By Liviu Tanase
All success in business relies on engagement, but there’s no place where it’s more true than in the world of email marketing. Without email engagement, any campaign you run will suffer. Below we focus on four actionable approaches you can use that will help you boost email engagement.
Why strive to increase your email engagement
A question anyone would find easy to answer: every marketer wants to increase email engagement because that can bring in more sales. True, but there’s another reason why the number of clicks you get matters so much: they end up generating more clicks.
A high open and click rate tells inbox providers that people want to see your content. That means your emails have a better chance of arriving in the inbox.
Now, let’s see what are some easy ways to make that happen.
Focus on your most active subscribers
Someone who signs up for your list, but doesn’t engage with your emails, won’t contribute to your success. Furthermore, they can hinder your ability to reach other subscribers.
On the other hand, the people who open and read your emails are your bread and butter. By that logic, those who forward or recommend it to their friends and associates are your VIPs. These are the subscribers you should focus on because they are the most engaged with your brand and the most likely to convert.
For the longest time, there was scant technology to identify who those subscribers were. This is no longer the case. The latest innovations can help you get useful relevant insights into the way people engage with their emails.
For instance, ZeroBounce’s Activity Data is a tool that lets you know which subscribers have been active within their email accounts in the past 30 to 365 days. You can then segment and target those subscribers with a compelling offer. For marketing and sales departments, this technology can be the key to more conversions.
Periodic email list cleaning means better email engagement
If you send marketing emails, you’ll need to clean your list from time to time. Apart from unengaged subscribers, every list will have problematic or harmful emails.
Keeping invalid or high-risk email addresses on your list has lots of negative effects. Furthermore, bad email addresses can be the beginning of a downward spiral for email engagement. Why? Because your deliverability is diminished and people can’t interact with emails they never see.
The most effective way to deal with this issue is to validate your list at least quarterly. If it grows at a rapid pace, consider cleaning it even more often. A good email validator removes risky contacts and allows you to keep a solid sender reputation with ESPs. Think of landing in the inbox as the biggest prerequisite for any kind of email engagement.
Use permission marketing for the best email engagement
Some email marketers think they can boost their email marketing engagement by adding a bunch of people to the list. Their rationale is that, although some people will be annoyed, others will appreciate you adding them as a subscriber.
Don’t fall into this trap as the consequences far outweigh any benefits you may perceive. The biggest consequence is people marking you as spam – and it’s not unreasonable for them to. You are, after all, sending unsolicited emails.
To drive up your engagement rate, get the permission of every single email on your list. Also, use double opt-in, where an email is automatically generated after all sign-ups. This confirmation email has a unique link that the subscriber must click on to confirm their interest.
Taking these steps will improve the quality of your contacts. Additionally, your email list will be even better if all the email addresses you gather go through an email validation API. Reputable email verification services can provide an API you can connect to your sign-up forms. This will keep invalid or disposable email addresses off of your list.
For instance, when someone inadvertently makes a typo or leaves off a letter of their email address, it will let them know right then and there. Moreover, it will instruct the possible subscriber that they made an error or should use their real email address. By weeding out errors and less than serious people, your email engagement will enjoy a boost.
Newsletters with the best engagement are timely and consistent
Consumers across all industries feel the companies they can trust are those with a great reputation and consistency. Think about the restaurants or shops you love the most. Probably one of the things you appreciate about them is the guarantee of leaving satisfied. Businesses that succeed aren’t interested in delivering something good occasionally. Rather, they’re interested in a regular and dependable product.
For some lists, engagement has an ebb and flow. It’s part of the reason you should always be fine-tuning your content and subject lines. However, you shouldn’t get off track with your timeliness. For most email lists, you should send out a newsletter a minimum of once per month.
Suppose someone has a seasonal business, like the selling of beachwear or a product or service relating to a particular holiday. It’s important to keep in contact with subscribers. If you disappear for a long time and then start emailing again, you’ll be behaving as a spammer does. Many of the email service providers (ESPs) will assume you’re a spammer and relegate your emails to the junk folder. Apart from that, some people may forget about you and hit the spam button.
Spam complaints will likely cause ESPs to assume that you’re sending bogus emails. To protect their users, they’ll regard you as a spammer because it’s not practical to check each email sent. This will lead to plummeting engagement and therefore a decline in your email marketing ROI.
Good engagement means good deliverability
Most marketers focus on increasing engagement for obvious reasons. The more people interact with your emails, the greater your marketing power is. Apart from that, from a technical standpoint, healthy engagement will translate into better deliverability. Every action your subscribers take with your emails is a positive signal they send to inbox providers, letting them know that your content is helpful and desired. In return, inbox providers will direct more of your emails to the inbox.
About the Author
Liviu Tanase the founder and CEO of email validation and deliverability company ZeroBounce. He writes about digital marketing and technology, focusing on email communication. Liviu’s goal is to help make email marketing work for your business.