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Customer Engagement

How Email Marketing Improves Customer Engagement

If your business is anything like the majority, you’re probably struggling to connect with your target audience online. With so much noise and information overload, it can be hard to stand out and achieve true customer engagement.

The ability of companies to build real, deep relationships with customers virtually has never been more vital. In fact, MuleSoft's 2022 Connectivity Benchmark Report found that 70% of customer interactions are now digital (that percentage has most likely increased since 2022).

In short, businesses that don’t adapt their Marketing activities to changing customer trends and preferences—and identify areas for true customer engagement—risk seeing their results stagnate or even decline.

In this article, we delve into what “customer engagement” really means, the various avenues for customer engagement in a Marketing strategy (especially how Email Marketing improves customer engagement), strategies for improving engagement, and examples you can use.  


What is customer engagement?

Customer engagement refers to the ongoing interaction between a brand and its customers. According to HubSpot, "Customer engagement is the process of interacting with customers through a variety of channels in order to strengthen your relationship. For many businesses, this process begins with the first interaction and extends beyond the point of purchase."

Data insights from how email marketing improves customer engagementCustomer engagement is a critical factor in evaluating the potential of your database, Marketing efforts, and overall business success.

Engaged customers tend to be more loyal and more likely to promote the brand to others. Building strong, lasting relationships with customers is essential for a business’s long-term success – in terms of company growth, customer loyalty, brand recognition, etc. In a world where competition is fierce, and customer expectations are higher than ever, companies need to go beyond one-time sales and focus on creating a community of loyal, engaged customers.


5 top ways customer engagement powers businesses

You might think that other areas are more important than engagement. But true customer engagement can give your company long-term propulsion and be a deciding factor in your success.

Customer engagement holds immense importance for companies in the digital age due to several key reasons:

  1. Improved Conversion

    Engaged customers are easier to convert. They are already interested in your products or services, making them more likely to make a purchase. This might translate into a shorter or faster sales cycle.

  2. Customer Retention

    Engaged customers are more likely to stick around. They see value in your brand and are less inclined to switch to competitors or seek out alternatives. The Pareto Principle tells us that in business, 80% of your profits come from only 20% of your customers, so it’s within your best interest to retain customers.

  3. Brand Advocacy

    Engaged customers become ambassadors for your brand by creating user-generated content, recommending products/services, and creating word-of-mouth. Not because they have to, but because they want to. One study found that nearly 60% of brand-loyal shoppers refer those brands to family and friends.

  4. Data Collection and Insights

    Engaged customers provide valuable insights. Their behavior and feedback can be used to refine, tailor, personalize, and scale your Marketing strategies.

  5. Competitive Advantage

    A strong customer engagement strategy sets you apart from competitors. Customers remember and return to businesses that make them feel valued.

With these advantages in mind, you’ll be looking for areas to increase engagement. See the most common points below that businesses can optimize for customer engagement in their strategy.


Avenues for customer engagement in your Marketing strategy

Customer engagement should take place in almost all touchpoints with your contacts, notably:

  1. Database 

    Effective database management involves collecting, organizing, and analyzing customer information like demographics, purchase history, and behavioral data. Insights from your database help in tailoring Marketing efforts, so your CRM platform and lead capture assets will be especially important in managing and measuring customer engagement. A CRM of choice for Marketers is HubSpot.  

  2. Social Media 

    Engaging with customers on relevant social media platforms is essential. Depending on your target market, this can vary from Facebook and LinkedIn to TikTok and YouTube. Your business needs a strategy to interact with your audience, respond to comments, and encourage shares and user-generated content.

  3. Content Assets

    Content is a powerful tool for engagement. In fact, content is often a business’s biggest way to attract new prospects. Videos, blog posts, landing pages, and ebooks can provide value to your audience. Sharing this content through various diffusion channels extends your reach.

  4. Email Marketing

    Email marketing is a standout channel for improving customer engagement, which we will explore in detail. Learn more about how email marketing improves customer engagement by reading below.

  5. Other 

    Depending on your industry and target audience, other avenues like mobile apps, chatbots, or webinars may also serve as effective channels for customer engagement. If you’re not already exploring these ideas, get started!

Depending on your business you might choose certain avenues for communication versus others, but what needs to be said is that your Marketing strategy cannot leave out email marketing.

How Email Marketing Improves Customer Engagement - Mail icon on the phone


Why email marketing stands out as an effective communication channel for customer engagement

Email marketing stands out as an ideal channel for improving customer engagement for several reasons. Here are the top 3 reasons:

  1. Cost-Effective

    Sending emails is cost-effective compared to other forms of marketing, such as event marketing or paid ads. Even social media tends to have a higher, more intensive rhythm than email. Email offers a high ROI due to its personalized nature.

  2. Flexibility

    You can design email campaigns that suit various goals, from promoting products to nurturing leads. Basically, if you can design it, it can be done—and it can be adapted and reused for future campaigns. And now, with AI tools like HubSpot AI, new technologies can even take care of the bulk of the work for you. Servion predicts that Artificial Intelligence will power 95% of all customer interactions by 2025, so the sooner you start taking advantage of AI tools, the better.

