There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours creating the perfect email newsletter, only for it to be met with the sound of crickets as no one opens, reads or responds.
When it comes to email marketing, engagement matters. If people aren’t engaging with your emails then you won’t be able to harness the true power of email – and get the best results.
Why Does Engagement Matter?
Engagement matters for three reasons: deliverability, reach and efficacy.
If your engagement rates are low, email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo start to notice. They see that your emails go unopened and unloved. Destined for the archive folder without even a click or a skim read. Over time, this can lead to your emails getting filtered before they even reach your prospect’s inbox – stuffed into the “promotions” folder, or worse – spam!
What about reach? Well, email marketing is pretty powerful – but it only works if people read what you’ve written. Low engagement rates mean fewer people are opening and enjoying your emails – which means reduced impact and fewer sales. Increasing email engagement can help to get more eyeballs on your emails which, in turn, will give your results a boost.
And finally, efficacy. If you want your email marketing to be effective, then you need to be taking a consistent approach. The true power of email comes over time, when you slowly but surely provide high-quality content that educates your prospects, overcomes their objections and prepares them for a sale – but you can’t do that if they’re not reading what you’ve sent.
How Do You Know If Your Engagement Sucks?
Most email software provides a range of metrics to track. When it comes to engagement, the ones to keep an eye on are:
Opens will tell you how many people are actually opening and reading your emails. Clicks will show you if they’re interested in what you’ve said. Replies are the holy grail of engagement – not only have they opened your email and read it but it’s made enough of an impact on them that they’ve taken time out of their day to respond.
Email Engagement - What’s Working?
We send thousands of emails every single week, so that means we’re in a unique position to be able to assess large volumes of data. We can see what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s what’s working right now…
The core foundation of any email marketing campaign is high-quality content. If you send poorly written, boring or low-value emails then your engagement rates will soon start to dwindle. Keep your list engaged by consistently providing massive value – in an easy to read and enjoyable format.
Clickable Video Thumbnails
Email newsletters with a clickable video thumbnail are winning the engagement race right now. Over the last couple of years we’ve seen this particular strategy skyrocket several of our clients’ click rates, boosting their engagement and improving their overall results.
We can’t embed videos directly into emails, so the best option is to take a screenshot of the video and add a play button over the top using a graphics app, then add a link to the video. This gives the added benefit of letting you track how many people click on the video to watch it.
Here’s an example:
Understand Your Audience
High-quality content alone isn’t enough. It has to be the RIGHT high-quality content. Your emails should interest and engage your target audience, entertaining, educating and solving their problems. To do this properly, you’ve got to really understand who your audience is and what’s bugging them right now.
Science tells us that storytelling is one of the best ways to capture attention and keep people engaged in what we have to tell them. Using short stories to deliver your message is one of the most effective ways to boost your engagement rates. We’ve also found that story-based emails get more replies than other forms of content.
Don’t Sell, Sell, Sell
Selling is an important part of email marketing – but it’s got to be done at the right time and in the right place. Your emails should be heavily weighted towards providing quality content – not selling. If you’re making a pitch in every email then you’ll soon start to see problems with engagement.
If you employ just one of these strategies, you’ll start to see some results. More opens, more replies – and more sales.
Need a little help improving your email engagement? Click here to book a 20 Minute Power Call to see how I can help…