We in the business of online marketing, particularly those in email marketing, have been accustomed to a reality in which we have to constantly change and adjust to new rules and restrictions of big domains (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, etc) in their quest to minimize unsolicited email (SPAM) received by their users.
Case in point- we have a significant subscriber base, say over 10 thousand and those are subscribers who chose to receive daily communications, so we must pay close attention and strictly comply with best practices to get as many messages to the recipient’s inbox and not to the various “spam” folders.
Until a year ago, the “deliverability” factor was limited to the compliance with those practices and to maintaining a level of complaints at less than 0.001% so that the target domain does not block the IP of our mail server and / or blacklist it and kill our marketing efforts. However, last year we introduce another variable to the formula- “engagement”.
In marketing, Engagement translates to the extent of consumer response when they are exposed to marketing.
This new variable is heavily used by the big domains to measure user response before determining whether emails sent from the same IP /Sender combination should be delivered to the SPAM folder or the Inbox.
In practical terms, if the majority of our subscribers respond positively to a campaign, that is, opening the message (high open rate), clicking (high click rate) or even forwarding it, the successive drops of this IP/from combination will be more likely to be delivered to the inbox folder. If, however, users do not open emails, mark them as SPAM, not taken out of the SPAM folder, and so on, it is certain that the subsequent messages from this sender will be directed to the SPAM or JUNK folder.
Attending these new practices, and ensuring best practices on our side, is the best bet for building reputation with the destination domains. In other words, it is critical to make an accurate segmentation of our subscriber base and send each segment relevant content that could generates a positive response, or… “engagement”.