The deliverability problem
Direct Marketing tips by Mediapost Hit Mail
A key to success in DM
It doesn’t matter how good is your product or service, how
alluring is your price offer, how ingenious is your letter or e-
mail copy if you cannot deliver your message to your
customers or prospects.
All your activities should be planned in accordance to the
specific deliverability of the medium you are using for your
campaign. Improper delivery could quickly ruin each very
well planned and organized direct marketing campaign.
Database is crucial again (surprised?)
When referring to “good list hygiene,” we’re
actually asking you about the accuracy of your
database. How it has been gathered, are
validation procedures ran against the records
it contains, are addresses real. All these
questions are a must and you cannot ignore
them, otherwise your business will suffer.
It also has financial implications. If you’re currently renting poor
database or you’re using your own which is ‘dirty’, certain percentage of
your messages won’t be delivered and it will negatively affect your ROI.
Issues you could have...
Direct mail campaign:
Very slow/ delayed delivery;
Wrong/ incomplete/ missing addresses;
Not accessible addresses;
Recipient moved to another address.
SPAM filters block your message
Incomplete e-mails (like firstname.lastname@example.org)
E-mails starting with “www.”
ESP’s (e-mail service provider) name is
wrong (for example “gmeil.com” instead of
Wrong/ incomplete number;
... and some ways
to avoid them
1. Direct mail: update your database on a regular basis by
removing/ editing wrong, undelivered or incomplete addresses;
have a Yes/No reply option - this way you will increase response
and you will be sure that more addresses are valid.
2. E-mail: When first collecting addresses, you need to have a
syntax validation in place and also send a triggered opt-in
confirmation e-mail to that address. This gives you an
opportunity to reinforce the opt-in, confirm what the recipient
can expect to receive from you and verify that the address is
3. SMS: Have a validation procedure for phone numbers (prefix
length, number of digits and provide a sample on how phone
numbers should be registered when you acquire them
(like 08xx xx xx xx or +359 8xx xxx xxx).
An important factor you should consider
are the “live filters” -–usually business
secretaries, personal assistants or office
You should try to overcome the natural
resistance they have to b2b mailings.
After all, they are just doing their job.
So play with their curiosity or have a
sense of urgency in your message. Clear
and strong benefits are also working
Fact: No email campaign reaches 100% of its target!
No matter how good you are as an e-mail marketer, your messages
may still get blocked. In fact, 20% of marketers’ opted-in messages
were blocked or sent to junk folders in 2009 (DM News, 2010)
You can blame your internet service providers (ISPs), blacklists, or
even your email service providers (ESPs) for deliverability issues, but
the truth is, successful e-mail delivery is in the hands of the marketer
However, attaining very good delivery rate is possible if
you follow some guidelines...…
Online reputation maintenance
Few people consider their online reputation as an
important factor in email delivery, but the truth is, it’s
Your online reputation is built over time and includes
all of your online activities: email marketing, banner
campaigns, social media, blogs, search engine
marketing, advertising and so on.
Everything associated with your company is used for
or against your reputation in the online world and
summed up in your reputation score.
If not managed properly, your online reputation can
not only damage your brand integrity, but keep your
email from reaching your customer’s inboxes.
Our five deliverability tips:
1. Take care of your e-mails’ content: ISPs filter each and every email they
send on your behalf looking for the following SPAM triggers: high graphics to
content Ratio, including video; SPAM language: FREE, ALL CAPS, excessive
punctuation; over use of hot links; sloppy coding; sending attachments with the
email; use of CC: or BCC: in your email; irrelevant content based on subject line.
2. Always get opt-in permission: happy and engaged subscribers, even if
fewer, lead to quite strong delivery rates.
3. Meet expectations on content, frequency and value: it’s important you
provide options for preferences regarding content, type and frequency of contact.
4. Format and test emails across all major email clients: HTML emails
with pictures, colors, graphics can look and behave very differently when viewed
in different email clients like Abv.bg, Mail.bg, Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook.
5. Use couriers for premium products/ services campaigns: It will bring
stronger credibility to the message. But always have an eye on the courier’s job
and request on time and detailed reports on delivery and not found addresses.
A point to remember
Anti-SPAM laws provide the ultimate
definition of spam by outlining what is
(and is not) permissible when sending
In the digital age, however, spam is
defined by the user. If a user classifies a
message as spam by putting it on their
blocked senders list, or drops it in their
spam folder, it will be considered spam
by the ISPs.
In a recent study by Marketing Sherpa,
over 20% of recipients said they use the
“report spam” button to unsubscribe.
More to come:
1. Why Do You Need Your Own Database?
2. How to Build a Database?
3. How to Manage Your Database?
4. How to Segment Your Customers?
5. Tests - How to Run and Analyze Them?
6. The Deliverability Problem
8. Online & SMS Promotions
9. Useful Direct Marketing Tips
10. How to Launch Your CRM Program?
11. The Advantages of Direct Marketing (Summary)
9 Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Str.,
Sofia 1421, Bulgaria
Phone: (+359) 2 962 86 29
Fax: (+359) 2 962 86 29
Mobile: (+359) 885 360 715
just one more...
Delivering your message properly is a task of big importance in
our business. That’s why we included this topic in the sixth
presentation of our “Direct Marketing Tips” set.
Share your opinion on it to us via e-mail at
or call us (+359 885 360 715). In case you’ve missed the previous
ones, this way you will get all the presentations in our set as soon
as they are available.
Country Manager, Mediapost Hit Mail
P.S. Please, don’t forget to deliver this file to a friend or colleague
who you think would like these materials, or send us their
contacts. A polite invitation will be sent (which they can decline)
and we can help them ensure proper delivery of their DM