Email Marketing: 6 Powerful Ways to Engage Your List’s Readers



1. Decide On Your Copy

2. Know Your Audience

3. Create An Inviting Subject Line

4. Use the Inverted Pyramid for Your Message

5. Write to The One Person Who Reads Your Email Message

6. Be Consistent On When You Send Email

Measure Your Reader Engagement

What Are Email Engagements Metric?


Email marketing adds a personal touch to your clients. It’s more than just news about a new product release. Email is a direct conversation with your clients and future clients. So, you need to make that email feel as though it’s personal.

So, before you hit send on your newsletter or broadcast to your email list, make sure you’ve created a message that engages your reader. Instead of dashing off a quick announcement or dreading creating a regular email, you have choices about the way you make your reader feel when they open your message.

What you write, how you write, and the timing of the email are all important elements in the way you engage your readers. Here are six quick ways to make that connection with your readers.

women seated with laptop

1. Decide On Your Topic

The topic will influence your copy and your headline, but make it one objective. Know what that objective is before you start.

Write out a one-sentence summary of what you want to address is your message. Are you welcoming a new subscriber? Are you announcing a new product? Do you want feedback from your best customers?

Does your prospective buyer want to hear about your company values, mission statement, or turnaround plan? Whatever it is, the goal needs to be clear.

Each email addresses one topic. Know what that topic is. A message with multiple topics can confuse your reader and result in no action.

2. Know Your Audience

Your email isn’t about you. The message is for the recipient. That means you need to know their pain points and how to address them. And you need to know if they want sophisticated messaging, casual, funny, fact-filled.

Before you begin writing, consider the recipient’s beliefs, attitudes, values, and knowledge. You want to create a tone that matches your audience.

Every Email Message is the First One

Never assume. You may have been sending email messages to someone on your list for months or even years. But every email is the first one.

Don’t assume your recipient remembers your last message. Yes, you may have created a strategy and want your recipient to read every message. But they may have had a family crisis, or been working on a deadline, or been ill, or just didn’t care that day.

So, create a fresh message every time.

google mail window

Tell a Story

Stories stay in a reader’s head better than facts.

Trigger ad reminiscence. For example, if you’re a vet or a recent retiree, take an opportunity to talk about your job by telling a story about how, one way or another, you were able to use your skill set. Or you can use what you know about a product and meld it with your personal knowledge in the very best way, like telling a story about how the product enhanced your pet or made your spouse happy.

Then create a bridge to your objective. Use something in your story to relate to the main objective of your email.

3. Create an Inviting Subject Line

Before your email recipient reads your compelling message, they have to open your message. While your sender name lets them know who sent the email, your subject line convinces them to open your message.

Your email subject line must nail the product you are pitching. The subject that you choose should announce its purpose to your readers and make it clear why they should open the email.

Subject lines tell the recipient what the rest of the email is about, which influences whether or not the reader keeps reading. Marketers usually make the subject line a bit provocative and then create a headline for the beginning of the email that provides additional information.

But remember that your subject line should also guide them to the main objective of the email. For example, if the product is a new software that you are selling, you can use “Niche Software” in the subject. Your subject line should be a single word or a word group that forms a sentence. The more attention-drawing, the better.

Capture the reader’s attention with unique, attention-getting subject lines that are simple, along with using visual formatting.

Once your subscribers open the email, you must include the main benefits they will get after reading the message, for example, a benefit of purchasing your product or service. Start with a header that echoes and reinforces the subject line.

4. Use the Inverted Pyramid for Your Message

The inverted pyramid is a technique used by journalists that puts the most important information first, followed by increasingly less critical content.

This is a proven technique used by journalists to engage their readers, and it helps to make your message more effective.

Try using the inverted pyramid in your emails. Remember that the more important information should be at the top of your email, while less crucial details should follow.

By placing the most important data at the beginning of your email, you will draw the reader in and encourage them to read through your email. Upon finishing the last line or two of your email, the reader will feel more inclined to finish the message. After they have read the entire email, they will be more likely to reciprocate.

Use Subheads in the Text Body

People are more likely to read short paragraphs rather than a wall of text. Break up your text with subheads. Subheads serve two key functions:

Make your entire email message skimmable
Break up text into easily readable chunks

When you break up your text with subheads, it’s easier to scan your text and make important parts stand out.

Use a Call to Action

Every message you send should include a call to action (CTA). This is a request to take action. It may be sending you feedback about your product, or asking for user tips to benefit other users, or making an additional purchase.

Align the call to action with the core message of your email. It will feel like a natural extension of the information you provide.

Many marketers place the call to action twice in the body of the email, once near the beginning after the opening paragraph and again at the end.

Using the inverted pyramid, the first paragraph may be all you need to get a customer to take action. That is why you can place the first CTA near the beginning of your message.

And the early placement gives recipients who don’t read the entire message (there are some) an opportunity to take action.

Readers expect a call to action from businesses, so be sure to invite them to take action. It’s the best engagement result.

Make Your Message Easy To Read

How your message appears on your reader’s screen makes a difference. Use short paragraphs and break up the text with subheadings to make it easy to understand each part of your message.

And it’s not just how it looks, but short paragraphs deliver chunks of information. Your reader’s brain finds it easier to absorb small chunks of information rather than long paragraphs…even if it’s the same information.

And make sure your message has plenty of white space. Text that is jammed together feels harder to read. The feeling of how your message appears makes a difference to reader engagement.

man and woman sitting with laptop

5. Write to The One Person Who Reads Your Email Message

Whether your email list runs in the hundreds or thousands, write the message to one person. Create copy that sounds as though you are talking face to face with that person.

