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10 Proven Techniques to Increase Email Engagement in 2024

Shivani Bohare
ByShivani Bohare

13 mins read

Have you ever wondered why some email campaigns perform better than others? Some companies like Vitrazza can make $564,200 in sales in less than four months with a welcome email series! Now, compare that to the average email campaign performance, which is a mere 20% open rate and around 2.5% click-through rate.

But why is it so? It's often due to poor email engagement. Lackluster subject lines, irrelevant content, and timing mismatches can all contribute to low engagement rates. When your audience isn't opening your emails or clicking on the CTAs, your email marketing efforts fall flat.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into what email engagement is, why it's crucial, and the best strategies to boost it. By the end of this blog post, you'll have the tools and knowledge to transform your email campaigns, leading to higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

What is email engagement?

Email engagement refers to the various ways recipients interact with your emails, indicating their interest and activity level with your content.

Many people mistakenly equate email engagement solely with clicks. While clicks are a crucial component, email engagement is a much broader concept. It's a multifaceted concept that includes several different types of interactions:

email engagement factors mailmodo

High engagement indicates that your audience finds your content valuable and relevant, leading to more meaningful interactions and better overall performance of your email campaigns.

When should you focus on improving email engagement?

All the time.

Period.

Let me tell you why.

You can't boost email engagement overnight when launching a new product or running limited-time offers!

I learned this firsthand when I accidentally launched on Product Hunt six days ahead of schedule. Suddenly, I needed to inform customers and evangelists within 24 hours. I reached out to my network on social media. You can read the LinkedIn post, which was my first desperate attempt to spread the word on the launch here. But it was our consistent email marketing that truly saved the day. Our high engagement rates led to 50% more views, feedback, and a successful launch with us being the #3 product of the day.

This wouldn't have been possible without maintaining good engagement from the outset. Engaged subscribers are more likely to open your emails, click on your content, and take the actions you desire, making a huge difference in your campaign's success.

Which emails have the best engagement rates?

There is no guarantee that a particular type of email will have high engagement rates. There is also no industry-wide study on email engagement based on email types. However, certain types of emails have consistently performed better than others.

Here are some email types, along with their average engagement rates and why, we think, they work:

Email type Examples Average engagement rates Why they work
Newsletters Regular company news, monthly newsletters Open rate = 30-35%
CTR = 3-5%
They provide valuable, relevant information that keeps subscribers informed and engaged.
Interactive emails Videos, polls & surveys Open rate = 40-45%
CTR = 5-10%
Interactive elements capture attention and encourage recipients to interact with the content.
Educative emails Tutorials, how-to guides Open rate = 25-30%
CTR = 2-4%
They offer practical value and help recipients learn something new, enhancing their connection with the brand.
Discount emails Limited-time offers, special promotions Open rate =20-25%
CTR = 5-7%
Exclusive deals and discounts create a sense of urgency and incentivize action.
Transactional emails Order confirmations, shipping notifications Open rate = 70-80%
CTR = 10-15%
These are order confirmations, shipping notifications, and password reset emails.

What are email engagement metrics?

Understanding and tracking email engagement metrics is essential to measure the success of your email campaigns and identify areas for improvement. These metrics can be categorized into four main types:

Email engagement metric category

Category 1: Email deliverability metrics

  1. Email deliverability rate: Measures the percentage of emails that land in the primary inbox rather than spam or junk folders. High deliverability ensures your emails reach their intended audience.
  2. Bounce rates: The percentage of emails that couldn't be delivered. High bounce rates can hurt your sender reputation.
  3. Spam complaint rate: The percentage of recipients who mark your email as spam. Keeping this rate low is crucial for maintaining good deliverability.

Category 2: Email click analysis metrics

  1. Email open rates: The percentage of recipients who open your email. It indicates how effective your subject line is.
  2. Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of recipients who click on links within your email. It shows how engaging your email content is.
  3. Click-to-open rates (CTOR): The ratio of the number of clicks to the number of emails opened. It provides deeper insights into the effectiveness of your email content.
  4. Unsubscribe rates: The percentage of recipients who opt out of your email list. It helps gauge how well your content meets subscriber expectations.

Category 3: Email conversion metrics

  1. Conversion rates: The percentage of recipients who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a webinar.
  2. Revenue per email: Measures the amount of revenue generated per email sent.
  3. Return on investment (ROI): Calculates the overall profitability of your email campaigns.

Category 4: Email submission metrics

  1. Form submission rate: The percentage of recipients who complete and submit forms included in your emails.
  2. Survey completion rate: The percentage of recipients who complete surveys sent via email.
  3. Poll participation rate: The percentage of recipients who participate in polls within your emails.

