Deliverability: it doesn’t have to be the Pandora’s Box of email marketing

Email marketers should not be scared of Deliverability – it’s an essential part of email marketing that needs to be understood in order to drive best-of-breed sending practices.

What is Deliverability?

Deliverability is quite literally the ability for your email campaign to reach the inbox of the recipient. It is crucial not to confuse “Deliverability” with “Delivery”. According to Return Path, Delivery measures emails that have not received a hard or soft bounce – i.e. that haven not been rejected – but it does not measure where the email has landed. Deliverability on the other hand refers to the placement of your emails, be that in the inbox, the spam folder or a black hole in some galaxy far, far away.

How can I – as an e-marketer – maximise the deliverability of my email campaigns? Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. Get permission!

Make sure that the contacts you are emailing have given permission to receive emails from you and are expecting what you send. Getting consent from your contacts and setting the right expectations from the beginning helps build a strong sending reputation.

  1. Listen to your contacts

Target your engaged contacts; this helps you to maintain a healthy sender reputation which helps maximise your delivery to the email client (i.e. Hotmail) and placement in the inbox. The contacts that are continually engaging are showing you that they want to hear from you. Be strategic when emailing your un-engaged contacts; it is recommended not to email subscribers that have not historically engaged with your brand. This depends on your recipients – when does it make sense to remove them? Different product/service/email lifecycles will dictate different engagement strategies. As said in tip #1, this is a conversation. If the recipient isn’t interested in continuing, it’s time to change what you are saying to them. At this point, create a strategy that will target unengaged recipients with the purpose of wining them back. If they don’t respond to your “win-back” strategy, stop emailing them. Continually emailing unengaged subscribers weakens your sender reputation, causing lower inbox placement and response rates.

  1. Maintain your list hygiene

This will help you with targeting content to specific subscribers. Ensure that you are utilising the folder system within your account in order to manage address books. This will help you identify contacts and organise them in a way that best fits your sending strategy.

  1. Segment based on suitability and email behaviour

Look at contact interactions such as opens, clicks and conversions. Remember, a conversion does not necessarily mean a purchase, but rather a positive action in response to a call-to-action. This will give you more visibility of your contacts, helping you to target and engage with them further.

  1. Use in-built deliverability tools

Use the dotmailer-provided tools to help you maintain a strong reputation. Run your contacts against the Global Suppression list: this will help remove any hard bouncers/known unknown users (recipients that don’t exist). This tool is in place to help maintain your sender reputation.

As a last note, it is worth mentioning that the Email Marketing Industry – in terms of regulation – is becoming very focused on anti-abuse. With the GDPR coming in to effect in 2018, it is essential that email marketers enforce best sending practices. Conforming to these practices doesn’t just help with compliance, but it also protects your business interests. From a deliverability perspective, reaching your customers’ inboxes is a pre-requisite of driving ROI through the email channel.

Get a free copy of our deliverability myths guide, written by our Chief Privacy Officer.

The post Deliverability: it doesn’t have to be the Pandora’s Box of email marketing appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotmailer.com

The increased importance of domain reputation on your deliverability

In recent years, email classifying technologies have moved beyond basic IP address reputation measures and have focused on other signals, including placing a heavier value on domain reputation.  This means the classifier looks at all of the data associated with the sending domain — therefore the singled-out IP address is overshadowed by the other ‘good’ IP addresses.  In addition, domain-based measurements incorporate the reputation associated with transactional email sent from the same domain, which will most certainly help overall sender reputation.

Earlier this year I moderated an email receiver panel, comprising Google, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo! and Comcast.  During our time together IP address and domain reputation was discussed, and while the change has not yet been formally adopted by all receivers, they are taking steps now to shift to this – meaning – they are now looking at domain reputation closer than ever.

The overall message is very clear: domain-based reputation is the future.

The good news

For most senders, this change will actually benefit their delivery rates.  The fact remains that ISP classifiers still have ‘false positive’ situations where an individual IP address is singled out due to insufficient data or a glitch in the system, while the same sender’s other IP addresses are highly reputable and reach the inbox.

The bad news

If there truly is a reputation problem from anywhere within a sender’s domain, it will affect all of the mail coming from that sender.  This means that senders must be mindful of their complaint rates and email acquisition practices because they both will affect their domain-based reputation — and by extension, their ROI.  Equally important, if a sender is using the same domain for transactional messaging, those emails may also see their deliverability rates decline.

If you are using an unbranded or shared from domain, like dotmailer’s cmp.dotmailer.co.uk or dotmailer-email.com, you risk having to deal with the bad news.  This is because not only are you sharing an IP address in a pool, but you are also sharing a domain name.  With receivers looking at both the IP and the domain, if you are stuck with a bad actor on your domain, you have a very high risk of email deliverability issues.

One simple way of better representing yourself in the new world of domain reputation is using a custom from address.  The cost of these addresses is low compared to the potential cost in lost revenue due to email deliverability problems.  Not only do you gain the ability to differentiate yourself in the eyes of the email receivers, you also have a fully branded email solution, incorporating your own custom domain name in the “from address”.  This helps your recipients better identify your mail, giving it a branded feel and fostering trust.

For more information on how to order and set up a custom from address for your dotmailer account, take a look  at our help center or please contact your account manager.

The post The increased importance of domain reputation on your deliverability appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 7 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com