While the content and creativity surrounding email marketing seem to get better and more sophisticated all the time, many organizations still fail to ensure that their messages are effectively delivered in the first place.
Although I’ve blogged previously on top tips for email delivery, it’s a topic worth repeating because your investment in your campaigns will be wasted if your message isn’t getting heard—or at least delivered.
Here are four (more) ways to ensure your emails reach your desired targets every time:
- Don’t be in denial: According to a new study by Return Path in which more than four trillion emails were analyzed, as many as half of all emails are labeled as spam, blocked by email systems--whether a corporate system or an independent service provider’s (ISP))--and failing to reach their intended recipients. While these numbers may not be shocking for the B2C world, the figures for the B2B realm are just as concerning: one in five commercial emails are blocked or placed into junk folders. Delivery rates like this will inevitably effect your campaign success rates – and your company’s revenue outlook. So don’t be in denial. Whether you’re a B2C or B2B marketer, the email deliverability challenge almost certainly affects you.
- Know your score: Similar to a credit score, there are now vendors that can provide your company domain a reputability score to measure how well your emails are being delivered. Ranging from 0 to 100, a sender score is a metric that ISPs use to check the authenticity and safety of messages sent from a particular IP address. The lower the score, the more your emails are being blocked. While 56% of all sent emails are blocked, over half (52%) of those blocked come from senders with a score of 70 or below. On the flip side, senders with high scores can see block rates as low as only 2%. Elements that can undermine a sender score include email list hygiene, subscriber complaints, invalid email addresses and low email engagement.
- Your URL might be the problem: While certain “spammy” content (e.g. “FREE!” in the subject line) can be a red flag for deliverability issues, such content is rarely, at least by itself, the problem. When it comes to content-based delivery issues, the more likely culprit could be URLs (web addresses) that have driven spam complaints to ISPs or have appeared repeatedly in messages sent to their spam traps. The solution for B2B marketers might be to switch up their landing page URLs on occasion – and make sure they are leading to valuable content that your market actually desires.
- Sending more (to the right people) may be good: Sometimes marketers are led to believe that to increase deliverability rates, they should stop sending to – or purge – those who haven’t opened or clicked on their message in a certain timeframe, say 60, 90 or 180 days. However, this approach may be somewhat drastic and may cause you to throw out many good email addresses mixed in with the bad ones. In fact, if deliverability is being hindered due to a technical issue (such as a server configuration problem), sending less email will likely not help your cause. In cases where email from a sender is being blocked based on lack of engagement, it would actually be better to send more email to your most engaged subscribers to boost opens and clicks to mitigate the engagement issue.
As ISPs evolve their methodologies and protocols for discovering and blocking spam content to keep spammers at bay, they also are not openly communicating exactly how they are determining email deliverability. That makes the mail deliverability challenge even more complicated and daunting for email marketers.
In the end, however, the solution should be less about gaming the system and cracking the code to get around ISP spam blockers, and more about obtaining and using accurate, well-researched email data. Only then will you be in position to deliver real value to a welcoming audience who will respond positively to the right message.
Find and win new customers with targeted, high-quality email marketing data from OMI. Click here for more information and download our new e-book, “The Executive’s 15-Minute Guide to Building a Successful Email Marketing Database,” today.
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