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7 Proven Ways To Increase Email Engagement

11 May 2022
by Force24

Set us a challenge and we’ll delve into it with a fine-tooth comb! In this instance, that’s led to us experimenting with a variety of ways in which we can help you increase your email marketing engagement, with the help of intuitive automation.

The good news is, we’ve plenty of insight to share on our findings to date. So, without further ado, here’s our advice to help you smash your next campaign…

Key takeaway: Writing in a more personalised way that talks directly to your customer makes them more likely to read your email and engage with it.

1. Experiment With Your Subject Lines

The subject line is the first decision-maker for your audience to determine whether it’s worth opening or deleting - so it’s crucial to nail this first step.

Our advice is to A/B test your subject lines to see what works best for open rates. And when it comes to knowing what makes a good subject line, it’s important to make your subject line trigger certain emotions. So make them:

  • Humorous and fun

  • Feel an urgency to act/FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) 

  • Curious

  • Feel like it’s personal to their behaviour

Some examples:

“Just checking in, [first name]...”

‘’Is this you/ yours?”

“Did you get my last email?”

“Your problem is resolved.”

“Did you think this too?”

“That’s what they said…”’

“Did you click for some more?”

“There’s not much time left…”’

“What’s the hold-up?”

“What floats your boat?”

“From us to you...”

“Is this worth clicking..?”

“Swipe right if you like this...”

“AI told us you liked this…” 

“Not long to go before [xxx]…”

“Claim it’s yours before it’s gone!”

“10 seconds to tell us…”

“Trust me. You DON’T want to miss this!”

“5 BIGGEST mistakes to avoid”

“ The myth has been answered”

“Shhhh…you didn’t hear this from me”

2. Don’t Forget About Your Pre-header

The preheader text/preview line is a snippet of text that follows the subject lines. It helps the audience see what your email is about. 

Here’s a snapshot below of what your message may look like from a customer’s inbox. Many brands use the preheader section to help increase their open rates with engaging hooks. You’ll see here that many have tapped into the emotions that recipients could feel when they interact with their email. 

3. Optimise Your CTAs

Remember, each email sent should serve one purpose only. 

Excessive CTA usage can put off audiences and you may not be able to capture the goal of the entire email. Spam filters can also filter out email that contains lots of links as promotion/spam emails, so use your CTA strategically!

You should ask yourself, what do you want the audience to do in this email?

Is it to buy, to read more, to learn, to refer, or to sign up? Choose ONE only. 

Write and test your CTA wording to see what works best to gain more engagement and measure your success with each CTA. Here’s an example below…

4. Keep Your Emails Short And Sweet

The audience usually gives 10 seconds to skim read an email to see if anything is captivating for them to act on. That’s why your context and layout of the email are both crucial for them to decide its worthiness.

Check your image to text ratio - we recommend 80:20 (text to images) as the ideal email to deliver adequate information and interest.


Images are a powerful tool in any marketing strategy. They can capture attention, help tell a story, and create a connection with your audience.

But there’s one thing images aren’t great at: getting past mail filters.

Without text to explain what the email is about - and why it’s important to the recipient - filters put your message in the promotions folder (or worse, in junk!)

Always send a test email to see how the email renders in different mailboxes. You can also check how your content looks with Force24’s email preview functionality. Go through the list of common devices and browsers and see how it renders in reality.

5. Be Authentic In Your Copy

Simply be yourself and win your audience over by sticking to everything your company is about.

Your tone of voice and how you wish to represent the brand is key if both customers and prospects are going to truly buy into what your brand stands for and why they should trust your advice.

Read your copy aloud as you write - this helps you relate to how your audience feels when they read your email.

Keep it as simple, clear and concise as possible too - nobody wants to read heavy chunks of paragraphs filled with boring corporate jargon or something that’s telling them to buy, buy, buy.

Make sure your personality shines through and use keywords to trigger those all-important emotions to act - think about how you can make your content uplifting or have a sense of urgency. Maybe they could be inspiring and/or educative.

6. Personalise Your Emails

Studies have shown that using personalisation in emails increases open and click rates by 52% - so trust in the power of personalisation. Tailor your content to make the audience feel like your message is directly for them only.

Consumers prefer to receive hyper-personalised communications that centre on their of-the-moment interests and online behaviours. You can tap into this via marketing automation to leverage customer data and utilise the insight to connect with every individual in a way they want to be spoken to, and about a topic they’ll engage with.

If you haven’t collected data to leverage personalisation, here are a few ways to do so:

  • Collect their name upon email sign up

  • Conduct a short survey/questionnaire form

  • Allow them to manage their subscription preference

  • Allow the recipient to fill in their data upon transaction/subscription

  • Create captivating campaigns/competitions/giveaways to collect necessary data

7. Test, Test, And Test Some More!

You should always experiment and conduct AB testing to see what your audience is most likely to engage with.

Remember to only choose one factor to AB test your campaigns - whether that’s the subject line, image, length of text, layout, and so on.

You can utilise Force24’s Genius Blocks and present dynamic content for different marketing lists and see what works well, and what doesn’t/

Finally, monitor your open and clicks in your subsequent reports and see when and where your audiences are opening and clicking. The more AB tests you conduct, the more insight you can learn from each campaign send.

Want to discover more ways to supercharge your marketing communications and email engagement? Find out more about our award-winning Force24 platform by calling: 0845 272 5990 or emailing: info@force24.co.uk.



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