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Email Marketing Essentials: Engagement

We previously discussed the basics of email acquisition and conversion. Now let’s look at how to keep your subscribers engaged with your brand by messaging and targeting subscribers’ interests.

Blog Posts in this Series

Email Marketing — Part 3: Engagement

Your subscribers’ inboxes are often inundated with marketing messages, making it harder to get your subscribers to open, read, and respond to your email campaigns. To stay relevant and enticing, you will need targeted messages that keep your subscribers interacting with your brand and returning to your website. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your subscribers will continue to engage with your brand.

Subscription Preferences

Make sure your emails have a clear and prominent link to your subscription preferences. Allowing subscribers to easily modify the types of email they receive and the frequency which they are delivered.

Content Value

Make sure your marketing messages and headlines are carefully crafted to illustrate the benefits of your emails. Provide a variety of content to your subscribers to keep them interested and reduce the likelihood of unsubscribing.

Personalization and Dynamic Content

By capturing relevant information during the signup process, which could include first/last name and zip code fields, you can customize your headlines and content within your email campaign for each subscriber. Custom messaging could be as simple as including their name or sending an email only to people in a specific zip code where you will be holding an event. Also try leveraging data from previous email click-throughs or customer purchase history, to optimize your content to keep subscribers engaged and improve your email response.


Segmenting your email list into multiple categories allows for better targeting of subscribers. Begin segmenting your subscribers during the email signup process, allowing them to choose which emails they would like to receive. The criteria for segmentation will be different for each company, but they could be based on promotions, events, or frequency of emails. Another consideration for segmenting your email list is by gender, location, or previous open rate.

Triggered Messaging

You have a great opportunity to engage subscribers with relevant messaging based upon subscriber activity. These triggers automatically send messages to re-engage customers if a shopping cart is abandoned or if a subscriber hasn’t opened an email for a specified duration of time.

Transactional Messaging

Keeping customers informed about their account information or purchase status improves the perception of your business and builds trust with your customers. If you are an e-commerce website, you will want to send order status updates, shipping confirmation and customer service emails. These transactional mailings are also a great opportunity to cross-sell or up-sell on a customer’s order.

A/B Testing

To improve the overall performance of your campaigns, it is a good idea to test your messaging periodically. You should test your subject line, call-to-action and design to see which version of your email receives a larger open or response rate. Only one message should be tested at a time to ensure that your data isn’t being skewed by an undetermined factor.

Social Media Sharing

Prominent social sharing buttons encourage subscribers to share your content with their social networks. This increases your brand’s exposure and creates valuable endorsements for your product offering. You may also want to consider adding buttons to follow your company’s social profile as another way to connect with your customer base.

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Ted is a graphic designer and front-end developer who specializes in branding, marketing, and website development.