Engage Your List: The Importance of Customer Engagement

Customers - Target and Arrows Hit the WordIn a recent blog post, Jason describes how to configure and utilize our Engagement Tracking features.  But what is the importance of customer engagement?  While it may be obvious that engaged customers are more likely to produce revenue from a particular campaign, there are also other benefits to keeping customers engaged in your mailings.

Many major ISPs are beginning to use engagement as a factor in determining inbox placement.  If messages from a particular domain are being ignored or deleted without being opened, chances are that it is a message that users aren’t interested in receiving.  This increases the likelihood that future mailings from that domain will be filtered out of the inbox.

A perfect example of an ISP using engagement as a factor in placement is Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature.  The Priority Inbox attempts to identify messages similar to ones that the user has engaged with in the past based on various data from those messages including keywords, From Address, number of opens, and number of links clicked by the user.

Here are some customer engagement tips:

  • When a new address opts into your list, reach out to them with a well crafted welcome message.  Include a link such as “This is not me” that will unsubscribe the address in case the address was recorded incorrectly or falsified. This prevents you from continuing to contact someone who didn’t sign up for your mailings.  Avoid overloading the welcome message with information.  Thank them for subscribing, describe the type of mail they will be receiving from you in the future, and get them excited to start receiving that mail.

  • Engagement starts with the subject line.  The subject line should include some sort of preview of what will be inside the message. Customers will quickly lose interest in seeing the same subject line over and over.  Rather than “Your Weekly Deal At Example.com” a more effective subject line such as “This Week At Example.com: Widgets and Gadgets” can go a long way towards getting the customer to open your message.

  • Don’t include too much information in your mailings.  You want people to visit your site, so give them a reason to do so.  Provide just enough information to pique the customer’s interest, then include links such as “For more of this week’s deals, click here” or “Continue reading here.”

  • Monitor and manage your list.  If a customer hasn’t opened one of your messages in six months or more, it is safe to say that they are no longer engaged in your mailings.  You may wish to send them a re-engagement type message offering a coupon or discount.  If you still see that they are not interested, remove them from your list.  A user who is unengaged is much more likely to eventually get frustrated and start marking messages as Spam.

  • In the end, content is always the key.  These users subscribed to your list for a reason.  Keep them engaged by sending the type of mail they expected when they signed up for your list.

While our tools make it easy to track customer engagement in your mailings, it is up to you as a sender to decide what to do with that data and what kind of changes you may wish to make to future mailings based on the data gathered from previous campaigns.  Keep your customers engaged and your deliverability and business will soar!

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