Four Ways to Build Email Engagement


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woman working on computer to boost email engagement
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Are your emails not getting the attention you think they deserve? Read on to learn four simple ways to build more email engagement and increase your conversions.

Chances are, if you have strong loyalty to a particular company, it’s because of the brand’s concerted effort to engage you over time. An initial spark was nurtured into a flame. Email marketers with repeat customers who consider themselves “fans” generally engage with your emails even when they’re not looking to buy. Engagement is paramount to any email marketing success.

So how do you build engagement through email? Read on as we explore four ways to grow your email engagement so you can turn subscribers into customers.

Grow email engagement by finding out about your customers

Knowledge of customers is crucial if you want to make strides with your email engagement. Successful email marketers understand that your best opportunities are always with people you know about.

What information should you catalog about your subscribers? As much as you can! “You can find out certain things at their initial signup,” said Flavus Porumb, CEO of Pubconcierge. “From there, you can find out more about them. Ask them questions and also, document their journey with your company to learn more about their purchasing behaviors” Most email marketers say that surveys are an excellent source of information. While they don’t immediately boost ROI, they provide you with useful insights you can use to boost conversions.

As you obtain more information about your subscribers, you can begin segmenting your database and craft emails specifically with their needs and preferences in mind. Not everyone who gets your emails is alike, so you don’t necessarily want to send everybody the same content.

However, you’ll find that learning about the people on your list can be fascinating as you observe different patterns and commonalities. It’s a good idea to look at all this with much wonder. Your customers and prospects are interesting, so dig into who they are.

Encourage your subscribers to reply often and write them back

Occasionally, email marketers will lament about having an email address that accepts replies. They’ll say, “But people keep writing to us.” Your customers are emailing you? “I’m sorry, is that a problem?” said Tom Kulzer, founder and CEO of AWeber.

The email pro went on: “You don’t want to talk to your customers, you just want their dollars?” Kulzer makes a good point. You should never think of a customer as a nuisance or obligation. Foremost, you’re there to listen to them.

Nobody likes a one-way shouting match. Your emails should be conversational and always end or begin with an invitation to reply. So be genuinely intrigued by what people will say. Above all else, don’t neglect to respond. Always invite dialogue. Let the readers know how much you appreciate them taking the time to write back.

This back-and-forth is excellent for your engagement. The higher your engagement, the more likely you will end up in the inbox instead of landing in the spam folder. No email marketer with even a rudimentary understanding of email wants to hit the spam folder. It says bad things about your brand when you’re not in the inbox. It’s a blow to legitimacy.

Only allow real, valid email addresses on your email list

This may seem strange if you are new to email marketing or don’t know much about email data decay. There are so many invalid or harmful email addresses floating around the internet that you always have to work at keeping your sender reputation on the up and up. There’s even a ranking called sending score, which separates the good senders from the bad.

Remember how we talked about those emails that start landing in the spam folder? “That’s usually because Internet Service Providers (ISPs) started to group you with all of the illegitimate email senders. Yes, they think you’re a spammer,” says email deliverability expert Brian Minick, COO of ZeroBounce. Every email marketer with a tarnished sender reputation will start to have their emails going into the junk folder. It’s far easier to prevent this eroding of your reputation than to dig yourself out of a hole.

When you know what is at stake, you implement a program that keeps your email list clean and ensures you aren’t on blacklists. Therefore, you must find an email validation service that identifies invalid and undesirable email addresses so they won’t hurt you. It’s also critical to guard all of your forms that collect email addresses. You should set up an email validation API so your freshly cleaned email list doesn’t collect bad data. Say goodbye to your engagement if you do!

Increase email engagement by giving more than taking

You shouldn’t always be taking. That applies to both business and your personal life. Some email newsletters are like a broken record. They feel like yet another attempt at getting something from you. You see an email from a certain brand, and you want to feel for your wallet instinctively.

So, if you want to build email engagement, don’t be a taker. Instead, strive to make your emails about what you can give to your readers. Are you trying to be of service? Do you have a meaningful mission statement? Don’t forget about all of that when you send out your emails.

Some people think their email newsletters are an abstract extension of their company that isn’t as personal. Talk about a mistake. You’re reaching people where they are – where they live. The inbox is very personal and you should treat it like the privilege that it is.

Don’t cheapen this personal connection you have. If you do, your engagement will suffer. Nobody wants to feel like they’re merely a piece of data on a spreadsheet. Keep in mind you’re reaching human beings with your emails. Be generous to them.

Scam and spam rhyme for a reason. Think about the nature of spam. It’s people selling garbage or trying to scam you out of money. Generous emails build engagement because they’re as far away from spam as possible.

If you want engagement, provide your subscribers with emails they want to open because they offer something. Then, your readers will be happy, and so will you.

Liviu Tanase
Liviu Tanase is the founder and CEO of email validation, deliverability, and email finding company ZeroBounce. As a serial entrepreneur, he founded five companies and has participated in three exits creating quadruple-digit returns. Liviu writes about digital marketing and technology, focusing on email communication. His goal is to help make email marketing work for your business.


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