Increasing email engagement and your click-to-open rate goes hand in hand. How likely is an unengaged reader going to click on links inside your email. Worse, if they’re not enthused about the content you have been sending, they will become super unengaged and won’t even open your email.
We don’t want that to happen to you. That’s why we’ve put together 9 tips for increasing email engagement. These tips should give your click-to-open rate (CTOR) a shot in the arm too.
What is Email Engagement?
Engaging emails keep your audience happy. They are engaged, it’s as simple as that. These people want you to keep providing them with something. The stuff making them happy. That could range from:
- Sales notices
- Daily wisdom
- Book launches
If you pay attention, you will know which emails are making them the happiest. More on that coming up.
As for the other side of the coin, people on your list who don’t open your emails are not engaged. They are not overjoyed you even emailed them. And if they don’t open them for a while, your future emails can slide into their “promotions tab” because their inbox could automatically put your messages there.
What is Click-To-Open Rate? →CTOR
Now, if you are engaging your readers, you should see lots of clicks from them. And with your email service platform (ESP) you’ll be able to see this in the analytic reports. You can keep an eye on opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and CTOR.
Your CTOR is a simple formula → Unique Clicks divided by Unique Opens x 100.
Quickie example → 50 Unique Clicks (no way!) divided by 100 Unique Opens. Equals 50% click-to-open rate. Just an example, folks.
*Keep in mind, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection can distort your open stats.
Tip Time (9 – Some You Can Even Use Today)
#9 Avoid Deletion
That sounds simple. And you may think a perfect subject line will prevent deletion. But you don’t know that for sure. What you can know for sure is when emails are getting deleted in grim fashion, one after another.
That time is now known. It’s right before email readers start to read emails they want to read and have time for. Inbox Mailers discover this predictable pattern by running millions of test email sends. You can put this tip in action today and keep your emails safe from mass deletion.
Because deletion means no clicks, no engagement, no conversions either.
#8 Find Meaning in Your Metrics
Just because Apple has made open rates murky, doesn’t mean you can’t find tons of helpful insights in your ESP metrics. You can still depend on click data, downloads, and purchases.
- Are people taking your surveys?
- Do they hit the reply button when you ask them for direct feedback?
- Are they leaving comments / reviews on content your emails drive them to?
Data is everywhere and with new privacy rules and tech to protect it, you have to be more creative and put on your detective hat. Don’t forget to compare data and consider the hidden meaning behind some of it.
Ex. Readers may love your ebook but may not click because it’s at the end of the email. Or a button link would have been better than text links.
#7 Do What Marvel Films Do
It’s amazing how many email marketers don’t do the most obvious thing to boost engagement and click-to-open rates. They fail to give their fans / followers / audience what they want.
Marvel Studios puts out predictable films, right? Hero vs. Villain. Many Heroes vs. Many Villains. Heroes in Different Dimensions vs. Villains in Different Dimensions. They give fans what they want. And it works. Why deviate when it works so well?
Use your metrics to make this happen. Today you can locate your most clicked email you sent this year. That’s valuable.
#6 Are Some Links Repelling Clicks?
In the same realm as giving an audience what they want, avoid pushing things on them they don’t want. Your CTOR will suffer and so will your email engagement. If you have an awesome webinar (I’m sure it is) but no one clicks to watch it or sign up, then consider a change.
- Change the CTA
- Change webinar title
- Make webinar shorter (please☺)
Test then test some more. But kill your darlings as Stephen King says. It’s possible a simple PDF guide will intrigue busy subscribers more than a webinar. Some of the best offers ever just don’t work. No rhyme or reason. Yet, alternatives always exist.
Look at links that have been shunned in your recent campaigns and do some tests / chopping.
#5 Clicks / Engagement Depend on Email Type
This quick tip may not be obvious to all. If it is, slide to #4.
If you only send promotional emails, it’s easy to compare CTOR and how much your readers like what you’re sending them. Most of you are sending at least a couple different types of email campaigns though. The range could include:
- Informative content
- Follow-ups post-purchase
Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples with your analytics. Your newsletter may have ten links and your sales blast may have one, for example. And welcome emails naturally get opened more than other forms of email (8 out of 10 people open them).
*Also → Welcome emails bring 320% more revenue per email
#4 Link Link Link…
An easy tip to try today is to cut down on the links you put in your next email. Show me a subscriber who clicks on every link and I’ll show you someone with a dangerous level of free time!
So, test your editorial email using half the normal links. Fewer options for busy readers may direct them to the most important links you insert. Test to find out.
#3 Move Key Messages Around
Location matters. You may have heard that one with real estate, huh? But inside an email, it may not occur to you.
- Why are you putting your most important message at the end of the email?
- Would it work better at the start or middle?
- Does your message flow or stumble?
Those aspects can keep your followers from taking the action you’d like them to take. It can cost you clicks. And even lead to unsubscribes. Think about your email reading habits. How often do you read the first paragraph and bail out? Or skip to the PS at the end?
#2 Fight the Urge (and be glad you did)
If you don’t enjoy the actual writing of emails, you may be a little stiff. And robotic content that doesn’t connect with flesh-n-blood humans will run them off. They have lots of content options available, as you know all too well.
So make the effort to be real. Be human. And write like one. We have a great in-depth post on doing that. Check it out here and fight the urge to “sound” how you think an email marketer should sound. Do you. Write as only you can.
This is another today-tip you don’t have to wait on – practice your natural writing tone before the sun sets.
#1 Design and Mobile
If you read your email on desktop or laptop you may not know this. But people read emails on their mobile devices. Lots. HubSpot reports the majority of email views come from mobile devices (41%),
People are engaging with their phones. Are you making it easy for them to consume your emails on phones? Or are your emails full of monstrous blocks of terrifying text? Just asking.
Also, watch for these mistakes that can lower your click-to-open rate.
- Hard-to-click links (one-word links)
- Micro buttons (blow them up)
- Tough to read (test on your phone, not the mobile preview on a 32-in. screen)
You have gulped down 9 solid tips to boost your email engagement as well as the click-to-open rate. Action comes next. And I suggest focusing on the tips that are noted as usable today.
No time like the present.
Remember to give your audience what they want and make it easy to read what they want. Avoid bland messages and the mass delete chopping block. Take time to test design, word length and section locations, while remembering mobile email is the rule, not the exception.
For more email marketing and deliverability tips, take advantage of the Inbox Hacking Newsletter. It’s fun, informative, and Free to good emailers like you.