Engagement really is the key to a successful email marketing campaign. Without it, you’ve truly lost customers.
What is Engagement?
Engagement is the process by which you’ve got your customer’s attention, where you’ve encouraged them to interact, share and experience your product or service. Rather than try to sell a product, businesses that promote engagement are selling an experience and creating value for their customers. Quite literally, engagement gets your customers connecting with your brand, your products and what you are offering. By doing this, you create brand loyalty, which means customers will:
- Be repeat customers
- Tell their friends (through traditional means and social media)
The following are four ways you can boost engagement in your email marketing campaign.
Give your customer true value
Sarah Mannone, agency executive at Trekk, said in an article with Forbes, that telling readers “what’s in it for them right from the start,” is the key to showing customers the value you are giving them. You can easily do this with exclusive coupons, deals or even content offers. Content offers like e-books, how-to guides and white papers give your customers immediate value and a reason to open and read your emails. From there, they can see the value in your brand and become those loyal customers that we spoke about above, coming back to your site and telling their friends.
Make it personal
Start by segmenting your campaign, which means you are splitting up your database into groups of like-minded individuals. Essentially, you are targeting your customers so that the email message actually resonates with them. For example, 20-year-olds won’t engage with the same content as 50-year-olds, so by sending out a general email blast, you are losing half of your audience right off the bat. By segmenting your list, you can tailor your message and target those who might engage with that message the best. Laura Cole of The Berry Company says, “Splitting your database into groups with similar characteristics allows for targeted messaging that is more valuable to specific groups of subscribers.”. Lindsay Mullen of Prosper Strategies says that, “you should segment your lists by industry, position and lead stage, so you can ensure you’re sending the right thing, to the right people, at the right time”.
Other ways to segment your data include:
- Demographics – gender, age, location
- Behavioural – what they buy and how often, click and open rate
- Sign-up date – newer vs. older user
Make them need to open the email
The subject line could be the most important piece of the puzzle in getting your customers to engage. It is the first thing readers see and evaluate when deciding whether to engage or move on. Phil Laboon, an agency executive, says that, “Most people decide immediately after reading the subject line if they are going to open the email or not”. If your readers don’t open the email, they won’t see the value you’ve put into it, they won’t buy your products and become loyal customers and they definitely won’t share your brand with others. The best way to write a subject line that engages is to make it consistent and urgent, says Danny Wong, while writing for Huffington Post. He suggests trying different formats for your subject lines like:
- Simple or no nonsense
- Single word
Ask for a social share
Your end goal isn’t just getting your readers to buy your products or services. The end goal is to get the reader to engage and social sharing is a very important aspect of engagement. Alex Frias of Track Marketing Group says, “Ask your consumer to share your content and provide them with the tools to share it”. This simple step could mean the difference between having one new customer and having hundreds (or even more depending on how viral your content becomes). Word of mouth marketing is still a very valid way for people to discover brands and social media is definitely helping that process. Even if all your reader does is share the valuable content you’ve provided in your email, you’ve succeeded in getting them to engage.