This paragraph marks the first in our brand new series dedicated to deliverability. Use this series to get your email marketing results back on track (or avoid them going off track in the first place!) as we guide you with insider tips, tricks and know-how that’ll help you get the most out of your Benchmark Email account. Today’s article is a general introduction to the concept of deliverability with some key points to consider.
Email marketing: an essential online marketing channel
Let’s use an example to illustrate the concept of deliverability. Imagine a company whose marketing team has spent a good few months ignoring the alerts and messages from their email marketing platform. Now, unfortunately, the Head of Marketing is having a look at the quarterly reports that he’s received from his team and he’s worried.
The last campaign had looked promising. It offered a good product, a clear message, it was well focused on the target market, they had a structured plan, the design was attractive and timings had been optimised. Sadly though, the numbers are less than satisfactory so, what went wrong?
All channels had performed as expected, except that of email marketing.
The amount of leads generated via this channel had been in steady decline over the last 6 months. It had been the star channel, a key aspect of the sales funnel, but things have definitely taken a turn for the worse. Let’s try to understand why.
Analysing the deliverability of your messages
It’s a common story and you’ve probably seen a similar situation before. The team needs solutions to be found fast. Fortunately, after looking over the reports, one of the team members has offered up some interesting ideas that she thinks could put the team back on the right track: she thinks that the downturn could have something to do with the deliverability of their email marketing messages.
Take it from us, deliverability is complex but fascinating to work on but, what is it? In short, it’s about optimising the rate at which your email arrives in the inbox, regardless of who your target public is and which ISP they use.
In our imaginary company, no one has been evaluating even the most basic components. The abuse complaint rate and bounces are far too high and the lists haven’t been sufficiently segmented. The consequence of all this is a poor reputation that harms results.
Key factor 1: Your sender reputation
A brand’s sender reputation is intrinsically linked to their Domain Authority and each ISP keeps a record of the sender’s activity. When evaluating your sender reputation, ask yourself: Do we have many or few spam complaints? What’s our average open rate? Do recipients interact with our campaigns and our content?
Bear these questions in mind, review the data and act to improve each of these points. For more details on doing this, keep your eyes peeled for new installments of this series.
Key factor 2: A clean list
It won’t matter how many campaigns you plan if your lists aren’t in tip-top shape. If your lists are full of spelling mistakes, if you don’t delete unsubscribes or if you keep sending to expired email addresses (hard bounces), you won’t be helping your deliverability. Using double opt-in for signups is vital for confirming that email addresses are both correct and that they exist.
To this you must add adequate segmentation. This goes hand in hand with an appropriate analysis and study of open and bounce rates which will let you appreciate just how engaged each recipient is or isn’t. For example, one segment may be those that always open and read your campaigns or have done in the last X months. These will be the ones that will be most interested in reading your promotional emails. You need this level of planning and preparation to make sure that only relevant content reaches each of your targets, giving you the kind of impact and return that you expect.
Key factor 3: Quality email marketing software
Now you’ve seen a few tips and understood a little more about what deliverability involves, we need to look beyond the actions of the marketing team alone. None of all of this will be enough if you don’t choose a quality email marketing platform from which to send your carefully planned email marketing campaigns.
How to choose? Firstly, you need to make sure that your email marketing service provider is dedicated to providing the right infrastructure. This involves them keeping on top of their server reputation and keeping their systems updated while working with you to optimise your sender reputation.
With the right tools, relevant content and clean lists, your email marketing strategy will be on the right path to success.
At Benchmark Email we guarantee that we will offer you the right infrastructure for your email marketing success. We always follow best email marketing practices to ensure the best possible delivery rates: we verify lists, clients and we keep an eye on campaigns too. All of this helps keep sender reputations high and ensures that emails get to their destination.
Try it for yourself. Open an account with us and explore our platform for free!
This is the first article from our brand new deliverability series. Next up, “The Advantages of Using a Dedicated IP in Email Marketing.” Follow us, subscribe and don’t miss out!
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Enjoy learning with Benchmark Email!