In DM we have proven time and again that recency, frequency and amount are the holy grail of segmentation and the likely triggers for another gift. As a result of these factors and their predictive impact on whether a donor will respond again, we “lapse” donors and decide when we are no longer going to communicate with them in the same way we do with our “active” donors.
Given the very low cost to send an e-mail, the prevailing mindset has been to keep sending to every e-mail address on the list regardless of activity. However, if a large portion of the subscriber base has not opened or clicked through an e-mail in 12 months or more, it’s time to rethink the contact strategy for this group. These people should be treated like potential prospects or removed from the list.
2. Time to engage. The average length of time between acquiring the e-mail address and the addressee opening an e-mail has particular meaning for evaluating new subscribers. The shorter this time period, the more active the e-mail account likely will be. Based on the findings, strategies can be developed to encourage the second engagement.
3. Length of engagement. By analyzing the amount of time from the first e-mail activity to the last open or click, we can establish the average life of an e-mail address and begin to understand how long people stay engaged with our program. This will allow for better acquisition planning. It also makes sense to look at how consistently subscribers engage. Do most cycle in and out of engagement? Can the list be segmented into loyal, seasonal and event-driven segments? Or readers, activists and donors? Whatever the segmentation, the goal is to understand the behavior of the e-mail subscribers and communicate with them appropriately.