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14 Tips to Help You Improve Your Email Engagement Rates

Thoughts by Gracija Atanasovska • Writer Bento

Did you know that worldwide, people send and receive about 294 billion emails daily?

That means that one person receives, on average, 122 emails every day, which, as you might agree, are a lot of emails to be receiving on a daily basis!

Even though email marketing is still one of the best marketing strategies, about 35% of the emails sent daily will remain unread.

So, how do you make your emails stand out from the rest and convince your subscribers to click?

To help you in this endeavor, we’ve compiled a list of 14 actionable tips that’ll help you boost the impact of the emails you send and improve your email engagement rates. But first, let’s briefly touch upon what email engagement rates are.

What are Email Engagement Rates?

Email engagement is a metric that tells you how your subscribers interact with the emails you send them. Different metrics comprise the email engagement rate metric, such as conversion rates, click rates, and open rates, and it’s up to you to optimize and personalize your email campaign to encourage your subscribers to engage.

Let’s see what you can do to achieve that.

14 Tips for Improving Your Email Engagement Rates

Without further ado, let's go over some actionable tips to prevent your emails from ending up in the trash can or just forgotten in the depths of the inbox folder.

1. Personalize the Emails You Send

People want to feel special and be recognized for the unique individuals that they are. This is why using your subscribers’ data to personalize your emails is an effective strategy, and 84% of consumers agree that personalized emails have a higher chance to encourage them to buy a product or sign up for a service. And personalization nowadays goes beyond just using your subscribers’ names in the emails. It’s also about creating relevant content, using humor, segmenting your lists, offering specific product recommendations, congratulating birthdays and other personal anniversaries, celebrating your subscribers’ achievements, and more, so start collecting your subscribers’ data today.

2. Write Compelling & Useful Information

To create an email copy that converts, it must provide some value to your subscribers. This ranges from including useful information and educational content like how-to guides and step-by-step videos, free gift offers, a discount code, an entry for a contest or a giveaway, and so on. As we already mentioned, this is possible by segmenting your contact lists so you can send personalized emails to specific audiences. And, of course, don’t forget to craft an eye-catching subject line.

3. Leverage Social Proof

Adding social proof to your marketing campaign not only gives it more relevance and credibility, but it also aids your customers/subscribers in making a better, more informed decision.

Social proof can come in the form of testimonials, name-dropping (like if you have a famous subscriber on your list), statistical data (like how many subscribers use or like the services that you offer, or items that they’ve bought and reviewed), product reviews, and so on.

4. Make Your Campaigns More Animated With GIFs and Videos

Animated campaigns make it easier to grab your subscribers’ attention. It’s simple biology, our brain diverts attention to the elements that move; out of curiosity or out of fear of danger, we are programmed to look at moving objects.

You can easily implement animation in your email campaigns nowadays by using GIFs, videos, or rotating photos. Just make sure not to make them too heavy for the email message to bear.

5. Use CTAs (Calls to Action)

CTAs are phrases that are supposed to persuade a customer or a subscriber to do something, and the way they’re formulated depends on the type of business you have or the services your offer.

If they’re done right, they can do a great job at incentivizing a customer to make a purchase, subscribe, connect to other people, and use that 20% off coupon. Some examples of CTAs are: “Learn more”, “Subscribe to our newsletter/blog”, “Use 20% off”, “Sign up”, “Activate free trial”, “Try it out” and many, many more.

6. Help Your Customers Out

One of the things customers value most is when a brand helps them save time, energy, and money.

This might mean offering product guides after they’ve made a purchase, reminding them about items they’ve abandoned in their carts or about renewing their subscription, sending a follow-up email, and so on.

7. Redesign Your Email Templates (If Necessary)

If you notice stagnant engagement rates, maybe it’s time to revamp your email templates. While your emails should have a professional look, they should also be simple and easy to read and have an attractive design. We recommend using pre-made templates or drag and drop editors to make them more unique and true to your brand. Don’t be afraid to use bold colors, interesting fonts (that correspond with your brand logo and overall aesthetic), infographics and charts, other visuals, and anything else that’ll encourage your subscribers to read your message.

8. Come Up With a Loyalty Program

The customers and subscribers that have stayed with you through thick and thin deserve to be awarded for their loyalty. After all, it’s always better to keep your existing customers than to get new leads, so creating an email campaign that encourages loyal behavior from customers will do you good in the long run.

