Handing the Power Back to Customers for Better Email Engagement | DMA

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Handing the Power Back to Customers for Better Email Engagement


The biggest email engagement mistake marketers can make, is to assume they know how often subscribers want to hear from them and secondly to assume that every customer is the same. Just because they share similar demographic details such as; location, age and gender etc, doesn’t mean they will share the same interests or behavioural tendencies when it comes to email frequency or preferred information.

By empowering customers to educate the marketer on what it is they want, marketers can then provide a more valuable customer experience.

Meeting customer expectations for email frequency

Email send frequency is an important factor in maintaining a high quality database, with fewer unsubscribes. Understanding what your customer wants to hear about and how often, is not only a requirement, it’s a customer expectation.

While almost half (48%) of consumers say they receive messages from between six and 20 brands, two-thirds (68%) of consumers ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement ‘Most of the emails from brands/shops/sites I receive include no information of offers that are of interest to me. Just under three quarters (74%), of emails are deleted after one day in any inbox.
Source: DMA Insight: Consumer email tracking study 2016

Many subscribers unsubscribe from newsletters where they like the product, but can’t cope with the numerous emails clogging up their inbox.

By empowering customers and subscribers with the option to set personal preference details, marketers can determine how often to send communications and accurately measure results. Handing back control to subscriber’s builds trust and customers are more likely to engage and make a purchase.

35% of marketers and 33% of consumers acknowledge that a trustworthy reputation is important
Source: DMA Marketer Tracker Email Report 2016

By allowing customers to opt-down rather than opt-out you still have the opportunity to communicate with customers on other subjects rather than them unsubscribing completely because the majority of content is irrelevant or too frequent.

Data intelligence behind personal interactions

Preference centres are a very important starting point in a bigger data story. Preference centres open the doors to providing more relevant and engaging content. Ongoing communication allows the marketer to continue to enrich the database, for a more in-depth understanding of individuals. Through continuous learning and insights into online behaviour, marketers are able to provide value.

Tips and best practice for email engagement

  • Unsubscribes are inevitable, however you should try to keep your unsubscribe rate to under 3%.
  • Be open and clear about what type of content subscribers can expect to receive when they sign up.
  • Ensure a clear link to updating preferences is available in the footer of all emails and part of your standard template.
  • Once you have mastered the preference centre, find out how you can influence the customer journey through well-timed digital touchpoints. Read more here: Marketing Automation & Customer Journey Mapping
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