In the last few months I’ve talked quite a bit about email marketing and how powerful it can be, from looking at how to write the perfect nurture sequence, to how to setup an effective lead generation system. But there’s one huge remaining aspect that we haven’t looked at yet, and that’s how to boost engagement on your list.

Engagement is super-important in pretty much every area of digital marketing. You want to engage your audience on your blog, on social media, on your vlog or podcast, and on your email list.

Everywhere there’s a point of contact between you and your audience, you want them as engaged as possible.

An engaged list is far less likely to unsubscribe, far more likely to find the content and offers you send them interesting, and far more likely to buy – and buy repeatedly.

Unlike the other aspects of content marketing that are predominantly inbound and largely passive, like social media and SEO, email marketing is an outbound and proactive tactic.

The catch is that it is only effective if your list is engaged. So let’s look at some practical ways you can make sure your subscribers are as engaged as possible…

#1 Tell Stories

The most engaging thing you can do in any piece of content is tell stories. Email marketing is no different. Whether you’re emailing out your weekly newsletter, or sending a sales pitch, add a story to it.

For example, I often tell a bit of a ‘what’s going on this week’ story when I send out my newsletter. It may only be a sentence or two, or a more detailed tale, but I always try to work in a bit of a personal anecdote.  

Stories are an incredibly powerful aspect of marketing because they connect with people on a very deep level. Stories make you relatable, and people instinctively want to respond to them with stories of their own. They help you build trust with your audience and allow them to really get to know you.

The beauty of stories is that they’re so easily included in your content. Think about what you’re sharing, and what you’re trying to achieve. Then think of a time something happened to you that was relevant. You might use a story as an analogy, or simply explain how it is you came to develop a product or service, or ended up writing/talking about the particular subject of a piece of content.

Telling stories to your email list is also a great way of making sure your subscribers get some exclusive stuff from you. If all you’re doing is sending the same content and offers they can see on your website and social media, there’s no incentive for them to stay on your list. They’re not gaining anything by it, and it doesn’t make them feel special.

When you tell them a story it’s like confiding in a friend. It makes them feel special, as if they’re worthy of your confidence and trust, which in turn makes them trust you, like you, and value you all the more.

It’s also a great way to show you’re human and just as fallible as they are – share your mistakes and struggles, as well as your successes. Tell them how you struggled to build you business, and what you have done that succeeded.

#2 Write Powerful He