Why Email Deliverability Matters

What makes email marketing such a powerful tool? Well, it is the most cost-effective marketing channel for delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. But as with every channel, email marketing has its limitations. Abuses, such as spam and phishing, have made it difficult for legitimate senders to cut through the noise and deliver relevant messages to their targeted audiences.

So, email deliverability comes into play. It focuses on how to make sure your email marketing messages end up where they belong: in the inboxes of your target audience. It maximizes your efforts so you are not wasting your time sending the wrong material or emailing someone you shouldn’t.

To achieve a high rate of email deliverability, email marketers must work tirelessly to avoid having their messages classified as spam. The process involves a combination of email deliverability best practices, email authentication, and reputation building.

A Reliable Approach to Email Deliverability

One of the best ways to achieve higher levels of email deliverability comes down to creating email campaigns that are relevant to the audiences that receive them. At one time, marketers simply emailed all of their contacts every single campaign they created. This approach is called “batch and blast,” as marketers would collect, or “batch,” all of their email contacts and “blast” them out with a campaign. Batch and blast tactics can lead to high unsubscribe rates and lower overall email deliverability, however.

Digital Body Language and Data Activation Help Create Better Emails

Transitioning from “batch and blast” techniques to more finely tuned campaigns can have a powerful impact on your email deliverability. You will need to create emails your recipients are more likely to want and be interested in to achieve success, though.

How do you know what your targets might be interested in?

It comes down to the data you have collected about them and are now putting into action. Who are your targets? What are their preferences and interests? What struggles and business problems are they dealing with and how can you help? What can you offer them that would be of value?

Is it information? A how-to guide? A product or service?

The data will dictate how to more properly reach and connect with your targets. Your digital marketing platform, or DMP, will have information on your targets if you have done your due diligence beforehand in gathering it. Putting that information to work is called data activation.

Where does the data come from? There is always research, but advanced marketers have also embraced the idea of Digital Body Language. What is meant by Digital Body Language? Much like reading a person’s body language can give away their feelings and true intentions so can a target’s online activities provide insight into their needs and preferences. By closely measuring the online activities of customers and prospects, you can put yourself in their shoes. You can imagine what troubles and interests them, and the data will point you in the right direction of creating an email (or any sort of content) that they might be more receptive to.

Never Stop Working on Your Reputation

Creating more relevant and useful emails for your recipients is one vastly important component of getting your response rates to increase. You should also take especial care in:

  • Managing your email lists
  • Ensuring a quality database
  • Acquiring new email addresses to add to your lists
  • Managing bounces

Doing all of the above will go a long way toward building up your reputation as a quality email sender. Trust matters a great deal in email marketing. Once your recipients see that you are not wasting their time, that you are not spamming or phishing them, that you are providing relevant and useful content, they will become more open to receiving more emails and other marketing materials from you. Your business relationship with them begins the moment you hit send, and you do want to start it off on the wrong foot.

And, of course, you always have to keep working on your reputation. You have to uphold high standards to retain the trust your targets put in you and to engender goodwill about yourself. Bad word of mouth can do much to hurt any business. At the very least, it will mean that more and more of your emails will go unopened, ignored, and deleted.

Part of being a responsible and trusted email sender also means safeguarding your targets’ privacy. You have their email addresses, perhaps some of their other contact information, and information about their preferences, positions, jobs, and lives in your mailing database. You are to take care of that and use it responsibly. Do not abuse or misuse the information or let it leak out or fall into the wrong hands.

You should also never use the data against them and honor all requests for opting to join your mailing list, opting out, data access, and, if it comes to it, data destruction.

Why is privacy important? Why can’t you do just anything you want with their data?

Ethical and moral issues aside, it will destroy your reputation as an email marketer, which will negatively impact your marketing and overall business. The stakes are higher than you thought, though. New and existing laws call for compliance, which means you must take care of people’s precious information and adhere to a privacy policy or face stiff legal penalties.

Every day, people find themselves bombarded with all types of messages, offer, and information. You need your emails to stand out if they are going to do you any good. Ruining your reputation and not safeguarding people’s information will not help with that. Building trust and focusing on relevant content will.

Still, you have to manage your email marketing well enough to drive results.

Potential Mistakes and Roadblocks to Overcome

What else might give you a poor email deliverability score and possibly harm your reputation? You will want to address these issues if they come up:

  • Poor email list management, meaning emails get sent to old, abandoned emails, or to people who don’t want them or the people who do don’t receive them
  • Sending out too many emails in a given timeframe
  • Ignoring complaints from recipients
  • Being blocked for content not being relevant enough, being unwanted, or sent too frequently
  • Accidentally falling into a spam trap (which is an email address designed to look authentic but is actually a fraud management tool)

How do you overcome all this and reduce the likelihood of complaints, unsubscribes, spam traps, blocks, and bounces? After all, you have a reputation to defend and a business to run. And, of course, you cannot allow your email address to be seen as spam, since our IP address will be seen that way, too, meaning you’ve lost the game.

So, take these steps:

  • Develop a privacy policy for all the personal information you collect off landing pages, web forms, third-party lists, conference registrations and more. Then notify individuals how you will collect, use, and protect their data.
  • Create relevant, useful content that is not sent too frequently as to be annoying.
  • Manage yours lists well and note who is active and inactive in your database to ensure you do not waste time and effort engaging with someone who is not interested or using that email address anymore.

The work doesn’t end there, though.

What Steps Will Improve Your Email List Management?

  • Know your sender score. You can get it for free, and the scales from 0 to 100, with 0 being the worst and 100 the best. With that in mind, you’ll have an idea of how you are viewed and how to change gears if you need to.
  • Authenticate your IP address.
  • Control complaints and avoid being put on any blacklists.
  • Gain recipients’ permission for you to email them. Only send emails to those who have signed up to get them.
  • Try to generate your own leads and email lists. If you purchase any from another source, verify that they are valid, authentic, and not too old.
  • Remove hard bounces. Try to keep them under three percent for each campaign.
  • If target’s behavior indicates a lack of interest, remove them from the regular list and send them an email asking how you can revive their interest or if they would like to opt out. If it is the latter, honor the request.

Always, Always Optimize

You will constantly be getting feedback in the form of open rates and response rates. Pay close attention to those numbers, as they will help to fine tune your email efforts. They will also aid you in increasing your email deliverability, as you will be on the ball and aware of what recipients are interested in and have signed up for. You should be constantly refining and tweaking your email content to keep with your targets’ preferences, needs, and interest as well. There will always be an area that you can improve, email addresses that you can acquire, and others that you have to prune from your lists.

Building and maintaining your reputation, managing your lists, optimizing your content and email marketing management, and protecting customer data will all remain ongoing tasks. They all factor into bolstering your email deliverability. Email remains a consistent and convenient channel for marketers to exploit, but they have to go the extra mile to ensure that their emails get to where they are intended.

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