As a consumer, it’s becoming more difficult to wade through the clutter. As a Marketer, I have to be smart about my marketing communications to improve the likelihood my subscribers will show interest in my campaigns.Relevancy – Consumers want to hear from you when they have an interest or need in your products or services. On Demand – They like information or to do business at their fingertipsCommunity – Consumers will approach people they trust to inquire about a purchaseDelightful Experience – Everyone wants to be treated well and be considered special
The communication echo-system has evolved over the years. There are so many traditional and new ways consumers can engage with our brand. However, as we’ve moved into the 21st century it’s become more complex. If you review the process an email goes through to get from you to the recipient the stars and moon have to be aligned for the perfect experience.ISP – could chose to block an email and the customer would never see your communicationDesign – An email client may render something odd making it less attractive to read and focus onContent – As I spoke about on the previous screen must be relevant to capture my attention among the many other emails in my inboxDelivery – An email may land in the spam folder reducing the chance the consumer sees my messageEmail client – I may elect to read your email in my smart phone changing the dynamics of how the call to action will appear in my screenEngagement – My interest in your brand/domain may affect how an ISP chose to delivery in the future
I’ve been in the delivery optimization space for over 8 years. Interestingly enough, this metric has not changed much since I began. What does that say, I think it typifies the challenges we face daily. We have to be smart about what we send, how often, how much, when and why.
JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n = 202 (email marketers, US); n = 58 (email marketers responsible for B2C newsletter mailings, US), n = 73 (email marketers responsible for B2C promotional offer mailings, Selected Responses – Top Five Business to Consumer Marketers
There are so many components within the process that may impact your delivery positively or negatively. I’ll touch upon a few within each category I’ve listed.Mailing System –Is your system properly configured? ISPs will block mail from a server that does not have rDNS setup or improperly setupHow mail is throttled when sent out to each ISP. Each ISP has their own set of standards for how many times you can connect to their system or throughput. If you’re using an ESP they likely have their systems setup to meet the criteria for each ISPBusiness Policies – The biggies issue here is your permission policy. Do you offer opt-in with a confirmation email or opt-out no confirmation email.Reputation – How many spam complaints you drive will impact your delivery. Be sure you’re tracking spam complaints through the various FBL programs offered by many of the major and secondary ISPsDesign/Content – I’m often asked how much does design/content play a role in deliverability. In my experience, 10%-20% of the time an email is placed in the spam folder based upon the design and/or content. Therefore, check your emails against spam filtering systems either on your own or through a 3rd party systemData management – This refers to bounces. I continue to talk to folks who do not review their bounces or do not have a bounce program in place to remove bad addresses.
Deliverability is Cited as Top Challenge by Marketers 8
Anatomy of ISP Delivery Process AOL Internal Blacklists AOL Reputation Metrics - ”Abuse Data” AOL Volume Filters In Address Book Enhanced White List No White List Standard White List Certified Mail AOL Rules & Bayesian/Signature URL Blocklists Recipient Bayesian Recipient Rules Inbox Spam box Block/bounce
Choose your destiny “Senders that were listed on just one of the top 12 blacklists saw their delivery rates plunge to an average of 35%”. - Return Path (2008) When you choose your email provider, you choose your deliverability destiny. Two Types: 1) Pooled (Shared): Can be efficient, low cost, low risk2) Individual: Can be low cost What’s it take to reach the inbox?
Follow these guidelines “75% of respondents say lack of relevance is the biggest reason subscribers choose to opt out, followed closely by sending too frequently.” - Return Path (2010) There several things you can do to improve your odds of reaching the inbox.
Send a welcome message to all new subscribers- Ask subscribers to add you to their safe list, address book, etc- Use spam-check tools on your messages- Don’t include attachments or imbed any video/audio- Don’t use too many images or rely solely on images- Use a permission statement in your messages and sign up form
Use these techniques “Twenty percent of email in the US and Canada is still not making the inbox with 4% of email going to the “junk” or “bulk” folder and 16% going missing.” - Return Path (2010) We also recommend:
Test your HTML designs for rendering problems- Consider using a confirmed opt in process- Run Return Path reports to test your inbox delivery- Segment your list and send targeted relevant messages- Finally, never consider buying, renting, or sharing lists
Contact us to learn more For copies of these slides, general questions or ideas please feel free to contact me directly: Derek Edwards iContact Account Executive 919-459-1440 firstname.lastname@example.org