Proactivity for the deliverability Win

Proactivity for the deliverability Win

Over the past 13 years, I’ve spent my working hours sending emails and helping customers send their emails to recipients all over the world. Regardless of whether the message being sent was a highly valued transactional email from one of the top brands in the world, or an affiliate marketing “newsletter” sent to a purchased list, when it comes to deliverability, one fact has consistently been true: proactivity is key to success!

Setting yourself up for failure by focusing on the wrong KPIs, not following email best practices, or not keeping a close eye on your results can mean you’re stuck dealing with a deliverability issue at the point when the house is already on fire. Red alert! Red alert! This reactive approach can lead to delays in issue resolution, massive impacts on ROI, and a really deep hole to dig yourself out of at the 25th hour.

Join me for a discussion about which best practices must be a part of your email program in order to achieve consistent inbox placement and help your future self solve deliverability issues by preventing them from even happening through a proactive approach.

Key takeaways

1. An understanding of how ISP and Mailbox providers define engagement, and which email metrics you should be monitoring to identify and troubleshoot deliverability issues early, before the house is burning down

2. KPIs to change your mentality from reactive to proactive, and actionable recommendations for improving list collection, targeting and re-engagement strategies to match your new approach

3. Insights to help you create a compelling argument for your executive team to implement a proactive approach in your email program

About Lauren Meyer

Experienced Vice President of Delivery with a demonstrated history in the email industry, with strong focus on Deliverability and Compliance. Data nerd at heart. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Management, Email Marketing, Email Deliverability, Customer Success Management and SaaS Operations. Strong information technology professional with a BA focused in Communications & Advertising from Robert Morris University.

Transcript

Hi, everybody, my name is Lauren Meyer and I have recently joined the team at kickbox as their VP of industry relations and compliance. kickbox offers email verification services. And what I really love about them is that they have anti abuse routes, which are still prevalent in everything that they do today. So it’s a great win for me. My session today is called productivity for the deliverability. When, but yeah, just want to introduce anybody who just joined to my buddy Hamilton over my Chrome over my shoulder there, so enjoy him as well. All right. So I’ve been in the email industry for more than 13 years, and I’ve spent, let’s just make sure, Alright, great. And I’ve spent a great deal of time, a great deal of time working for ESPN and are wearing ascenders hat. I’ve become a huge proponent for following email industry best best practices, sorry, I’m all over the placement screens here. Sorry. So over the years, I’ve become a huge proponent for following industry best practices as a means to proactively solving deliverability issues before they occur. Obviously, it’s not realistic to expect email marketers to follow every best practice that’s out there. Some of them do. But for most, they feel as though they’re constantly walking a tightrope between doing right by email, and reaching those very lofty goals that they have been that have been set for them in terms of customer acquisition, retention, and growth. I’m not here to tell you that your clients need to implement every best practice. What I focus on when I’m talking to marketers, ESP customers, and really anybody who send an email is to implement as many best practices as your team is comfortable with upfront, it’s a whole lot easier to have best practices implemented as you’re just getting started. But as I’m sure most of you on this session know, oftentimes deliverability folks are jumping in when somebody is actively working to solve a deliverability issue. Essentially, when the house is already burning down. There are some best practices that are more important than others and should be considered standard, but which ones you can get away with skipping is likely going to come down to the idiosyncrasies of your email programme that dictate how users engage with your emails. If the engagement levels and your stats prove that they’re loving your content, then great, go ahead and get a little Froggy with with everything, right. But it’s important to keep a very close eye on your target KPIs to ensure that things are just remaining stable or trending upwards. If you’re starting to see something moving in the wrong direction over time, or you implement a new change either a big one or a small one. And see if one of your target KPIs just fall off a cliff, you know, it’s time to revert that change as soon as possible. So with all of that out of the way, let’s get going. You’ve been getting a lot of great content from this week from all the other presenters but in my session, my goal is to help you have an understanding of how ISP