Email marketing tips to boost engagement

Email marketing is one of the most popular ways brands connect with their target audiences – far more so than traditional mail or almost any other marketing channel. But when the average person sends and receives around 121 emails daily, inspiring recipients to open up can be challenging.

You can craft witty, motivating email copy and introduce it all with a catchy subject line, but these aren’t the only ways to boost email engagement. After all, it’s not just the assets in your email marketing that matters.

Here are a few strategies to connect with your audience via email beyond just what’s on the page.

Give empathy a go

As the world of email marketing becomes increasingly focused on open rates and click-through rates, it can be easy to think solely of marketing dashboards and statistics. But it’s important to remember that every email your organization sends out goes to real humans.

Of course, it’s important to analyze data and think about how to optimize your marketing efforts. But this data-driven approach should be paired with a just as essential factor: Empathy.

Empathy is – and always has been – the pillar of a successful marketing campaign. That doesn’t mean that it’s always been put to good use. Think about the onslaught of marketing emails we all received after the onset of the pandemic that all used the phrase “unprecedented times –” some with more empathy (and more success) than others. More than three years after the first days of the pandemic, consumers are savvy about mass messaging and meaningless or opportunistic expressions of shared grief.

However, as humans, we all still need – and crave – genuine empathy. While emotionally manipulative email campaigns come across as insincere, authentic empathy can help foster a long-term connection between you and the real people opening your emails.

Here are some considerations to ponder for your future email marketing campaigns:

  • Look beyond the data. There may be a discrepancy between what your customers want and what the qualitative data tells you. So, while survey data may be helpful, you should also look directly at user behavior and compare the two. Add interactivity to discover more about your customers’ browsing patterns and shopping behaviors.
  • Put customers in the driver’s seat. Brands give the power back to customers (and show genuine empathy) through opt-outs. For some, holidays like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day might bring up difficult emotions, so many major brands allow their email recipients to opt out of these campaigns. When paired with thoughtful, considerate messaging, this can show the people on your email list that you are thinking of what’s best for them. Allowing customers to choose how they want to interact with your brand is a genuine act of empathy.

Further proof that this idea works? When one luggage brand sent out the option to opt out of Mother’s and Father’s Day emails, 4,000 email subscribers chose to do so – and 250 subscribers even sent emails back, sharing their gratitude for their thoughtfulness. 

  • Make use of your visuals. Consumers today are smart; they pick up on insincere photos and stock images. You can use the visual design of your emails to set the tone and amplify your message. While it’s best to avoid images that perpetuate toxic positivity or sappy, greeting card-like visuals, you can use the images in your emails to show that you understand a wide range of perspectives and emotions.

Consider agile marketing strategies

Over 40 percent of marketers are taking an agile marketing approach. Agile email marketing is having a significant moment right now – and there’s a good reason. This marketing strategy is designed to be flexible, responsive, and put customer needs first. It uses self-organizing and cross-functional teams that work in short bursts or spurts to stay attuned to customers’ wants. Essentially, it means you can quickly shift or alter your campaigns or marketing strategies to respond to ongoing feedback and analytical data.

Why is this becoming such a popular strategy? Marketers who employ an agile approach are happier and more confident in the outcomes of their initiatives because of benefits like:

  • An improved ability to stay on top of fast-paced work
  • A clearer understanding of how marketing efforts contribute to successes
  • A higher level of confidence in trying new marketing strategies

At its core, agile marketing follows a set list of principles, incorporating values that include:

  • The prioritization of outcome over output: This approach puts your needs and customers’ needs ahead of marketing just for marketing’s sake because everyone agrees to the same outcome before the start.
  • Less focus on perfection: Since you act fast as opportunities arise, there’s less need to make everything perfect the first time. Instead, you hone in on what can be done now, refined later, and what can be executed with simplicity to get going.
  • Embracing data and experimentation: An agile approach is driven by analyzing data as it comes in. This means you have more opportunities to experiment and learn from what works rather than sticking with outdated conventions.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: Eliminating work silos and unifying across departments to foster collaboration is critical – it aligns everyone to work toward the same goals and puts the entire team on a level playing field.
  • Responsive action: An agile approach ebbs and flows to meet changing needs based on the market, customers, and campaign performance.

