How to Squeeze More Engagement Out of Your Emails

Are you stuck thinking about the past? Thinking about when your email marketing campaigns performed better? Don’t worry, you are not the only one who is experiencing these thoughts. A dip in the engagement rate is a common occurrence and you can quickly return to the fast lane.

We are going to give you the tricks of the trade which will help you squeeze more engagement out of your list. First, let’s understand why users are not opening your emails.

There are three primary reasons why subscribers are no longer engaged:

1. They have abandoned their email account
2. They are no longer interested in your subject matter
3. They are having an email overload

This means you are going to need to overhaul your list and make an attempt to get users who are genuinely interested engaged. Remember, you want your list to be filled with quality subscribers, and not just pay attention to quantity.

1. Clean Your Database
To get the engagement you have to make sure you have active working email accounts. Overtime data goes stale, users abandon accounts and change email addresses. Emailing to these types of accounts is going to generate hard bounces. You might also run into other types of hazardous emails which could cause deliverability and blacklisting issues.

An excellent tool to clean your data would be Xverify. You can simply upload your entire list, and it will go through each email address to identify if it’s a real registered account. A good rule of thumb is to clean your database quarterly, but it is strongly recommended to validate data in real-time as it comes into your funnel.
2. Start a Re-Engagement Campaign
After you have finished cleaning your list, your total number of overall subscribers should be smaller. The next thing you need to do is start a re-engagement campaign.

Here are some examples of good ideas for re-engagement campaign subject lines:

We’ve Missed You! Take 15% OFF EVERYTHING
We Want You Back!
Don’t Forget About Us! We Have a Present for You!
Let’s Catch Up!
Check out the above example of an awesome re-engagement email from West Elm. They got a massive lift in their open rates because of this powerful subject line. Plus, the strong call to action of 20% off and providing a coupon code directly in the email got more users clicking.

3. Resend to Non-Openers
After you’ve cleaned up your list and blasted off your re-engagement campaign, don’t expect to generate a 90% open rate. You could have created the absolute best subject line, but it still doesn’t guarantee an open. Often the root cause of this pain point is merely the fact that the user is just not interested or that they have lost your email in their inbox.

An email marketer performed an experiment where he was able to generate a 54.7% increase in his email reach. He did this simply by resending the exact same message to users who did not previously open.

4. Make Use of Emojis and Gifs
Most of our tips so far were aimed at helping you get opens. However, getting clicks is where real conversions happen. It’s been proven that a strategic animated GIF in an email is more likely to generate a click than a static image. Still, you want to use GIFs with caution, as too many GIFs could generate a higher unsubscribe rate or cause you to land in the spam box. Therefore, we encourage you to use one GIF per email.

Below is a tasteful animated image that MOO placed in an email campaign. It’s subtle, fits their brand, and delivers a strong message.
5. Don’t Let Them Abandon the Cart
Online shoppers don’t always get the opportunity to finish what they started. Sometimes they are shopping during their lunch break and are interrupted by a phone call. It’s quite common that they completely forget what they were doing and abandon the cart. It’s our job as marketers to give them that gentle nudge in the form of a reminder that they forgot something.

On average, 63% of abandoned cart sales are recoverable.

Set up your system to be intelligent. Auto-deploy an email a few hours after the shopper added things to their cart but did not check out. For more ideas on how to put together your abandoned cart campaign, here are 14 abandoned cart email examples.

Now that you have some fresh ideas on how to boost your engagement rates, it’s your turn to start putting it to work. Once you clean your data and re-engage your users, you are going to see immediate results. Just keep fine-tuning your emails from there and don’t forget that consistency is key. Happy emailing!

Author: Krista Brea

Krista Brea is a marketing specialist at Xverify. She helps digital marketers improve email campaign success through data verification. Outside of the office, Krista also enjoys traveling, fitness, reading, and listening to podcasts.

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  • Heath Weaver

    Managing Director, Principal

    Heath Weaver has almost two decades of eCommerce digital marketing experience. He has run multiple agencies, headed up Search Engine Marketing for the consumer electronics division of Sony, and served as a Vice President at Trilogy Software. He enjoys working day-to-day with clients to level up their retention marketing game.

  • Xiaohui "X" Wang

    Founder, Principal

    Xiaohui "X" Wang is a veteran of the email marketing industry. In the last decade, he has led the strategic and tactic retention marketing efforts for over 300 ecommerce brands ranging from small mom & pops to IR500 retailers. He's passionate about all things eCommerce, email, and SMS.