It’s More than Just a List – Six Tips for Maximizing Email Engagement

You’ve heard it countless times, “The money’s in the list.” While there’s no denying that building an email list is smart and profitable, it’s important to get past this mindset. Otherwise, the focus is on numbers when it really should be on engagement.

Engagement is a simple concept that focuses on connecting with subscribers. When your email campaigns are interesting, relevant, and informative to your subscribers, they are engaging. When subscribers look forward to seeing your messages in their inboxes, they are engaged. In contrast, when your emails are boring, filled with fluff and hype, they are headed for the trash. When subscribers see your messages and instinctively move their fingers toward the Delete key, you’re at risk of being unsubscribed.

Use the following six tips to craft more engaging email campaigns:


  1. Clarify your intentions – What is the purpose of your newsletter? If you don’t know what you intend to do with it, you can’t adequately set expectations or even entice people to subscribe. Whether you intend to offer useful tips, academic research, or discount codes, you need to have a clear vision so that you can explain it to subscribers. Clearly explain what subscribers can look forward to by signing up for your campaign.
  2. Live up to your promise – After clarifying your intentions, live up to them! If subscribers expect to receive useful cleaning tips every week, send them useful cleaning tips every week.
  3. Personalize your mailings – What’s more personable, addressing an email to Mr. James L. Jones or to James? Name validation software makes it easy to extract prefixes, first names, middle initials, last names, and suffixes from a single name field. From there, it’s a simple matter of using your preferred form of address.
  4. Send relevant content – This is closely related to living up to your promise. If your subscribers expect scientific articles dissecting the latest biotech research, don’t send them consumer product reviews or coupon codes to Disneyland. But it goes deeper than simply living up to your initial description. You should know what your subscribers are interested in and serve content that’s relevant. This requires segmenting your list based on interests and demographics. For example, if you have customers in both the northern and southern hemispheres, you may want to segment those groups due to seasonal differences.
  5. Send gentle reminders – Make it easy for customers to order refills, gifts, and other products by sending gentle reminders before holidays or when consumables are likely to need to be replaced. Your subscribers may also be receptive to new product announcements and exclusive discounts. Again, keep your offers relevant.
  6. Maintain your list – Make sure to keep your list clean by removing duplicates and bad email addresses. Use email validation software to automatically detect bogus signups such as “Mickey Mouse” or “John Q. Public.” A well-maintained list will technically be smaller than a bloated one; however, you’ll have a better sense of who your real subscribers are.

Engaging prospects and customers through email is a strategy that works. Understand what you want to accomplish, clarify your intentions, and then live up to your promise.

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