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Jun 22, 2017

7 Ways to Boost Engagement with Your Email Marketing Campaign

Ready to make email work for you? Here are seven ways to boost customer engagement and get your email marketing campaign back on track.

It’s no secret that email is one of the most powerful marketing channels for eCommerce marketers. Whether you’re trying to build meaningful relationships with customers, generate buzz over a new product, or increase sales, email is the clear winner for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB).

You’ve probably heard this all before, which is why it’s incredibly frustrating when you notice a lack of engagement from your email subscribers. What’s going on?

No matter what the goal of your email campaign is, it’s destined to fail if your subscribers are unengaged with your brand. The good news is that you can easily reignite engagement with your email campaign and obtain that ROI you were promised.

Ready to make email marketing work for you? Here are seven ways to boost engagement and get your email campaign back on track:

1. Ask for Audience Feedback
What do your customers want from your business? This is the holy grail of marketing questions. The only problem is that marketers currently struggle when answering this question correctly.
A recent report from Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that click-through rates have decreased by 22 percent over the last two years. If no one bothers to click on your email’s content, then this is a clear indicator that your offer isn’t resonating with consumers.

To better understand your customers, why not simply ask them what they want from your emails? You might be surprised at how many of your subscribers are willing to give their honest opinions.

Start Collecting Audience Feedback
One of the best ways to engage with your email list and get valuable feedback from them is by sending them surveys. Using online survey providers such as Survey Monkey and Google Forms, you can easily create surveys and send them to your email list.

Of course, the hardest part is deciding which questions to ask. If your goal is to increase engagement among your email subscribers, consider asking what their preferred email frequency is and what type of emails they want to receive. You can even add a text box for any additional comments they may want to provide.

Keeping it short and sweet will result in more responses. Just a few simple questions can help you build a more effective email campaign that keeps your subscribers engaged.

2. Start a Replenishment Campaign
Imagine that your customer purchases a bottle of shampoo from your business. They are almost out of the product when they receive a helpful email reminding them to reorder soon. Not only is the customer grateful for the reminder, but you just increased your likelihood of earning repeat business.

This is called a replenishment campaign, and these campaigns rely on triggered emails to drive clicks, conversions, and sales. Whether your product needs to be replaced within weeks or months, you should be taking advantage of this by sending reorder messages through your marketing automation solution.  

Know When Your Product Needs to Be Replenished
To begin sending replenishment emails, you first need a rough estimate of how quickly your customers go through a product. To establish a baseline, you might consider surveying your audience and offer them a discount in exchange for this information.

Set Up Triggered Emails
The next step is to set up triggered emails that will be sent a certain length of time after the initial purchase. The first email should be sent at least a few days before the customer is projected to run out of the product. Remember to make it incredibly easy to reorder directly from your email so that the customer can go straight to the checkout!

Enhance Your Replenishment Campaign
Replenishment campaigns are great for driving repeat purchases, but they can also provide excellent cross-selling opportunities. In your reorder reminder emails, add personalized suggestions for products that your customer may also be interested in to increase your average order value.

3. Give Them the VIP Treatment
Consumer inboxes are inundated with emails, which makes it extra rewarding to know that they signed up to receive your newsletter. Now, it’s your turn to make them feel special.

You can make your subscribers feel like they’re getting VIP treatment by sending them exclusive deals, access to member-only content, and sneak peeks at upcoming products. To enhance this feeling, create exclusive content for them that can only be found in your newsletter.

Remember to emphasize that these exclusive perks are reserved only for email subscribers. In your email copy, you can work this into your headlines with phrases such as “A Sale Just for You” or “For VIP Members ONLY (Psst … That’s You!).”

Teasing with these exclusive deals on social media can also make current subscribers feel special while making non-subscribers consider opting-in to your newsletter. Simply put, give your loyal subscribers what they deserve, and you’ll be rewarded with higher engagement and conversions.

4. Win-Back Abandoned Shopping Carts
Maybe your click-throughs are high, but do these clicks turn into sales? For most eCommerce retailers, increasing revenue is the primary goal behind their email marketing campaigns. If the consumer loses interest during the checkout process, that could be a lost sale down the drain.

With an effective email recovery campaign, you can re-engage shoppers and bring them back to complete a purchase. These lost shoppers add up over time. If your eCommerce business makes $10,000 per month in online revenue, winning back just 10 percent of lost sales can result in an extra $12,000 per year!

To avoid losing precious sales, it’s essential to set up abandoned shopping cart emails. With a robust marketing automation platform, you can immediately begin sending triggered emails that re-engage shoppers and win-back sales.

How to Set Up Abandoned Cart Emails
Most advanced marketing automation systems have built-in features that allow you to easily create and send abandoned cart emails. However, you will most likely have the ability to customize them as you see fit.

For a highly-effective email recovery campaign, it’s recommended that you send no more than three emails. The first email is a helpful reminder, the second is a gentle push toward completing the sale, and the third is a last-ditch attempt to convert the consumer.

