Personalising marketing based on customer data such as channel preference and purchase history fundamentally drives higher email engagement, according to a marketing guide just released by Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Called Email Deliverability [LINK]– a guide for modern marketers, the white paper dives deeply into email marketing best practice.

According to the authors, the need to keep subscribers engaged is complicated by the actions of ISPs who actively monitor user-level engagement to determine inbox delivery. For marketers it is critical they understand how this works so that their messages pass unhindered through the spam filter.

The Guide’s authors say “The more sophisticated marketers become in personalising individual customer experiences, the more relevant email messages become, which drives more engagement and more inbox placement versus junk folder placement.

Opens and clicks — and the recency of those activities — is often the metric used to determine email engagement level. When those in your database become uninterested and stop clicking on your emails, there can be adverse effects on email deliverability.

Email delivery art 1

By continually sending email to unengaged subscribers, brands risk their reputation as well as increasing the chances of an inactive address being converted into a spam trap.

Defining Engagement

The authors caution that while a company’s internal definition of an active customer and inactive customer may be based on measures like web site visits, purchase history, customer or account status, from a deliverability standpoint they have little bearing.

Instead, the spam police at the ISPs need to see engagement with email specifically. ISPs track user activity in two categories: positive engagement and negative engagement, the guide reveals.

From a deliverability perspective, clicks are the only fully accurate measure of activity for an email recipient because a click is a definitive action taken by the recipient. Opens are secondarily helpful as an engagement metric, although there are potential inaccuracies with opens because of preview panes usage and image suppression.

Recipient actions that contribute to a positive engagement quotient include: clicking through links; adding an address to their contacts or address book; enabling images; opening the message; and scrolling through the message.

On the flip side, actions that contribute to a negative engagement quotient include: reporting as spam; deleting the message; moving the message to trash; marking messages as read; and ignoring messages.

For more information Download the full report on email deliverability today.

Andrea Dixon is the Director of Marketing, JAPAC at Oracle Marketing Cloud which is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Andrew Birmingham is the director of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members contribute their expertise and insights to Which-50 for the benefit of our senior executive audience. Membership fees apply.

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