5 ways to up your email engagement on the fly

Email marketers don’t always have time to make sweeping updates or changes to existing journeys. But, there are some simple methods you can use today to increase subscriber engagement and gain some quick wins.


Before getting to the nitty-gritty, it’s important to always remember that your subscribers are the reason you exist. They are your customers and we recommend that you think about how you like to be treated by brands, apply that thinking to your existing communications within your brand vision, consider your target position and if you’re hitting the mark. If you can’t meet your own expectations, you’re not likely to be meeting those of your customers.

With that in mind, some simple adjustments can make giant leaps and create a more engaging communication journey:

1. TEST EVERYTHING! If you’re deploying emails and not testing some facet regularly, you’re missing opportunities to gain weekly - even daily - incremental wins. 

  • Subject line testing is one of the easiest tests that make for quick gains in opens. But, don’t forget you have to keep it engaging after they open as well! 
  • Consider your content and primary message - is it what they need at that specific point in their journey? Is it the right content at the right time?
  • Touchpoints can be too few or too many - how do yours measure up? Have you thrown arbitrary touch points in thinking you must have a certain number? There’s no magic equation - simply test to find your perfect mix.

2. REFRESH YOUR IMAGERY: Updating and replacing an image in an email can be a simple win and create a deeper connection with your consumer. 

  • Consider Diversity. With current trends towards diversity, does your imagery exemplify the brand image you want to promote? Culturally diverse, people of color, LGTBQ and non-binary sensitivity is top of mind for many. Is it important to your target audience as well?
  • Convey through images. Does your imagery make sense with the topic of your message and connect your audience to the message?

On does an amazing job incorporating color and bright imagery into this email to evoke emotion and tie messaging to to the overall goal of the email.

Image: Really Good Emails


3. REVIEW + REFINE: Look at your journeys and the individual performance of each touchpoint. There is a natural downward engagement curve that is to be expected - to a point. However, is it too much? Is it at an unusual spot?

  • Analyze data of each touch and find what is working and what is not. Sometimes, it can be simple and particular content jumps out as a culprit. Perhaps a touchpoint doesn’t quite strike a chord with your audience?
  • Customer experience is more than a hot topic. Customer experience includes everything from web navigation ease through the content of your emails. Do they connect or do they fall short?
  • Branding is a large aspect of the customer experience that is not often truly considered with the content. Sure, you undoubtedly utilize your brand guides, imagery, colors, logo, etc. But, how does your message feel in relation to your brand? Will your customers perceive the content to exemplify your brand message and what they connect with most? How your customers experience your brand affects how they identify with your brand. If they can’t see themselves in it, they may start shopping somewhere they can connect with the message.

4. OFFERS + DISCOUNTS: Does your brand tend to send offers and discounts frequently? Are you always sending the same type of offer? Perhaps it’s time to refresh your approach.

  • “Offer Blindness” is a thing and it can happen with repeat sends of the same content and offers. We have all seen some retail brands that continue to send the same offer, style, etc. Sometimes that’s a benefit to a brand, but often it is not. Customers expect to see what you're sending and won’t actually read any content you have provided unless something is fresh.
  • Be creative! Perhaps you have only certain types of offers at your disposal. But maybe, you can test delivering them differently. Some segments will respond to $ amounts off while others respond to % discounts. Test Test Test!
  • GIFs + Animations are an easy way to change things up and engage users to read more.

Caviar sends offers and other communications quite frequently, so they do a great job of keeping things fresh with GIFs and other interactive animations. 


No eating dinner in total darkness anymore!


Image: Really Good Emails


5. AD-HOC MESSAGES: Throwing in a touch outside of a journey can strengthen engagement and reconnect a customer with your brand. 

  • Think seasonally! The holidays aren’t the only time the season is the reason for special communications. National Donut Day, National Grandparents Day, National Dog Day - there are so many and nearly every date of the year has something associated with it. Check out a comprehensive list here.
  • New + Exciting additions to your brand. New products, offerings, services - anything new or re-imagined is an opportunity to speak to your customers. 
  • TIP: Don’t forget to consider each target segment's behaviors and drivers and cater the message to the recipient - don’t blanket email all your subscribers with a message if it isn’t relevant to them.


Keep in mind that you don’t need to do all these recommendations all at once. Make a test plan and evolve it with your learnings as you go. Proper planning is key to successful marketing!


For more tips on engagement and some great survey results, check out How to write an opt-in email strategy your subscribers will appreciate. 


About the Author

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. With our

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