CTAs to see which ones drive clicks and conversions. By testing the other elements of your email, you can gain insight into what your subscribers want and adjust your future campaigns accordingly.

But what do you do with all this data, you ask? Well, my friend, you use it to optimise your future campaigns! By taking the learnings from your A/B testing and applying them to future emails, you can improve engagement rates and drive more business. For example, if your testing shows that your subscribers prefer subject lines with urgency-driven language, you can apply that learning to future emails to increase open rates. Similarly, if subscribers prefer simple, clean email designs, you can incorporate that into future campaigns to improve the overall user experience.

6 – Make It Personal

Personalization And Deliverability Stats

With consumers being bombarded by countless marketing messages daily, standing out from the crowd is imperative. And what better way to do so than by showing your subscribers that you know and care about them as individuals? Enter email personalisation.

Personalising your emails is all about taking the data you have about your subscribers and using it to create tailored, relevant content that speaks to their interests and preferences. It can be as simple as addressing them by their first name or as complex as recommending products based on their previous purchase history. The key is to use your data meaningfully, which adds value to your subscribers' lives.

Why is this so important? Because subscribers are more likely to engage with content that feels personalised. When they see that you're taking the time and effort to speak to them as individuals, they're more likely to open, read and act on your emails. And let's remember the other benefits of personalisation, such as increased loyalty, higher customer lifetime value, and decreased churn rates.

But personalisation isn't just about slapping a name on an email and calling it a day. It's about using the data you have in creative and valuable ways. For example, you can segment your list based on interests or behaviour to create more targeted campaigns. Or, use predictive analytics to anticipate what your subscribers may want next and make recommendations accordingly. The opportunities for personalisation are endless, so get creative and think outside the box!

7 – Don't Neglect Mobile Optimisation

Responsive Email Templates

Picture this: it's 2023, and you're on your daily commute. You reach into your pocket, pull out your smartphone, and scroll through your emails. But wait a minute…half of them are all wonky and distorted. Some images are stretched, the text is all jumbled up, and the calls-to-action (CTAs) are tiny and impossible to click. Frustrated, you toss your phone back in your pocket and vow never to reopen another email.

Okay, that might be slightly exaggerated, but you get the idea. With more and more people accessing their email on mobile devices, ensuring your emails are optimised for mobile is crucial. Not only will it improve the user experience, but it can also boost clickthrough rates and, ultimately, drive more business. So, let's dive into some mobile optimisation tips.

First and foremost: use a single-column design. Unlike desktop screens, mobile screens are limited in space, so keep it simple with one content column. This will ensure your email is easily read and navigated on small screens. And, speaking of small screens, make sure your font is big enough to read without squinting. The last thing you want is for your subscribers to zoom in and out just to read your email.

Next up is the almighty CTA. Ensure that your CTA is easily clickable on touchscreens. This means making it big enough to tap with a finger and avoiding placing clickable links too close together. The last thing you want is for your subscriber accidentally click the wrong link and get frustrated with your email.

But don't stop there! Plenty of other ways to optimise your emails for mobile, such as using responsive design, ensuring fast load times, and compressing images to reduce load times. And let's remember the power of testing. A/B test different mobile designs and CTAs to see what resonates best with your subscribers and drives the highest engagement.

8 – Consider Timing and Frequency

Best Time To Send An Email
Source: Hubspot

You know what they say: timing is everything. And when it comes to email marketing, that couldn't be more true. But it's more than just sending your email at the right time. It's also about sending it at the right frequency. Get it wrong, and you could see your engagement rates plummet and those dreaded unsubscribe numbers skyrocket. So, let's dive into some timing and frequency tips to ensure your email campaigns succeed.

Firstly, let's talk about timing. Consider time zones and subscriber behaviour to determine the best time to send your emails. For example, if most of your subscribers are on the east coast of the US, you want to wait to email them at 3 am. Use data and analytics to identify the optimal send times and tailor your campaigns accordingly.

But don't stop there! Consider the day of the week and even the time of year. For example, during summer, people may be more likely to be on vacation, so you may want to adjust your send times to ensure your email gets noticed. It's all about understanding your audience and their behaviour.

Now, let's talk about frequency. Finding the sweet spot between not sending enough emails and bombarding your subscribers with too many is crucial. This can be a delicate balance, but if you provide value in each email, your subscribers will be more likely to engage with them.

Consider segmenting your list based on engagement rates and adjusting your frequency accordingly. For example, if you have a group of highly engaged subscribers, you may want to send them more frequent emails. On the other hand, if you have a group of subscribers who last opened an email months ago, it may be time to dial back your frequency and focus on re-engagement campaigns instead.

9 – Monitor Your Metrics

Email Metrics Tracked Chart

You've spent hours crafting the perfect email campaign. You've poured your heart and soul into the copy, carefully selected the images, and even added a dash of humour to keep your subscribers engaged. You hit send, sit back, and wait for the sales to begin. But…crickets. No opens, no clicks, no conversions. What went wrong?

While it can be disheartening to see low engagement rates, it's not the end of the world. It's a valuable opportunity to learn and improve. And the best way to do that? Tracking email metrics. By monitoring metrics like open rates, clickthrough rates, and conversion rates, you can gain insights into what's working, what's not, and where to improve.

Let's start with open rates. Your open rate is the percentage of subscribers who opened your email. If your open rate is low, it could indicate that your subject line needs some work. Think about it – why would someone bother opening the email if your subject line isn't engaging? Try testing different subject lines to see what resonates best with your audience.

Next up, clickthrough rates. Your clickthrough rate is the percentage of subscribers who clicked on a link within your email. This is where your call-to-action (CTA) comes into play. If your clickthrough rate is low, it could indicate that your CTA needs to be more prominent or more appealing. Test different CTAs to see what drives the most clicks.

And finally, conversion rates. Your conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers who took the desired action, whether purchasing, filling out a form, or downloading an asset. If your conversion rate is low, it could be a sign that your landing page needs some work. Ensure your landing page aligns with your email message and offers a compelling value proposition.

But don't stop there! Plenty of other email metrics to track, such as bounce rates, list growth rates, and subscriber engagement rates. By keeping a close eye on these metrics and making adjustments as needed, you can optimise your campaigns for maximum ROI.

Conclusion

In conclusion, email marketing can be a powerful tool for driving engagement and growing your business. Following these nine email marketing tips and tricks, you can optimise your campaigns for maximum impact and results.

Remember to focus on providing value to your subscribers with personalised and relevant content, crafting compelling subject lines and CTAs, and utilising segmentation and automation to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.

And remember to track your email metrics to gain insights into what's working and where you can improve. With these tips and a little creativity, your email campaigns will stand out in a crowded inbox and drive engagement and conversions. So, what are you waiting for? Start implementing these tips today and watch your email marketing efforts take off!

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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