How to Increase Email Engagement: 7 Simple Tips for Getting More Opens and Clicks

Inka WibowoCharlotte Evans

By Inka & Charlotte

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Emails. We all get them, but what makes us want to click on some more than others?

With billions of emails zipping around daily, standing out is no small feat. Even the most enthusiastic subscribers can quickly lose interest if your emails consistently fail to hit the mark.

But boosting your email game isn’t just about crafting the perfect message; it’s also understanding the people behind those opens and clicks.

In this article, I’ll take you through the most effective tactics for boosting your email engagement, with some great visual examples to get you inspired. If you're looking to ramp up those numbers and learn how to increase email engagement, you've landed in the right spot!

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7 Tactics to Increase Email Engagement

1. Craft Compelling Email Subject Lines to Boost Open Rates

Your email subject line is your first (and maybe your last) impression on users. Average email users receive 121 emails a day. That's a lot of competition in the inbox.

To stand out, your subject lines need to be creative, compelling, and informative. Power words like “exclusive,” “limited,” or “new” can pique curiosity. Personalization and relevance also boost open rates.

FOMO email subject line

A example of an urgency-based subject line

Steer clear of spam trigger words like “free,” “guarantee,” or “act now.” These can land you in the spam folder. Also, avoid misleading clickbait headlines that don't deliver on their promise.

Keep it concise – aim for 6-10 words. And always deliver value in the email that matches the subject line. Consistency builds trust, which leads to higher open rates over time.

TIP: Try out our email subject line previewer to see how your subject lines will display to viewers across various devices.

2. Personalize Your Email Campaigns for Higher Engagement

Segmenting Your Email List for Targeted Messaging

Segmenting your email list is crucial for sending targeted, relevant content. Divide your list based on demographics, behavior, interests, or stage in the customer journey.

becca jean signup form

An example of how photographer Becca Jean uses segmentation when capturing newsletter subscribers to send more targeted email content

With this trick up your sleeve, you can whip up messages that hit the right note with different crowds. For example, new subscribers could get a welcome series, while loyal customers receive exclusive offers.

Incorporating Personal Touches (Beyond Names)

Personalization goes beyond using the recipient's name. Tailor content, images, and offers based on their interests and past interactions with your brand.

Use dynamic content blocks that change based on user data. Recommend products they've viewed, or share blog posts related to their favorite topics. These personal touches show you understand and value them as individuals.

Behavioral Segmentation Example

This TripAdvisor email has been personalized based on destinations that the reader has shown interest in

3. Optimize Email Design for Maximum Impact

Ensuring Mobile Responsiveness in Every Email

Over 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices. If your emails aren't optimized for mobile, you're likely losing engagement and clicks.

Use a responsive email template that adapts to any screen size. Keep the design simple with a single-column layout and large, touch-friendly buttons.

squarespace mobile email

A mobile-responsive email from Squarespace

Using Visuals to Enhance Your Message

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Leverage top-notch visuals to catch eyes and get your point across in a flash.

But use images strategically. Avoid large files that slow load time, and always include alt text for accessibility. Aim for a balanced mix of text and visuals for maximum impact.

saltair visuals email

This image from Saltair uses text and CTAs to complement its images

4. Use A/B Testing to Refine Your Strategy

Identifying Variables for Effective A/B Tests

A/B testing is the key to truly understanding your audience and their preferences – and being able to optimize email performance accordingly. Subject lines, sender name, content, images, and CTAs are all variables that you can test to see what resonates with your audience.

Start with one variable at a time to pinpoint what's working. For example, send half your list a discount offer in the subject line, and the other half a curiosity-provoking question. See which performs better.

Short copy vs. Long copy from Wistia.

Testing an email with long copy vs short copy

Analyzing Results to Improve Future Campaigns

The insights from your A/B tests are gold for future campaigns. Look for patterns in what resonates with your audience.

Maybe emojis in subject lines fall flat, but personalization boosts clicks. Or perhaps shorter emails perform better than longer ones. Use this data to continually refine your approach and improve results over time.

To boost email open rates, craft subject lines that are creative and concise. Personalize emails by segmenting your list and adding touches beyond names. Optimize for mobile, use visuals wisely, and leverage A/B testing to keep improving.

