The keys to driving high engagement with email marketing boils down to personalizing the customer experience based on two fundamental components, purchase history and channel preference. Consider that monitoring user-level engagement to make certain determinations such as inbox delivery is something major ISP’s look at in order to make determinations in regards to deliverability, making it even more important to keeping your subscribers engaged.
The need to create a truly personalized email experience for subscribers, using ever more sophisticated techniques to do so will drive up engagement and keep emails out of the junk folder.
Opens and clicks
The timeliness of these actions make certain determinations about email engagement. If you lose the interest of your subscribers and begin to see this metric dip, you may end up experiencing adverse engagement results, and in-turn deliverability may be negatively affected.
The act of sending to users who have clearly shown a lack of engagement over a period of time can not only put your reputation as a responsible sender at risk but will also increase the chance of having users who truly are engaged with your emails to end up hitting a spam filter.
Typically clients have their own definitions of what to consider an active customer vs. an inactive customer which more often than not has little if nothing to do with user engagement from a deliverability standpoint. This is due to clients solely looking at customer purchase history, account status or website visits, which is perfectly logical from the perspective of a business owner. Unfortunately this is not the case and these factors have little bearing from a deliverability standpoint.
Engagement with email specifically is what ISP’s must see.
ISPs have gone on the record saying that they track user activity in two categories: positive engagement and negative engagement.
While opens do hold some weight, they are only secondary indications of engagement levels in regards to deliverability metrics. The reason for this, other than the obvious lack of engagement with the content within the email, is due to inaccuracies in analyzing opens due to preview pane usage and image suppression. At the end of the day, clicks are the only accurate measurement of activity for an email recipient as clicks are definitive actions taken by the user.
Subscriber actions that contribute to positive engagement is as follows:
• User scrolling down through the message
• Images enabled
• Adding an email address to contacts/address book
• Click-through links
• Email being opened
Subscriber actions that contribute to negative engagement are as follows:
• Subscriber marks message as read
• Moving message to trash
• Message being ignored by subscriber
• Reporting email as spam
• Deleting the message