How Does Engaging From The Start Help With Email Deliverability?

“How Does Engaging From The Start Help With Email Deliverability?” is a question we often get asked.

This is generally in response to our recommendations for engaging with subscribers as one way to improve your email deliverability. (You can learn more about email deliverability here.)

Let’s take a step back for a moment.

You probably already know that email marketing can be an excellent way to build your business and to make sales, and repeat sales. How many times have you heard people say, “The money is in the list!”?

Yet so often business owners focus on building their list – that is, they focus on getting as many names and email addresses as possible on that list – but the money doesn’t follow. There can be several reasons for this (each of them easily overcome, by the way), but two common reasons that go hand-in-hand are a lack of engagement and problems with email deliverability.

Before you can start making money from your list it’s essential to build a relationship with them. You need to build rapport and earn your readers’ trust. Most are unlikely to buy from you before they know, like and trust you.

One of the best ways you can do this is to begin engaging with them as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you’ve got a ‘big list’ first.

Don’t wait until you have more time to create perfect content.

Start now.

Start as soon as you have 1 subscriber.

What exactly is engagement?

When we refer to ‘engaging with your subscribers’, the best way to think of it is to have a conversation with them and encourage a reply. Interact with them.

Your emails should be a good combination of the following:

  • helpful, relevant information
  • new products or services that might be beneficial to them
  • special offers, deals or sales
  • news and updates
  • staff, store or industry updates
  • feature products
  • feature stores or team members
  • celebrations and wins… by you, your business, your team or even other customers (with their permission).

The main thing is to send information that your subscribers will find helpful and relevant, without always sending promotional information. By the same token, you don’t want to always send non-promotional information either.

Mix it up by always keep it relevant.

Then importantly, encourage subscribers to reply with their feedback, ideas, success stories and questions.

After all, your engagement shouldn’t be one sided. Just like a face-to-face conversation, it’s easier to get to know what your subscribers want – and for them to get to know your solutions to their problems – when it’s a two-sided conversation.

Why start the conversation so early?

There are two main reasons why you should begin email engagement from the start.

1. Build the know-like-trust factor early

We’ve already established that this is a good way to help you build the rapport and trust you need quickly. But just imagine if you met someone you were interested in, gave them your name and number (or email address), then… crickets.

They don’t call.

Or message.

Or email.

You don’t hear a word from them.

Then one day, completely out of the blue, you get a message asking if you would like to go to such-and-such event with them tomorrow.

It would seem a bit strange, right?

Heck, you may not even remember who they are, let alone know them well enough – or trust them enough – to want to attend this event they’re recommending.

Yet so many people don’t email their subscribers for days, weeks or even months. Then out of the blue they start emailing them, asking them to buy their new product or come along to such-and-such event.

Then they wonder why they get ignored and don’t get many, if any, sales.

Often times they then decide that this email marketing doesn’t actually work. When the truth is that email marketing is incredibly effective… WHEN IT’S DONE CORRECTLY.

2. It helps your email deliverability

The second reason why you should begin engaging with your subscribers from day one is because it helps with email deliverability.

As you may well be aware, more and more emails are getting caught in spam filters, especially when they’re promotional or marketing emails.

One of the strategies that helps get your emails into your subscriber’s inbox is when they interact with your emails. That is, when they click a link in your email or, better still, when they reply back to your email.

The email providers see this as a conversation (exactly what we talked about earlier, right?). This shows them that you’re most likely a legitimate and trustworthy contact.

Which means… future emails from you are more likely to go directly to that subscriber’s inbox, rather than to their junk, spam or ‘other’ tabs.

So if you can begin this engagement right from the very first email, then keep it going to some degree long-term, you will most likely find that your overall email deliverability is higher.

Over time, you’ll find that subscribers will generally fall into one of three categories:

1. They’ll love hearing from you and engage frequently. These subscribers are most likely to become your customers and repeat customers.

2. They’ll self-select and decide they’re not a good match for what you’re offering and unsubscribe from your emails.  

3. Or they will lose interest over time and will gradually interact with you less, although won’t unsubscribe.

Obviously you want more of those in #1, above.

But what about the rest?

Well, for those in #2, that’s great. Don’t be upset when someone unsubscribes from your email list. If they’re not a good match for you and simply begin to ignore your emails, or worse still mark your email as spam, that’s going to affect your overall email deliverability.

So it’s far better that they unsubscribe. Let them go and wish them well.  

And for those in category #3 – these subscribers may or may not still be interested. But if they remain on your email list without ever engaging, they may be harming your email reputation. So you ideally want to move them to one of the other categories.

You can do this by sending a series of “re-engagement” emails. If they are still interested, they’ll re-engage with you. But if they’re not, then you may want to stop emailing them. We’ll go into more detail on re-engagement in another post.

The main point is, you only want people on your email list IF they are engaged. If they’re not really interested in what you have to offer, it’s better for you – and THEM – if you don’t email them.

So ask yourself if you truly engage with your subscribers.

If yes, great!

If not, now’s the time to start. Actually, the day you got your first subscriber was the time to start. Today is the next best time. J

Oh, and by the way, remember that saying we mentioned earlier, “The money is in the list!”?

Well, that’s not entirely correct. The true statement is “The money is in the ENGAGED list!”

I’ve seen many smaller lists with 1,000 or less ENGAGED subscribers make a lot more money (and with happy customers) than from some lists of 100,000+ unengaged subscribers.

If you're interested in knowing more about how we can help your business why not book a free call with us today?

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