5 Tips to Increase Email Engagement That Actually Work

Founder of Orchid Agency
Mariya Finkelshteyn I
July 6, 2021

Email is still one of the top performing marketing channels for engagement with both B2B prospects and customers. It may be one of the oldest forms of marketing, but it is still one of the most effective channels with the highest ROI.


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The key to successful email marketing is properly communicating with your audience. Keep them at the core of your efforts and provide great experiences that delight them constantly. Thus, this reflects how you prioritize your audience and at the same time exert effort in creating as well as sending out the best content. 

What are good email marketing metrics and performance?

  • Open rate: +20% for cold list, +40% for existing customers
  • Tues, Wed, Thurs are still the best days with highest open rate
  • Subject lines + sender name are key to driving open rates up
  • Click rate: +4% for cold list, +10% for existing customers

Below are the latest email marketing metrics and benchmark data.

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Open Rate

One of the key email marketing metrics, is the open rate which is the total number of subscribers who opened an email. Open rate depends on a few factors but mainly the subject line and relevance of the subject to your subscribers’ needs. To improve this, make sure to have relevant content through segmentation and personalization, test sender name, subject line tone, content, and length, and at the same time compare send time and day and choose which has a better performance.


Click-Through Rate

Email click-through rate is the number of people that clicked on content within your email, as percentage of total subscribers that received the email.  In order to boost this rate, you have to offer strong incentives to capture the attention of your subscribers and enhance your calls-to-action through engaging design and clear copy.

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Click-to-Open Rate

Click-to-open percentage rate is the number of users clicked within a copy of email as percentage of the number that opened the email. This rate is helpful as it normalizes the engagement rate for your subscribers with the copy, offer, design of the email.


Unsubscribe Rate

When a subscriber opts-out of receiving your emails, this means that they are disinterested or annoyed with your campaigns. To lessen your unsubscribe rate, it's important to have a healthy list from the beginning, categorize your audience to send relevant emails, and utilize automation to build long-term brand engagement.

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We’ve broken down the best practices that yield higher email engagement rates below. 

1. Get Personal

Personalization tailors your emails to specific users. All you have to do is to strategically engage by collecting data on your audience and sending them personalized emails. Of course, you don’t simply stop at the subject line and first name; your email content should also be relevant. Try sending them targeted recommendations and this will totally make a huge difference.

2. Create Tailored and Meaningful Segments

Segment your marketing lists into targeted and specific groups so as not to tick off email recipients with content that doesn't resonate to them. When you already have the list, consider what content your audiences are looking for and use it to create a unique offer. Marketers who do this tend to enjoy greater sales leads, higher revenue, and more transactions.

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3. Implement Behavior-Based Automation

Have you ever heard of behavior-based automation? It is actually called behavioral email or the practice of sending out targeted, automated emails to your lists based on their actions and behaviors with your company across different channels or platforms. Every interaction should have an appropriate and expected reaction. In addition, the actions of your audience dictate what emails they receive and not by a marketer.

4. Utilize Social Proof

Knowing that other people have done or experienced something first is a proven tactic to elevate your email engagement. Social proof is a powerful tool because people tend to rely more on emotions than facts when making decisions. This sparks intrigue, presents new and helpful information, and gives answers to problems. With that, simply add customer testimonials or feedback to your content and your audience will more likely to pick up on your message.

5. Focus on the Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Let your audience act and do something with your email! If you want them to visit your website, follow your social media pages, leave a comment, or download something, then make it known to them. You have to be straightforward and emphasize what you want them to do so your audience can take action easily. Never underestimate CTAs, the copy, design, color of the button, and A/B test these as they have the power to grow your email engagement.

Final Note

Email engagement is not an overnight task. It takes a lot of time, effort,  tools and a repeatable process to see better results. Beyond the design, the content and timing of your email make a huge difference in your conversions. Remember to teach your audience something valuable and not be too overly promotional all the time. Your audience must gain something useful from your emails. When customers eventually benefit from your offers, they may even turn into advocates of your brand in the process. Be diligent in tracking your engagement metrics for each of your emails and learn to determine as fast as possible if something is going wrong. 

We do hope you found our tips for elevating your email engagement insightful. Now that you already have enough knowledge on this, we’ll be happy to help you start a robust email marketing campaign today!

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