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Developing Engaging Emails with UX Design in Mind

Every person who uses the internet regularly almost certainly has an email account. As the main way of signing up for services, creating accounts, and receiving communications from businesses, it's vital to have an email address. By 2026, nearly 4.75 billion people across the globe will have an email.

With that in mind, the problem with email marketing isn't that there are too few people to market to. On the contrary, the problem is that people are so used to receiving email communications that your well-planned email sequence will only be a drop in the bucket. Each day, people will receive 10s, if not 100s, of other marketing emails, many of which will gather dust in their inbox until the end of time.

Standing out in the sea of marketing emails isn't just about good copy. Of course, your subject line will be one of the most important aspects of an email, as this is the factor that either makes someone archive or clicks on your email.

However, even if a user clicks on your email, you need to be able to capture their attention. A few milliseconds of scanning won't be enough; you need to ensure your customers stay on your email, absorb its information, and maybe even convert by clicking on an embedded link.

To stand out from the crowd, you need to make sure your email is visually appealing. Humans process visual stimuli faster than the written word, making the design and user experience of your email vital.

What Metrics Are Important When We Talk about Engagement?

At first glance, email engagement may seem like a fairly subjective metric to measure. After all, how do you understand how engaged someone is by your email when you're not there to see them open it?

Luckily enough for marketing teams, there are numerous elements within an email that allow us to measure some semblance of engagement. For example, we can measure:

  • Click-Through Rate: Click-through rate is the gold standard for engagement. This metric refers to the percentage of people who clicked on one of the internal links in your email. Whether that's to your website homepage, a blog article, or a product you're selling, it all falls under click-through rate.
  • **Open rates --- **Open rates measure the total percentage of emails that were opened in your customers' inboxes. If you sent out 10,000 emails and customers opened 1,000 of them, you would have a 10% open rate.
  • **Other Interactions **--- Marketing teams can also measure other interactions with an email, like total replies or how many times the email was forwarded to other addresses. While not as important as the first two, it's useful to keep an eye on this to get a better sense of total engagement across the board.

Especially across those first two metrics, you'll be able to gather data and prove how engaging your emails are. By measuring this, you can then track changes over time to see how your iterations to your emails are impacting the success of your campaigns.

Strategies to Enhance Email Engagement

Designing emails for a better user experience goes far beyond just picking a few nice colors. The experience that customer has with your email is directly tied to the strategies that you use inside the email to capture and sustain their attention.

Here are a few strategies you can use to improve email engagement by creating a better email user experience.

Implement Credibility into Your Emails

No matter how excellent your products are or how many years you've spent refining your services, none of that will matter if your emails aren't trustworthy. While you could spend years building your brand authority, a quick way of boosting credibility is to use social reviews in your emails.

Including real-world reviews or case studies in your emails will show customers that you're a real business that isn't out to scam them. Where possible, include start ratings, quotes from customers, or short case study examples.

The more social proof you have, the more readily people will trust your business.

Focus on Action Bias

Humans inherently have a level of action bias that compels them to take action when its suggested to them. Marketing teams can make use of this by creating a sense of urgency in their emails.

Placing a "Last Call for X% Discount" right in the center of your email will ensure that customers see the need to act quickly as soon as they click on the email.

Focusing on CTAs that compel the reader to take action will help to enhance your click-through rate and draw more people off email and to your site.

Focus on Appearing Human

Strangely enough, although you may be representing a brand when you send out marketing emails, it's in your best interest to focus on the human sender, rather than the company itself. People trust people. A faceless brand that no one has ever heard of doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Where possible, leave markers that show your marketing email was sent by a human. A great way of doing this is by including an email signature. An email signature will include information like your name, contact information, and maybe even a personalized segment about you. Think of a quote that inspires you or just something to catch your customers' attention.

Luckily, implementing an email signature is extremely easy. You can use a Gmail signature generator to create one in a few seconds. Every major email provider now offers a system that allows you to include an email signature when emailing, making this an effective way to insert some humanity into your marketing emails.

Long gone are the days when you would have to know HTML to design your own in-email signature.

What's more, email signatures add a level of authority and professionalism to your emails --- this can be a good sign for customers who don't quite trust your brand yet.

Final Thoughts

Great email design starts with marketing effective decisions to brand your emails as trustworthy, authoritative, and personable. While design elements like color, font, and spacing all make a large difference, the true core of effective design comes back to the user experience.

Where possible, incorporate reviews to build your credibility, email signatures to demonstrate your emails are coming from a real person, and marketing strategies to entice users into clicking on a link.

By incorporating the strategies in this article, your business will be able to create a better user experience on email in no time.

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