Every time you send an email to a contact they engage with it through a linear series of steps. The further they make it through those steps, the closer you are to reaching your end goal, whatever it may be: selling a product, getting an answer to a question or something else.
If you line up those stages one on top of the other, the stages form a funnel, which we call the "The Engagement Funnel". We're going to go over the stages of the funnel, how to measure them and what the best practices are for each stage, so that you can get your contact on to the next one.
The engagement funnel.
Keep your END goal in mind. Don't trick people down the funnel. It may move contacts to the next stage but it won't improve your end results, unless your goal is to waste your contacts' time.
Stage 1: Emails Sent
The first stage is pretty straight forward. Your total emails sent is the full width of your funnel. Its value is always 100% and from here the funnel starts to narrow down.
Stage 2: Emails Opened
Think about the last email you received. Why did you choose to open or ignore the email? Likely the reasons are a mix of who it was from, what it was about and the time of day. There are some people you will always open an email from, there are subject lines that make you press delete and there are some times of day you get overwhelmed and would never open an email.
When sending cold emails, use a first name and not a company name. Recipients are much more likely to open an email that comes from John Smith than they are from Company ABC.
Much has been written about subject lines so we won't go too in depth in this article. In short, be interesting but make sure to be honest. Tell what is inside the email and remember your end goal! In terms of length, a good rule of thumb for most emails is 50 characters or less. Make sure to experiment and see what works for you.
In summary, to move people through the Open stage you have control over: your sender's name, your subject line, and the time of day/week your contact is receiving your message. Make adjustments to those variables and test.
Stage 3: Clicks
Opens equal attention. Clicks equal interest.
If you want further proof of engagement, include links in your email. Links let you know that a contact has not only opened your email but has actually interacted with it. This is an important step down the funnel since it's letting you know when contacts want to know more.
Stage 4: Web Action
Tracking contacts actions beyond your email is an additional stage that can be incredibly useful. Using a tool like Google Analytics you can see your contacts' actions after they click a link to your website.
Measuring your contacts' progress through the engagement funnel can provide you with great insights and help you refine your email strategy. Comment below if you have any questions or input!
That's all for now!