7 Strategies to Increase Your Email Engagement Rate Jessica Lunk Despite the popularity of social media, email remains one of if not the most effective tool for marketing today. But with the number of emails being sent and received expected to top out at around 246 billion by the year 2019, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. What can you do to improve the odds that not only will you get your audience to open your messages, but the content within will compel them to take action? Here are seven strategies that will help you break through the clutter and get people clicking. Start with a quality list. When it comes to successful email marketing campaigns, it’s more about quality than quantity. In fact, if you’re sending your messages to people who aren’t likely to convert, you’re probably losing money and jeopardizing your deliverability. Focus on building a strong list of permission-based leads. You’ll send fewer messages, but your success rate will be much higher. Make it personal. One study by Experian revealed that personalized emails have a 29 percent higher open rate and a 41 percent higher unique click-through rate than generic messages. This doesn’t mean you have to create a different message for each recipient, but focusing on things like friendly tone, incorporating the recipient’s first name, and sending from a real person vs. your company name can all create a more personalized feel. Your CRM should provide you with plenty of data to further personalize your campaigns. Craft killer subject lines. Think of your subject line as the wrapping on a gift. The more eye-catching it is, the more it makes you want to open and see what’s inside. It’s the same with emails. 64 percent of people say they will open an email based solely on its subject line, so be mindful of this. Studies have also shown that subject lines of 50 characters or less are the most impactful. And remember to avoid words that are frequently flagged as spam, such as “free” or “click.” (More on this in a future post.) Segment your messages. Not every offer you extend will be right for every customer. Rather than sending out a blanket message to everyone on your email list, take the time to customize your messages for certain segments of your audience. One study indicated that segmented emails receive an open rate of 14.31% and a click-through rate of 100.95% higher than non-segmented messages, so it’s definitely worth the extra time and effort. Include strong calls to action. There’s a purpose behind each of your email campaigns, whether it’s to get more sales on your new product, increase your social media following, drive more traffic to your website or something else. Don’t just expect your audience to do what you want them to do. Compel them to do so by including clear and powerful calls to action. Don’t be afraid to play on people’s natural fear of missing out (FOMO) by using words that create urgency, such as “Act now,” “Limited time only,” “Expires soon,” etc. Be mobile-friendly. Nowadays more than half (54 percent) of all emails are opened on a mobile device versus a desktop computer. That means that the majority of your recipients will be viewing your emails using their smartphones or tablets. If your messages aren’t optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on a significant portion of your target audience. If you are going to invest in any area, make it this one. Include social sharing buttons. Your offer might not be ideal for the person reading your email, but he or she may very well know someone else who could benefit. Make it as easy as possible for your email recipients to share your content socially by including sharing links. Still not convinced? Recent stats put the click-through-rate of emails containing social share buttons at a whopping 115 percent higher than those without. That’s pretty impressive. This list isn’t exhaustive. In fact, there are probably dozens of additional tactics you can try that might improve how your audience engages with your campaigns. The key to success lies in testing and tweaking. Don’t be afraid to try a few different things, analyzing the results and modifying your approach accordingly. The more effort you put in on the forefront, the better your results will be over the long haul.