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LashBack Presentation at Mailcon January 2018

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Data-driven Insights and Opportunities in Email
Peter Wilson - CEO, LashBack
Mailcon – Las Vegas
January 2018

LashBack’s President and CEO, Peter Wilson, recently had the honor of speaking at Mailcon in Las Vegas, Nevada. His presentation at the event focused on message quality and various characteristics of an email that can affect inboxing rates among different CEPs.

“Email is a powerful but complex marketing channel,” Wilson says in the presentation. “In order to succeed, you need to do the right analytics… at the right time, using the right data.” Over a series of slides that include in-depth graphic representations and detailed analysis of real data, he shows how LashBack’s data insights can provide businesses with the clarity needed to understand a company’s own inboxing rates. For example, quality issues such as authentication, length of HTML, and use of special characters will impact delivery.

About LashBack®

Founded in 2003 by marketers with a vision of how to make email more safe and effective, LashBack® has grown to become an authority and go-to resource for email compliance and intelligence.

LashBack® is a patent-holder with a long history of innovation, collecting and leveraging data, and advocating for best practices. We continue to focus on creative ways to bring insights to our clients with services spanning every aspect of email marketing and a recent expansion into additional digital marketing channels. Whether you represent a large brand or are just getting started -- are more focused on risk or growth -- we have the information and services to help you accomplish your objectives.

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LashBack Presentation at Mailcon January 2018