10 strategies for boosting email engagement in 2024

Enhancing engagement requires more than just generic tactics—it demands a nuanced approach that leverages specific techniques and tools. Let's explore 12 expert strategies to captivate your audience and drive meaningful interactions:

1. Segment your audience

What: Divide your email list into smaller, targeted segments based on demographics, preferences, or behavior.

segmentation.png

Why: Segmentation allows you to deliver more personalized content that resonates with each recipient group's interests, leading to higher engagement. A survey conducted by HubSpot revealed that 65% of marketers report higher open rates for their segmented email campaigns.

How: Use data from past interactions to categorize subscribers into segments such as location, purchase history, or engagement level. For example, segmenting based on past purchases can enable you to send tailored product recommendations to each group.

2. Craft compelling email subject lines

What: Write attention-grabbing subject lines that pique curiosity and encourage recipients to open the emails.

Personalize a subject line example

Why: The subject line is the first impression you make on recipients—it needs to be compelling enough to entice them to open the email.

How: Experiment with subject line formulas like the "Fear of Missing Out" (FOMO) technique or the "How-to" approach to capture attention.

Additionally, use tools like Mailmodo's AI Headline Analyzer feature to optimize subject lines for maximum impact.

3. Enhance preview text appeal

What: Optimize the preview text to provide additional context and entice recipients to open the email.

Preview text: Shop on Tata CliQ using ICICI Bank...

Why: Preview text complements the subject line and offers an opportunity to further convince the recipients to open the email.

How: Your preview text must complement the subject line and provide a glimpse of what's inside. For example, "Discover Insider Tips for Boosting Your Productivity!" offers a preview of valuable content that encourages email opens.

Use dynamic content insertion to personalize preview text based on subscriber data, such as location or past interactions. You can use emojis strategically to add visual appeal and intrigue.

4. Personalize your emails

What: Tailor email content based on each recipient's preferences, behavior, and past interactions.

Why: Personalization creates a more meaningful connection with recipients and increases the likelihood of engagement.

How: Use dynamic content and segmentation to deliver personalized recommendations, product offers, or content suggestions. For example, addressing recipients by name and recommending products based on past purchases creates a personalized experience that resonates with each individual.

You can read about email personalization in detail in our related guide.

5. Optimize for mobile

What: Ensure your emails are optimized for viewing and interaction on mobile devices.

Why: With more than 50% of email opens occurring on mobile devices, it's essential to provide a seamless experience for mobile users.

Responsive Email Design 3.png

How: Use responsive email design and test your emails across various devices to ensure they display correctly and are easy to navigate on smartphones and tablets. For instance, use a single-column layout and large, tappable buttons to accommodate smaller screens and touch interactions.

Additionally, minimize image file sizes and use concise, scannable content to improve load times and readability on mobile devices.

6. Leverage interactive content

What: Incorporate interactive elements such as videos, polls, or quizzes to engage recipients and encourage interaction.

Here’s an interactive email created using Mailmodo:

interactive email created using Mailmodo

Why: Interactive content captures attention and provides a more immersive experience, leading to higher engagement rates.

You can also read about how Big Basket increased its email engagement by 4X with interactive emails.

How: Use email marketing platforms like Mailmodo that support interactive features and allow you to build interactive emails without coding. They enable you to add elements like form submissions or product additions to the cart directly within the email, as seen in the GIF above.

Experiment with different types of interactive content, such as product carousels, countdown timers, or gamification elements, to see what resonates best with your audience. Track engagement metrics like click-through rates and time spent interacting with interactive elements to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

7. Include clear call-to-actions (CTAs)

What: Use clear and compelling CTAs that prompt recipients to take specific actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for an event.

Prominent CTA button.png

Why: CTAs guide recipients on what to do next and encourage them to engage further with your content or offers.

How: Make your CTAs stand out visually by using contrasting colors and bold typography. Use persuasive language that communicates the value of taking action. For instance, "Shop Now" or "Claim Your Free Trial" clearly communicate the desired action and the benefit to the recipient.

Experiment with different placement and formatting options to find the most effective CTA design for your audience.

8. Maintain a clean email list

What: Regularly clean your email list to remove inactive or non-responsive subscribers.

Why: A clean email list improves deliverability, reduces the risk of spam complaints, and ensures that you're targeting engaged recipients.

How: Monitor engagement metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates to identify inactive subscribers. Implement re-engagement campaigns to win back inactive subscribers or remove them from your list if they remain unresponsive. Use email verification services to verify the accuracy of subscriber email addresses and reduce bounce rates.

You can read more about cleaning your email list in our related guide.

9. Time your emails perfectly

What: Send emails at optimal times when recipients are most likely to engage with them.

Why: Timing plays a crucial role in customer engagement, as sending emails when recipients are most receptive increases the likelihood of opens and interactions.

How: Analyze past email performance data to identify the best days and times for sending emails to your specific audience. Experiment with different send times and track engagement metrics to determine the most effective timing for your campaigns.

A shortcut to this is to use email scheduling features to automatically send emails at the optimal time for each recipient. This is the same as the send time optimization feature in Mailmodo.

