On a recent ESPC call, a major ISP (who owns one of the top 3 email services) reported that they were moving away from using feedback loops as their primary method of determining the "spaminess" of a sender. Before the FBL pundits rejoice, wait till you hear what they’re measuring instead.
Now, they’re shifting their attention to measuring "engagement." They defined engagement as opens, clicks, and having an email moved out of the spam folder. This is similar to Gmail’s approach to leaving images on if the recipient knows the sender.
How Does This Change Things?
Hmm. If ISPs are starting to look at how engaged your subscribers are, how could an email sender use this to their advantage (beyond simple list segmentation)? Perhaps you could send email a little differently through your delivery servers, based on your subscribers’ engagement activity? For example, if you knew half the people on your list were active users, but the other half not so much, wouldn’t it be smart to deliver the campaign to the engaged people first, then the others last? It would really suck to only get a small portion of your list delivered before an ISP decided you have poor list management practices, and blocked the remainder of your message.
Yes, MailChimp does all that. Automatically, and behind the scenes. That’s the reason we launched the List Activity Score back in March. We rank every single user on your list by their engagement, then we prioritize email delivery through our network based on overall list activity score. One of the many ways our nerds in the lab keep striving to improve email marketing.