5. Encourage Action with Strong Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Designing CTAs That Stand Out

selfmade cta email

This email from Selfmade features a prominent CTA

There's a purpose behind each of your email campaigns, whether it's to get more sales on your new product, increase your social media following, drive more traffic to your website or something else. Don't just expect your audience to do what you want them to do. Compel them to do so by including clear and powerful calls to action.

Don't be afraid to play on people's natural fear of missing out (FOMO) by using words that create urgency, such as “Act now,” “Limited time only,” “Expires soon,” etc.

Positioning Your CTA for Optimal Engagement

At minimum, CTAs should provide clear value and information about what will happen once the link is clicked. Use concise, actionable language to guide subscribers towards a desired action.

But if you really want to make CTAs stand out, try these tips:

  • Boost email engagement with buttons, use a bigger font size, make text bold, or underlined, and/or add a pop of color.
  • Ensure links have ample whitespace around them so nothing interferes with clicking or tapping.
  • For mobile devices, adding padding or margins helps make clickable elements easier to interact with.
  • Make the clickable area of your CTA at least 44×44 points in size, per Apple's recommendation.

6. Integrate Social Media to Amplify Email Efforts

Adding Social Sharing Buttons to Emails

Include social sharing buttons in your emails to encourage social sharing. This allows your subscribers to easily share your content with their networks, expanding your reach beyond your email list.

When you're picking social media platforms, think about where your audience loves to hang out the most. Focus on the platforms that align with your brand and content.

Creating Synergy Between Email and Social Platforms

Integrate your email marketing efforts with your social media strategy to create a cohesive experience for your audience. Promote your email newsletter on your social media channels and vice versa.

Use social media to tease upcoming email content, encouraging followers to subscribe to your email list. Repurpose email content for social media posts, adapting it to suit each platform's unique style and audience preferences.

instagram link in bio newsletter example

Generation She founder Avni Barman promotes her newsletter directly from her Instagram bio

7. Understand and Improve Key Email Metrics

Tracking Click-Through and Conversion Rates Effectively

Two crucial email metrics to track are click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate. CTR measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links in your email, while conversion rate tracks the percentage of recipients who completed a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.

To effectively track these metrics, use a reliable email marketing platform that provides detailed analytics. Regularly review your CTR and conversion rates, comparing them to industry benchmarks and your own historical data. Use this information to identify areas for improvement and test different strategies to optimize your email performance.

Boost your email game by crafting CTAs that pop and scream “Click me.” with bold fonts, bright colors, and clear value. Make sure they're easy to tap on mobile too. Don't forget to weave in social buttons for more shares and keep an eye on those click-throughs to see what's working.


So there we have it – cutting through the noise of crowded inboxes isn't just possible; it's within reach if you play your cards right.

Readers engage with emails when the content resonates with their interests, needs, or desires. Personalization plays a significant role in capturing their attention, and compelling subject lines that pique curiosity or offer value entice readers to open the email and explore further.

The design and layout of the email also has a big impact on engagement. Emails that are visually appealing, easy to read, and optimized for mobile devices are more likely to hold the reader's interest and encourage interaction.

Finally, a clear and actionable call-to-action (CTA) prompts readers to take the next step, whether it's making a purchase, signing up for a webinar, or visiting a website. By aligning the CTA with the content of the email and clearly communicating the value proposition, readers are more likely to engage and follow through with the intended action.

When done right, effective email campaigns can turn into one of your biggest assets. By keeping these principles in mind, you’ll be able to increase email engagement and boost the performance of your campaigns.

Ready to get started? Check out our detailed guide on how to write a marketing email.


The authors

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Inka Wibowo

Senior Content Manager

Hi, I'm Inka! I spent the earlier part of my career in agency land, helping businesses of all sizes get their email marketing campaigns up and running. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm using my experience to help businesses like yours find the best email marketing services for your needs.

Charlotte Evans

Content Manager

Hey, I'm Charlotte! I've always been enthusiastic about helping others. After working for various tech startups and eCommerce businesses, I developed a strong passion for email marketing. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm putting this knowledge to good use by recommending the very best digital tools for your business.

Learn more about us

Our Methodology

This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

Our Methodology