Email deliverability: make Black Friday about consent, not spam

The last email deliverability blog I wrote was about how communicating to everyone in your lists needs to be done strategically, and that email may not be the best path. One of the seasons where senders feel pressure to expand their email audience is fast approaching.

Sometimes that pressure focuses on legal arguments.

To re-iterate from last time: Making sure that what you are sending and to whom is legal, is something I cannot advise on. Most often, when having a conversation on email deliverability, and specifically when I’m giving advice on who to send to, I get the response: ” but it’s legal”.

Please leave the legal conversation for the lawyers. For me – and this may seem harsh – I don’t care. The legal argument is just that – an argument. And it misses the point and moves the whole focus away from what the conversation should really be about.

Email deliverability: Wanted vs. unwanted

The focus of the conversation should be on: do the recipients of the emails you’re sending want to receive those emails?

Consent and setting expectations are both key to having a successful, revenue-generating email program. As we come up to the busy holiday period, it’s easy to let the pressures that come with it change this key part of the message. But there are no exceptions because of timing.

Mailbox providers have a job to do: to make sure that the emails being sent to recipients are wanted. They measure whether or not an email is wanted through many different indicators. Some of those include:

  • when recipients mark a message as spam
  • sending to an email address that’s being used to identify senders collecting email addresses without consent or continued consent (a.k.a ‘spam trap’)
  • sending to recipients that no longer exist at that mailbox provider

Once you reach one or more of those thresholds, mailbox providers (such as Gmail and Yahoo) can see clearly that you’re sending emails that their users – the owners of the email addresses you’re sending to – do not want.

Re-focus on email deliverability

If your biggest argument for sending an email is, “oh, but it’s legal”, then you need to re-focus. Because you run the risk of alienating people who actually do want to hear from you. These are the contacts that drive revenue or any other intended outcome of your email program.

Build a robust sending plan

Building back your reputation is hard; it’s better to build your sending plan for the busy upcoming holidays. Here are some email deliverability tips:

  • Use past years’ data to understand how your recipients interact with your emails. Look at the demographics of your recipient base and what they want to know.
  • Continue to respect recipients that have shown they are not interested. Consider carefully before sending to inactive contacts who may still be opted in. Whatever value you might get from sending a campaign like that is not worth the risk to your email deliverability. Find the data point where revenue drops. At what age of inactivity does the lack of revenue make sending to that data set irrelevant? Remember, the answer to this question will be different for each sender.
  • If there is consent and data to show a larger audience wants to hear about your Black Friday deals, then plan any volume increases accordingly – slowly build to the volumes where you need to be.

Who should I be sending to?

Want more advice on email deliverability during the busy festive period? Get in touch with your account manager to set up a consultation.

For more killer insight, download our email deliverability guide here.

The post Email deliverability: make Black Friday about consent, not spam appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

New for GDPR: Keep track of your contacts’ consent

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Tricky beast

I’m going make an assumption here, and it’s this: by now, you don’t need me to tell you about the GDPR, or why it’s important, or even how it will affect you. You know what it is, and you’re already planning for it – and have been for months, or even years. I know this because that’s what you’ve been telling us. We’re fortunate to have customers that are so proactive.

And if you know about the GDPR, you’ll know about Article 7 – even if not by name. Article 7 is the section that deals with that tricky beast: consent.

But perhaps consent isn’t that tricky: isn’t it really just knowing who’s subscribed and who hasn’t?

Under the GDPR, not quite – because simply knowing that a contact is subscribed isn’t going to be good enough. In the post-GDPR world, consent will need to be specific.

Consent’s no luxury

If you have a signup form that contains an opt-in checkbox with, “Yes, I’d love to receive future emails”, then that’s going to cease being the gold standard on May 25. You’re going to need to come up with something more specific – something that says what those emails are going to contain, and how often you’ll be sending them.

But coming up with clearer, more specific opt-in text is one thing. The GDPR also says that you need to be able to demonstrate you have that specific consent.

You may well already be storing preferences in data fields, or perhaps with address books. That’s great, and you should carry on doing that. But being able to demonstrate why a contact has those preferences? That’s something that’s probably new to you – and it’s why we’ve built ConsentInsight.

As of today, you can now store – for free – the exact consent text a contact agreed to. Alongside, you can store the IP address they were on at the time, information about the browser they were using, and when they did it. And if their consent changes, we’ll keep the history too.

Get, store, demonstrate

You can request and store consent wherever you can add a contact (with the exception of adding individual contacts in the app).

The simplest way will be by generating a signup form, which will now get you to set your consent text. If you prefer creating signup forms with our surveys and forms tool, then you can use the new ‘Consent’ building block.

If you’ve obtained consent by some other means, you can set it when importing contacts by including the information in the file you upload (you can map the values just like contact data fields).

Of course, you may also be thinking about retrospectively gaining and storing consent for your current subscribers (we like to call this ‘up-permissioning’). For this, take a look at our two GDPR-themed program templates; you just need to fill in the blanks.

Let us do it for you

If you’d like a helping hand using ConsentInsight, or perhaps running an up-permissioning campaign, we have teams on hand that can help. Just let your account manager know.

ConsentInsight is available in your account now – here’s the link to the documentation. To learn more about dotmailer and the GDPR, visit our trust center.

The post New for GDPR: Keep track of your contacts’ consent appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com