is and mailbox providers define engagement, and which email metrics you should be monitoring to identify and troubleshoot deliverability issues early before the house is burning down. Next, I’ll highlight a handful of KPIs and data points to start reviewing. If you’re not already to help change your mentality from reactive to proactive, I’m thinking we might have some experts tuning in who could teach me a thing or 10, about deliverability. But I’m aiming to provide actionable best practice recommendations along the way to help transition to your new and more proactive approach. To wrap things up, I’ll share some insights that I hope will help you create a compelling argument for your executive team, one that highlights the benefits of implementing a more proactive approach in your company’s email programme. As we begin to define engagement, I’d like to share a quote from an ISP postmaster that I’m sure many of you have heard before. And while it is one that, you know, kind of makes a lot of folks on the sender side, kind of roll our eyes and smile and you know, and then wait for them to keep talking. Their feedback is actually more helpful than it might at first seem if you consider some of the ways you might be able to measure the positive and negative forms of engagement of your users. And then, if you consider some of the ways an ISP might measure engagement using data points that are accessible to them, senders and receivers might not have access to the same information, but the same sort of picture can emerge about whether someone finds value in the email content that you’re sending or not. Let’s take a look at some of the positive signals of engagement first. Every ISP has a different policy in place when it comes to anti spam filtering. Some ISP may be looking at just a few key signals while others like Gmail, or looking at hundreds of signals when determining if a message should be accepted into their system, and then later if it should be delivered to the inbox or the spam folder. At the end of the day, the main goal of an ISP is to deliver a great email experience for their user to only deliver mail to the inbox when they believe the user will find value in it. If the user even if the user signed up for the sender’s mail, at some point, if they’re no longer engaging in ways that the ISP can see, then that mail will not continue to show up in the inbox. It actually reminds me of an idea a teacher once shared with my class when I was in fifth grade. if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, it blew my mind at the time. But you know, as far as ISP are concerned, it seems it does not make a sound right. If they can’t see it essentially didn’t happen. So while the signals being monitored, and the weighting of those signals can vary greatly from ISP, the ISP and depending on whether you’re a sender or receiver, those signals are commonly used to measure recipients interest. A recipient dragging an email from the spam folder to the inbox, or clicking this is not spam is typically one of the most effective ways to prove to an ISP that they may have made a mistake that the mail is still valued by the recipient. ISP is also give merit to positive actions such as storing a message saving an email to a folder, moving it to different tabs within their inbox, adding a sender to their address book, or maybe even forwarding that message on to a friend. replying to an email is also a heavily weighted action by ISP. So it’s important to at least be able to receive those replies, replies, even if you don’t plan to read or respond to them, using a no reply email address is very common in our industry, especially like you know, in retail. But this can send a bad message to recipient recipients suggesting that you don’t really care what they have to say you don’t want their feedback. Also consider that some users are still going to try to reply even if you’re clearly sending from a no reply email address. If you know it won’t be a great experience for them to send you a very heartfelt response or a really angry one, only to have it go nowhere right to bounce back. Hello mailer daemon. At the very least give your users the satisfaction of sending something your way again, even if you don’t plan to ever respond, at least they’ve been able to save their piece right to get it off of their chests. Some ISP is are actually on the lookout for senders using a replied address as well. So it’s possible that this type of setup could have some kind of small bit to do with why your mail could be going to the spam folder. If the recipient replies to an email you sent and you’re following my recommendation to not use a no reply email address, you would be able to see that form of engagement by your user, as well as read through some of the feedback that they shared. You know, did they send you a positive note to thank you for changing your their lives with such amazing content? Or maybe they sent you some some hate mail that’s that’s chock full of you know, expletives and a thread on your life. Either way, there might be something else in that message that’s actionable, right? While I have you know, these replies from recipients listed as a form of positive engagement in my