Recent EMI blog posts discussed the growing importance of email engagement and the roles of preferences and pursuing new tactical approaches in re-engaging customers. But it’s also important to remember that there are many people who don’t enjoying reading and interacting with email. They get too many; they find it difficult to scan; they didn’t grow up using email and aren’t completely comfortable with it; they taint all commercial email with the “spam” brush—there are a variety of reasons for non-engagement with emails that are based on the medium itself. In light of this, it’s vital to explore alternatives to the low-cost siren song of email such as direct mail, telemarketing/call centers, and even social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
There are two important reasons to consider these types of media as possible solutions to the challenge of email engagement:
- Any form of engagement that helps you maintain a viable communications relationship could, at some point, could open the door to email engagement.
- Demonstrating responsiveness to the implicit media preferences of recipients will make them more favorably inclined to all your communications—if you continue to send them email they will be less likely to mark it as spam.
Obviously, because non-email media generally carry much higher variable costs, it’s necessary to be selective about when and how to utilize these channels. Targeting the highest value email non-engagers would be one logical approach. Segmenting based on the customer lifecycle is another possibility; for example, you could target those whose recent email activity has declined in the hope that they would be more likely to respond and then re-engage by email. Whatever the approach, it’s important to utilize non-email channels to maintain the relationship because the alternative (continued email non-engagement) will only result in a shrinking email list.