Why your unengaged email contacts are killing your business
- 09 Nov
Are you sending emails to contacts that have been in your database for six plus months but haven’t opened your last 10-15 emails? If you are, this blog post is for you, because you’re killing your business and I’m here to put a stop to it.
As someone who is passionate about email marketing, it pains me to see so many businesses still abusing the channel. Your email database is the most valuable asset you have, but if you don’t understand the impact of email engagement, then it's about as useful as Dejan Lovren playing centre back for Liverpool.
Just to clarify what I mean by email engagement, I’m talking about deliverability, opens, clicks and visits to your website.
High email engagement is crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts. Mailbox ISPs such as Yahoo, Gmail and Microsoft are using email engagement to determine where to place your emails e.g. the inbox or the junk folder. You need to concentrate on sending emails that people have agreed to, and are unique and highly relevant to each segment of your database. By doing this you will avoid falling foul of 'graymail'.
“What is graymail?”
ISPs are clever. They look at emails coming from your domain and assess their relevance. Over time, if they see that emails from your domain are not being opened, receive few clicks, and worse, marked as spam, this affects your future deliverability to existing contacts and new subscribers. For example, if a member of your database opens a couple of emails but doesn’t open the next 15, ISPs will begin to categorise your emails as graymail, and remove them from your recipient’s inbox and into folders such as Clutter and Promotions. Worse, continuous unengagement will move your emails to the junk folder and ISPs classifying your sending domain as a spammer.
“How do I know if my audience is unengaged?”
This is the difficult part for many. You might have a database that overall is well engaged. Spending the time finding out who isn’t engaged may not seem like a worthwhile exercise, but I can assure you it is. Marketing automation systems such as SharpSpring and HubSpot evaluate email engagement for you and highlight who your unengaged email contacts are. Furthermore, they will automatically stop you sending to unengaged contacts so you don’t have to worry about it.
“What should I do to keep my email database engaged?”
You need to think about email marketing in the same way you think about your own emails. If you send an email to a colleague, you know that email will be opened and read. In email engagement terms, that is a 100% open rate. Realistically, you are never going to get a 100% open rate with your email marketing, but that should be your mentality, no matter the size of your database. If you’re sending marketing emails, such as newsletters and product updates, you would expect them to be opened and read – wouldn’t you? If the answer is no, then why are you sending them?
Graymail primarily exists because people are receiving emails that are of no relevance to them. Marketing automation systems allow you to send dynamic and highly personalised emails, that relate to your individual contacts interests and behaviour. SharpSpring, for example, let’s you swap out entire sections of your email and replace it with sections specific to a segment of your audience. This means that you could send one email, to one list, that looks completely different to one person, than it does for someone else.
If you're sending to unengaged contacts, and you still don’t think you need to change your approach having read this, then I wish you all the best on Planet Junk, Clutter Island and Spam Hell. If you wish to change and value the power of your email database, then I’m glad to welcome you to Inbox Heaven and Profit City.