The playbook’s objectives are to:
- Create an engagement improvement plan.
- Set up multiple Everest tracking pixels to identify and track engagement trends for different brands, mail streams, and list segments.
- If you are a new Everest customer with no prior relationship with Validity, complete onboarding to ensure you are familiar with navigating and using Everest.
- If you were a Return Path or 250ok customer and are moving to Everest, complete your migration process.
- Complete the following setup guides. Setting up the tracking pixel and ESP integration is required to access delivery and engagement data.
Important! Be sure you know the subscription allotments based on your service tier. You can find your subscription information by navigating to: My Everest>Account Settings>Subscription.
- Common engagement challenges
- How monitoring engagement fits into your process
- Establishing a baseline
- Adding engagement alerts
- Creating an engagement improvement plan
- How to use Everest to track engagement metrics for brands, segments, and mail streams
- What to do next
Common challenges associated with engagement are:
- We want more detailed engagement trend tracking for our different brands and mail streams.
- Subscribers open our email, but our click rates are less than expected.
- We want to use our engagement data more to help identify and troubleshoot deliverability issues.
Monitoring engagement helps you identify problems associated with:
- Flat or decreasing open and click rates
A traditional email marketing process consists of three phases: Pre-Send, In-Flight, and Monitoring. Using Engagement monitoring helps you identify engagement trends and gather insights across multiple data points.
- Inform your email campaign strategy with Everest’s Competitive Intelligence
- Plan campaign
- Select target subscriber list
- Design campaign
- Validate target subscriber list using Everest’s List Validation feature
- Test campaign design using Everest’s Design & Content feature
- Send campaign to subscribers and the Everest seed list
- View your campaign’s inbox placement, spam, and missing results using Everest’s Inbox Placement
- Monitor engagement metrics using Everest’s Engagement feature, your ESP, or internal sending platform.
- Monitor sending reputation metrics using Everest’s Monitoring feature to understand the impact to your deliverability.
- Monitor DMARC compliance to identify unauthorized use of your domain and brand using Everest’s Infrastructure feature.
To determine if your efforts to improve engagement are working, you need to establish baseline engagement metrics. Record the baseline metrics in a spreadsheet for future reference and compare performance to your baseline metrics monthly. Use historical data for your baseline metrics if available from your ESP or sending platform. If you do not have historical data, establish a baseline after 15 - 30 days of activity depending on your sending frequency.
When you start tracking more detailed engagement metrics for different brands, mail streams, and segments, record the baseline metrics for each brand, mail stream, and segment.
After establishing your baseline engagement metrics, create alerts to be notified of potential engagement issues. Setting the correct alert values may require adjustments over time. Frequent alerts may be ignored and don’t provide value, so make sure you set the alert criteria appropriately for your sending practices and personal preference.
Check if your ESP integration includes event-level reporting
Event-level Reporting allows Everest to retrieve volume, deliveries, bounces, deferrals, opens, clicks, and/or unsubscribes which can be used in alerts. All ESP or webhook integrations allow for engagement metrics, but event-level reporting is required for click % and unsubscribe %.
1. Login to Everest
2. Navigate to My Everest>Apps & Integrations
3. Locate your ESP and click Settings
- An event-level reporting description is displayed if your ESP integration has event-level reporting available.
Configure your alert
Prior to setting up your alerts, decide which engagement metrics are most important to you. You can add, edit, or delete alerts as needed.
1. Login to Everest
2. Navigate to My Everest>Alerts
3. Click New Alert
4. Enter description: Click % Alert
5. Select the Integrations category
6. Select Click %
- Event-reporting required for click % and unsubscribe %
- If event-level reporting is not available, use open % or other delivery metrics.
7. Select decreases by %
8. Enter 10%, over 1 day, from 30 days avg
- Your actual % may vary based on your baseline results and personal preference
9. Select how you wish to be notified. For instructions on setting up a webhook endpoint and to connect with team software, please read:
- Webhook endpoint setup guide
- How can I receive Everest alerts in Slack?
- How can I receive Everest alerts in PagerDuty?
- How can I receive Everest alerts in Microsoft Teams?
10. Run the alert daily
11. Repeat steps 3-10 for other delivery or engagement metrics such unsubscribe % or bounce %.
At the heart of every engagement strategy is knowing your customer, what their pain points are, and what they want when buying your product for the first time, or buying as a repeat customer. Not everybody is a qualified buyer or lead. Most marketers have a plan in place about which emails to send and when, but we recommend creating specific plans for increasing your email engagement. As with any plan, be prepared to change it based on market or economic conditions.
Create an engagement improvement plan around the following four core elements. For each objective, create a goal and discuss how that goal can be reached for your organization.
1. Data quality
Improving data quality is your objective. Engagement will increase if you send to valid email addresses owned by subscribers that opted-in to receive your email. Review the list hygiene playbooks for assistance on improving data quality.
- Everest List Hygiene Playbook: Beginner
- Everest List Hygiene Playbook: Intermediate
- Everest List Hygiene Playbook: Advanced
- Identify ways to increase opt-in consent from all subscribers.
