Engagement Monitoring Update Nov '21

Updates being done to the engagement monitoring feauture

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Written by Greg Dooney
Updated over a week ago

EMP is meant to help students understand what your institution represents and if your institution aligns with what those students believe is their best fit. The most important set of students to communicate with in EMP are those who align with what your institution represents. The purpose of the engagement monitoring feature (Rolled out in July 2021) is to avoid damaging email sending reputation so you can maximize the number of opportunities aligned students have to enroll at their best fit institution.

After implementing this feature, we expected to see higher engagement rates because EMP was decreasing the number of emails being sent to students who are not opening emails to begin with. After four months, this has proven to be true as the overall open rate of EMP emails has risen 32% compared with the same period last year prior to engagement monitoring.

We have made several key changes to the engagement monitoring feature to ensure students are getting the messages they need to enroll at their best fit institution.

  • Excluded any event reminder/sign up email tracks from the feature (release date 10/27/21)

  • List of students who have been paused from email communication list (release date 10/14/21)

  • Excluded inquiry stage students from email pausing (release date 11/19/21)

  • Expanded email limits to engaged prospects (release date TBD)

Excluding inquiry stages from email pausing

Students who are in the EMP stage of "Inquiry" will be excluded from the engagement monitoring feature. This means that all stages from inquiry through the rest of the enrollment funnel will not be affected by the engagement monitoring feature and will never appear on the paused email list. The default EMP stages are: Prospect, Inquiry, Applicant, Accepted, and Enrolled. With the new update, the only default EMP stage that is affected by the engagement monitoring feature is "Prospect".

*NOTE: If you have made any custom stages that fall in between Prospect and Inquiry such as Prospect Plus, students in those custom stages will not be excluded from the engagement monitoring feature.*

Expanded email limits to engaged prospects

We have increased the number of emails that prospects (those who have never engaged with EMP and those who have engaged at any point with EMP) can receive before arriving on the paused email list.

The table below charts the number of days since a prospect last engaged versus the number of emails that prospect can receive without engagement until being placed on the paused email list.

Days since last engagement

# Of emails unengaged prospects can receive

# Of emails engaged prospects can receive

0

1

2

1

1

2

2

1

2

3

1

2

5

1

2

9

1

2

15

1

2

25

1

2

50

1

2

90

1

2

190

1

2

330

1

2

370

1

2

This is a cyclical feature. For prospects who have at any point engaged with EMP before:

1. A prospect has 2 emails to engage with (day 0 on the table above). This means you cannot send more than 2 emails per day per engaged prospect.

2. If the student engages with any of the 2 emails, they won’t be placed on the paused email list. If the student continually engages with the system, they won’t ever be included in the paused email list unless they do step 2B.

2B. If there have been 2 consecutive emails sent to the student (regardless of if the student has opened any emails PRIOR to this) and the student hasn’t engaged with any of these 2 emails, the student is placed on the paused email list.

3. The next day (day 1 from the table above), the student will be eligible to receive 2 more emails regardless of if they have engaged with the previous 2 emails the day before. If the student opens an EMP email from the past any point in time during this 1 day of being on the paused list - the student will return to step 1 and have 2 new emails to engage with.

4. If the student does not open any emails, the +2 emails occur 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 15, 25, 50, 90, 190, 330, and 370 days after the last date an engaged prospect has opened an email.

Thus, an engaged prospect has the chance to receive 12 emails in 9 days since the last date of engagement.

For prospects who have never engaged with EMP:

1. A prospect has 1 email to engage with (day 0 on the table above). This means you cannot send more than 1 email per day per unengaged prospect.

2. If the student engages with the email, they will not be placed on the paused email list. If the student continually engages with the system, they will not ever be included in the paused email list.

3. The unengaged prospect will be temporarily placed on the paused email list each day that they do not engage with EMP. The unengaged prospect will be brought to the paused email list in increments of 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 15, 25, 50, 90, 190, 330, and 370 days since the last date of the prospects engagement. After each of these increments, students will be eligible to receive 1 more email.


4. If a prospect who has never engaged with EMP before opens an email, they will be brought to day 0 for engaged prospects in the chart above.

Thus, an unengaged prospect has the chance to receive 6 emails in 9 days since the last date of engagement.


All the changes being made to the engagement monitoring feature come at a cost.


*It is of utmost importance to understand this*: you (our clients) cannot send emails, for every single student, every single day, or else email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, and iCloud will block you from sending more emails. This means you will be blocked from sending important emails to students who are in the stages of inquiry, applicant, accepted or enrolled.

*Think about it this way* - you would not send a print piece to thousands of students who do not have valid mailing addresses, would you? The same mode of thinking is required for sending emails to invalid email addresses. This feature will significantly decrease the number of emails you send to invalid email addresses and increase your sending reputation so you can send the right emails to the right students at the right time.

You will not be able to send the right emails to the right students at the right time if your institution has a poor email sending reputation. Key behaviors that contribute to poor sending reputation are:

  • # Of emails sent per day

  • # Of emails sent to invalid addresses

  • # Of times the email has been flagged as spam

We recognize the challenges in understanding what number truly defines "too many" emails being sent per day. So, we have features planned in the roadmap to help our clients set daily limits on the number of students that are being sent emails per day so that we can all follow the best practices.


It is important to understand that the engagement monitoring feature is increasing email open rates across the board for all our clients.

By sending 40% less emails per month after the engagement monitoring feature was released, the average monthly open rate has increased by over 32%!

These meaningful results are exactly why the engagement monitoring feature is important. We must not send too many emails to prospects who never would have opened them anyway. If we do not follow the best practices for email sending - our sending reputation will decrease, and we will not be able to send the right emails to the right students at the right time.

We will be monitoring the deliverability of emails our clients send after this update is in place. If this update effects the deliverability rate of our emails, we will update the feature further and provide an update as to how we will respond.

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