  1. 1. Data-driven Insights and Opportunities in Email Peter Wilson - CEO, LashBack Mailcon – Las Vegas January 2018
  2. 2. January 2018 2 LashBack background/focus • Based in St. Louis and providing services for more than a decade • We have more than 100 major brands, agencies and networks as clients • We provide critical visibility and information to businesses using email to acquire new customers  Manage compliance  Protect your brands and data  Identify risks and opportunities PMA Compliance Council
  3. 3. January 2018 3 Quality email is powerful and achievable • Email is a powerful marketing channel with an unmatched ROI • The risks can be effectively managed • There are critical insights that can be gained through data and analytics regarding offers, compliance, quality, partners and delivery • We currently offer services that provide compliance monitoring, list management, brand protection and competitive insights • In 2018, we are rolling out additional services focused on quality, partners and delivery • Inboxing dramatically impacts the performance of an offer • Message quality dramatically impacts inboxing • Quality includes, but goes beyond, compliance – the presence of an unsubscribe and postal address are compliance issues that impact delivery, but delivery is also impacted by broader quality issues like authentication, length of HTML, and the use of special characters
  4. 4. January 2018 4 Discussion today How do message characteristics/quality and partners impact delivery • Passing authentication and the presence of a list-unsubscribe in the header and clear text unsubscribe • Other characteristics that impact delivery, such as the number of links and images • What is the impact of “spam text”... does it work • What ESPs have the strongest delivery by email provider • Some concluding thoughts
  5. 5. 5 LashBack data/disclaimer September 2016 • LashBack collects millions of B2C email messages through a variety of sources. All of the email is provided directly to LashBack or indirectly with the permission of the consumer • LashBack does not market to consumers or sell personally identifiable information All of the observations in this presentation are based on data received and analyzed by LashBack. Presentations are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent professional judgment. The observations may be influenced by multiple factors including the date, source, and size of the data set and your results or experience may be meaningfully different. We do not make any representations or offer any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. We are strong advocates for quality email marketing and do not advocate the use of any technique or practice in a vacuum or that is counter to established best practices. Any action you take upon the information presented is strictly at your own risk.
  6. 6. Businesses investing in compliance have fewer compliance issues January 2018 6
  7. 7. Some context on inboxing Everyone has their own niche and varied experience, but what does the data say about: • How does recent inboxing compare to inboxing a year ago? • Is it getting better or worse? • How does it vary by email provider? January 2018 7
  8. 8. Inboxing similar to last year, but the rates and trends vary Gmail at 60% (down 7%) Yahoo at 50% (flat/up 1%) Microsoft at 43% (up 4%) January 2018 8
  9. 9. The impact of select quality characteristics A few core quality measures significantly impact delivery – especially when all are present • Passing authentication • A list-unsubscribe in the header • The presence of a clear text unsubscribe How meaningful is the impact? Does it vary by email provider? January 2018 9
  10. 10. Passing versus failing authentication January 2018 10 Average difference: 22% Compares messages that failed at least one authentication check to those that had no failures; messages without authentication were not considered.
  11. 11. Presence of a list-unsubscribe header January 2018 11 Average difference: 24% Major impact with Yahoo
  12. 12. Presence of a clear text unsubscribe January 2018 12 Average difference: 22% Major impact with Yahoo Examples include “Click here to unsubscribe”, “To stop receiving these messages”, “to end your subscription”, etc.
  13. 13. Presence of a list-unsubscribe header & a clear text unsubscribe January 2018 13 Average difference: 33% Yahoo difference is 53%
  14. 14. Presence of all 3 – authentication, list-unsub & clear text unsub January 2018 14 Average difference: 38% Yahoo difference is 55%
  15. 15. A few other important factors that influence delivery Let’s take a look at the impact of: • # of special characters in subject line • Length of HTML portion of message • # of links in HTML • # of images • Combination of HTML and text January 2018 15
  16. 16. Negative impact of special characters in the subject line January 2018 16 Number of characters that were not A-Z, 0-9 or whitespace
  17. 17. Positive correlation between inboxing and length of HTML January 2018 17 By length of (number of characters in) the HTML portion of the message
  18. 18. Correlation between links in the HTML and inboxing January 2018 18 Number of links in the HTML portion of messages. Note: the dip near 155- 164 was caused by a single sender sending a high volume of phony job offers
  19. 19. Strongest positive correlation with links 1-15 January 2018 19
  20. 20. Positive impact of images on inboxing January 2018 20 Number of images in the HTML portion of messages (1-25 images) Interesting: for Microsoft, zero images seems to be better than 1-3
  21. 21. Varied impact of email format/Gmail January 2018 21 Gmail does not seem to significantly consider format in determining delivery
  22. 22. Microsoft seems to penalize text-only messages January 2018 22 There is a 20%+ drop-off in the inboxing of text- only messages to Microsoft recipients
  23. 23. Yahoo appears to penalize HTML-only and favor text-only January 2018 23 Yahoo inboxing appears far strongest for text-only messages.
  24. 24. What are the strongest influencers of inboxing? We ran a regression against a large set of B2C email messages and data points within the messages to assess: What combination of characteristics most strongly influences inboxing (across all three major email providers)? The result was… Messages that include seven characteristics were 20%+ more likely to get to the inbox across all three email providers January 2018 24
  25. 25. The influence of the 7 characteristics on inboxing January 2018 25 1. At least 10 images 2. Includes both HTML and text parts 3. Length of HTML between 20,000 and 30,000 4. No more than 5 non- alphanumeric characters 5. Contains a clear text unsubscribe link 6. Contains a list-unsubscribe header 7. No authentication failures
  26. 26. What characteristics are the most predictive From a slightly different perspective – • There are many data points and variables in a B2C email message, almost all of which influence delivery • What are the 10 characteristics that enable you to best predict where a message will be delivered? • Based on our analysis… we can predict where the message will be received with 85% accuracy if we know only these 10 characteristics January 2018 26 Message characteristics are often asymmetrically correlated -- meaning that they do not equally predict bulk and inbox. For example, the absence of a clear text unsubscribe strongly predicts that a message will go to the bulk folder, but its presence is not a strong predictor that the message will be delivered to the inbox. The characteristics that are the most powerful (predictive) are at either end of the spectrum.
  27. 27. What characteristics are the most predictive January 2018 27
  28. 28. Our top 10… the most predictive list January 2018 28 • Absence of a list-unsubscribe header (predicts bulk) • Absence of a clear text unsubscribe (predicts bulk) • Length of text within HTML part (predicts inbox) • Total length of HTML part (predicts inbox) • Total length of message body (predicts inbox) • # of HTML tags (predicts inbox) • # of unique HTML tags (predicts inbox) • # of images (predicts inbox) • # of linked images (predicts inbox) • # of links in HTML (predicts inbox)
  29. 29. Number one among the top 10 January 2018 29 What was the one characteristic that was the most predictive of whether a message is delivered to the inbox? The length of the HTML in the message was the most important factor in predicting delivery to the inbox.
  30. 30. January 2018 30 Does “spam text” in a message work? Reduces delivery 16% to Gmail Reduces delivery 27% to Microsoft Improves delivery 18% to Yahoo We looked at the inboxing of all messages by CEP and compared it to the inboxing of messages manually flagged in our system as containing spam text; the data is from the October/November 2017 time frame.
  31. 31. What ESPs have the strongest delivery across all three CEPs? January 2018 31 Gmail avg 62% Yahoo avg 46% Microsoft avg 41%
  32. 32. Varied delivery across the top three (volume) ESPs January 2018 32 Gmail avg 62% Yahoo avg 46% Microsoft avg 41%
  33. 33. High volume ESPs with above average inboxing Ten of the highest volume ESPs: • AWeber • BlueHornet • Bronto • Campaigner • iContact • InfusionSoft • Maropost • SendGrid • SendLabs • Yesmail January 2018 33 Gmail Microsoft Yahoo 1 Yesmail SendGrid Yesmail 2 SendGrid Yesmail Campaigner 3 Bronto Maropost 4 Campaigner SendGrid 5 AWeber iContact 6 InfusionSoft 7 Bronto 8 SendLabs 9 BlueHornet 10 AWeber Which of the ten had above average inboxing for each CEP: Ranked by inboxing, November 2017
  34. 34. 34 Takeaways January 2018 Email is a powerful but complex marketing channel. In order to succeed, you need to do the right analytics… at the right time, using the right data • In general, quality email gets better delivery • On a more granular level, certain characteristics and combinations of characteristics seem to have the greatest bearing on delivery (and the impact varies by email provider) • Out of the many components of a message, the following seem to be highly impactful/predictive: • No authentication failure • Contains a list-unsubscribe header • Contains a clear text unsubscribe link • No or few non-alphanumeric characters in the subject line • 10 or more links and images • Includes both HTML and text parts • Length of HTML between 20,000 and 30,000

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