7 tips to boost your email marketing engagement

Steve White 5 mins

Number 7

It’s no secret that email marketing can be a great tool for engaging your audience. Here are 7 tips to boost your engagement rates.

1. Know your audience

You can’t expect your subscribers to engage with your content if you don’t even know who they are. The first step in building engagement is getting to know them on a personal level.

The more you know about your audience, the better equipped you’ll be to create content that resonates and drives action. After all, if you don’t understand what drives them and what they want from their email marketing experience, there’s no way for you to make it better!

To get started on this process, take some time to look at all of the information (and data) that has already been collected about the people who have signed up for your emails:

  • Demographics—Age range, gender data and so forth;
  • Interests—What kind of products do they tend to buy? What type of websites do they visit most often? Do they prefer watching videos or reading blog posts? Are there particular brands that are important to them or does one specific company stand out over all others when it comes down making buying decisions;
  • Pain points—What problems do these consumers face every day – both big ones like “I need something new” but also smaller ones such as “There’s never enough time left at work on Fridays.”

2. Use only the most powerful subject lines

Your subject line is one of the most important parts of your email, so it’s worth spending time crafting a really good one. A good subject line should be short and to-the-point—no more than 50 characters, ideally—and make your offer immediately clear without giving too much away.

Our brilliant, Head of Copy, Stuart Clark has developed a series of kickstart strategies that we use to test different approaches and to maximise performance.

URGENCY – Some people respond to the threat of losing.

Last chance to get 60% OFF – only 24 hours left

BENEFIT – What your prospect can gain, save or accomplish.

Add 10% to your bottom line, just by making these simple tweaks

AVOID NEGATIVE OUTCOME – Help your prospect prevent loss, risk, embarrassment.

The basic mistakes that keep businesses broke

OFFER – Show me the money (off)!

Take 15% OFF one item – your choice!

COMMAND – Start with a verb and demand action.

Think about this, Stuart

LIST – Provide useful info in an easy to digest format.

10 things you need to stop worrying about

TEASER – Incomplete stories invites the recipient to find out more.

Confused, bothered and bewildered

QUESTION – We’re programmed to pause, think and respond to questions.

Stuart, would you like me to just shut up?

TARGETED – Specifically addressing your intended audience.

Back pain?

3. Have a clear call to action in your emails

It doesn’t matter how engaging your email is if the reader can’t figure out what you want them to do. Your call to action (CTA) should be a clear statement of what you want the reader to do, and it should be in the first paragraph of your email. It should also be bolded so that it stands out from the rest of your copy. Finally, it should contain a link or button so that people know exactly where they’re being directed when they click on it.

Again, in “Copywriting for email” we outline tried and tested techniques to encourage action.

4. Write like a human

We all know that emails are an easily accessible form of communication. But with everyone sending so many emails every day, it’s become easy to forget that each one is an opportunity for you to stand out as an individual and connect with your recipients on a personal level. In order to do this, you need to be able to show your personality—and writing like a “human” is essential.

Be friendly and familiar; use contractions and make liberal use of exclamation marks! If you feel comfortable doing so (and this isn’t always the case), let your recipients know that they can contact you directly if there’s anything else they’d like clarity about or if something doesn’t make sense for whatever reason – an excellent tactic for B2B email marketing 🙂

5. Don’t send too many emails…or too few!

Sending too many emails is the same as sending no emails. If you send too many, you’re going to annoy your subscribers and eventually lose them all. That said, sending too few is also a problem: if you never send anything, then people will forget about you or unsubscribe on their own accord.

The best way to decide how often to send emails is by doing some analytics first. Know how many emails are being opened on average per week/month/year and use that data to determine how often (and what type of content) will be best for your audience.

Read Steve White’s blog article on the subject of ‘How Much Is Too Much Email Marketing’.

Steve White, Red C's Managing Director

6. Segmentation is key to higher email engagement rates

Segmentation is the process of dividing a large group of people into smaller groups based on some common characteristic. Email segmentation is based on user behavior, demographic information, and personal information.

Segmenting your audience allows you to send more relevant content to each group so that they are more likely to engage with it. For example, if you are running an email campaign for a tech startup that sells a new product called “The Cube”, you could segment your audience according to their engagement rate with previous campaigns (low engagement: low-value customers; high engagement: high-value customers). Then send different emails based on these segments: one email with an offer for early bird discounts and another that offers expert advice from industry leaders who have already purchased The Cube.

Customer segmentation

7. Don’t send out emails that have an error or outdated content

When you send out an email, you’re not just sending out a piece of content. You’re sending an impression of your brand to your audience. And it’s not just a one-off impression; emails are often sent multiple times over the course of several weeks, months and even years. That’s why it’s important to make sure your emails don’t have any errors or outdated content in them because if they do, those impressions will reflect poorly on your brand.

It’s also important not to send out emails that aren’t relevant to your audience or brand because this can easily turn them off from thinking about doing business with you in the future. Finally, it’s crucial that you don’t send out irrelevant emails because these will only serve as a distraction from what is truly important—your business goals!


Every ecommerce business should be taking extra steps to maximize the impact of their email marketing. By following these tips, you’ll be able to write subject lines and content that gets read, not ignored. Your customers will appreciate the effort it takes to make your emails as valuable as possible, and they’ll also respect that you’re communicating with them in an honest way.


Red C is an email marketing agency who has spent almost two decades working with clients, such as Manchester City Football Club, Eurostar and Dulux.


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