Shopper Sam has not opened any of the emails you’ve sent her in the last 90 days.

Like any good marketer would, you automatically remove Sam from your email list and add her to your inactive email segment. Since inactive subscribers can drag down your email click-through rate, hurt your email deliverability, and send your messages to the spam folder, you remove her in order to maintain a healthy sender reputation and continue to have good inbox placement.

But what if Sam actually is still engaged with your brand? What if she’s following your brand on Instagram, liking your posts on Facebook, and visiting your website to browse for products?

If you sunset her email address from your list, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to reach her and continue to engage her on another valuable channel. One of your emails could be the one that pushes her to finally buy.

This is exactly why engagement filtering is so important in email marketing. Omnichannel engagement filtering helps you see the full picture of your customers so you know who truly is and isn’t engaged across multiple channels.

While Sam is not interacting with your email marketing, there are other indicators you can track that help you understand that she is still active. With engagement-based filtering, you know that she isn’t a lost cause at all — in fact she’s a valuable asset and has the potential to buy again soon.

Why should you care about engagement filtering?

Marketers often only look at one factor when determining if someone is engaged with their brand: the last time they opened a promotional email or purchased an item. However, buyer engagement metrics today are far more complex than that. With omnichannel engagement filtering, you should consider a number of other factors to determine whether a buyer is truly still engaged or not. These factors include:

  • Date of their last website visit
  • Last order date
  • Number of orders
  • Lifetime order value
  • Lifetime page views
  • Social media interactions
  • Most recent click on an ad or blog post
  • Last contact with your support team

You need to look at all these factors together to decide if a buyer is truly disengaged and therefore not interested in your brand. If they have visited your website and liked a post on Instagram, but haven’t opened an email, they are still engaged and should remain on your email marketing list.

Engagement-based filtering also enables you to more accurately sunset email addresses by being completely sure that individual customers are disengaged because they haven’t interacted with you on any channel. Then, you can safely remove them from your email list and improve your click and open, bounce, spam, and unsubscribe rates, making it less likely your emails will fall victim to spam filters.

How can engagement filtering improve marketing ROI?

By applying engagement filtering to your marketing across channels, you’ll be able to better measure a buyer’s current intent to purchase.

Let’s take Sam as an example. As you’re measuring a range of engagement factors including the ones mentioned above, you can see that she liked your Instagram about your new range of ties post from a week ago. Then two days later, she clicked on a Twitter link to the tie page on your website. A couple of days later she’s back on the page checking out your ties again. The signals all point to Sam being ready to buy, and buy soon. This is the perfect moment to send her a highly targeted and personalized offer for 10% off ties.

When you track engagement and understand purchase intent patterns, you can use your customer data to further optimize your marketing campaigns and better target your buyers. Rather than going on gut feel or sending the same mass email to all of your contacts, you can really personalize your marketing, which has been proven to improve marketing results.

The principle strategies of omnichannel marketing also apply here. Going back to Sam, maybe she gets 200 emails a day or only checks her email once every week. This may mean that email isn’t really the best channel to contact her. By having a single view of all her interactions, you can send her the discount code in the channel that she is most likely to respond to and double down on your marketing efforts in that channel — boosting your ROI. You can also better plan re-engagement campaigns because you know more about customers’ behaviors and which channel you can use best to get their attention.

How do I implement engagement filtering?

Engagement filtering is not possible if your customer data is still stuck in silos. If you can’t get a 360-degree view of your customer, then you won’t be able to determine if they are engaged or not. The only way to access this kind of insight is by having a single source of data on all your customers t to track their interactions. If you have a tangled web of customer data stored across your ecommerce platform, marketing automation software, website, and social media channels, then you won’t be able to unify this to gain actionable insight into your customers.

With this single view of your customer, you’ll be able to understand subscriber engagement compared to true customer engagement. You can automatically segment your buyers who have engaged with you across multiple channels, while excluding buyers who are completely unengaged. This will keep your database clean of completely unengaged buyers and drive far better email deliverability and help you stay out of the spam folder. Your emails, your paid ads, and your overall revenue should all rise once you stop wasting resources on unengaged buyers, but keep engaged buyers close.

Engagement filtering is just another way you can use your customer data to improve ROI and drive more revenue for your B2C business. So what are you waiting for? Start using engagement filtering to improve your B2C marketing today.

Alex Whitney

Alex is a Senior Customer Success Manager at Zaius where he helps consumer brands create and iterate optimized customer lifecycle programs. He is addicted to golf, great restaurants, and how technology is reshaping how people shop and buy.