Oh, for the good ol’ days of email marketing. You remember those days—the ones where customer engagement meant opening, clicking, and forwarding. Back then (okay, it wasn’t that long ago) determining the success or failure of your email campaign was as simple as monitoring a few key metrics. Today, customer engagement is a whole different ball game.

Open rates and click-through rates are still the foundation for gaining an understanding of subscriber engagement with your emails. However, the advent of social media has not only introduced another dimension to the engagement dynamic, but has also subtly shifted subscriber expectations as they interact with your brand. Let’s take a look at what today’s subscribers expect from the emails you send them.

  • Human Interaction

Consumers today won’t be impressed by a virtual billboard delivered to their inboxes. They want to feel as though they’re interacting with a real person, someone who cares about their needs and with whom they can discuss and relate. Humanize your emails by occasionally including personal stories and anecdotes, encouraging interaction, and providing timely responses to subscriber questions or feedback.

  • Dialogue

Social media has changed the way people view businesses. No longer can advertising focus on one-way communication; people expect the opportunity to respond, share opinions, and provide feedback. If you don’t talk to them, they’ll talk about you to someone else. For email marketing, that means soliciting subscriber responses, promoting social sharing, and demonstrating benefit to the customer rather than spotlighting the company.

  • Multi-Channel Communication

Your email subscribers undoubtedly encounter your brand in a multitude of places outside their inboxes including Facebook, blogs, review websites, your company website, and Twitter, not to mention more traditional advertising forums like television and print ads. Consumers today are looking for a cohesive message and they’re looking to be recognized for their loyalty no matter where they encounter you. Capitalize on this tendency by integrating the various prongs of your marketing strategy and by providing opportunities for subscribers to share content over a variety of venues.

  • Relevancy

Perhaps the greatest shift in email marketing is the expectation that content by personally relevant to the subscriber who receives it. List segmentation based on subscriber behavior and profile data enables you to target your messages to the people for whom they hold the greatest appeal.

Today’s email subscribers hold their information closer, demonstrate less loyalty to any particular brand, and expect businesses to earn the right to continue communicating with them. eConnect Email can help you create personalized, relevant messages for every subscriber using our advanced list segmentation, dynamic content options, and social sharing capabilities.

About susan:
Susan McClure is editor for the email marketing software company eConnect Email. Susan has experience in all facets of email marketing and enjoys sharing her collective knowledge with the ever growing eConnect Email community. When not writing, Susan enjoys being a mom, reading, hiking, and gardening.