Seven tips for exemplary email engagement

A recent ‘reply all’ mishap in the NHS highlighted the potential and the pitfalls of engaging with consumers via email

The NHS was struck down by a mysterious malady last week – but rather than bilious bacteria or a virulent virus, doctors and nurses found themselves battling an ailment of the content variety.

Email systems ground to a halt as a message was mistakenly sent to 840,000 employees, compounded by disgruntled officials using “reply all” to register their dismay.

A blunder of this proportion ostensibly leaves little room for optimism – unless you’re a content marketer. Combining reach of this size with cutting edge email engagement techniques can be a content marketing godsend.

Veteran Content Desk readers will already have the essentials mastered thanks to this handy article on the basics of a good marketing email.

But these seven tips could be exactly the refresher your email strategy needs to stand out from the crowd. Your mailing lists could be using “reply all” to discuss how much they love engaging with your content, rather than generating a company-wide storm over your laughable email ineptitude.

Real-time relevance

Live information can transform the humble email from a plain text message to an information hub that your consumers will come back to again and again. Market updates for finance content, stock figures for retailers and package tracking for shipping firms are all examples of live features that can take your email content to the next level.

Video content

For the average office worker accustomed to looking at walls of text all day, seeing a video embedded in an email is like stumbling upon an oasis in a content desert. Mix up your email content formats to enhance engagement stats.


Much like video content, the prospect of interaction is a powerful email weapon. Quizzes, polls and the like can revolutionise impersonal email strategies.

Mobile optimisation

The latest figures suggest that emails are overwhelmingly opened on mobile devices, a trend that shows no signs of slowing. Maximise email engagement by tailoring content to the right devices.

Use analytics

Who is reading your emails? Are some bits more popular than others? Does your relentless email length bore readers? Investing in some analytics software can ensure you aren’t wasting time for either you or your recipients.


Sending out vital emails in the dead of night is likely to meet with a muted response. But scheduling emails for busy moments like the morning rush, when inboxes become flooded with detritus, can also be a bad idea.

Judicious use of analytics can reveal when consumers will be most respondent to your outreach efforts.

Content curation

Curation is a hot topic in content marketing circles. Marshalling the most engaging content for your emails can mean circulating content written by someone else. Although counterintuitive, content-hungry consumers are more likely to engage with a wider range of content, and it helps you stay on top of developments in your field.

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