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Now that the first quarter of the year behind us, what will you do to maximize email marketing's contribution to your bottom line from here on out?

Improving email open and click-through rates is an ever-present task, but I encourage you to expand your focus beyond mere campaign-by-campaign process metrics and instead try program-level objectives on for size.

Challenge yourself with the following three worthy email performance improvement objectives for the remainder of your marketing and business year.

1. Increase subscriber engagement

Truly increasing subscriber engagement with your email campaigns means much more than merely boosting open and click-through rates, although both are important measures of engagement. It means analyzing open and click-through reach—that is, the proportion of your subscriber base, among all subscribers, who have opened or clicked at least one message over a period of time.

True subscriber engagement analysis measures not just how subscribers are performing over individual campaigns but how they are interacting with your entire program—and your brand... and your company. If your email subscribers are also customers, then what such analysis really tells you is what your customers are doing with your email.

Look beyond campaign-by-campaign open and click-through rates, and even aggregate YTD equivalents, and measure the breadth of subscribers who have opened or clicked, as well as their depth of their activity. Doing so will allow you to map a frequency distribution of openers and clickers across your entire list, making it possible for you to see exactly who is highly engaged, who is barely hanging on, and who is completely inactive; you can then segment for unique messaging to each group.

A solid subscriber engagement analysis can reveal important insights, such as whether your engaged population is diverse and widespread, or highly clustered into a group of the same people time after time.

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image of Karen Talavera

Karen Talavera is the founder of Synchronicity Marketing, a company specializing in digital marketing training, coaching, and education.