Email and Engagement – Is your email engaged?

Is your email engaged?

The definition of email engagement has been debated for the past several years.  Simply put, anytime an email is touched it is engaged.  This includes Clicks, Opens and the movement of an email out of the Spam Folder.  Engagement is used by some major ISP’s to measure positive feedback that is based on the engaged action an email recipient performs on email they receive, for example from your email campaign .  How engagement feedback is perceived by an ISP may become an internal benchmark that affects your email deliverability to that ISP.

Deliverability is affected by many factors, some controllable, some out of your control.  You may think email engagement is one of those factors out of your control, but is it?  By definition, when an email is engaged there is a positive action taken on it by the recipient.  It is believed that some ISP’s utilize the user engagement stats to determine if your sent email messages are actually wanted by your subscribers, compared to those messages that aren’t wanted or acted upon (engaged).  With this information in hand the ISP may take adverse action on your mailings, which may include slowing down your email delivery to blocking your email altogether.  Logically, then, the less engaged your email recipients are the more undesirable effect on your reputation.

If you think about it, an inactive subscriber can not engage your email messages.  If you have a habit of keeping and mailing to inactive subscriber addresses, your engagement score will be low and consequentially a lower sender reputation will follow.  Maintain a good engagement record by identifying inactive addresses and remove them from your active mailing lists.

Inactive addresses are bad for business!  Consider the following:

1.      Most ESP’s charge by the messages emailed.  You will never benefit mailing to an inactive address,  only  the ESP will.

2.      Many savvy advertisers, considering the bottom line, now regard and value list activity, not list size.  A smaller list with high engagement will always outshine a bigger member list with little activity.

3.      When your inactive addresses have received enough email from you they may report you as a Spammer; or several reports later you’ll find you’re blacklisted.

4.      The receiver ISP may label all your email as SPAM, so nothing gets delivered.

As email list marketing advances in technology and strategy, engagement will play a major role in assessing the position of your email.  Inactive addresses, which commonly comprise the bulk of most email marketing lists, will remain an issue.  As part of your mailing campaign strategy employ a re-engagement campaign, which will be covered in my next Blog.  If you have questions on Engagement or other email  issues please drop us an email at