Marketing tools like digital asset management (DAM) platforms are vital to an agile marketing approach because they eliminate work silos, clarify workflows, and support seamless communication between teams.

Employ email automation

Email automation is the ultimate tool to connect with subscribers right at the moment they are most engaged with your brand. This means that if you’re looking to boost engagement, automation is a can’t-miss strategy.

You can use email automation to send emails regularly based on triggered actions or events. Not only does this help your team by streamlining your entire workflow and ensuring you’re sending messaging on a consistent timeline, but email automation also helps you send emails that are most pertinent to your audiences – at the moment, they are most likely to connect.

You can use email automation for events like:

  • Signing up as a subscriber
  • When someone abandons their cart
  • On a subscriber’s birthday
  • To re-engage after a period of inactivity
  • And any instance when you want to connect based on a particular action, event, or behavior

Email automation doesn’t just increase engagement. It also helps boost retention and conversions since it assures your messaging is always helpful and timely.

Don’t forget about dark mode settings

Chances are, many of your email recipients have their phone settings switched over to dark mode. Dark mode reduces the amount of blue light our eyes take in. It can help with interruptions to melatonin production and a good night’s sleep – and still maintains the minimum color contrast needed to keep things readable. But as a marketer, you should consider how dark mode may impact the look and feel of your emails or create inconsistencies.

Today, more than 300 digital services offer dark mode to cater to consumers who want to limit exposure to blue light – and your customers have come to expect a certain level of readability within this format. This is why previewing your email in dark and light settings is essential – but also consider the different platforms where the people on your email list will be reading your emails. For example, your email will look the same in dark or light mode if a recipient opens it via the Apple Mail app on their phone.

What are some things to keep in mind when it comes to planning for dark mode?

  • Select images that work well for dark and light backgrounds
  • Pick web-accessible colors and check the color contrast of your text
  • Add media queries to make changes to account for dark and light modes

Make BIMI part of your email strategy

Chances are you’ve heard of BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification). But if you haven’t, you’ve witnessed it right in your inbox. BIMI is an emerging security tool marketers use to authenticate emails, instill a sense of trust in their subscribers, and increase overall email engagement.

So, what is it? BIMI is a security-based initiative to display brand logos in an inbox to help consumers avoid fraudulent emails. These logos appear in an inbox next to your message and subject line – an important way to show your subscribers, customers, and contacts (as well as their email services) that a message comes from your brand. Other emails might have a blank space or some generic image or icon, but your BIMI image helps you stand out.

In an instant, BIMI helps your email recipients know and trust that an email comes directly from a legitimate source – not an imposter. And? It increases email open rates.

Consumers don’t have the same general trust in emails the way they did before – and with good reason. In the latter half of 2022, there was a 61 percent increase in phishing attempts compared to the same timeframe the year before. In a time when email-based phishing is at an all-time high, and attacks are growing in frequency and sophistication, BIMI is a useful tool in helping increase trust among your email recipients.

And as a bonus, your BIMI gets you noticed in a crowded inbox. When more than 300 billion emails are sent out every single day, the BIMI icon is a great attention-grabber to get your customers to open your emails.

Your partner in email marketing engagement

At Comosoft, we know that the tools you use to build your marketing campaigns are just as important as what you’re saying – which is why LAGO, our combined product information management (PIM) and digital asset management (DAM) tool, is so essential for crafting personalised and custom emails.

With a combined PIM DAM solution, Comosoft can help you do things like:

  • Enhance email automation workflows with the most updated images and product information
  • Get better metadata on the images you incorporate into your marketing emails to discover which images are most impactful
  • Improve governance for the images your entire team uses in your marketing emails
  • Help you craft more responsive email campaigns by increasing your speed to publish
  • Optimise versioning, proofing, and approval for email campaigns with real-time collaboration
  • Manage and incorporate the most accurate, up-to-date product data

Building an engaging email means working quickly and efficiently, making the most of your assets, and understanding what’s worked well in the past – and Comosoft can help you do just that.