Email marketing is one of the most effective channels at any business’s disposal. According to Emma, 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI.

Yours isn’t the only newsletter, though. Every morning we open our inbox to find a bunch of emails we’ve signed up to – and your clients are no different.

So how do you stand out? How do you make sure your target audience open the email, read the content and click through to your website?

  • 1. Experiment with the subject line


Maybe your email’s content is incredible – better than any of your competitors – but no one will find out if the subject line doesn’t tempt people to open it.

Subject lines that stand out and get your audience’s attention tend to share the following characteristics:

  • They’re snappy
  • They’re personal
  • They’re crystal clear and don’t oversell what’s inside

But don’t expect to get it perfect first time.

Experiment – if you don’t see a good open rate with your first subject line, mix it up and try another one. And don’t be afraid to try things like including emojis.


  • 2. Save your audience time with visual content

Our attention spans are getting shorter. Online audiences are spending less and less time reading each piece of content – this is even more true on mobile devices, which your customers are using more and more.

How do you combat this in your emails and maximise engagement with the messages you want to get across?

You make your content as visual as possible, meaning:

  • Use big, bold subheads
  • Use images and graphics
  • Use quotes, numbered lists and bullet points instead of blocks of text
maximise engagement
  • 3. Make each customer feel valued through personalisation

Nothing turns potential or existing customers off like a stock communication.

If you’re receiving 15+ newsletters a week, which one will resonate? The one that sounds like a template and doesn’t appear to value your individual needs? Or the one that addresses you personally and in which everything is relevant?

But personalisation is about more than just using the person’s name. To do this successfully, you need to do your research first and truly understand your audience, their interests and needs, and what stage of the customer journey they are at.


  • 4. Offer a relevant customer journey

Your recipient has opened your email and read the content, but if you don’t offer a clear and relevant call-to-action, you risk missing out on a visit from a potential customer.

Include a visually engaging CTA that will mean something to your audience. 

Consider, too, the placement of the CTAs. Not everyone you send the email to will scroll through the whole thing, so include CTAs after each section: at the top, in the middle and at the end.

  • 5. Send content-led emails

People sign up to newsletters for different reasons – usually to take advantage of an incentive such as an introductory customer discount. But if you want to keep them engaged and keep your unsubscribe rate down to a minimum, you’ll need to do more than plug your products and spam them with sales messages.

Audiences engage with newsletters that entertain and inform – ones that provide relevant stories and thought leadership.

Ultimately, the best way to increase your email engagement among your audience is to share better content.


If you’re looking for more advice on email marketing, check out our other blog posts.
Need help from an email developing pro? Find out more.

Chris Brown

Content marketing consultant

Citra Content Ltd