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How to use email to increase customer engagement

Customer engagement is important for your company

An engaged customer can translate to loyal business. In fact, research by analytics firm Gallup revealed that a fully engaged customer represents 23% more revenue to businesses compared to the average customer.

There are various digital marketing tools you can use to engage your customers successfully. Of the available tools, email marketing performs the best. That said, it’s not just about blasting messages to your subscribers. You have to ensure your email marketing is optimized for maximum engagement.

Here’s how to do it.

Craft subject lines and preheader text that boost your open rates.

If you want to increase your customer engagement via email, you need to learn how to write subject lines and preheader text that will improve your open rates. After all, you can’t engage your customers through email if they aren’t opening your emails.

When people check their inboxes, subject lines and accompanying preheader text appear first. Your customers make the decision to open, ignore, or delete an email based on these two elements, so you need to make a good first impression.

Entice customers to open your emails by writing attention-grabbing subject lines and preheader text. Here are some things you can do.

  • Use incentivizing language and urgency in your emails. Include words and phrases proven to increase email open rates such as “24-hour giveaway, exclusive, back in stock, and limited time only.
  • Conversely, you should remove words and phrases that contribute to decreased open rates and trigger spam filters. These are words like not spam, priority mail, and why pay more.
  • Include numbers. An analysis of 115 million emails worldwide revealed emails with numbers in their subject lines had a 53.2% open rate.

Try out these tips for your next email marketing campaign. If you do it right, you’ll definitely see a rise in your open rates.

Personalize your emails.

Personalization and improved customer engagement go hand-in-hand. In fact, personalization can increase your open rates by 26% and your click-through rates by 14%.

Furthermore, personalization affects your revenue. The transaction rates for personalized emails are six times higher than non-personalized emails. Personalizing your campaigns can also raise your revenue by 760%.

This is why personalization should be a high priority when running email marketing campaigns.

Personalization can be as simple as including your customer’s first name in the subject line and greeting of your email.

You can also try other techniques that enable you to tailor your messages according to your customer. For example, if you run an online fashion store, send men’s line offers to your male customers and women’s line offers to female customers.

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To maximize your personalization efforts, you should also segment your email list. Create different segments based on information such as gender, age range, and location.

You can even segment your lists based on customer activity, such as which emails they open, the type of content they consume, and what they’ve purchased from you in the past.

Optimize your emails for mobile.

Customers today are incredibly smartphone-savvy. They do everything on mobile devices, from ordering take-out to reading emails. In fact, almost 53% of all emails are opened on mobile devices.

Therefore, designing mobile-friendly emails should be one of your top priorities if your goal is to better engage with your customers. Consider these mobile design tips before creating your next batch of emails.

  • Utilize a one-column layout. It’s much easier to read on a mobile device, compared to a two-column or three-column layout.
  • Subject lines should be three to five words long and between 17 to 24 characters. Preheader text should be 40 to 50 characters long. This ensures customers can read both elements in full, even on a mobile device.
  • Keep it concise. Make your message as brief as possible, so your customers don’t scroll and scroll.
  • The size of your call-to-action (CTA) buttons should be at least 44 square pixels, so they can easily be tapped on a touchscreen.

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You can also have an easier time designing mobile-friendly emails if you use responsive email templates.

Automate your campaigns.

If you own or manage a business, you probably won’t have a lot of time to send emails to your customers.

This means email marketing automation is crucial to your strategy. By automating your emails, you’re not only likely to increase your open rates up to 70%, but you’ll also have more time to run your business, which is a win-win.

Set up automatic responses for key emails, so even when you’re busy with other tasks, you don’t miss out on opportunities to engage with your customers. Most (if not all) email service providers include automation features in their platforms, so automating your responses shouldn’t be too complex to set up.

You can save yourself a significant amount of time—and improve your customer engagement rates in the process—by automating these campaigns.

  • Welcome series – send a personalized welcome email whenever a new subscriber joins your list.
  • Re-engagement campaigns – send emails to customers who have not made a purchase or opened your emails in a long time.
  • New promotions and offers – send emails to your loyal customers whenever you release brand new offers.
  • Feedback – send emails after customers complete purchases on your website.
  • Birthday emails – send emails to subscribers on their birthdays.

There are other emails you can automate. It all depends on your budget, your type of business, and the products you sell. Don’t be afraid to experiment, get creative, and explore what works best for you.

Wrap up

Engaging with your customer is critical to business success, regardless of what product or service you sell. Customer engagement is directly related to two of the most important goals of any organization: 1) building better relationships with people and 2) boosting revenue.

Achieving these goals through customer engagement is much easier if you use email marketing. As long as you follow the tips mentioned above, you’ll see your customer engagement rate climb, along with your revenue margins.


Author Bio: Lane Harbin is the Director of Content and Corporate Marketing at Campaign Monitor, an easy-to-use email marketing platform that empowers marketers to send targeted campaigns that grow their business. When she’s not geeking out over email marketing, she enjoys binge-listening to podcasts, catching up on the latest tech news, and constantly rearranging her living room. LinkedIn | Twitter