slides, don’t overlook the value of the information that you might receive by reviewing those negative replies as well, right. If you can read through all the expletives, you might find out that one of your unsubscribe links is broken, or that you’ve got a data partner who’s not using opt in something like that, right. So it’s valuable information if you just take it for what it’s worth. In addition to seeing replies, marketers and other sent email senders should always be able to track positive engagement through the level of opens and clicks that are generated by each each campaign. Alright, switching over to the negative engagement signals, the first one that likely comes to mind for most deliverability people is recipients flagging an email as spam or dragging it to their spam folder. Spam reports, it’s no surprise or have very heavily weighted by ISP, since they’re just such a clear indication directly from the user that the email is not wanted. In addition to the ISP email senders should have access to spam report data via feedback loops, which are offered by most of the of the top ISP. Along the same lines of a spam reports a recipient unsubscribing from your email should be a pretty clear indication that they no longer want to hear from you. Offering a preference centre that lets them change their frequency or maybe only opt out of one type of mailing can give you a second chance to engage with them. But it’s wise to be mindful of their wishes, right? Don’t keep sending them emails simply because well, they only want opted out of that one mail stream right. If you have multiple mail streams that are kind of similar or along the same lines of content, consider if you should kind of group all those together in unsubscribe requests, right? Take their feedback seriously and apply that unsubscribe to all of the relevant mail streams and use your best judgement there. If your unsubscribe process also allows recipients to advise why they’re opting out, you may receive feedback that helps you improve your content, signup process, or targeting. Sorry, yeah, I do speak fast. I’ll try to slip on Okay, but you know, really good. You know, going back to that signup process, you know, don’t stop there, right? Because ISP is are not stopping at that point. Over time, more and more ISP s are focusing on a lack of engagement. In addition to those more obvious forms of negative engagement that I just mentioned, those more subtle forms of disengagement include things like deleting emails without ever opening them, or letting those emails sink further and further towards the bottom of your inbox without ever registering and open not even once, in some cases, from the sender side, you would simply view this as a low open rate, or potentially even diagnose that as an issue within inbox placement. Right. It’s It’s not your fault. It’s not your boring content. It’s just that you know, didn’t go to the inbox where people could see it. Okay. Sure. You know, what the ISP might actually be seeing on their site is that that mail was delivered to the inbox with a generally low level of interest from their users. So to them, it means time to send it to the spam folder, right. So they don’t it’s on you to sort of prove that that mail deserves to go back to the inbox, which is a bit harder than just proving you deserve to stay in the inbox. Right. All right. So now that we’ve reviewed some of the key positive and negative signals that define engagement, I’d like to share some KPIs and general metrics that I’ve found to be helpful in proactive deliverability monitoring, right? So number one is open rates. All right. So marketers and deliverability, experts love to talk about how the open rate is an overrated metric. And, you know, I tend to agree when we’re talking about recipient response, right? Because you, you know, to understand how users are finding your content, you should focus on what happens after the email goes to the inbox and gets open, right, your clicks your conversions, the open in that scenario really only tells you that someone found your phone name and subject line combination to be intriguing enough to find out more, and potentially it tells you that the email was was in the inbox, right. But when we’re focusing on metrics that will help proactively spot a deliverer deliverability issue, open rates remain a bit more relevant. An overall open rate that is lower than than usual, on one specific campaign or mailing could be an indicator of a deliverability issue. Or it could just be very boring subject line or offer, right. But going a level deeper, comparing your open rates at each of the top destinations you send to, you’ll be able to determine if your open rate is low across the board, suggesting content is driving the issue. Or if it’s particularly low at one network, suggesting you’re dealing with an inbox placement issue that’s isolated to that network or maybe a couple of networks, right? It is possible that a low open rate at all ISP is indicative of a pretty large deliverability issue. You know, basically we’re all the networks aren’t happy with what you’re sending. However, typically, in those kind of cases, you would have a lot of alarms and whistles going