The Pitfalls of “Engagement Bait” Campaigns

Oct 16, 2019 4:16:23 PM / by Bailey Thomas

As an advertising agency, it’s important for us to stay up-to-date on the latest digital news and trends in regards to social media, graphic design and email marketing just to name a few. One trend, in particular, we noticed kept popping up in our inbox. Lately, companies that we subscribe to have been sending emails with ‘MAJOR TYPO’ in the subject line, which made us open it out of pure curiosity. Come to find out, some of these brands didn’t actually have a typo that they were correcting at all. Why might they do that you ask? Our hypothesis was that these companies wanted higher open rates for their emails so they thought of a subject line that would incline users to open their email, it certainly worked on us. So, we decided to put this hypothesis to the test.

In last month’s newsletter, we did just that and made ‘Major Typo!’ the email subject line. The results? We had a 10% increase in open rate from the previous months! Our hypothesis was correct; however, we don’t recommend using this strategy. While we saw a significant increase in email opens, our clicks were down. We found that a larger audience doesn’t mean it will be a more engaging audience.

 Furthermore, similar strategies that “trick” users into engaging with you, such as engagement bait (think like, share and comment) on social media, might generate immediate and short-term results but unless your content is relevant, they mostly won’t come back for more. Above everything else, the goal should be building lasting, human relationships with your customers, while being transparent. This strategy might help boost your numbers, but the long-term effect won’t win you any true fans. Instead of “engagement bait” tactics, deploy inbound marketing strategies that are human and helpful. Invite users to interact with you, don’t force them.

 Need help with an inbound marketing strategy? Reach out, I’d love to help!


— Bailey, Inbound Marketing Manager

Topics: Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing

Bailey Thomas

Written by Bailey Thomas