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6 Ways to Optimize Your Emails for Better Engagement

Want to get better results from your small business’s email marketing? Then you need to get more customers to open, click on and take action on your email marketing messages. Here are some tips Sikich suggests to help you optimize emails to boost customer engagement.

  • Start with a great subject line. For best results, keep it short (under 50 characters). Then sweeten the pot with a preheader that previews what’s inside the body of the email—this gives you a little more space to tell recipients what it’s all about.
  • Include a clear call-to-action. Don’t beat around the bush; your email marketing messages should tell recipients exactly what you want them to do (“Shop Now,” “Learn More,” “Sign Up” or whatever your goal is). Make it extra easy for them to act by putting your CTA near the top of the email body so they don’t have to scroll down to see it.
  • Hone your list. Once you’ve got that killer marketing email crafted, make sure you’re sending it to people who want to get it. Use a double opt-in signup to make double-sure readers will welcome your emails. Perform regular list maintenance to weed out bad addresses or duplicates.
  • Get personal. Segment your email list so you can develop targeted emails aimed at specific customer groups, whether that’s women, new vs. long-time customers, people who haven’t opened your emails for a while or people who’ve spent a certain amount of money with you in the last 6 months. You can get really personal by putting the recipient’s name in the subject line or at the top of the email—this helps improve both click-throughs and conversions.
  • Let customers know what they’re in for (and how to get out of it). When customers opt-in to get emails from you, send a welcome message that tells them what types of emails you’ll send, how often you’ll send them and how to manage their email subscription. It’s important to let them unsubscribe easily, of course, but you can prevent unsubscribes by offering options instead, such as receiving emails less often or receiving only certain types of emails.
  • Don’t forget about mobile. With more and more emails being opened on a mobile device, it’s more important than ever to convey crucial information in a brief, attention-getting format at the top of the email. Finally, make CTAs easy to do on a mobile device by using white space and big buttons or large-font links.

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Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.