off, letting you know that there’s issues, right, you’re gonna have bounces and high spam reports and kind of all kinds of negative metrics that really points you to the direction of that there’s a big problem here, right. So keep in mind that while all ISP and mailbox box providers have separate anti spam filtering processes, they ultimately have the same goal in mind, which is to deliver only wanted mail to the inbox, right. And that’s up to their discretion, but they’re really looking to deliver mail that compels their users to engage to engage with their platform to stay sticky with their service provider, right? If you’re a gmail user, Gmail doesn’t want you having a bad experience, and then hopping over to Verizon Media Group, right with their new cool tools, right. So it’s really important for them that they have engagement from their users. And most marketers are sending emails to recipients across all of these networks with a similar goal in mind, which is to get recipients to engage. Unless a sender is facing a deliverability issue with one particular network, it’s pretty uncommon to see them targeting recipients differently when sending to Gmail versus hotmail versus Verizon Media Group, etc. It’s either going to be at the three or six month actives across all destinations are essentially, you know, kind of, to everyone who’s ever signed up, right? It’s very rare to see, you know, somebody who’s targeting three month actives at gmail and six month actives at hotmail and nine month actives at Yahoo, and so on, right, so it’s typically pretty much across the board. So in that case, it’s safe to presume that if you’re going to the spam folder at one major network, the others may follow suit shortly, not always the case. You know, but it’s pretty pretty, pretty safe to say that, you know, whatever Gmail didn’t like, it’s probably not super cool with hotmail either, right? So you’ll want to get ahead of it before your issue becomes more widespread. If you happen to see open rates that are low at one particular network and you don’t see anything obvious in any of your other metrics to suggest why. Talk to your ESP, or your favourite deliverability expert about what recommendations they have for troubleshooting and solving your issue. If you have the budget for reputation monitoring tool, like to get the okay return path male monitor, by all means make full use of the tools that they have to offer. They’re great. If not, you can still set up some test accounts have grown and monitor them to help determine if you’re or landing in the inbox or going to the spam folder with with popular networks, you know, we could talk for a very long time about, you know, the place that C testing has within the deliverability ecosystem. And that’s probably, you know, best to be safer a separate conversation. But essentially, in my perspective, more information is good. We’d like to have some test accounts set up basically just for more information. So we kind of have a sense of what’s going on there, right? If nothing else, checking those test accounts, could you let you know if you’ve got a link that’s broken? Or if your content looks a little bit funny in that browser, right? So it’s still helpful to have that. Gmail actually also gives you details about why this message went to spam. Anytime a message lands in your spam folder, and some of the reasons that they give are actually very specific and very helpful in determining Is this a domain reputation issue? Is this something more widespread is it kind of just generally, you know, spammy content, something like that? It is helpful, right? You know, this can be a good starting point to diagnosing how to fix your issue, I recommend having at least two to three addresses at the top for email providers such as Gmail, Outlook, Verizon Media Group, as well as any regional domains that may be relevant, based on the recipients that you’re sending to the most right, such as around gms. D, some of the UK domains, right? If you have an audience that is very much skewed to one of those local providers, you definitely want to try to find a way to get a test account there, right? doesn’t mean you have to pay for it, you would actually be surprised how many friends and family you have, who probably still have a paid email service, right. So it could be possible for you to also have a test account with those providers, right? I have family members and friends who have Comcast Road Runner ups online. So some of those accounts. So if they’re willing to give me one, you know, could give me access to some of those third party spam filtering decisions that are coming from places like Proofpoint cloudmark, you know, those third parties, right. Alright, so moving on to number two, I think we spend enough time talking about open rates. Number two on my list is spam reports, right? These reports are very heavily weighted by ISP, since there’s such a clear indication directly from that user, that the email is not wanted, for whatever reason, even if the person did actually sign up at some point, these aren’t folks who simply ignored your email, they took a specific action, even if it’s a really quick one, to say, I don’t like this, please make it