Take outs from the Email Deliverability Masterclass

The Email Deliverability Review Whitepaper, sponsored by ReturnPath, was launched last month, and what better way to launch it than with a breakfast briefing to give email marketers a taster of what to expect.

Deliverability should not only be considered as an operational issue, but as a communication one too. The DMA Email Marketing Council know how frequently the rules change for email, which is why they felt it was a good time to review the last whitepaper.

Guy Hanson began with some interesting statistics;

  • 87% of marketers feel that email is still a relevant marketing channel
  • 3 out of 5 marketers said they were increasing their use of email within their marketing campaigns
  • 72% of marketers feel email is great for developing loyal and active customers
  • 95% of all email sent is spam

Probably one of the most significant statistics was that global inbox placement is at 75.9%. Meaning 1 out of 4 emails do not get placed into the inbox. Europe makes up for this statistic, with 86% of emails received in the inbox. However 14% of emails not being received is still high, with the UK being one of the highest at 17%.

So why do emails get blocked? –

    1. Complaints (especially if all the seubscriber really wants to do is unsubscribe, but can’t find the unsubscribe button on your email)
    2. List hygiene
    3. Infrastructure
    4. IP Permanence (Chopping and changing IP addresses won’t help)
    5. Message quality
    6. Engagement (this includes both negative and positive engagement)

Another interesting fact was that the majority of blocked emails, 77%, are due to poor sender reputation.

The growth of smartphones users and the use of mobile email have of course become increasingly important. Generally, subscribers may open your email on a mobile device when first received, and if interested in the content would then follow up with a more detailed browse at their computer. Interestingly, in an Apple dominated market, sales of Android phones have increased and taking some of Apples share. So when thinking about optimising your campaigns for mobiles, it’s important to consider the various different mobile platforms on the market. Emails that have not been optimised for mobiles are generally closed or deleted.

As well as negative, it’s good to remember that positive signs of engagement are important to deliverability too, for example taking emails out of the junk mail, marking as ‘not spam’ and not deleting emails. One way to increase your positive engagement is by adding value to your emails. Think of your email as a commodity, like coffee for example. From its original coffee bean all the way to Starbucks, by adding value to the bean you get an experience. Also behavioural measurement is really important, so look at open verses complaint rate.

Guy also looked deeper into read and spam rates within different industry sectors. Industries with the best read rate include Utilities, Telecoms, Finance and Travel. The biggest spam rates were seen within online dating sites. It’s worth pointing out that the larger your campaign is, the read rate is likely to decline and the spam rate is likely to go up, so keep a careful eye on this and make sure you are maintaining a 15% read rate. He also touched on subject lines, suggesting maybe it’s time to cautiously challenge some of the assumptions (for example using FREE in subject lines).

Dale Langley then presented the Pizza Express case study. The real question is once you’ve got your message across (into the inbox), how do you keep them engaged? He recommended your website have as many data collecting points as possible. This way you can interact with your customers as much as possible. New and evolving technology like Smartphones and QR codes can enhance this experience.

In conclusion, the top 10 tips for deliverability success were as follows;

  • Improve date quality
  • Implement authentication
  • Monitor your sender reputation
  • Manage your IP address carefully
  • Practice good list hygiene
  • Use complaint feedback loops
  • Monitor blacklists
  • Reduce spam complaints
  • Conduct pre-broadcast testing
  • Get accredited

If you would like to find out more, download the Email Deliverability Review Whitepaper.

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Sian Brookes

About Sian Brookes

Sian Brookes is an Account Manager at multi-channel direct marketing consultancy, ReynoldsBusbyLee. RBL works with corporate and charity clients across all marketing channels. Sian works across digital: multi-channel response handling and outbound for reactivation and up-sell. Sian understands the importance of integration, multi-channel marketing, and has an excellent eye for detail. She was selected to attend the IDM’s fast track course in August 2009 and is an active member on the Email Marketing Events and Communications Hub.