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Engage your contacts to boost your reputation!

In every coaching session, I talk about the notion of contact engagement because unfortunately it is a reality (or inevitability). If your users don't have positive interactions with your emails or your brand, you may have a bad surprise one morning (or evening) when you check your KPIs. Loss of clicks, opens or even worse, spamming or in the most extreme cases blocking... Fortunately for you, all is not lost! I will give you some tips that will allow you to better engage your contacts! Isn't life great?

What is marketing engagement after all?

If I take the definition given in the famous dictionary "Le Robert", commitment is an action by which one binds oneself by a promise or an agreement.

Although relevant, this definition does not fully reflect marketing engagement. In addition to this notion of promise, we could add a notion of interaction from the user to the brand: the brand promises to send relevant communications to a user, the user will open and click on the different emails received in order to buy, download or read, and thus create a link of trust. And it is ultimately with this link that a brand will engage its users.

Finally, marketing engagement will allow a brand to build loyalty among its users (or customers) and therefore to converse with them more easily and to improve its reputation (e-mail, web and identity). Still, it has to respect some rules... 🙂

How to engage your target?

When a user registers on your site (or newsletter), it's for a good reason: he likes your brand, one or several products, etc. That's when it's time to engage them to get positive interactions that will boost the brand's reputation! To do this, you must remember to respect the five basic rules for engaging users:

Rule #1: Keep the promises you made when you signed up

This is the basis of the basics! Generally in a registration form, you will describe how you will pamper your users (the famous promises). Make sure you respect everything you say! It would be a shame if your users received offers to buy potatoes when you promised to send them the best apple offers!!!

Rule 2: Have striking objects

An e-mail without a good subject is an e-mail that is useless! The subject line is going to be the first factor of opening, so it's better to be punchy if you want to get your users' attention. So take care of it. Don't hesitate to do A/B testing to test several objects for the same content to see which one would be the most relevant.

PS: Grégoire d'Aboville has published a great article on this subject on his blog: Newsletter items: 6 examples of strategies that work.

Rule 3: Offer the right content to your customers/prospects

There is nothing more frustrating (this is the consumer that I am) to open an e-mail and to see that there is nothing interesting inside... In addition to wasting time, we also lose the desire to open other e-mails from the same advertiser. If you have relevant data (website navigation, preference center, etc.) then use them to propose the most appealing content to your users to avoid this frustration.

Rule n°4: Follow expectations and adapt your content according to needs and desires

We know it very well but the needs of any person evolve with time and the desires can become multiple. The idea here is to propose and follow this evolution (a bit like rule n°3) to always propose content that will interest your users over time. If in the long term you can't capture their attention, you risk losing engagement and therefore losing reputation.

Rule #5: Minimize the negative behaviors of your users and the signals they generate

And conversely, increase their positive behaviors! This is primarily done by targeting the right users with the right content. I'll tell you more about these behaviors and signals right below 🙂

What impact will it have on your reputation?

The more engaged a user is with your brand, the more positive behavior you will get from them and the more positive signals you will get from ISPs/Webmails.

It is important to know that each ISP/Webmail scans these behaviors & signals - at different scales of course - and will take them into account in the calculation of the advertiser's reputation.

Understand here that it will be easier to reach the inbox of the user if the behaviors & signals are both positive on your e-mails. And conversely, the more negative the behaviors & signals are, the more difficult or impossible it will be to reach the inbox (meaning that the e-mails will either be delivered as spam or blocked).

Positive vs. negative behaviors

I talk about it just above but you will say to me: But what is a positive and negative behavior? The answer just below:

Many constant openingsLittle or no constant openings
Many useful clicksDeleting unopened emails
Filing emails in a folder (other than Spam)Few or no clicks
Email forwardingUnsubscribe peaks
Sustainable email responses 
Few or no unsubscriptions 
Positive vs. Negative Behaviors

Positive vs. negative signals

The same goes for signals: But what is a positive or negative signal? The answer just below:

I talk about it just above but you will say to me: But what is a positive and negative behavior? The answer just below:

No complaints reportedA lot of complaints are reported
No bounces generatedMany bounces generated (hard vs. soft)
No targeted spamtrapsTargeted spamtraps (Pristine, Typo, Recycled)
Sustained mailing frequencyIrregular sending frequency
Positive reputation history Unstable reputation history
Positive vs. Negative Signals

Deploy mechanisms to engage your users

To engage your contacts and therefore generate positive behaviors and signals, you will have to capture their attention! To do this, two mechanisms can already help you to get this attention, they are :

Relational e-mails

Or the art of engaging with people. These relational emails will allow you to establish a bond of trust between you and your users who will see by these emails that they are dear to you 🙂


Or the art of telling a story... And it is thanks to this story that you will capture their attention through emotion or even dreams (be careful with big dreams :p). This will have the impact that your brand and/or products will stay in their minds.


I hope that you have been able to get through this long article and that it will inspire you in this year 2021. It is a subject that is more than ever relevant and that will require a lot of your time but that will bring you a lot (see your reputation).

As a complement to this article, I am already thinking about tackling the thorny subject of inactives (who ultimately remain a "non-engaged" part of your population and who can have a strong influence on your reputation).

Are you experiencing a loss of engagement on your campaigns? Do you want to set up "conversational emails" but don't know where to start? Don't hesitate to ask us 🙂


Please feel free to like, comment, share this article! Any comments are welcome 🙂


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