  3. Trust and Loyalty

    Email allows for a more personal connection with your customers, fostering trust and loyalty. It tends to be more personalized than a blog article or social media posts that are speaking to the masses. Communicating one-on-one with your contacts gives you the opportunity to build a deeper relationship and reinforce your brand's reputation and identity.

Armed with these benefits, you’ll want to know how you can take advantage of email marketing for improving customer engagement. Discover a few essential strategies to capitalize on the benefits listed above.   


According to Deloitte, over  60% of customers interact through multiple channels and they expect consistency.


7 strategies for how Email Marketing improves customer engagement

To improve customer engagement through email marketing, consider the following strategies:

  1. Segmentation

    Divide your email list into segments based on demographics, behavior, purchase history, etc in order to send targeted messages to each segment. Outgrow notes that 64% of the customers expect tailored engagements that are based on past interactions. Thalox is the perfect fit here, analyzing your contacts past data and giving you 3 segmented lists based on email engagement.

  2. Personalization

    Personalize your emails with the recipient's name, product or service category, and recommendations based on their previous interactions. Forbes notes that 86% of consumers say that personalized experiences increase their loyalty to brands. Emails that do not include personalization perform worse!

  3. Conversion Pathways and CTAs

    Clearly guide your subscribers through the email with compelling calls to action (CTAs) that lead to desired outcomes. After all, the goal of your campaign is not really to get someone to read your email—it is usually about leading them to another piece of content, offer, guide, or even a sales rep.

  4. A/B Testing

    Experiment with different subject lines, header images, tone of voice, and CTAs to identify what resonates best with your audience. You should not be repeating the same style and structure in every email—it gets boring! A/B testing allows you to experiment and measure which new ideas perform best.

  5. Consistency, Scheduling, and Follow-Through

    Maintain a consistent email schedule and follow through on promises made in previous emails. According to Deloitte, over  60% of customers interact through multiple channels and they expect consistency. Establishing an appropriate email volume is also important here to avoid spam or unsubscribes.

  6. Automation

    Email marketing can be automated, allowing for timely and relevant communication without constant manual intervention. With CRM platforms like HubSpot, you can create workflows to automatically send emails at certain times, to certain segments. For example, use automation to trigger emails based on user actions, such as abandoned cart reminders or welcome emails. Here, AI tools like HubSpot AI can also aid in automatically generating content and designs, saving your team time and money.

  7. Feedback

    Email is the perfect channel for hearing directly from your customers. Personalized emails from the support or sales team can go a long way in resolving doubts and advancing the sales process. It’s also great for understanding how your campaigns are perceived, with tools like surveys to be utilized to get customer feedback and opinions. The best way to understand the customer experience is to ask!

Now that you’ve got the core elements of engagement email marketing underway, take a look at several examples that you can use for your own campaigns.


Examples of Email Marketing Campaign Types that Increase Engagement

  1. Welcome Emails

    Welcome new subscribers and provide them with a brief introduction to your brand, products, and services. This might not directly have a huge effect on engagement, but it all ties into the overall customer experience and making a good first impression for your brand.  

  2. Opt-In/Re-engagement Campaign

    Make sure your contacts actually want to stay engaged with your brand via email. This can come in handy when you’re doing a database cleaning, reviewing GDPR, etc. After all, why waste time and resources on contacts that are inactive, disengaged, etc. Let them choose if they want to stay involved with your brand or not.

  3. Newsletter Subscriptions

    Keep customers informed about your brand's latest news, products, or industry insights. Newsletters should not be “one size fits all”, but segmented by product or service category, Buyer Persona, language, client type, etc. As mentioned, Thalox offers segmentation based on previous email engagement, which is extremely useful when looking towards future opens and engagement. See how thalox works.

  4. Personalized Recommendations

    Send emails recommending products or content based on a customer's previous interactions or purchase history. Readers love this type of content and it can help lead them down the sales funnel. Avoid this if you are not tracking these details, as contacts will become annoyed or disengaged if they receive content that doesn’t provide value.

  5. Reminders

    Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, product or service maintenance date, abandoned cart, reminders can be a good way to slowly and gently nudge your contacts towards a goal. This should be automated, if possible, which is why a clean, up-to-date database is essential.

  6. Survey or Review Requests

    Ask for feedback or reviews to gauge customer satisfaction and improve your services. Feedback surveys are normally used for internal evaluation of your campaigns, while review requests seek to provide external validation of your company to potential customers.

While all of the information you’ve just consumed can be overwhelming, you don’t have to do it all at once. We’ve tried to provide you with the reasons, tools, and use cases to make email marketing a larger part of your customer engagement strategy. In a landscape where engaged customers are not only more loyal but also more likely to promote a brand to others, email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to thrive in the digital age. Many of these strategies can be quick and easy to implement, and can give you a leg up on the competition immediately—with the after-effects coming to an advantage for your Marketing team and overall business.

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