Unengaged Contacts Aren't Necessarily Fatigued. Here's why.

Your Sender Score is decent. Your deliverability seems okay. Your hard bounces are under control. But you've got contacts who either have never engaged or have stopped engaging with your emails. What gives??

Are they all just tired of getting your emails? Even, somehow, the ones who never engaged?

Common marketing automation platforms assume this is the case. They simply rubber-stamp those contacts as "fatigued," as if there's no other possible explanation for contacts not engaging.

Guess what: There are many possible reasons why a prospect stops engaging. And treating your unengaged audiences as fatigued can lead to other problems with deliverability, GDPR complaints, and your own reporting.

We've spent a lot of time looking at activity data. As the Motiva team dug into the most granular level data, a lot of other problems emerged that often had little or nothing to do with contact fatigue. Here are some common reasons why your contacts have stopped engaging:

  • Catch-alls and silent quarantine: ESPs configured to accept all incoming email without complaint and analyzed before inbox delivery.  Shows up as "250 OK Delivered".
  • You're sending email at the wrong time. Your message gets lost in a busy inbox.
  • Your email hit shared internal ISP blacklists. These are different than public blacklists; there's no way to check to see if your IP is in the lists, and they adapt to new behavior.
  • Soft bounces that should have been treated as hard bounces, but you kept sending email anyway.
  • Graylisted emails: ESPs configured to recognize incoming mass emails and "pause" delivery unless a human confirms it should be sent.
  • You've got non-humans - bots - in your contact db.
  • Your contacts never opted-in in the first place. Sometimes it's hard to know unless you've got strict opt-in policies in place. Your CRM may dump in new contacts, or your company may have merged and added contacts of unknown origin, etc.
  • Your email IS getting engagement but the destination ESP is set to suppress opens, clicks, etc.

With Motiva Dark Pool Cleanup, you'll know who is actually fatigued and who's just plain unreachable. We dynamically categorize every contact in your database along the risk dimensions below.  These range from your newer contacts we just don't know about yet all the way to contacts that should never be sent an email and are essentially unreachable. 

Here's a sample of what you'll see.

Contacts that fall into the "yellow" zone include some that are likely getting fatigued. You can consider throttling down your send frequency and see if engagement rates improve.  

Those in the "orange" zone include already fatigued contacts as well as contacts with other issues that indicate you should consider a specific re-engagement campaign and remove them from your normal automation workflows.

Red and black are our danger zones. Contacts in the "red" zone should not be emailed, and if you want to retain them in your database should be added to suppression lists. They may be reachable on other channels, however.

The "black' zone includes contacts you aren't reaching and will never reach. mostly likely due to server configurations at their end, blacklist problems, and the like.

Combined with Motiva's Frequency Management, you'll then be able to precisely target the contacts who are fatigued but still reachable with just the right policy and marketing strategy.

Curious about getting a true picture of contact fatigue? Let us show you! Schedule a demo today!



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