10. Use A/B testing

What: Test different elements of your emails, such as subject lines, content, or CTAs, to identify the most effective variations.

Email subject line ab testing analysis dashboard in Mailmodo

Why: A/B testing allows you to optimize your email campaigns based on data-driven insights and improve engagement rates.

How: Create two versions of your email with variations in one key element, such as the subject line or CTA. Send each version to a segment of your audience and measure the performance of each variation to determine the winning version.

Experiment with different variables, such as email copy length, imagery, or sender name, to uncover what resonates best with your audience.

Myths about increasing email engagement

Ever heard the saying, "Don't believe everything you hear"? Well, that applies perfectly to some common myths surrounding email engagement.

Myth 1: Sending more emails makes more people interested

Some people think that if you send lots of emails, more people will be interested in what you have to say. On the contrary, sending too many emails can annoy people and make them unsubscribe from your list.

It's better to focus on sending fewer emails with valuable information that people will find useful. Quality is more important than quantity!

Myth 2: Open rates are the most important thing

Open rates are often seen as a key indicator of success in email marketing. But just because someone opens your email doesn't mean they're really interested.

With the introduction of Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), senders who once had open rates of around 20% are now seeing inflated rates—up to 70% false opens—due to Apple’s servers downloading email graphics. This shows why open rates aren't the most important reliable metric for email engagement.

It's more important to look at things like how many people click on links in your email or take the desired action, like buying something or signing up for an event.

Myth 3: Personalization is just using someone's name

True personalization is about more than just using someone's name. It's about making sure your email message is relevant to the person receiving it.

This could mean recommending products they might like based on things they've bought before or sending them special offers based on their interests. When you personalize your emails in this way, people are more likely to pay attention because they feel like you're talking directly to them.

5 tools to increase your email engagement

While you should definitely try implementing the strategies we mentioned, an easy way to get started is by leveraging technology to do the heavy lifting. These tools can jumpstart your efforts to improve email engagement in your next campaign.

Tool type Tool Capabilities Recommended software
Subject lines generator Craft compelling subject lines to grab attention. Mailmodo’s AI Subject Line Generator
AI email copy generator Use AI to personalize email content based on subscriber behavior and preferences. Whitecream
Drag-and-drop interactive email editor Easily create interactive emails without coding. Mailmodo
Email list cleaner Removes invalid emails, typos, and duplicates. Jitbit
Email testing and analytics tool Provide robust testing and analytics to optimize email campaigns. Mailmodo

Alternatively, consider using an email service provider (ESP) like Mailmodo, which provides all these tools in one platform. Mailmodo is an all-in-one email marketing platform offering send-time optimization, A/B testing, interactive emails, a drag-and-drop email builder, and a gallery of editable email templates. You can also check out the other features that Mailmodo has to offer.

Take your email engagement to the next level with interactive emails

Emails need to do more than just sit in your recipient's inbox. Interactive emails bring your messages to life, letting recipients click, swipe, and interact right from their inbox.

By adding things like quizzes, polls, surveys, and sliders you can make your emails more fun and engaging. These interactive features provide insights into recipient preferences and behaviors, allowing you to tailor future campaigns for maximum impact.

So why stick with plain old emails when you can make yours stand out? Book a demo with Mailmodo today to boost your email engagement rate with interactive emails!

FAQs

You should ideally review your email engagement metrics:

  1. Daily: Monitor metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates to spot any sudden changes and address issues promptly.

  2. Weekly: Track metrics such as email delivery rates, bounce rates, and spam complaint rates to ensure consistent email deliverability and identify any potential deliverability issues.

  3. Monthly: Analyze metrics like conversion rates, revenue per email, and overall campaign performance to assess the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy

If you notice a drop in email engagement, it's essential to take proactive steps to address the issue. Start by analyzing your engagement metrics to pinpoint any specific areas of concern, such as declining open or click-through rates.

Next, segment your email list more effectively to deliver more targeted and relevant content to different audience segments. You can also improve the quality of your email content by crafting engaging subject lines, including personalized messaging, and optimizing the design and layout of your emails to improve readability and engagement.

Improving email deliverability is always a good idea, as it can help ensure that your emails are not getting lost in spam folders.

Low email engagement rates may result from:

Sending irrelevant or generic content

Weak subject lines

Infrequent or inconsistent email sends

Lack of personalization

Overloading recipients with too many emails

Not optimizing emails for mobile devices

High email engagement is achieved when recipients consistently open your emails, click on links, and take desired actions, such as making purchases or signing up for events.

These interactions indicate that your content resonates with them and provides value, resulting in a positive response from your audience.

Use action words, create curiosity, keep it concise, and test different versions to see what resonates best with your audience.

You can use AI tools like Milmodo’s AI Subject Line Generator to come up with ideas quickly. A great way to find the most effective subject lines for your audience is to conduct A/B testing with different email versions.

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