Is 20% a good open rate? What about a click-through rate of 5%? Well that depends on the industry you are in and what type of communications you're sending. There’s one thing I can tell you without knowing anything about you, you want these rates to be higher.
Each week you send out a newsletter and each week you might get a 20% open rate. Is it the same 20% opening each time? There might be 20% engaging with your email, but it won’t be the same people consistently opening that’s for sure! Now I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t be focusing on opens or clicks, because you should. They are important. What I am saying is that you need to look beyond these metrics, look beyond the open rate and find out how your database is performing.
Within email marketing, we would be naive to think that 100% of our database is clicking each individual email every time we send. This is where database segmentation comes into play and more importantly database engagement segments.
What Are Engagement Segments?
Simply put, engagement segments are groups of customers placed into various buckets dictated by the last time that they interacted with an email.
Why Are They Important?
They allow us to understand why our 20% unique open rate is declining—and more importantly, they allow us to implement marketing tactics to engage our database.
What Are These Segments?
They can vary, however the methodology is always the same. They are based on a timeline of interactions.
- New to Database = Subscribers with a join date of 0 – 30 days
- Highly Active = All other subscribers who have engaged within 0 – 30 days
- Active = Subscribers who have engaged within 31 – 90 days
- Lapsed = Subscribers who have engaged within 91 – 180 days
- Inactive = Subscribers who have engaged within 181 – 270 days
- Dormant = Subscribers who have not engaged for more than 271 days
- No Interactions = Subscribers who have never engaged (there are a lot of them!)
Engagement is defined as clicks and opens (a true form of engagement), and you can also individually look at clicks or opens. Engagement segments can be customized; if you have an impulse product or a short purchase cycle, then the above might suit you best. If you have a highly considered purchase, for instance a 30 strong fleet of airplanes, then that segmentation might be extended to define highly active and active as one active segment lasting 90 or 180 days.
To learn more about using Engagement & Intent to boost the power of your email communications watch our webinar.
What Can I Do With This?
Well, I'm glad you asked.
Within both the Responsys and Eloqua marketing platforms you can run programmatic communications. This means that we can trigger communications to be sent based on an event. An event might be a welcome sent email to a customer who is new to the database, or listening for the moment; or it could be a conversion email sent to a dormant customer (hasn’t engaged in the last 271+ days) who suddenly becomes highly active. Finally (but not limited to these examples), you can utilize the segmentation tools to run re-engagement programs and awaken that 40-50% of your database that is dis-engaged (hasn’t engaged in over 181 days). Trust me, you might be surprised at how disengaged your database is when you start introducing engagement segments.
On the positive side, if you start to shift your thinking beyond a click and an open, and start to think about database engagement, you can start to unlock the power of your email communications and craft communications that are focused on driving database engagement, a step beyond email engagement.
To move beyond a click and an open, download our Email Deliverability Guide for Modern Marketers to help you identify your engagement segments and focus on driving database engagement.