The engaged customer: One answer to the deliverability challenge

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Deliverability is definitely the Holy Grail of e-mail marketers these days: How to ensure that your e-mails get delivered to your recipients' inboxes.

While deliverability is important to e-mail marketing, one aspect of deliverability that has nothing to do with your content or your status with Internet service providers is your relationship with your recipients.

In terms of deliverability, it shouldn't just be about getting into the inbox. It should be about engaging your customers and providing them with the content they want, relevant content that's delivered with appropriate frequency.

Because if you don't engage them, if you provide different content than they thought they were subscribing to, if you e-mail them too often-you'll lose them. You may get into their inbox because they've opted in to your e-mail and you've optimized your deliverability with the ISPs. But they could still hit the spam button because you haven't delivered on their expectations.

It takes a new perspective. Not "What do we want to send, what is the message of our next e-mail campaign?" but "What do our customers want to receive?" 

Consumer's Content?

E-mail marketers need to ask themselves "What is the value to our customers of opting in to our e-mail and are we providing it?" 

Because you can optimize for deliverability to the end of your days, but if your customer decides that your content is irrelevant or you e-mail too frequently, you'll become a spammer in their eyes nonetheless. At best, they'll delete your e-mails. At worst, they'll mark your e-mails as spam. Another customer lost.

Fortunately, the solution is simple: Set expectations clearly when you ask your recipients to subscribe. Then meet those expectations. There's no magic formula for any one e-mail marketing campaign in terms of what content and how often.  

Maybe you need to segment your list so you can provide different content to the different segments. Maybe you need to conduct a survey of your customers to find out from them what their interests and preferences are. Maybe you need to run some A/B split tests, just to see if different content will provide different responses. It's not rocket science, but it's also not simply blasting, hoping for the best result.

You may end up sending fewer e-mails, but you'll have customers that open and read the e-mails you do send because they want to, they're interested, they're engaged.  And if you can do that, you'll truly have found the Holy Grail of e-mail marketing - the engaged customer.

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