How Better Engagement Can Save Your Holiday Sending

Chris Truitt

Chris Truitt

As the holidays quickly approach and shoppers brace for a flurry of emails, you want your hours spent planning and crafting the perfect campaigns to pay off. But how do you make sure your messages are read by all those savvy shoppers busy checking off their gift lists? One key is maintaining a clean and engaged list. But doing so requires regular customer engagement, which often falls by the wayside during the mad dash to push valuable content out as quickly as possible.

This holiday season, we encourage you to reconsider engagement as an imperative component of your marketing campaigns. Think of it as a much-needed oil change before beginning your long cross-country adventure.

What You Need to Know

Sending email to contacts who repeatedly fail to open your messages can begin to negatively affect your inbox placement. If you don’t pay close attention to the responsiveness of email contacts and clean up your list to remove or segment the unengaged, you’ll have a tough time reaching those who actually want to receive your content. Gmail leads the pack in terms of monitoring and reacting to engagement metrics., and Yahoo does a good job as well. We expect this practice will be common for most mailbox providers in the near future.

No Longer a Numbers Game

Sometimes, less really is more. Marketers have been conditioned to believe that the more contacts, the better. In other words, more addresses from more prospective customers translate into more revenue. But that’s not exactly true. A more accurate statement: more engaged and interested prospects mean more revenue and a far better return on your marketing investment.

Change Up Your Strategy

So how do you safeguard your deliverability and increase your chances of reaching the inbox? Take a good look at your list and plan some re-engagement. First, segregate unengaged contacts from your core list of subscribers. Essentially, place those eggs into a separate basket, and avoid daily sends and remails to that group.

For your next few sends, concentrate on the core list of engaged subscribers. This allows you to show the ISPs that you are maintaining a tidy subscriber list and gradually boost your engagement score.

Next, compose a series of messages, no more than three or four, to entice your unengaged contacts to open and then visit your site. Each message should contain a call to action to encourage that response.

The final step is probably the toughest. Now that you’ve segmented unresponsive subscribers and sent them special content, discard the ones who still haven’t opened or clicked. Some marketers make the mistake of repeatedly sending messages to this segment, but that seldom works out. And it’s likely that a list of addresses that log few to no opens may include recycled spam traps. In short, continuing to send to lists like this only undermines your objective.

Following a carefully crafted re-engagement strategy is a great way to make the most of delivery and win back contacts who’ve lost interest. But remember: when it’s all said and done, it’s better to let go of those who don’t respond. Your sending reputation will thank you. And if they suddenly have a change of heart, they know where to find you.