However, where many marketers are missing the mark is not finetuning their email strategies. They haven’t taken a step back to look at the bigger picture. We can all be guilty of it, we want to make an impact and can be quick to get down to business when it comes to all the flashy stuff. But we haven’t slowed down to manage our email marketing lists and have neglected taking care of the basics.

Here at Reflect Digital, we believe really getting to understand your user is key to marketing success and everything we do starts with the customer, with our customer. Your email marketing must work harmoniously with your overarching digital marketing strategy. 

To help you reach the optimal place in your email marketing strategy, we’ve identified three steps that brands should take to prepare for email automation.


Start by reviewing your activity to date. Open rates and click rates tell an important story about what is working and what isn’t, enabling you to identify the areas in need of improvement.
As marketeers, it can be frustrating when a growing database, which you continually pour more and more emails into, is experiencing decreasing open or click rates. This can be as a result of dead weight from six months ago dragging your overall engagement down. This means you won’t get a true reflection of engagement at the point when the audience wants to talk to you.

This review process will help you create benchmarks to identify where the issues lie.


A crucial part at this stage is to conduct a reactivation campaign – giving audiences that are not currently engaged an opportunity to come back on board. This can differ widely depending on the brand, the sector and the benchmarks created. It may be as simple as giving audiences the option to change their preferences or opt-out. Essentially it is an exercise in cleaning up your email database and re-engaging people that may have forgotten about your brand. A crucial aspect of this is removing the opt-outs and non-respondents and being prepared to follow up the reactivation email with something that’s not automated for those who did respond – something that is specifically tailored to their interests.


Once the reactivation part of the process is over, you can proceed with segmenting it according to the benchmarks you’ve put together. This may be structured on a cold-warm-hot basis, representing people who have not engaged with you in the last six months, people who have engaged with you in the last three months and in the last month, respectively. 
Alternatively, on a more behavioural level, you can segment your database on a Recency, Frequency and Monetary (RFM) value. If we’re talking e-commerce, you can even pull in past order information to understand their product preferences to target them with relevant campaigns going forward.

It’s time for some spring cleaning! Tidying up your email marketing database 

You can’t start thinking about clever automation, when you’re still dealing with dead weight dragging down your engagement rates. Going through this process of cleaning and updating your database will make you better equipped to communicate with your audience when they want to talk to you. It will also influence the content of future email campaigns by uncovering what it is that your audiences really want, which will not only have a positive impact on your open and click rates, but also on your bottom line.

If you’d like to know more about email marketing automation, then please get in contact today.


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