stop. Right. So keep in mind that ISP cannot know if somebody’s opted in for your emails, or not. All they know is that the recipient now sees that mail as a nuisance. And they’re, they’re willing to report that, from my perspective, high levels of spam are essentially kind of like taking a shortcut to the spam folder, right? Like, you know, if you imagine Mario kind of jumping down into one of his pipes, or one of those shortcuts in the Mario Brothers games, and then popping right back up, because even Mario doesn’t want to be a spammer, right, he doesn’t want to go to the spam folder, right? So all joking aside, the more spam complaints you’ve wrapped up in a short period, or over time, the harder it can be to recover. So take action quickly, if you see a pattern and have literally any way to deal with it. And deliverability involves many factors. And the key to success is excelling at as many of those as possible, keeping your positive forms of engagement high. And your negative metrics, though, because there are so many factors at play, the level of spam that some centres can get away with can actually be pretty high, if all their other metrics are looking great, you know, despite my best, you know, threats to say, Oh, this is a really big problem. Sometimes they still go to the inbox, which you know, can be frustrating or can be great, depending on on your angle of that that situation, right. But that said, you know, based on conversations that I’ve had with postmasters and other industry folks over the years, it seems as though anything’s, you know, spam rate wise above the range of about point zero to 2.03% is an indication to ISP that you’re targeting too many users who don’t like what you’re sending, you know, maybe there’s a portion of your audience that loves your mail. But there’s also a big portion that doesn’t, right, so your mail may not be going to the spam folder immediately when reaching these levels of spam, since they’re pretty, you know, still pretty low and in the grand scheme of things, but it can emit, it can impact the amount of time it takes to resolve that deliverability issue. When it actually occurs maybe later down the road. You know, to give you an example, it’s like if you’re that kid that always flew under the radar in school, right? It was probably okay for you to be late to class once in a while, or even sneak outside for lunch sometimes, right? But land yourself in detention one too many times, or maybe you get suspended. And you can bet it will be a whole lot harder for you to get away with things like you know, when your teacher See you in the halls during class, right? I’ve worked with clients who have been engaging in mediocre sending practices for years and excelling, right? They’re sending to unengaged recipients multiple times per day. They’re generating open rates that are, you know, five, maybe 10% which is you know, quite low. But then all of a sudden they decide to get really aggressive when it comes to list collection. You know, they’re triggering elevated complaint rates, hard bounces spam traps. Now they’re facing heavy spam folder placement, impacting revenue, and potentially also being rate limited by their ESP four core stats right? You Enjoy all that time that you’re going to waste dealing with postmasters and your support team to beg forgiveness and try to get your account reinstated, and get your mail back into the inbox, right. In some cases, it could take just a few hours, days, maybe a few weeks to bring your inbox placement back up to where it was before. But in other cases, depending on the severity of the issue, and kind of just what’s happening at that ISP at the time, it could mean you’re no longer able to get away with what you did before, right, you’ve now become that kid who once got suspended for starting a food fight. And you know, now you’re not allowed to sneak into class late anymore. Too bad. So sad. Sorry for your loss, right? That is a really painful situation. But obviously, it came from something that you may or may not have deserve. Right? I’m confident that most of you that are watching this, this session, are watching your complaint rates very closely, you know, but make sure that your team, your clients, your managers, as well, are aware that just because you’re ESP allows you to reach a level of 0.1%. So let’s say that’s about, you know, five, five, or 10 x via the amount that I’m recommending here, you know, they might, they might allow you to get away with that before they restrict your sending. But this is not meant to be a target in no way shape or form. Right, it’s essentially the maximum threshold your ESP will allow before they put you in the timeout corner. Okay, really focusing on keeping your complaint rates below 0.01% to maintain a healthy chance and a consistent inbox placement, right. And if you do have a little bit of a slip, right, if you do send in a little bit of an aggressive mail, hopefully that very low consistently low rates, will help you kind of bounce back and get back into the inbox very quickly. Right? If you’re seeing zeros across the board or something close when it comes to spam complaints, then great. But if you noted elevated complaints, at any point leading