The Real Heirarchy of Email Engagement

Email marketers sure love a good metric, but true email engagement can’t be measured in a simple engaged/disengaged” binary.

I am calling upon Email Service Providers to break down their engagement reports into the proper categories:

  1. This person subscribed to get some freebie you were offering, and instantly marks your email as spam once it arrives.
  2. Same as above, but they merely unsubscribe instantly and then email you to let you know.
  3. Subscribes, immediately forgets about doing so, and then threatens to contact my lawyer” when you email them exactly what they signed up for.
  4. Subscribes, but literally never opens a single email you send.
  5. Only opens emails if they have more than two exclamation points in the subject line.
  6. Never opens any emails except for the we’re going to unsubscribe you if you don’t engage” email.
  7. A fellow marketer who doesn’t really care about your email but knows email metrics and gives you pity clicks.
  8. Genuine subscriber who opens your emails and will sometimes click through.
  9. The completionist who will open every email even though they never read anything.
  10. The super-engaged subscriber who turns out to actually be a piece of anti-malware software auto-clicking everything.
  11. The super fan who tweets out links from every email.
  12. The super hater who also tweets out links from every email, but, like, sarcastically.
  13. The nitpicker who will let you know about a typo within 25 second of you hitting send.

I am available for consulting work on implementing this scale.


May 10, 2020