How to read digital body language for email marketers

by | Aug 23, 2019 | Analysis, Public Relations

Salespeople must be able to read buying cues from their clients to determine whether a lead is worth chasing or not. If they don’t get positive buying signals from a prospect, they need to move to the next target and not waste time and resources trying to woo an unwilling buyer. Time is also a key resource in the marketing field—and that is why marketers need to learn how to read their customers’ mood for an effective marketing campaign. It’s easier to do that when you’re marketing products physically, but with online marketing, things get a little more difficult. For starters, it’s difficult to tell if a contact has opened the marketing email you sent them or not.

Fortunately, advancements in marketing automation have made it easy for email marketers to track the digital body language of their prospects. The digital body language, in this case, includes the digital activity exhibited by prospects such as opening an email, clicking on links, website visits, and online webinars attended, etc.—actions that are indicators of the prospect’s enthusiasm that marketers can use to decide whether to continue pursuing a certain lead or not. This strategy leads to a more responsive email marketing campaign. Here’s what email marketers need to do to streamline their efforts:

Group your subscribers into targeted lists

The biggest mistake email marketers tend to do is treating all their subscribers equally. This means subscribers receive the same marketing communication with the same frequency, irrespective of the customer action that they exhibit. Email marketers need to stop this habit since it makes no sense to keep sending marketing communication to prospects that have not bothered to open your emails for the last 6 months.

How to read digital body language for email marketers

Email marketers need to categorize their subscribers into targeted lists before deciding how to engage with them going forward. The marketing platform you use for your client email communication will help you determine the engagement levels among the subscribers.

From the marketing automation platform, you’ll be able to see the subscribers that have not opened any of your emails for the last 6 months. This will form the “disengaged” list of subscribers. Next, find the subscribers who have shown minimal engagement in the last few months. This could be those subscribers who have only opened your emails once or twice in the last 4 months. This will form the “low engagement” list.

Next would be to identify the “moderate engagement” subscribers. These are the subscribers that have opened a few of your emails over the last month or so. The final list would be composed of the “highly engaged” subscribers. Those who will be part of this group include subscribers who have opened your email communication within the last month.

The digital activity that has been used in this grouping is the opening of the communication emails. Those who are aggressive with their marketing campaign can use clicks on the CTAs on their emails as the digital activity for reference.

How to read digital body language for email marketers

Customize actions for each engagement level

After categorizing the subscribers into the target groups highlighted above, marketers should find custom ways to engage the different subscriber groups.

With the disengaged group, a re-engagement campaign would be ideal. You could also try to reduce the frequency of your emails or change the timing of your communication so as to entice them further.

For the low engagement group, it could be that your emails are hitting their inbox at the wrong time and that is why they are not opening them up. Email marketers should, therefore, check their engagement statistics to find the historical times when such users showed positive engagement and switch to those timelines.

Cut the frequency of your emails for the moderate group of subscribers to once a week to gain their trust and build rapport. For the highly engaged subscribers maintain the same email frequency as before.


To build an effective email marketing campaign, email marketers should be able to read the digital body language of their subscribers. With this information, email marketers will know which leads are worth pursuing and which ones need to be abandoned.

Sonia Bell
Sonia Bell is a marketing consultant and PR manager. She is interested in researching in the field of marketing psychology and client's psychology. She is running several sites and is an expert in hiring professionals for her company.


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