Note how long you wait until you send your recovery emails and test to gauge which time lengths seem to result in more conversions. If consumers convert more when you wait a day, as opposed to an hour, then this will help you fine-tune your campaigns for increased sales.

5. Implement a Re-engagement Strategy
Despite testing your headlines and changing up your email content, your subscribers still aren’t engaged. Before you decide to remove these unengaged subscribers from your email list for good, it’s time to use a few re-engagement tactics to rekindle their interest.

A re-engagement strategy is extremely beneficial to your email marketing campaign for a few reasons. First, it can have immediate results by generating quick sales and strengthening your relationships with your subscribers.

More importantly, a re-engagement campaign identifies those who are still interested in hearing from you. Those who aren’t paying attention to you anymore can be removed, which helps keep your email list clean.

Re-engagement Versus Win-Back
Since we previously mentioned win-back emails, let’s quickly clarify how they differ from re-engagement emails.

A re-engagement email is used to rekindle interest in your brand and grow your relationship with subscribers. Win-back emails are simply meant to drive subscribers toward a purchase after an abandoned sale. This distinction is important because it establishes the goal of your campaign, which helps you create more effective emails.

Identify Reasons for Disengagement
There are many different reasons why people may lose interest in your emails. To launch an effective re-engagement campaign, you should first identify why they aren’t engaged:

  • Are you sending too many emails?
  • Is your content not relevant to them?
  • Were they never interested in the first place?

Once you know why they aren’t interested, you can create a re-engagement strategy that will solve the issue.

Re-Engagement Strategies
There are a few common re-engagement strategies that are used by eCommerce companies. Why? Because they are extremely effective.
One of the most common strategies is to send a re-engagement email with an incentive. In the example below, Shutterfly offers a valuable coupon and sets an expiration date, encouraging the subscriber to act quickly.  

shutterfly email

Another strategy is to ask them to update their preferences. Subscribers may simply be receiving too many emails, in which case it’s better if you send them fewer emails, rather than have them opt out completely.

6. Improve Email Personalization
The days of email blasts are long gone. Now, marketers need to create personalized experiences for users to keep them engaged. With more marketers recognizing the importance of personalization, consumers now have higher expectations when it comes to targeted email offers and messages.

This means that you need to immediately start improving your emails to reflect each individual subscriber’s interests and behaviors, or risk falling behind the competition.

Personalize by Location and Time
If your subscribers are spread out across time zones, a great way to personalize their experience is by sending them emails according to their location.

By simply segmenting your email list (more on this later), you can send subscribers emails at different times and send them content based on their area. Even a simple change of your background image can be a form of personalization.

Celebrate Important Milestones
Remember when your coworker remembered your birthday when no one else did at work? It felt good, didn’t it? You can give your subscribers a similar experience by celebrating important milestones with them.

For example, you could send them a special anniversary email with a discount to celebrate the day they joined your newsletter. You could also celebrate your eCommerce store’s milestones and personally thank them for being part of your success.

Personalize Your Email Campaign’s Landing Pages
Don’t stop at personalizing your emails! You can drive more sales by matching your landing pages to your personalized emails as well.

If you personalize your emails by location, keep this going by creating landing pages based on unique locations. This will add to your reader’s experience and increase your chance of converting them.

7. Segment Your Email List
Email subscribers aren’t all the same. They have different backgrounds and interests, so why do so many marketers treat them all the same?

Achieving higher engagement rates is as simple as segmenting your email campaigns.  Email campaigns that are sent to segmented lists achieve higher opens, clicks, and revenue compared to sending the same email to a single list.

Your subscribers want targeted and relevant content sent to their inboxes. By creating segmented and targeted campaigns, you can make subscribers happy and increase your revenue while you’re at it. Sounds like a win-win, right?

How to Segment Your Email List
With the right marketing automation, you can break down your subscribers by age, gender, industry, geolocation, education level, and so much more.

In fact, you can even create segments based on your customer’s past purchase data, allowing you to craft better email messages that drive more sales.

The Key to Smarter Segmentation
When it comes to segmenting your email list, your data hold all the power. If you want to achieve better results, you need to carve off some time to analyze your data.

Interestingly enough, 64 percent of marketers believe that it’s their duty to collect, but not analyze their data on a daily basis. That needs to change if you plan on utilizing advanced segmentation strategies.

Analyzing your customer’s past purchase behavior can be used to predict future buying behavior. If you know what your customers want before even they realize it, you can continue to delight them and keep them returning to your online store.

Regular data analysis is essential if you want to improve your marketing campaigns. It may seem challenging, at first, but you will be heavily rewarded by pleasing your subscribers and earning more sales.

Final Thoughts
If you are swabbing all your unengaged subscribers from your email list, you could be throwing away valuable customers in the process. Before you pull the plug on them, it’s important that you first try using tactics designed to help boost their engagement. With strategy and technology, you could be a simple fix away from seeing higher engagement and increased sales.

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