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New to CakeMail – Engagement!

By November 30, 2011 No Comments

Spammers are forever trying to find different ways to abuse the system and ISPs are forever trying to figure out new creative ways of stopping them. Engagement is nothing new – it’s actually been around for a while (we’ve mentioned it a few times here, and here) – but ISPs have only recently started making delivery decisions based on this kind of data.

What does this mean?

If the email you are sending does not engage your readers, chances are it’s going to be sent straight to their junk folder if you don’t make some changes.

One of the great things about new product releases is that you get to add all the cool things you wanted to add in previous releases but didn’t quite have time for. And more importantly, you get to include some of the great suggestions we receive everyday from YOU, our customers!

Showing List Engagement is one of the things I advocated for in this new release. Under the Contact Lists tab in v. 3.1 and higher, you’ll now see an active panel that not only displays the number of lists and subscribers you have across all your lists, but the number of total emails sent and the average engagement level of your list:

How does it work?

Our new Engagement measures the quality of your relationship with your subscribers. The average click and open rates for the last 6 months are combined and given a grade out of 10.*

Half a star = 1 point

The greater the number of stars, the higher your engagement, the better the list!

*takes into account Opens vs Unique Opens as well as Clickthroughs vs Unique Clickthroughs.

ISPs also take into account the number of complaints you receive, the number of hard bounces you generate, the number of spam traps you hit and whether or not your content is flagged by their content filters. They look at this data along with 3rd party reputation metrics to determine where to place your email.

How do I boost my Engagement?


Your open & click rates are determined by many things, but on average you should be seeing anywhere from 10%-60% dependant on your reputation, how well you build and maintain your lists and of course, the content you are sending.

The data never lies, look at our basic delivery model. Start by focusing on past campaigns. Did some perform better than others? Ask yourself why. Was it something as simple as the subject line? Did your email contain an attractive offer your customers could not resist? Did you effectively target a specific portion of your list through segmentation to help boost performance?


  1. Identify your audience and target your campaigns accordingly – this data should be part of your onboarding process, find out as much as you can (within reason) and use it to your advantage.
  2. Use appealing subject lines – knowing what your email is about before they open it is extremely important.
  3. Learn from your mistakes – finding out what didn’t work is almost as important as what did!
  4. Retire inactive users – people that have not opened/clicked in a while are deadweight. Try a win-back campaign and if that doesn’t work, remove them from your list entirely.
  5. Test – try using A/B Split campaigns to maximize the effectiveness of your content.

Another thing you can look at is your analytics reporting. What happens when the user has opened/clicked through and they are sitting on your webpage? What is their average time on your site? What is the number of page views? Did they convert? Did they purchase something?

“Set a course for the Inbox, Commander, Warp 9 – ENGAGE!”

Bye for now,


PS. Sorry for the Star Trek reference at the end there, I couldn’t resist. 🙂

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Author Kevin Huxham

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