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Improving Deliverability with Engaged Contacts
Improving Deliverability with Engaged Contacts

Learn how to improve deliverability while sending emails to your most active customers

Lina avatar
Written by Lina
Updated over a week ago

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are always evaluating your sending practices - the content that you send and your subscriber engagement, to see how well you maintain your contact lists. The main goal is to ensure you send relevant information to responsive users only.

In this article, we will look into your customer's engagement and how it can help to improve the delivery of your emails.

Why should I clean inactive contacts from my list?

Subscribers who don’t engage with your campaigns are the major cause of complaints, spam traps, and hard bounces. If you don’t take action, your email may find itself in a lower position in an inbox, or be banished to the spam folder immediately.

We all want to have a high ROI from email campaigns! However, sending messages to inactive subscribers can affect that negatively. Here are a few positive occurrences that will help to improve your sender's reputation:

  • the customer opens, spends time reading, and clicks on the links in your email;

  • the customer clicks on the Not Spam button to remove your email from the Spam folder;

  • the customer moves your email to Primary folder or adds a star to mark it as important;

  • the customer whitelists you as a sender or adds your email address to his contact list.

The negative occurrences are:

  • the email address bounced;

  • the customer marked your emails as spam or deleted without opening.

Even getting an unsubscribe request from the customer is a bad sign, but it is not as bad as a spam complaint, so adding a proper opt-out instruction may save you from a much worse consequence.

All email providers are aggregate this data and look into patterns — if your customer's reaction is negative your sender's reputation drops. Of course, we are not always able to predict your customers' response to certain types of emails, but we can expect higher engagement from those that were active recently (opened your emails, or purchased from you). It is also a great idea to tailor your content and send information about products that your customers' engaged with.

Segmenting active contacts

We've noticed that three main metrics determine your customer's engagement. By combining them, you can find which subscribers are the most active. Here are some recommendations on how to segment your contacts to know which ones are the most engaged:

  1. Create different segments starting with customers who bought a product in the last 7 days and keep the timeframe growing

  • Placed order at least once in the last 7 days

  • Placed order at least once in the last 14 days

  • Placed order at least once in the last 21 days

  • Placed order at least once in the last 30 days

  • Placed order at least once in the last 45 days

  • Placed order at least once any time

2. Combine your last segment, “Placed order at least once any time” with a segment dedicated to customers who clicked your campaign

  • Placed order at least once any time + Clicked campaign link in any campaign in the last 7 days (2 separate segments)

  • Placed order at least once any time + Clicked campaign link in any campaign in the last 14 days (2 separate segments)

  • Placed order at least once any time + Clicked campaign link in any campaign in the last 21 days (2 separate segments)

  • And keep the time frame growing

3. After you send a campaign to contacts who clicked any campaign link any time, you should add one last segment for the opens

  • Placed order at least once any time + Clicked campaign link in any campaign that was sent any time + Opened any campaign in the last 7 days (3 separate segments).

  • Placed order at least once any time + Clicked campaign link in any campaign that was sent any time + Opened any campaign in the last 14 days (3 separate segments).

  • And keep the time frame growing

Send engaging content

It is quite fair to assume that customers you have on your list are interested in the products you are selling or at least were interested when subscribing. However, they might be interested in particular products only. Your task is to find these and target your communication to the right customer, at the right time through the preferred communication channel. Some of the aspects that may contribute are:

  • collecting information about your customers in the Sign-up forms;

  • sending surveys, collecting feedback and providing them with the ability to update their subscription preference;

  • segmenting your customers based on previous purchase behavior and engagement with your emails;

  • provide more incentive to open your emails, provide a discount or exclusive offer;

  • educate your customers, use your Sign-up forms, and Automated workflows targeted for newcomers to explain what kind of emails and how frequently you will be sending. The incentive itself won't be as effective as the customer awareness of such a possibility.

Sending practice

Send consistently

Consistency is an important factor for improving reader engagement with your campaigns. Make an analysis of your clients’ behavior and according to your findings:

  • Send your campaigns in readers’ inboxes at the time when they are most active;

  • Create expectations for your readers so they know when to look out for your new campaigns;

  • Every audience is different so take some for testing and find the right time of the day or day of the week. Trust us, it will pay off in the end.

Other good practices

Don't use old or stale mailing lists. If you are migrating to Omnisend from another email service provider, import to Omnisend only those subscribers who were active (opened or clicked your newsletters) in the last 6-12 months. Subscriber engagement is a huge part of getting emails into the inbox. When an ISP (internet service provider) sees low engagement rates, they will often begin to bulk the campaigns to the spam folder. Then, they will block the domain and IP addresses used to deliver the campaigns.

And remember one golden rule - quality always wins over quantity. Send content to engaged subscribers only, and your deliverability will increase significantly!


What are server clicks (spam clicks)?

A server click, also known as a bot click, spam click, or non-human interaction, occurs when the anti-spam filter of the receiving mail server checks the validity of links in an email. For example, Gmail's anti-spam filters may click links in suspicious emails to ensure they're not malicious, helping determine whether to deliver the email to the inbox or mark it as spam.

Why do server clicks affect my email reporting, and why am I seeing an increase?

Server clicks, aimed at enhancing inbox security, complicate reporting on email activity. Due to a global rise in phishing attacks, mailbox providers tighten security settings, resulting in an increase in server clicks.

While Omnisend reliably tracks clicks, it's important to note that we can't distinguish clicks made by anti-spam software. Aggressive spam filters often interact with links in emails, making it challenging to precisely identify genuine user engagement.

If you notice an unusually high number of clicks from a single domain or user, it may be indicative of spam filter activity.

What should I do if I notice a sudden increase in opens, clicks, or unsubscribes, and how can I prevent this in the future?

If you suspect server clicks are impacting your email data, follow these recommendations. Check newly linked URLs for potential issues and assess your list health by removing inactive or unengaged subscribers, as described in the guide above.

To prevent future occurrences, adhere to best practices: encourage subscribers to add you to their Safe Senders List (mark your emails as safe) and promote it in Welcome emails or signup forms. Also, ensure you only link to content hosted on your website and include an active unsubscribe button in all emails.

If you have any questions, please write to [email protected].

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