The best salespeople watch for customer buying cues. If there are no buy signals, they move on. Intensely motivated to close deals quickly, they recognize that timing issues can arise.
By giving their prospects space and following up later, they build trust, rapport, and eventually close the deal. A good salesperson can read customers/prospects and use timing to their advantage.
What of email marketers? Not so much. Despite having increasingly complex subscriber data, many marketers still treat all subscribers equally.
Don’t lull your clients! Do you keep talking until someone falls asleep? No? Many email marketers do exactly that.
Previously, this was forgiven. Marketers couldn’t always tell how people responded to their ads. The “Mad Men” of Madison Avenue crafted campaigns over whiskey and cocktails. Marketers could then SELL a campaign that mattered.
Things have changed. Email open/click and read time data are available on an individual level in 2021 and beyond, and smart marketers are using this data to make their email programs responsive.
Email Deliverability Basics
Especially obnoxious salespeople have trouble booking appointments. Mailings to people who never open or click can end up in spam folders, even for people who engage frequently.
Many marketers believe that a 20% open rate means subscribers are opening every fifth email. Some of their subscribers open every email, others only open a few, and still others have fallen asleep and haven’t engaged in months. Those disengaged will eventually tarnish your “sender reputation.”
Construct an Email Marketing Program that is responsive
Your marketing automation platform already has all the data you need. Just put it to use. So let us begin.
The first step to a responsive email program is segmenting your audience by engagement. However, let’s look at how to do it manually.
- Determine the average monthly email volume for your subscribers. Also include your blog notifications and channels. Assume you send 10 emails per month, or 2–3 per week.
- Get a list of all your subscribers who haven’t opened your last 60 emails (roughly six months). We’ll call them “disengaged.”
- Set up a list of subscribers who haven’t opened an email in four months but have in the last six months. This segment is low engagement.
- In the last 15 emails, or a month and a half, create a list of subscribers who opened emails. That means “moderate engagement.”
- Create a segment for “highly engaged” subscribers who have opened an email in the past month.
If your emails contain a lot of links or CTAs, you can use clicks instead of opens.
Customization of Engagement Levels
Now that you know your audience’s digital body language, you can engage with them differently.
For disengaged email addresses, you can simply lower your email cadence or run a re-engagement campaign. You could also try sending their emails at a time when they have previously opened or clicked on your emails.
Consider reducing your low engagement subscribers’ email frequency to once or twice a month. You can reduce the frequency of emails to once a week for moderate engagement and once a month for high engagement. Your strategy should be guided by your brand’s goals and A/B testing.
Despite sending less email, your total clicks/opens are likely to remain stable or even increase over time. Remember that most people who are receiving less email weren’t opening it to begin with! Your customers will thank you for reading their digital body language, and your email deliverability will improve as well.