New year resolution 8 of 12 – get engaged!

6 minute read

You may recall engagement as one of the 7 profiling dimensions used in the creation of targeted ‘Audiences’ (remember your new year resolution number 3 on collecting insights?)

So what is engagement, how do you measure it, and why should you care?

If you’re struggling with these questions then understanding more about engagement should be your new year resolution 8 of 12.


Mathematically quantifying the depth of your relationship may not be important for your wife/husband/partner/dog (they just know, right?), but for your business you’ll probably want to be a bit more objective when it comes to understanding how close you really are to your customers.

Traditional email performance statistics like opens and clicks give useful campaign-based feedback but to get anything more than a basic engagement metric you need to measure a number of different factors and over a prolonged period of time. With the right approach, and the right tools, engagement can not only be measured, but managed and actively exploited.

Firstly – let’s discuss what engagement looks like.

Highly engaged subscribers regularly open and interact with your campaigns. They’ll typically be the ones who complete goals (like downloads or purchases), and behind the scenes they’ll be acting as your advocates, championing your offerings to their friends and colleagues. Excellent so far. Passive subscribers will have lower and more irregular opens and interaction with your campaigns, together with low goal completion. And then there’s the disengaged – little or no interest in your campaigns and most worryingly a potential brand detractor. Oh dear!

Secondly – how do you measure it?

The problem with engagement is that it’s difficult to measure in an objective way. It’s dependent on several (in fact many) different factors, each of which is subjective to a lesser or greater extent, and it’s not static – it changes over time. That’s why we come to quantify engagement for you we use a multi-parameter algorithm which continually monitors things like the frequency, quantity and depth of interaction with your campaigns.

I’ll spare you the details. What you need to know is that it automatically scores each subscriber with a star rating from 1* (that’s the most disengaged) to 5* (that’s your most engaged). The rating increases with positive behaviour (including signing up, opening, clicking, goal completing etc.) and decreases with the opposite behaviour or over time with no activity. It is nonlinear (that is, different actions have different weightings) and it uses both theoretical and empirical data to accurately reflect real life scenarios.

You can use your engagement ratings to quantify subscribers as individuals or as a measure of the engagement of your overall database over time. Both are really useful.

Thirdly – what do you do with this information?

Like all of the profiling ‘Dimensions’, engagement can be used to define segmented groups (we call them ‘Audiences’) within your subscriber database. These can then be used to more precisely target your campaigns with information and calls to action which are specifically relevant.

Some typical applications would be re-engagement campaigns (to 1 or 2* subscribers) enticing them with new content and ‘come back’ promotions or, at the other end of the scale, sending VIP offers, rewards or loyalty benefits to your most engaged subscribers (the 5* people in your database). Either way, like all precision targeted campaigns, delivering highly relevant content will improve opens and interaction.

Finally, why should you care?

Perhaps this is obvious, but it’s more than just having happy customers. The bottom line is that loyal, highly engaged customers are good for business. They spend more, return more often and are typically less price sensitive than new prospects. They also refer you and your brand to their peers, and referral is a hugely powerful buying criteria for new prospects.


So, if you like the sound of any of this, then investigating engagement should be your new year resolution number 9.

It might sound tricky but all of the data is automatically collected and processed for you by the system. We can even replay your previous campaigns to give you a historic view of your campaign engagement.

Here’s a summary of a few actions to take:

1. Take a moment to review how ‘Dimensions’ and ‘Audiences’ work and how they can be used individually or in combination to precision target your campaigns.
2. If you want to know more about engagement, we’ve presented this at several industry conferences lately. The presentation slides are shared here.
3. Give us a call. If you are regular user we can provide you with your unique engagement report and guide you on how to use this information.

I’ll be back with new year resolution 9 of 12 soon. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding engagement, give us a call, we’ll be pleased to help.