Improving engagement with email marketing

Peter Garrett

DATE: 2nd March 2020
CATEGORY: acquisition
TAGS: email marketing, marketing strategy
AUTHOR: Peter Garrett

Developing relationships

Email marketing is primarily used for engagement, lead generation, sales and nurturing. Contrary to reports that the days of email marketing were numbered, it remains the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences (Word Stream) and 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel for revenue generation.

So how can email marketing help you achieve your sales goals? With a clear understanding of your objectives and knowledge of your prospects and customer base, Serenity Digital can help you use email marketing to dramatically boost your return on investment.

A one-size-fits-all approach

According to the DMA, marketers face some common issues when trying to incorporate email into their marketing plans. These include a lack of strategy, and the fact that they find content a limiting factor with a quarter citing this as a problem.

This has inevitably led to a uniform approach so everyone across the entire company’s database is treated the same, regardless of demographic, and previous behaviour. So, how can you be sure the content you send will get maximum reach and return on investment?

Improving engagement with email marketing - Serenity Digital

What we’re seeing

We know that consumers click an email if it’s interesting to them, so we can determine from this that when businesses use the right approach and send relevant content, many don’t mind engaging.

Despite having a list of recipients at the ready, marketers are often unsure how to communicate their messages in the right way. The blanket approach is then used, which leads to low engagement rates and worse still, a high number of unsubscribes. In our years of experience, we consider the following areas to be the main email marketing pitfalls.


It is very difficult to orchestrate an email marketing strategy without having a platform that is designed to help send content en masse. Email marketing without the right tools is extremely time-consuming. It also makes any analysis or ongoing measurement of success virtually impossible.


Sending unsolicited emails will have a negative impact on your reputation, your brand, and future messages. Responsible and well-managed marketing campaigns will deliver a much higher return because your recipient base is well informed and have opted in to receive marketing emails. They will also prevent you from being blacklisted in the future!


Timing is essential to any campaign’s success and there are days of the week, and even hours of the day, that will see much better results. Engagement invariably drops when an email marketing campaign is sent without any consideration for when it goes out.

Improving engagement with email marketing - Serenity Digital


Subject lines can make or break the success of your email because we know first impressions count. 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line (Invesp). Creating urgency in an email subject line can pique a recipient’s interest to compel them to click open, but it can be tough for busy teams to think of catchy and original subject lines.


We all understand that tailoring emails strengthens the customer experience and marketers are now striving to use personalisation wherever they can to ensure the email feels custom made for the individual.
Personalised email messages improve click through rate by an average of 14% (Campaign Monitor).

However, it can be catastrophic when mistakes are inadvertently made. When recipients receive “Hi [Firstname]” the illusion is shattered, and along with it any chance of building a relationship.


Global mobile traffic is at an all-time high as it has a “larger share of internet usage than desktop traffic” (Sweor). Businesses understand the importance of investing in a fully responsive mobile website however there is still a disparity between those who have responsible websites and those creating mobile responsible email templates.

An effective strategy

When email is used in conjunction with a definitive marketing strategy and an engaging website, businesses should see a successful return on investment. Here are our tips for a successful email marketing campaign.


We don’t just mean set your campaigns to send automatically, but also start using automations to deliver content to recipients based on their behaviour. One of the simplest and yet most powerful automations is a welcome email. It has “a 42% higher read rate than any other type of email” (MarketingLand).


Treating individuals differently based on their behaviour or demographics leads to better overall engagement. Splitting your subscribers list into categories allows you to deliver content based on these segments. This could be location, industry sector, job title, or even past email activity.

This will also make you think about the data you collect from your subscribers list moving forward. Think about what the information means to your business and ask people upfront if you feel you can!


Ensure your emails look great on mobile devices and take the time to create a range of templates. These will often sustain your email marketing campaigns for months to come so they’ll be worth the initial investment.

Improving engagement with email marketing - Serenity Digital


If you don’t have the time to think about strategy and to test techniques, reach out to an expert who can help you. If you’re spending money on email, it’s best to choose an agency who can advise you on how to get the most from email marketing.


Testing and refining are the cornerstones of most marketing campaigns, and email marketing is no exception. Whether you decide to use personalisation in your subject lines, or keep things simple and practical, make sure you keep testing and reconfiguring. You’ll eventually find what works for you and thus improve user engagement.


Remember to tell your recipients what you want them to do. This might be to take up a free trial of your product, or provide you with more information on what they would like to hear about in future emails. Make sure you use the right call to action and align these with your website landing pages so the customer journey is as relevant as it can possibly be.

Improving engagement with email marketing - Serenity Digital


Be friendly with your emails and what you want to say. We all know that people are more likely to respond or engage if you’ve set the right tone. Personable language allows you to be more relevant to your customers. People expect digital human interaction.


Use your results to understand the interaction your email marketing creates. You can then use your knowledge to improve. For example, if your campaign produces a high level of unsubscribes, identify why that might be and what you can do to improve.


Don’t keep sending the same type of content dressed up in different email templates. Consider other ways of visually engaging with your audience or get them to interact with your email. Try a poll, a survey or video as something different to offer. We all know engaging content can lead to increased ROI.


There is always a fine line to be drawn between reaching new customers and keeping current ones similarly engaged. Make sure your email marketing campaigns don’t neglect one over the other. They should run alongside each other in tandem, each creating further avenues for growth and brand success.

Going in the right direction…

With the right strategy and approach, most businesses can succeed in improving engagement from their email subscribers and see better returns. According to Campaign Monitors 2018 email marketing predications report “new marketing tactics are on the rise, and leads can enter at any stage of the funnel, email marketing continues to be a leading channel at every stage…”

To learn more about how email marketing can help you achieve your sales targets, please get in touch. We’ll happily meet with you to learn more about your challenges, understand or help you specify your future targets or review your existing campaigns to see how we can help increase the revenue you’re generating.

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