Deliverability Drives Revenue


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Deliverability Drives Revenue

  1. 1. Deliverability Drives Revenue How Email Deliverability Is Essential to Driving Revenue Chris Arrendale Deliverability, Privacy & Best Practice Director ANNUITAS
  2. 2. Agenda • • • • What is deliverability (versus delivered) Why deliverability matters Key terms to know What you need to know to get into the inbox – – – – Content Spam Filters Lists Volumes • How to protect and grow your reputation • How deliverability success drives revenue
  3. 3. About Me Chris Arrendale has more than 11 years of experience in the technology and software industry and has worked directly with many different ISPs, webmail providers, spam filter providers, blacklists, and partners to resolve deliverability issues. Chris graduated with his BA from Emory University and his MS from Southern Polytechnic University. He also maintains several professional certifications including Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US). Chris is actively involved with the Email Experience Council (EEC) roundtables, Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), Email Sender & Provider Coalition (ESPC), Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association (AIMA), and Only Influencers (Email). He works with many enterprise clients to make sure that new clients are provisioned correctly, ISP blocks are removed, blacklists are monitored, and to educate clients of the ever changing deliverability landscape.
  4. 4. Today You Will Learn • • • • • • • • The understanding of email deliverability Essential terms to know and understand The deliverability ‘checklist’ The flow of an email How email filters work Deliverability content tips Reputation is key to email deliverability Actionable takeaways and next steps
  5. 5. Deliverability
  6. 6. Why Deliverability Matters • Delivered is a way to measure that the email was accepted by the mail server. • Deliverability is getting to the inbox and measuring the open/click statistics. • Getting your email into your subscriber’s inbox is the only way to get recognized, get opens, and conversions! • Deliverability is constantly changing and evolving.
  7. 7. Key Terms to Know • Hard bounce - The rejection reason from the recipient mail server indicates a permanent delivery failure. Retried delivery attempts will not be successful. • Soft bounce - The rejection reason from the recipient mail server indicates a transient delivery failure. Retried delivery attempts may be successful. • Block - No further email will be accepted for a period of time. • Bulked - Messages will be accepted for delivery but will be placed in a lower priority folder.
  8. 8. Key Terms to Know - Part 2 • Abuse complaint - Notifications from ISP via Feedback loop that the recipient marked the email as “Spam”. Abuse Complaints should be opted out immediately. • Blacklist - List of IP addresses or domains that are not allowed entry into a particular network. • Whitelist - Needed for most large volume senders and allows for higher volume of emails to be sent. • Spam trap - A valid email address that monitors who sends email to it and will harm your reputation.
  9. 9. 4 Steps to the inbox: • 4 Steps to the Inbox First - Configure: – Setup Authentication - SPF, SenderID, DomainKeys, DKIM. Second - Make Friends: – Get signed up on all feedback loops and white lists possible – not all ISP’s and Inbox Providers have one but research those that do and sign up! – Research reputation. Third - Design Campaigns: – – – – – Make sure your Image to Text Ratio is ~30/70. Include an “Add to Address” Book statement. Brand Messages Include text or html unsubscribe link (not an image) – one click opt out is best. Include Postal Address in Footer. Lastly - Maintain: – Keep User Engagement High – Target recipients with relevant content and stop sending to any that are not interested. – Keep your abuse complaint rate below 0.3% - remove complaints immediately. – Keep your bounce rates below 10% - remove hard bounces immediately. – Entice and remind recipient’s to add your from address to their address book.
  10. 10. Typical Path of an Email
  11. 11. Email Content – The Essential Email • Ensure subject lines are substantive (not promotional) and speak to business benefits; ideal length is 100-140 characters and more than 16 words. To: John Smith From: Client X Subject Line Preheader Text HTML Headline for Email Subject • Personalization is optimal in B2B emails for higher conversions; avoid "Dear X." • Ensure domain reputation for landing page URLs remains high; also, make sure there are both text and graphical links to landing page.. GRAPHIC Hi, John. Text. Embedded call-to-action. Text. Text. Re-iterate call-to-action. GRAPHIC Footer + Unsubscribe Verbiage • Maintain 70/30 ratio with essential graphics highlighting Content Offer or product/service. • Design email content with 'images off,' ensure high mobile readability Text. • Smaller section graphic or highlight graphic of offering in the Content Offer email. • Include preheader text that is essentially the ‘boilerplate version’ of your Content Offer email. • Optimize the footer and unsubscribe verbiage.
  12. 12. Email Image Data Points • Designing email content with ‘images off’ is essential to having the best inbox experience. – Keep images small and lightweight to not cause rendering issues or delays in the download. – Never include the CTA or Unsubscribe in an image. – Always include ‘alt’ attributes. – Always include height + weight attributes. – Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2010 do not support background images either. Source: Litmus, “The Ultimate Guide to Styled ALT Text in Email”, (
  13. 13. Spam Filters • Many filters look for the following: – – – – – – Recipient engagement. Authentication The reputation of the sending IP address. The sender’s domain reputation. Characteristics of the email content. Digital fingerprint. • Spam filters are always evolving and changing thousands of times a day! • B2B rule sets can vary from domain to domain.
  14. 14. Lists • Meticulous list management: – – – – Unsubscribes Complaints Bounces Use caution with list append and acquisition companies – – – – – Opens Clicks Forward2Friend TINS (This is Not Spam) ISP Panel Data • Engagement includes • Important to perform list hygiene to segment out the inactive subscribers and possibly do a ‘win back’ campaign.
  15. 15. Volumes • Sending volumes to smaller domains is key to getting delivered. • Major ISPs publish rate limits and connection settings. • B2B and smaller B2C domains do not publish these settings. • Key is to send smaller volumes to not ‘flood’ the recipient’s mail server. • Get whitelisted, if possible. • Communicate this with your subscribers!
  16. 16. Continually testing is key • Testing all parts of email content is essential for any Email Program. – Subject lines and message body content are just the beginning. – Layout and images play a key role in overall B2B email effectiveness. – Segmenting by target audience and having a well-designed landing page are equally as important to a great piece of email content. Source: MarketingSherpa, “Benchmark Survey”, July 2011.
  17. 17. Keys to Drive Revenue via Deliverability • • • • • • Increase emails being delivered. Increase emails being opened/clicked. Increase subscriber engagement. Decrease complaints. Decrease bounces. Decrease dead addresses and/or spam traps. • Impact conversions and program performance.
  18. 18. Move The Needle
  19. 19. Preheader text data points • Utilizing the preheader and optimizing the email footer will provide a better email experience for your recipients. – Link to the online web version of the content. – Link to the unsubscribe and forward to a friend. – Compelling ‘text snippets’ with offers. – Mobile readers utilize and show the preheader text. Source: Multichannel Merchant, “How To Increase Email Response Rates”, (
  20. 20. Mobile data points • Mobile email design is now the standard and content should now be more ‘mobile-friendly’ – More and more recipients are viewing emails on mobile technology, so the key is to design content for these devices – Laptop, Tablet, Cell (Both IOS + Android) Source: DemandGen Report, “Content Preferences Survey”, May 2012.
  21. 21. Key Takeaways 1. Make sure you are authenticating outgoing emails. 2. Meticulously manage your lists. 3. Manage volumes and rate limits to smaller domains. 4. Brand your emails via email links, from, etc. 5.Test, test, test!
  22. 22. Thank You