How Can Engagement (E) Be Improved?

How Can Engagement (E) Be Improved?

What you’ll learn:

From Google search to email to social media to legacy print products, even live events, we deliver proven methods for engaging a devoted audience of customers efficiently and cost-effectively.


  • Don Nicholas, Founder, Chairman & CEO
  • Kim Mateus, EVP & Client Success Group Leader
  • Bill Dugan, SVP & Client Success Group Leader

Time: 3 minutes, 41 seconds

Related resources:


The ‘E’ in the Mequoda Method, ACEM, is really about retention, and the idea that if you’re a subscription-based publisher, the link with relationship with the customer is key. It basically has to do a tremendous amount with your ability to spend money to bring new customers on and to make money over time. Engage, I think, really just comes down to having killer content. And thankfully, all our clients are in the content business. That is how they generate their revenue, from selling content in one form or another. So, already we have a tremendous advantage.

Part of the retention process for us is heavy, continuous list hygiene. So, not only do we take a subscriber off the email list if they unsubscribe in real-time, but we also watch their activity. And when they go dormant after 90 days or 6 months, or maybe some our ad-driven publishers as much as 12 months, we’ll remove them from the list and stop mailing to them. And with those sets of requirements, we typically see on the B2C side, about a 65% annual retention rate, and on the B2B side, maybe a 70%, 75% annual retention rate of people that are remaining engaged with the email newsletters.

And you’ve got every brand in America, in the world really, trying to figure out how they can become content marketers. How they can be more like us, if you will, and we already have that asset. So, it’s just about leveraging that, and sending it out in a consistent way, you know, through some sort of daily newsletter that’s got a nice blend of strictly editorial content mixed with promotional content. We evolve with responsive web designs now to what we typically will use a six-on-six stack. Six editorial snippets leading back to full stories in the portal, and then six text ads ideally, often where three of them are from third-party sponsors, and three of them are for house ads. That’s probably the most common configuration. And with that kind of a stack, we can get click-through rates in the three, four, five, six, seven, eight on any given day. If we really hit it out of the park with a lead story, we can see click-through rates back to the website at as much as 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%.

It really just comes down to good content. If it’s good, and you’ve done a good job of attracting the right people to your site, and giving them the right kind of incentive so that they convert, once they’re on your list if you’re, you know, giving away good content, then you’ll have a good and easy job at the engagement trick. It really all comes down to the quality content. So we have this short-term way to measure engagement. Because we know if they’re opening emails, and they’re clicking through on the stories, we’re doing our job. So we watch that at a story level on a daily basis. And then over time, we can watch the macro number to see what our retention rate is on a monthly basis, and then on an annual basis.

If you wanted to look at retention rate on an annual basis, and you know that you’ve got 100,000 people on January 1 of that year, you would come back at the end of the year and say, “Of those 100,000 people, how many are still here?” And if there were 70,000, you simply take the 70,000 divide it by the 100,000, and you’ve got a 70% annual retention rate. The fact that you’re allowed on a once or twice a day basis to reach out to your customer base, whether it’s 10,000 or 100,000 or a million, and put content in front of them that you think’s gonna be interesting to them today, that’s gonna make their lives better today, is what it’s all about.