Imagine your ideal client, the person who needs your product or service. Create your message around ways to make that person want what your business offers. Give them a reason to connect with your business and then encourage them to connect with the call to action.

Use the word “you.” Don’t talk about theoretical clients like “our clients.”

For example, if you are a banking service, instead of saying our clients love the way our (product name) gives them a better return on their deposit, address the email recipient directly. Imagine how your deposit will grow without compounded interest.

Or explain how you work with a variety of lending institutions that suit their personal needs.

Personalize Your Email Message

Most email service providers have a way to insert a field into both your heading and the body of the text.

The First Name field is a powerful way to reinforce the feeling that you are talking to that one person in your email.

So you can create a subject line that personalizes your email before the recipient opens it. Just add the First Name field to the subject line. You write: {First Name}. highest rates on your CD now. The client will see something like this, Jake, highest rates on your CD now.

Also, you can use personalization in the greeting, Hey {First Name}, and also in the call to action-{First Name} call us now for the best rate.

Even though many email recipients know you’ve used a field, personalization still works.

Write Your Customers Language

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your email message is using your industry language. Avoid buzzwords, jargon, and corporate language. You may use it in your everyday work, but chances are your recipient doesn’t. In fact, they may not know what your industry buzzwords mean or what your acronyms represent.

Resist the temptation to show how smart, clever, or knowledgeable you are about your product or service. Turn the focus on the customer, not your business.

Keep the language conversational. Use everyday words your customer understands. Focus on the benefits your business brings to them and describe those benefits in their terms.

6. Be Consistent On When You Send Email

Once someone signs up for your email list, create expectations about how often they will receive messages from your business.

Whether you send it daily, twice a week, weekly, twice a month, monthly, or even quarterly, let your email recipients know right away in their first welcome letter.

When customers know what to expect, they are less likely to unsubscribe. You let them know from the beginning about your sending schedule.

For example, tell them in the welcome letter that they’ll get messages from you twice a month with occasional unscheduled extra special offers.

When you set expectations, you won’t have disgruntled recipients.

Measure Your Reader Engagement

You perfect the design and craft content, you hit submit. However, how do you know if your email campaigns are successful?

You can view your email’s engagement metrics. These metrics can serve as an important source of information for future design and content decisions, leading to more effective email marketing campaigns.

Reviewing your email’s engagement metrics is a good starting point to improving your campaigns.

What Are Email Engagements Metrics?

Your email engagement metrics measure how people interact with your email. They are the subset of email marketing metrics. For example, do your subscribers:

Open your email?
Read your email message’s content?
Click on the links?
How many do they click?
Follow your Call to Action (CTA)?

It can tally your metrics with your subscriber base in order to fine-tune your email marketing strategy so that you reach exactly who you want, how you want it, and when you want it. If you don’t pay attention to email engagement metrics, you might miss vital opportunities to engage with prospective clients and retain current clients.

Email engagement metrics are increasingly important as today’s marketers are more focused than ever on listening to their customers.

Let’s look at some of the important metrics that help you judge how engaged your email audience is.

google analytics metric report

Open Rate

The number of people who opened an email is one of the first metrics marketers look at. A number that your analytics tool may report may be total opens or unique opens – the difference being that unique opens are not limited to repeated opens from the same user.

If you aren’t able to access your open rates, you can improve them by reformulating your messaging or reworking your subject line. With personalization and segmentation, your email opens will also increase.

First and foremost, relevant content is the best way to improve email engagement.

Read Rate

Once your recipient opens your message, reading the message is a high sign of engagement. The read rates tell you how engaging your content in the message is. If recipients don’t read your message after opening, you have some work to do on creating content that gets read.

You’ll find a number of helpful email tools that offer “read,” “skim,” and “glance/delete” engagement stats. These stats measure how much time your subscribers spend looking at your email once they’ve opened it.

If you notice people skimming your email, consider moving important details or CTAs higher in your copy. Doing this can increase the success of your email content. After all, the point of your message is to get your reader to take action.

Click Rate

Also measure your email engagement by how often users click on a link in your email. It will track the number of clicks and unique clicks, just like open rates. Repeat clicks are not counted as unique clicks.

Your email may have links for further reading like an article or blog on your website. Clicks on these links indicate an interest in your business and a desire for more information. Tag these links to measure reader interest.

The most significant click rate to measure the success of an email message is the click rate on your Call to Action (CTA). Tag these links to measure reader action to your desired activity.

These, and other analytics, will help you understand which messages create strong engagement with readers. You’ll want to monitor these metrics to continue to engage your email audience.

man and woman working on their laptops

Engagement Is the Secret to Successful Email Campaigns

Successful email marketing depends on engaging readers. Spark their interest with enticing subject lines. Emphasize that interest with headlines that allow your reader to skim your text. Write in short, easily digestible paragraphs. Lead toward a specific action.

Optimizing email for engagement requires an understanding of your customer base. As you measure engagement, you’ll build an understanding of what your email readers like and what moves them to take action.

A straightforward goal is to entice future sales. Increase the chances of a sale by aligning all of your campaigns with the buyer’s interest. Study your most engaged email messages. Then build related messages to reinforce engagement and keep your business top of mind.

At Erfolk we believe email marketing forms an important connection with customers and future customers. We have the tools and experience to plan email campaigns designed to engage customers and measure ongoing effectiveness.

We look forward to hearing about your next marketing project. Schedule your call with us now.