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Email deliverability

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A short comprehensive guide to have a better understanding of email deliverability and leads to higher performance.

A short comprehensive guide to have a better understanding of email deliverability and leads to higher performance.

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    Email deliverability Email deliverability Presentation Transcript

    • E-mail Marketing, it’s our job Paris London Montreal Madrid New York
      • Definition
        • Email deliverability is the ability to deliver an email properly to the user’s inbox. The deliverability rate is calculated as follows: (number of delivered emails / number of sent emails) x 100
      • What kind of errors might occur when I send out emails?
        • Erroneous addresses (aka hardbounces ), these emails don’t exist, it can either be a non-existing domain (i.e. hotmil.ca) or an email not existing in the ISP list (i.e. [email_address] ), these emails need to be removed ASAP from the database. Please note Cabestan also provides a filter to avoid importing impossible emails (such as stéphane@hotmail.com ) and can audit your database to remove disposable addresses or dangerous emails.
        • Temporary errors (aka softbounces ), the ESP was not able to reach these users temporarily, among these temporary errors we can list temporary server errors or mailbox full emails. These emails can stay in the database and be re-tried later on, but it is strongly advised to get rid of mailbox full emails after some time.
        • Refused emails (aka spam filtered ), the ISP refused the incoming emails for “policy reasons”. It is very important that this kind of error is displayed on its own since it’s a clear alert that something is going wrong with your email broadcasting (and you are here losing a contact opportunity with potential clients). This is the kind of error ESPs and their clients focus on while trying to improve deliverability.
      What is email deliverability?
      • Full inbox delivery
        • This is the first and most surprisingly common myth you might come across: some Email Service Provider will promise 100% inbox delivery. If you ever come across such a company… just run! 100% delivery is impossible to achieve, no matter how good the DB, the creative and the solution are.
      • An ESP can guarantee 95%+ deliverability
        • Email deliverability being as it is, no provider can do such a promise as long as it hasn’t broadcasted for some time your database. Email deliverability relies on a big number of parameters among which the DB quality and the email marketing practices of the client stand for a big part of the deal.
      • Sending through a bulk environment will solve my deliverability issues
        • If you choose not to broadcast emails through a dedicated domain and IP(s) you might think that your emails will go through with a number of other senders and that will allow you to take benefit of a shared average reputation. This is not true, you might at the beginning find it efficient, but if you plan to do everything according to the book and decide to work on the long run (with the help of your account manager) on your deliverability, a dedicated environment will allow you to reach levels of deliverability that no mutualised environment will ever provide (because you will get rid of all poor quality broadcasts made by other clients of your ESP that might damage YOUR delivery).
      Common myths on deliverability:
      • Definition
        • When it comes to email marketing, the sender reputation describes the attitude ISPs will have regarding any incoming message from your IP(s) and domain.
      • How is this reputation caclulated
        • Reputation is based on the history ISPs have with your messages, they log all incoming communications from your IP(s) and domain and measure the impact it has on their users. While some reactions/incidents will penalize your reputation, others will increase it. Among the penalizing stuff there’s (not exclusively) hardbounces (too many that is), complaints and Spamtraps. Among the things that will increase your reputation there’s people adding your sender address to their contact list, marking you as “not spam” (in case you where miss-indentified as a SPAM) or simply opening your emails on a regular basis. Building up a good reputation is a long work but it’s also absolutely necessary.
      • What are spamtraps (or honey pots)?
        • One of the first and most common ways spammers found to generate quickly an insanely big list of email addresses was to scan the web for email addresses left on web pages, forums, contact pages,... To protect identify Spammers using this technique, ISPs started posting around the web fake email addresses that where then used as Spam traps, anyone sending email to such addresses is a potential spammer.
      What is a sender reputation?
      • Hardbounces
        • ISPs have a memory, they expect you to take into account what they tell you. If they ever bounce back an email as being invalid (hardbounce), it is necessary to remove it from your list, if you continue to address it, you will likely be considered as a Spammer.
      • Complaints
        • Feedback loops: Most ISPs now have a “This is a SPAM” button, the more complaints your broadcast triggers the more likely you are to be blocked. Some of the world’s biggest ISPs have implemented what is called feedback loops to which (good) ESPs can subscribe. It’s a program to which, once subscribed you receive instantly the list of people complaining so you can remove them from the list of optin address (and therefore avoid future complaints)
