Engaging with customers has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Marketers are struggling to keep up with the growing number of devices and media channels used by consumers. Despite the emergence of so many new channels, the most reliable way to engage customers is one of the oldest digital channels – email. Modern email marketing uses highly personalized messaging to reach customers at the right moment and allow them to engage with your business through their preferred channel. Check out these 3 surefire ways email marketing will boost customer engagement:

Show Your Customers You Know Them

Consumer preferences have shifted and people don’t want to be part of big distribution lists. Instead, marketers need to send their customers more personalized messages to prove that you know who they are. Marketing automation software enables this level of personalization and allows marketers to segment email audiences and personalize email content to each recipient.

Audience segmentation helps marketers to engage customers with relevant messaging at a large scale. Instead of sending one email blast to your entire list, sending messages to targeted segments within your list can have dramatic results. MailChimp found that segmented email campaigns had open rates 15% higher and click-through rates 60% higher than non-segmented campaigns. Email lists can be segmented based on factors such as location, product interest, industry, or last activity date.

Engaging customers in a personal way can be as simple as including their name in the subject line of your email. Use merge fields to pull in database values specific to each email recipient. Marketers capture a tremendous amount of consumer data, and email merge fields put that data to work. The more you know about your customers the more creative you can get with your email personalization. Merge fields are a great way to personalize the messages of your emails in a way that speaks to each individual recipient.

Respond to Customer Behavior

Another way to accomplish highly-personalized email marketing is to reduce your reliance on large email blasts and instead opt for trigger-based email campaigns. These are automated emails that are triggered by a specific action taken by a customer, such as filling out a web form or abandoning a shopping cart. Based on that customer action, a trigger campaign sends them an email with highly relevant content. Marketers have found tremendous success using trigger emails, which perform 3x better than email blasts and nurture campaigns (Marketo). Customers tend to be more likely to engage with your marketing emails when your business is already at the top of their mind. Perhaps the best part about trigger-based emails is that once implemented, you can let them do their thing in the background. This provides the dual benefit of driving higher engagement from your emails while reducing the time spent on email marketing.

Let the Customer Choose How to Engage With You

Consumers want to be able to choose the method in which they engage with your business. For marketers it means giving customers more than one way to contact you within your emails. Marketing emails are typically designed to drive customers to a website where they can then convert by filling out a web form. However, with 91% of consumers checking their email at least once per day on their smartphone (ExactTarget), marketers who only optimize for online conversions are losing significant customer engagement. Many smartphone users instead prefer to engage through offline channels that don’t require lengthy forms to be filled or navigating a mobile website to answer their questions. Consumers should be provided with the ability to call your business, which means prominently featuring your phone number in both your marketing emails and their landing pages. Modern consumers want to be able to choose how to reach your business. When your email marketing provides that choice, engagement rates will increase.

Marketers who optimize for phone calls need the ability to track the resulting offline engagements and attribute them to your email campaigns. With call tracking software you can attribute calls from your marketing emails and their landing pages with the same level of detail as clicks. Learn more about capturing offline engagement by downloading The Definitive Guide to Call Tracking for Email Marketing.