- Send email to valid email addresses as identified by Everest's List Validation feature.
- Move away from (eliminate if you can) list purchases and list harvesting email addresses from websites.
Emails designed to optimize engagement is your objective. The layout, use of colors, graphics, images, and text influences engagement. Along with your content, it helps convey emotions and facilitate desired actions you want your subscriber to take. Consider these elements in your plan.
- Layout: Structure of information, symmetrical or asymmetrical, columns, image or text placement
- Style: Sophisticated, modern, vintage, rustic, casual
- Colors: Bold, subdued, holiday inspired
- Content types: Text, images, video, animated gif
- Call-to-action (CTA): Placement and language, button shapes
- Subject lines: Emojis, length
- Mobile friendly: Easily read on a mobile device
Review the Design & Content playbooks for assistance on improving design.
- Everest Design & Content Playbook: Beginner
- Everest Design & Content Playbook: Intermediate
- Everest Design & Content Playbook: Advanced
- Strive for simple and clean design that can be scanned quickly.
- Make sure your designs render properly across the major email clients using Everest's Design & Content feature.
Creating relevant content is your objective. Focus on improving engagement drivers and increasing personalization.
Start your content improvement plan by focusing on elements known to be key factors for why people open email. These elements are easy to change and test.
- Friendly from: use your brand name so recipient's recognize you as the sender.
- Subject line: incorporate personalization
- use Everest's Subject Line Previewer (Pre-Send>Design & Content>Pre-Flight Checks) to see how your subject lines render across different email clients.
- Pre-header text: reinforce the subject line but don't repeat it.
- Call-to-action (CTA): use emotional and value drivers.
- Offer: ensure your offer is compelling and reflects what your subscriber wants such as a product discount or free shipping.
People often buy because of how they feel and that reflects the relevancy of the content they are asked to read. Use these drivers in your subject line, copy, and CTA.
- Emotional drivers: Love, fear of missing out, pride, security, esteem, inclusion, social proof, loyalty, trust
- Value drivers: Growth, efficiency, cost reduction, risk reduction, quality
Personalization is known for increasing engagement because content is more customized for the recipient. Look for ways to customize mail flows based on customer attributes and preferences.
- Create customer profiles so you understand key traits of your ideal buyers.
- Determine what data is needed to identify those key traits.
- Determine if your current data collection techniques provide you with the data.
- Determine how to collect missing data.
- Identify ways to create new or enhance existing list segments with any new data.
- Avoid asking for too much data as some people might consider it an invasion of privacy.
With the data you collect, consider these elements in your email when deciding how to improve personalization.
- Personalization: Name, location, gender or gender neutral, interests, prior purchases, email open or click behavior, website and app behavior, view times, business role, customer milestones
Use Everest's custom pixel properties (covered in the advanced engagement playbook) for insights into subscriber behavior based on the data you deem important for personalization. Use that information to shape your content strategy and make email more relevant.
4. Sending practices
Sending your email at the right time to the right people is your objective. Focus on these elements in your plan.
- Targeting: Proper segmentation, customer profiles
- Sending cadence: Timing and pattern of your emails
- Frequency: The number of emails sent over time. Too much frequency leads to higher unsubscribes and spam complaints.
- Triggered/transactional mail: Provide content based on subscriber behavior and actions with your email, website or app.
- This is a popular and effective personalization technique.
- Ensure your segments are comprised of valid subscribers using Everest's List Validation feature.
- Allow subscribers to change their frequency options via a preference center. Opt-down is better than opt-out.
Implementing the Everest tracking Pixel gives you insights into subscriber engagement behavior. In order to get the most value from Pixel tracking, successful senders implement two strategies:
- Multiple pixels for different brands, list segments, or mail streams
- Custom pixel properties for important demographic or other business data (setup covered in the advanced engagement playbook)
Set up multiple pixels
Unless you already have a sophisticated tracking strategy, we recommend starting with a total of 1-2 pixels and create more pixels as needed once you are confident they are working correctly and provide insightful data.
If you only have one brand or are unsure of what else to track, start by creating a pixel for both marketing and transactional mail. After creating marketing and transactional pixels, create pixels for important mail streams such as a welcome series, newsletters, abandoned cart, or re-engagement.
- Review the Everest Advanced Setup Guide 3: Engagement (Tracking Pixel, ESP Integration) for instructions on creating pixels if needed.
When you have successfully created and implemented marketing and transactional pixels and are sending email to your subscribers with the pixels embedded in the content, they appear as a Data Source filtering option. Select the individual pixel to view data, or de-select all pixels to see aggregate data.
1. Identify other opportunities to expand pixel use to include important product lines, mail streams and list segments.
2. Use Everest as you execute on your plan to ensure the elements you have decided on changing for your business bring expected results and give a good customer experience. Compare results with your baseline metrics to track success.
3. Proceed to the advanced engagement playbook.
4. Continue reading our other Everest playbooks to help take your email marketing program to the next level.