In 2020, engagement continues to remain the most talked about and researched topic of interest with regards to email delivery. Recency and relevancy are critical to successful email campaigns.
Almost a year ago Google announced it had been using TensorFlow, it's machine learning framework, to filter traffic in gmail and GSuite. The section titled "One person's spam is another person's treasure" hints at what we have seen in action for years now: delivery of email is personalized.
Google may be a pioneer in this area, but Yahoo, and MSN networks (hotmail, live, outlook) have also implemented machine learing spam filtering strategies of their own in recent years. As business migrate to Outlook365, Yahoo Business or GSuite domains, the distinction between B2B and B2C traffic is being blurred.
While the over-arching topic of engagement is unchanged from years past, the industry is looking to enhanced Automation, Dynamic Segmentation, and Multi-Track Email Marketing as ways to stay ahead. We'll get into more detail on those topics later on the series but for today we'll start with something any sender can setup: a warm-up track for new sign ups.
Groom Opt-Ins with a series of engaging messages before moving to the Revenue Track
Consumer email networks place a huge emphasis on user engagement. If you're regularly sending to recipients that aren't opening and clicking on your emails at gmail/yahoo, it will affect inbox placement for other recipients within that network.
To boost performance from new sign up, send a series of engagement offers before sending revenue offers. The idea being to establish a pattern of interaction between you and the recipient before sending any revenue offers.
Take, for example, the case of a lifestyle blog.
New Sign Ups are first enrolled in a series of messages designed to boost engagement. Possible examples:
- Ask them to reply to your email and tell you their story. What are they hoping to learn from your blog and how can you best help them?
- Send a message about building community and sharing information with friends. Ask recipients to forward along the message.
- Offer Gold or points that lead to a special discount. A point system works well because you can dole out small amounts of Gold over the course of several messages.
This creates a series of engagements or interactions with new followers right away and builds that pattern up early on, before you begin marketing to them. A drip-campaign with ReachMail's Auto-Messages is a great way to automate the sequence.
Recipients that are interacting with your emails on a regular basis are more likely to see future messages from you in their inbox.