The current email marketing metrics in place that determine whether a message goes to the inbox or to the spam box contemplate not just the message content and IP reputation, but also something more personal – the level of engagement.
The more your contacts interact with your messages, the more your message is important for the email service, and the greater preference it will have in the inbox.
Let’s take a closer look at how the engagement in email marketing is an information that you should take into consideration when planning your campaigns. WE’ll also be elaborating on segmenting contacts by engagement.
What is Engagement?
Engagement is not a precise metric, such as opening rate or clickthrough rate. It is a goal sought by marketers in several channels. Forrester even defined it as a key metric in marketing back in 2007.
In practice, this means that e-mail services like Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo, don’t look only for user actions such as openings, clicks, time, etc. They also seek the history of your messages with each contact, to determine if they are actually interacting with your messages or leaving them aside. If they never open and just automatically delete messages, this is a sign that you’re not so important. But if your contact usually opens, clicks, and even eventually responds to messages, you must be sending very legitimate messages, which get delivered with quality.
What are Engagement Metrics?
Some metrics are important to consider the engagement of contacts with messages. Some of them are traceable by email marketing platforms such as Mailee, and others are something that just email services such as Gmail and Outlook.com are able to grasp.
- Open rate – The good and old open rate considers how many emails are sent and how many are opened. Email clients can detect data beyond the opens, such as reading time – a good indicator of the perceived value of your message, by themselves.
- Clickthrough rate – This is a very important indicator, since it demonstrates that your contacts are not only opening the message and then deleting it, but really using it. This is why it’s important to use several links in your messages, to always direct your subscribers towards your website.
- Recent interactions – Email clients take into account if someone has interacted recently with the messages of a sender. Normally, the industry standard is that if a given contact isn’t interacting with your messages within 6 months, he/she isn’t a valid contact anymore, and should be reengaged.
Here are some more performance indicators that are detectable by email services, from user actions:
- Mark a message as not being SPAM.
- Move a message to a specific folder, or categorize it
- Sending to inactive accounts – Messages sent to an inactive account, that hasn’t been accessed for a while by its owner(s) are an indication of the fact that the lists being used are not updated or maybe, are purchased.
How to Reengage your Contacts?
So, you have some contacts that are not engaged as you would like. Let’s see what can be done:
- A special offer. If your messages are commercial, a special offer, one that is indispensable for your customers, may be the right trick to make some of them get interested again.
- Pay attention to what they want. Send an email with links, prompting them to click on the subjects they want to receive (if you have separate newsletters according to subject). In fact, a very good practice is to send this information in the footer of every message.
- Review the frequency of your sendings. They may be too often, or too sparse, thereby discouraging your contacts.
- Change your template. It’s always good to refresh your looks. With email marketing too, it works the same way.
- Adapt your messages for mobile devices. Your contacts may have had a negative experience (let’s talk more about this on subsequent posts), and the result is that they don’t come back.
Using Resources from Mailee
To keep your contacts engaged, there are some special resources from Mailee that may help you give that “special something” to your messages.
- Segmentation. This is the base for you to keep your contacts engaged and send the best content for each of them. You can segment them either by more ‘raw’ data, such as preferences from each user (think music style, football team…), as well as the engagement level: send messages only for those contacts that have interacted with your messages in the last 6 months, or for those who open your messages less often. Learn more about this here.
- Creating lists from clicks. As we mentioned, you can create a list from people that clicked on a specific link within your message. This is a perfect way of gathering contacts based on their interests.
- Personalization. Nobody likes to receive something without any personal elements. Add automatically name and other personal aspects to your messages. Learn how here.
Image: Flickr Andy Lamb