So let's dig deeper into how we can measure this and make changes...
The long and the short of it is that if the email you are sending does not engage your readers, chances are it’s going to be sent straight to their junk folder if you don’t make some changes. Spammers are forever trying to find different ways to abuse the system and ISPs are forever trying to figure out new creative ways of stopping them.
If you're a lucky MailMachine user, you'll be pleased to know that we help you out by measuring engagement for you. If you're not using MailMachine - why not?! It's free to send up to 15,000 emails per month - and we've got some gorgeous pricing for those who need to send more.
So, we monitor engagement by combining the average click and open rates for the last 6 months and giving them a grade out of 10. We take into account Opens vs Unique Opens as well as Clickthroughs vs Unique Clickthroughs, and present this to you in a lovely graphical format against each of your lists, as well as an overall engagement score for all of your lists combined:
Half a star = 1 point
A huge number of ISPs and email providers such as Yahoo and Gmail also take into account the number of complaints you receive, the number of hard bounces you generate, the number of spam traps you hit and whether or not your content is flagged by their content filters. They look at this data along with third party reputation metrics from blacklists to determine where to place your email. We want this to be in the users inbox (or better still, with some mail providers such as Gmail, in the new fangled 'priority inbox'!).
How do I boost my engagement?
Your open & click rates are determined by many things, but on average you should be seeing anywhere from 10-60% dependant on your reputation, how well you build and maintain your lists and of course, the content you are sending.
The data never lies, look at our basic delivery model. Start by focusing on past campaigns. Did some perform better than others? Ask yourself why. Was it something as simple as the subject line? Did your email contain an attractive offer your customers could not resist? Did you effectively target a specific portion of your list through segmentation to help boost performance? Could you have tested out different content or subject lines by conducting an A/B Split Test?
Here are some tips you can try:
- Identify your audience and target your campaigns accordingly – this data should be part of your onboarding process, find out as much as you can (within reason) and use it to your advantage. It is better to send relevant, targeted emails at a smaller number of users than it is to blast out non-relevant emails to your entire list. This will drastically reduce your engagement!
- Write compelling content - if your emails are boring or of no use to your reader, they'll be junked!
- Use appealing subject lines – knowing what your email is about before they open it is extremely important.
- Learn from your mistakes – finding out what didn’t work is almost as important as what did!
- Retire inactive users – people that have not opened/clicked in a while are deadweight. Try a win-back campaign and if that doesn’t work, remove them from your list entirely.
- Test – try using A/B Split campaigns to maximize the effectiveness of your content.
Another thing you can look at is your Google analytics reporting. What happens when the user has opened/clicked through and they are sitting on your webpage? What is their average time on your site? What is the number of page views? Did they convert? Did they purchase something? MailMachine fully integrates with Google Analytics to make monitoring the impact of your email marketing as easy as pie.
Now lets get those emails in those inboxes!