up to when your deliverability started to head south, looking at your complaint rates and counts from various angles can greatly increase your chance of catching the bit of content segmentation or data collection that is driving your issue. If you have multiple mail streams going, let’s say you know, like a welcome programme newsletters, you know, ad hoc sales campaigns as well as truly transactional messages, you really want to keep in on which of those mail streams are generating the most complaints. Here, you’ll want to focus on big mailings, as well as the small ones, since a low but consistent volume of really bad emails can rack up a lot of complaints over time that can cause problems slowly, but surely, also, remember to view your complaints as both a rate and a pure count, since the metric that is we’re using and automating within their anti spam algorithms can vary. You know, I’ve seen some ISP that have a block that’s triggered by a very high complaint rates where the volume was tiny. So when the human within the ISP postmaster team reviewed it, they confirm that it was you know, sort of a false positive, you know, that rate, I think was around 3%. Right now point three 3%. But it was based on two people marking the mail is spam. Again, it was just a really small volume. So in those cases, the postmaster at the ISP is usually going to be willing to remove that block, because it’s kind of that false positive right. Other times, I’ve been contacted, contacted by an ISP, who had issues with the number of complaints my sender had generated, even though their spam rate was essentially zero due to the fact that they were sending millions of sending to millions of recipients at a given time. In these cases, while the rate of complaints was within acceptable limits, it was still generating a lot of noise for the ISP, which as you can imagine, can be particularly painful for us, you know, a small team who’s working on the IP side. So it will still results in the centre, blocked or having mailed differently sampled. see a little bit of feedback, as well, but I’m gonna keep going. unless those mail streams that are generating the most complaints are the top revenue driver for your business, consider how you can adjust your list collection methods, sending frequency or maybe your content to elicit a little bit more of a positive response from the audience, right, or at least try to limit that negative reaction that you’re getting from recipients. Even if complaints aren’t the main driver for your issue. reviewing your spam rates and counts from various angles from time to time might shed some light on a particular portion of your audience that just doesn’t seem to like your mail. And then you can focus in on ways we’re talking about maybe once or twice a month here or maybe even once a quarter. This doesn’t need to be something that you’re looking at on a day to day basis. We’re really just making sure we’re not missing any of the larger trends here. All right, moving on to number three, which is reason for unsubscribing. Right? allowing recipients to tell you the reason why they’re unsubscribing can give you ideas about how you can modify your programme to deliver more highly valued content, right. Perhaps it suggests a simple change in frequency that’s needed, right or just, you’re sending them daily. They just want to weekly or something like Right, or it highlights an opportunity to improve the signup process to better set expectations about what types of content they will receive, or how often they’ll hear from you. Or maybe you can try including a small bit of text at the top of your email to call back to the signup point, right? This can be very important to do with people when they’ve signed up through co registration or a sweepstakes type of collection source, where people are overlooking the fact that they’ll receive emails from multiple brands, they’re really just so excited to sign up and win that million dollars that they will give you their email address and probably a bunch of other information, right. So along the same lines, cross referencing any feedback that’s been reported to your abuse desk can produce the same kind of value, potentially with a bit more of like an anti abuse slant to it, right? Consider that most folks who actually take the time to research where the mail has been sent from, and then reach out directly to the abuse desk, instead of just marking it as spam or, you know, clicking unsubscribe, you know, those people are probably pretty angry, right, potentially, because an unsubscribe request hasn’t been honoured, or because they forgot they even signed up in the first place. Right? The point is, they’re angry for a reason. And having that direct feedback via an unsubscribe or abuse desk should go a long way to helping you figure out what that reason is and then preventing it with different users in the future. Alright, so moving on to number four, I’d like to talk a little bit about blacklists. All right, most email marketers freak out when they realise that they’re on one of the hundreds of black lists that are out there. But outside of the larger, more reputable blacklist, such as spam, house spam copy, and a few others, most