How can you do this? Well, it depends on your business, of course, but you can start by offering selected customers 5%, 10%, and 20% off for their next subscription or purchase. And you can do this at certain intervals to encourage your subscribers to open the loyalty campaign emails and continue using your services.

9. Make Mobile Responsive Email Campaigns

Last but not least is email responsiveness. Did you know that more than 70% of email users read messages on their smartphones? As you can see, by not optimizing your email campaigns to be mobile responsive, you risk low email engagement numbers and lots of unopened messages.

The content of your messages should look as good on mobile as it does on a regular desktop screen. When crafting an email campaign, pay attention to certain elements so it looks good on mobile, like shorter subject lines, optimized images, CTA placement, etc. If you’re new to this, it’s best to do A/B testing and try out different fonts and resolutions to get to the one that comes out best on different mobile and desktop devices.

10. Send a Welcome Email

Welcome emails have fantastic engagement rates, some of the highest among different email campaigns. One study concluded that they actually have a 42% higher reading rate compared to other types of email, which makes them the perfect opportunity to elevate your engagement rates.

You send welcome emails whenever a new user has registered for your services, which is why you should send them on the same day as the registration.

Make sure that you have a clear and engaging subject line. Even though it’s overused, it’s still a good idea to use “Welcome” in it, so that customers can tell it apart from the other emails in their inboxes. Use the subscriber’s personal name in the greeting of the email, and, if possible, greet them from a personalized “from” name - either a company representative or possibly the founder herself/himself.

The welcome email is a good opportunity to introduce customers to what your company is about, your values, how your products or services work, and why they’re useful and valuable to them. That’s why it’s a good idea to offer some next steps as to what they can do with some of the stuff that you offer.

11. Segment Your Audience

Email segmentation is crucial for a successful personalization process. When you segment your email lists, you divide your subscribers into smaller segments or smaller lists that are based on specific criteria. That way, you can present them with more relevant content.

The segmentation criteria are usually based on subscribers’ geographic location, zip code, time zone, age group, gender, sometimes also the language they prefer using, their purchase history, interests, personality types, lifestyle, birthdays and anniversaries, and specific content that they’ve been interested in while browsing your website.

Segmentation allows you to get to know your audience more deeply, to speak their language and nail their specific interests, and with that better sell your product.

12. Get Rid of Your Cold Subscribers

Cold subscribers are usually called those who don’t often engage with your emails, meaning they haven’t opened them or clicked on them in at least several months. Usually, the threshold is 90 days, aka 3 months, but sometimes cold subscribers can be people who haven’t engaged once with your email for 30 days since the day they registered.

Cleaning cold subscribers from your email list is a good idea because why would you spend time and resources on somebody who doesn’t respond, doesn’t care, and most likely never will? When it comes to email lists, a good quality list is better than a big list. When subscribers are unengaged, they’re also more likely to press that spam button and, with that, decrease your email deliverability.

13. Use FOMO to Your Advantage

FOMO, short for “fear of missing out", is a type of marketing strategy in which you draw attention to your offers and your business by making people feel a certain way. Usually, it has to do with feeling included, belonging to something bigger and more important, something they absolutely cannot miss because there might not be such an opportunity in the future.

As you can see, the idea is that your customers take immediate action and make fast decisions. You can use FOMO in different ways as part of your email engagement efforts. You can send them one-time-only offers, limited-time offers, first-time user freebies, flash sales, seasonal sales, abandoned cart emails, back-in-stock notices, and the like.

14. Run an A/B Test

A/B tests are important in email marketing because you can try out different variations of your email campaigns for different subscribers. The results will tell you which variation of the email campaign gives the best results to which group. As you can see, A/B tests can also contribute quite a lot when it comes to personalization.

You can test the length and effectiveness of your subject lines and email copy, the word order, the visuals that you use, the design and style of your email, the overall tone of the email, and very importantly - the CTA button.


We hope that our tips will help you improve your email engagement rates so that you have a successful email marketing campaign.

And if all else fails, consider cleaning your lists. It might just be that your customers have moved on to a new address, have signed up to get something for free, or have just lost interest in your services altogether.

You have to remember, however, that you can’t raise your email engagement rates in a few days, even if you apply everything that we talked about. It’s a long-term strategy that requires patience and learning from your mistakes, so analyze your metrics and you’ll see what works best over time.