10 ways to improve your email engagement

Increasing email engagement rates for more clicks

We all know how flooded the average inbox is today. And while email marketing remains one of the most effective tools in the marketing toolbox, millions of marketing emails go by unnoticed, unopened and unread every day.

So how can you avoid such a sad fate for your emails? And what can you do to increase email engagement and get those coveted clicks on your CTA buttons?

Read on for ten actions that will increase your email engagement and save your emails from ending up in the trash folder.

10 best practices to increase email clicks in 2020


1. Work on your welcome email

The first email you send to a customer is usually a welcome email. The average open rate for a welcome email is 50%, which makes it much more effective than regular newsletters.

If we bear in mind that 76% of people expect a welcome email immediately after subscribing to your list, it becomes clear that this email is an important one. Make the most of it!

Really Good Emails shares a great collection of welcome emails (and every other category you can think of) to inspire your strategy, including this excellent example from Postable. It delivers the discount code subscribers are waiting for, includes a beautiful graphic and keeps things super simple:

Good example of a welcome email from Postable


2. Optimize the subject lines...

47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. So yes, getting the subject line right is crucial.

But what makes a good subject line?

The best way to succeed is to leverage natural human tendencies such as:

  • Curiosity
  • FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
  • Humor

Optimize subject lines for better email engagement


This is a typical FOMO subject line, where GetResponse is making it clear to their audience that they risk missing out on a whopping 40% off.


3. ... and the preheader texts

The preheader text, or preview text, is the snippet of text that follows the email subject line when a reader views your email in the inbox. It’s shown beside the subject line and sender name.

These examples from beauty marketplace Cult Beauty offer a preview of the brands and discounts on offer to encourage clicks:

Making use of preview text for higher email engagement rates


This snippet is valuable real estate and it can even make or break your email's performance. Studies show that brands using the preview text effectively increase their open rates by a margin of up to 30%!


4. Optimize your CTAs

The way you write and design your CTAs, or calls to action, has a significant impact on email engagement and click-through rates. Since readers are so used to being prompted to do this and do that, creativity is crucial to avoid being filtered out.

Experiment with everything from copy and design to placement and frequency to discover what kind of CTAs and buttons yield the best results with your particular target audience.

This message from email marketing software Emma keeps it short and sweet with a CTA that spurs the reader’s curiosity with the clever and straightforward copy "See how".

Emma good email marketing CTA example


5. Tweak your copy

Write as you talk. Nobody appreciates large, dull, jargon-heavy chunks of texts in marketing. Make it easy, fun and rewarding to read your emails. And be ultra-clear on what next step you want the reader to take.

Use active, positive language and keep sentences short and concise. And if appropriate, use humor. People like to smile!

This email copy from Uber is creative, on-brand and to the point:

Example of good email copy for engagement


6. Leverage your transactional emails

After welcome emails, transactional emails have among the highest open rates of all email marketing messages. And yet they rarely contain more information than that of the actual transaction. That means an opportunity for you!

By giving your transactional emails some extra love and a makeover, you will wow your customers in a way that many companies miss out on.


7. Do A/B testing

If you’re sending emails, you should be doing A/B testing. You can test every element of your emails, from subject lines and preview tests to copy, images, design and CTAs.

The more you test, the better you will get to know your target audience. And the better you know your audience, the more you will be able to engage them with your emails.


8. Make sure your email design is mobile responsive

Most people open emails on their mobile. This means that if your emails aren’t mobile responsive, a large portion of them will be going to waste.

Always make sure that your design has as good or better UX on mobile as on desktop.


9. Personalize your emails

According to Accenture, 44% of customers are frustrated by brands who fail to create personalized experiences. This is why tailoring your email marketing to the recipient is crucial.

An email that is not personalized risks doing more harm than good. In one marketing study, 82% of marketing specialists witnessed a substantial increase in opening rates when they leveraged the power of personalization.

Eventbrite 2019 year in review personalized email

Eventbrite sends these personalized emails with reports on how successful their users' events have been during the past year. This type of personalized content can also be a great way to encourage social sharing and engagement within a team, multiplying the effect of your emails.


10. Segment your email marketing

Segmenting your email list enables you to get the right message to the right buyer persona at the right time in their buyer journey. And that is crucial for increasing conversions.

To send segmented emails that are most likely to convert, first integrate your email and marketing software with your CRM and other sources of customer data.

This gives you a 360-degree view of your contacts everywhere, including your email marketing platform. It's then easier than ever to send highly personalized emails based on your contacts' groups, memberships and other properties.

Better data means better email engagement

Email communications are one of the most effective ways that you can reach out to customers and prospects. But keeping your emailing lists up-to-date - and ensuring that they have the quality data needed for you to be able to personalize communications - can be challenging.

That’s where PieSync steps in: we sync the contact databases across your app stack, so you’re always working with fully enriched, up-to-date and relevant data.

What is iPaaS


Sync contact data across your tech stack to enrich every app

When you start using PieSync, connecting your email marketing tool with your CRM is likely have the quickest impact on your email engagement.

With your CRM and email tool in a two-way sync, you can automatically send recent subscribers and leads to your email tool. You can also sync extra data for better segmentation of your marketing and nurturing campaigns, plus easy personalized outreach in every email.

At the same time, you can merge marketing qualified leads (MQLs) back to your CRM with updated data for sales to work with - all without overwriting existing data.

Here's an example of a connection between Copper CRM and Mailchimp to keep both apps in sync:

Sync Copper and Mailchimp with PieSync


As it's set up to only sync leads with the tag "Customer", this guarantees only the right contacts are added based on the user's preferences.

Check the full list of apps you can connect with PieSync here, including the most popular email marketing apps and CRMs.

With PieSync, keeping your marketing, sales and support teams on the same page is as easy as pie. Everyone has access to the same data, and with a two-way sync, all of the latest changes are synced in both directions for the most reliable and consistent database that's free of duplicates.

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.