listings do not actually have an impact on deliverability. With that said, even if a blacklist is not affecting your ability to reach the inbox, they are an indication that something is wrong, something that could one day cause problems for you, you know, like when your temperature is high, but you still feel fine, right? For now. If you ignore that high temperature for too long, and it persists, it could turn into something worse. Right? So let’s talk about sarbs for just a second. A lot of people in the industry joke about how you know sorbs lists everybody you know, and particularly for a b2c Centre, this listing doesn’t really do much to impact your deliverability. But those listings are not useless. They give you information information, which can be used to diagnose what issues might be lurking in your email programme, which which could one day lead to a black listing that you do care about right one that could affect a large percentage of the mail that you’re actually sending something just extra information? Well, while becoming blacklisted, and perhaps realising that you have an issue with spam traps might not force you to modify all your practices or nights, it will give you a heads up, you know a little bit of forewarning that gives you time to work out a contingency plan while you make methodical steps towards improving your list collection and management practices. Once you come up with a you know, an issue with your list quality, such as spam traps or high complaints and start working on it right away, right, your list is not going to fix itself. So you really need to take action as soon as possible. All right, so now that we’ve talked through what engagement means, why it matters, and also discussed some metrics, you can be monitoring to be on the lookout for pitfalls and deliverability. I’d like to help you bring it all together, right? Because none of that stuff matters. If it doesn’t help you quickly solve or prevents problems with your deliverability. Right, you’ll still be digging yourself out of a really deep hole at the 25th hour facing massive impacts on ROI and potentially having your bosses scream in your ear as well. If there are best practices that you think are important, and your company is not doing them, by all means, you’ll need to make the case for it right? You’re the email expert. And while they may not take every recommendation that you make, you know, or it may feel like they actually take none of the recommendations that you make, they did hire you for a reason, right? It doesn’t serve them or you to not at least raise your ideas, right. if for no other reason, you can do what one of my past bosses always recommended, which is covered pronouns, right. So at least you’ve said, I’m on record saying that this is a problem, or we need to fix this. And then later, it really helps out a lot, right. So I’m sure that most of the people attending this conference and this session have made some of these arguments before right, you can probably meet a lot of them. No one is at all surprised to hear yet another deliverability persons talk about how implementing best practices can improve the quality of your data, boost engagement, and even campaign performance. You know, we all push the fact that they can improve email deliverability even though inbox placement can be incredibly difficult to measure and report on accurately. So while all of these things are great, they do not create a compelling argument deliverability is still too much of a black box. The one thing that’s really going to hook your executive team is this last one on the far, far far left, or break up how is what you’re proposing going to increase return on investment, right? This is where you’re going to want to spend most of your time and energy and you’ll need to get creative especially if you’re working in a call centre right? It’s not sexy working in a call centre you’re not making the company money. If anything, you’re restricting or shutting down accounts. Which could be impacting conversions or bleeding into recurring revenue, right? So when you’re making to look occation need to cast your net as wide as possible. This is really a brainstorming session to start with. So really what you’re doing here is is looking for any correlations you can make between your change and its ripple effects within your company. Right. So well, One example would be, you know, will will what you’re proposing increase the amount of eyeballs on the emails you send, leading to more purchases or higher conversion rates, right, you can highlight the value of quality, quantity, quality over quantity here, and even point out, you know, that things like overly aggressive list collection and you know, overspending to inactive is leading to their active audience knocking emails into their inboxes. But be prepared for pushback, right? I often feel like the idea that you can improve deliverability or avoid deliverability issues by following best practices elicits about the same kind of response as you telling somebody that they can avoid getting cancer by eating healthy working out and not smoking, right, you can wag your finger at them all you like. But until you provide them with supporting