Having an email list alone does not translate into leads or conversions — you have to have an engaged set of email subscribers that are receptive to your messaging for the long haul.  This engaged list will make a purchase, again and again, if you follow these 12 tips to boost and retain engagement.

1. Update Your Welcome Email Series

Your welcome Email is your first chance to grab your reader’s attention and set the tone for all future communication. Almost seventy-five percent (74.4%) of new subscribers expect a welcome email after signing up to receive a newsletter. According to 2015 State of Marketing Report published by Salesforce, only 42% of organizations currently use welcome emails. Welcome messages are opened more than any other type of email – use this opportunity to captivate your audience before their attention fades and present your brand as well as the subscriber benefits. We highly recommend creating a Welcome Email Series drip campaign of 3 to 5 emails to drive even higher engagement.

Update Your Welcome Email Series2. Segment Your Email Lists

Segmenting like-minded customers lets you personalize and target emails and offers to better engage your audience. Some popular criteria for segmentation include location (by state or zip code), customer type (purchaser vs prospect OR past donor vs subscriber that hasn’t donated), or job title (C-level vs Mid-level). In order to segment, you have to capture this information in your email signup. An offer or content that is relevant to an individual’s needs and past interactions with your organization will receive more clicks (opens are generally almost 15% higher when segmented), and ultimately more sales leads and greater revenue. Finally, consider sending a follow-up email to those that open or click the original campaign email.

Email List Segmentation by Merge Field3. Offer an Exclusive Download in the Confirmation Email

Offering exclusive benefits will increase customer’s engagement with the brand and encourage them to sign up for your email list. Now is the time to offer an exclusive call-to-action as welcome email have up to 9 times higher click-thru rates than the average email. Exclusive downloads give your audience insight into your expertise and continue the customer lifecycle.

Confirmation Email4. Use Subject Line & Preview Line Hacks in Your Emails

Before you can wow readers with content, you need them to open your Email. Subject lines and previews serve as first impressions and set the tone for every message. They should attract attention while also provoking curiosity. Try creating intrigue, excitement, or a sense of urgency. Conversational tone works very well.

Effective Email Subject Lines5. Optimize for Mobile

Email is swiftly transitioning from a desktop to mobile environment. More than 80% of openers will send your ugly non-responsive email to the circular file. A messy, distorted email is easy to ignore, so you need to be sure your messages look good on any device. Use metrics to find out how much of your audience is opening your emails on mobile devices and adjust accordingly.

Mobile Responsiveness for Email

6. Set a Goal & CTA for Every Email

In order to get the best results and effectively influence your audience, each email needs to have a clear objective. Set goals and CTAs to focus and motivate your campaign and better measure your results with each new strategy.

evernote welcome emailEvernote Welcome EmailHere’s another example from Hourglass Angel using a preview line hack and intriguing subject line for abandoned cart subscriber:

Abandoned Cart Email Subject Line & Preview Hack

7. Analyze Results & Adjust

Analytics will give you insight into how many click-throughs, openings, reopenings, bounces, unsubscribes you received for each email and overall.  Use this data to drive changes to future emails — including content and design.

Email Analytics

8. Have Consistent E-Mail Branding & Design

Email marketing is an amazing opportunity to build your brand identity, which means consistency is key. Create, and stick to, an attractive template for your email campaign. This will keep customers from getting confused and help them associate your brand with all your amazing content.

Branded Email

9. Make CTAs Stand Out & Use a Combo of Text and Button Links

When reading your email, customers should know what it is you want them to do. Calls-to-Action (CTAs) must be obvious and easy to follow, and every aspect of your email should be written with your objective in mind. Making CTAs a text or button link grabs your reader’s attention and further increases click-through rates.

10. Send at Strategic Times

Find out when your customers are most likely to open an email by tracking and segmenting previous opens, using geographical data, and understanding your target’s lifestyle. Experimenting to find the right time frame will keep your emails from getting lost in a full inbox. Here’s an example of some analytics for a small business:

Strategic Email Times

11. Be Respectful & Relevant

Your email campaign should always consider the preferences of your audience. Avoid sending messages too frequently and send genuine emails with content your customers care about. Use Personalized and customized emails to further foster respectful relationships.

Email Frequency - Report

12. Keep it Short & Sweet

People receive dozens of promotional emails each day and are too busy to read dense paragraphs. Get your message across quickly and use creative, concise language to keep customers interested.

Wrap Up: Email Subscriber Engagement Tips

Improve your email campaign performance and lead conversion by sending the right message to the right audience at the right time.

How have you improved performance in your email campaigns?