As we continue to grow, we are constantly fielding questions around our solution and its ability to perform strategically no matter what vertical they are in. One common theme from our clients is “levels of engagement.”
A recent email from the client-side asked us this: My engagement levels have peaked in many of my programs, and I’m trying to determine if it would be a better use of time to build on these or if I should focus on creating new campaigns where I can start with a lower engagement rate but perhaps achieve a higher conversion rate as a result.
What do you think? How do your subscribers compare across the various programs you manage? What kind of data could you share that would help us learn more about this area?
My engagement levels have peaked!
First and foremost, there is no standard answer or best practice to solve or give insight into what is happening, but there is a sure-fire way to find out what is happening.
It’s called an account review, and it’s all about pinpointing the root cause of what is happening and what needs to be done to turn things in the right direction. Let’s be clear that this is not an audit of the program, where people come in and spend days interviewing stakeholders and weeks preparing a pre-formatted deck with a list of recommendations that seem almost overwhelming to implement and turn out to be costly.
An account review is performed by people who have sat in your seat as a client and know what to look for without being too invasive in your day-to-day—experienced people who know what to look for and recommend to show immediate value.
The services and support teams here at iPost have an average of 15 years of experience in email marketing and have sat in the client seat, just like you.
So what about my problem: Levels of Engagement?
The first step is to identify the primary root of the program—is it monetization, engagement, acquisition, or all three? We’ll return to this shortly.
Aside from knowing what you need and having a plan in place, we also recommend taking a closer look at your subscriber list and data:
- Have you segmented properly based on value to the program?
- Have you identified your most valuable subscribers to get insights into what drives them to engage or convert?
- What about the subscribers who you don’t hear from often?
- Are they still with your organization and just not engaged, or have they left without telling you?
It would be unfair of me as a professional email marketer to say things like everyone else says:
- Maybe you should test.
- Perhaps you should do a countdown clock.
- Maybe you should do a content check/audit.
- Perhaps you should look at other engagement numbers.
- How about we sit down with a 5-page list of questions to get to know your program.
The list of recommendations and causes can be exhaustive and overwhelming to most. A downward trend in engagement might be a good thing, or it could be a sign of things to come, but there is one way to find out.
Just like we cannot answer the best day and time to send an email, we cannot speculate why engagement has peaked or is trending down. It takes a review of the account and the experience of what to look for.
What about engagement?
When looking at Levels of Engagement, we know that it’s not about volume; it’s about quality. …And quality is subjective. What you might think is quality (more emails), your subscribers may not (less engagement). We can’t answer the question alone; however, I would like to propose an alternative solution:
Improve what you’re measuring and go after specific deliverables for multiple programs.
If your plan A was volume-based email marketing, try plan B with a measurement that is more focused on engagement or split testing/campaigns that are built around providing a specific value to the subscriber. In this method, you will find that engagement—be it in social media or via email—is all about building the right relationships with the right people, not just sending out as many emails as possible.
We all know that email is still the most successful channel to reach our audiences for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) purposes, so start by measuring what you need to prove value—engagement is about building relationships over time. If your Levels of Engagement are trending downward or have peaked, ask yourself what engagement really means to you and how you measure it. Then find a way to improve those metrics by improving upon your deliverables instead of continuing to increase email volume.
This is part of an ongoing series of emails called “Emails From The Client Side,” which will be featured periodically on the iPost blog. Feel free to send us your questions, and we’ll try our best to answer them here! I believe I have been of some help. Sometimes speaking with honesty is the better way than pretending to have all of the answers wrapped up in a bow.
Free Advice, Just Email Me
Here is where the fun part begins. If you send me an email to email@example.com and describe your issue*.
I will be happy to have my services team, including me, spend up to 2 hours of our time, at no cost to you, around an account review. If you like what you hear, then let’s chat more. If not, that’s cool…we can high-five each other and move on.
*This offer is limited to 5 organizations (for now).