        • Some users will use other ways to complain after one of your broadcasts (sending a mail to [email_address] or to SpamCop for example) it is very important to take these into account as well! To help you in this task Cabestan has an abuse desk monitoring all these channels to make sure nothing goes unnoticed.
      • Inactive emails
        • A new trend is appearing among ISPs: the one to one filtering, this would mean that the sender reputation would also be calculated according to the percentage of persons that actually open and read your messages among a given ISP.
      What can harm my deliverability?
      • Database hygiene
        • Having a clean database is very important when it comes to email deliverability, the first step is to make sure you are only putting in your database quality leads that are really optin to your offers (and I mean here that they are AWARE they registered) to avoid complaints, and cleaning out your database of hardbounces (immediately), mailbox full emails (once in a while) and the inactive emails (at least every 6 months)
      • Content testing
        • Another important thing is to make sure the emails you are sending are properly encoded. If you send a poorly coded HTML, you take the risk of being identified as a potential threat (most of the SPAM on the web is poorly coded), you should also check for usual SPAM related words and phrases. Cabestan uses Returnpath and Litmus for this matter but can also audit your email template to guide you to a highly optimized HTML.
      • Best practices
        • Companies such as Cabestan publish a list of best practices up to date that will give general recommendations to avoid triggering any content related SPAM filters but also to make sure your email will be displayed properly whatever webmail, browser or email client the receiver is using.
      What can help my deliverability?
      • There’s a lot of “jargon” surrounding email marketing (and deliverability in particular), here’s a quick list of definitions:
        • ESP (Email Service Provider): Company providing an email broadcasting tool either web hosted (SaaS) or a software to be installed on a server (i.e. Cabestan)
        • ISP (Internet Service Provider): Company offering other companies or end users access to the internet and one or several email addresses, they usually host the email reception servers and protect them from SPAM either with a in-house solution or a third party one. By extension, this acronym also applies to Free Email Providers (such as hotmail or Gmail).
        • SMTP Server : Is the outgoing email server
        • MX Server : Is the server hosting the email application (of an ISP for example), big ISPs of free email providers usually have several of them.
        • Bounce (can be Hard, Soft or Spam) : Is the error reply from a server to which one’s sending an email.
        • Optin : Stands for the aware agreement given by a user to receive email from a company.
        • Optout : As opposed to Optin, it’s the express request from a user to stop receiving emails from a company
        • B2C (Business to Consumer) : Describes a direct communication between a company and an end user
        • B2B (business to Business) : Describes a direct communication between a company and another company, B2B direct email marketing has often (depending on the country) a very different (and far softer) legislation than B2C
      Do you speak deliverability?
      • Responsibility and reputation
        • For years now, Cabestan has been very active in Europe and the USA by taking part to summits on Spam filtering and email broadcasting ethics. We are also part of several monitoring groups and lobbies such as the MAAWG (Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group)
      • Deliverability department
        • Despite all this, incidents may occur, this is why we have a dedicated team of deliverability experts that will identify the source of the eventual issue, address it with you and solve the problem.
      • Tools
        • Cabestan gives its clients an entire range of tools to monitor deliverability and anticipate issues that might occur (Deliverability reports, content testing,…).
      • Dedicated environment
        • By using a delegated domain and a dedicated set of IPs for each of its customers and by helping them build up a good reputation on their domain/set of IPs, Cabestan helps its client building up a long lasting deliverability that will make the email marketing a highly performing channel.
      What are Cabestan’s benefits?
      • Canada
      Our references
      • World wide
      Years working with our clients on deliverability issues and finding solutions to adapt ourselves to their needs helped us build a very strong bond with companies in very different domains such as luxury goods, e-commerce, services, travel, brands,…
      • Cabestan will help you build a successful reputation thanks to the following:
        • Dedicated environment (domain + IP)
        • Deliverability team (in contact with the main ISPs)
        • Advanced deliverability statistics (to monitor performance)
        • Feedback loops subscription
        • Account manager (monitoring, audit and advice)
        • Advanced bounces filtering (for database hygiene)
        • ESP reputation (active part of the MAAWG)
        • Returnpath certification program (optional)
      Why work with Cabestan?
    • Contact us Cabestan Canada Anton Panaitesco 1450 city councillors Suite 425 Montreal, QC H2A 3E6 – Canada Tel: 1 877 787 1769 Fax: 514 666 1087 Email: [email_address] Web: www.cabestan-canada.com Paris London Montréal Madrid New York