evidence, they will likely stick to the tried and true mindset of it’s not going to happen to me, right? So you need to bring data to the conversation work with your ESP, your marketing team, your deliverability friends and come up with some way to quantify things in numbers, right? Maybe you can highlight the value of your most active recipients versus that of really old inactives. Sometimes executives stick with that whole business as usual mindset. Because nobody has proposed a better way to do it right? If they realise that an active recipient has a return on investment of $1 25 versus an in an inactive whose ROI is 10 cents, and you’re targeting them with the same number of emails, they might be compelled to stop risking their active audiences inbox placement, to earn that extra bit of change, you see what I mean? Or if you have multiple mail streams with varying quality, some of which are struggling and others which are doing well comparing the results such as a highlight a higher ROI on the well performing mail stream versus others could result not sharing now, you’ve been green lighted to do marketing implemented five minutes. It’s not always easy to tie revenue figures to email. Email recipients, particularly if your ESP or internal reporting is limited. But even if you can come up with a very small sample size that provides interesting results, it could compel your executive team to take a closer look at what you’re suggesting. Don’t drive yourself nuts, but spending time manually compiling data from other you know, other systems that you’re using or going the extra mile to organise your data points into something meaningful is well worth the effort if it’s going to save you time in the future from cleaning up deliverability messes or just losing your mind. Right. Another option. Another way that you can kind of present this to your executive team would be to kind of raise the idea of you know, will recipients increase their spending with our brand, right? Are they going to get stickier with us in some way? You know, if the change that you’re you’re pushing requires a third party tool or service, perhaps you can try white labelling or reselling that directly to the customer, either as an add on service or packaged as part of a premium plan, right? This would allow you to not only recoup the investment, but could actually turn that internal cost into a source of revenue, right? You’re no longer a cost centre. Yay. Okay, cool. All right. So another thing that we can focus on here is is Will your change, reduce costs. And here I’m specifically talking about costs that might be related with tools or services that you’re using to overcome deliverability issues, right? If you have to go pay a deliverability expert, you know, $200 an hour, that’s money out of your pocket, right? If you’re, you know, if you need to highlight that your company could save 1000s of dollars per year on email verification fees that are associated with with cleaning up a poorly managed list. You know, maybe instead, you could you could implement a better list management and reengagement strategy that lets you save a couple $1,000 a year right, that would be awesome. Another thing you can focus on is, you know, will the change that you’re suggesting reduce the workload of support staff abuse desk, customer success managers and alike, right, depending on the type of emails that you send, it’s possible that a deliverability issue is leading to higher ticket loads, with customers complaining that they didn’t receive something important, right? So a password reset email or, you know, movie tickets or who knows what they’re looking to receive from you. Right? You know, or if you work for an ESP and some of your share pools are dedicated IP ranges are struggling, you might have a lot of tickets, emails and phone calls from customers who have noted that their emails are now going to spam or that their IPS recently been blacklisted. And again, they’re kind of freaking out, right. So making a case for how you can reduce the number of tickets, the number of hours of work that are that are, you know, under teams plates, or even the number of employees on your support staff or abuse desk can help persuade management to shift that budget over to support the change that you’re suggesting. marketers, especially ones who’ve been in the industry for a while can become very frustrated when the less than ideal practices that they now sort of see as like business, as usual, no longer work as well as they did in the past, right? It’s becoming, I think, less common. But you know, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, Yeah, but it’s okay to purchase lists. Everybody in my industry purchase lists, right business as usual. You know, but that doesn’t always work. Right. So we’re moving away from the purchase lists and other kinds of things. You know, but but really, you know, that they just want to do what worked in the past, they don’t want to have to think and create new ideas. until it becomes essential, right, they’re really focusing on these these bigger new ideas, when it comes to to releasing products or marketing ideas, they really don’t want to do that for email, okay, the day to day contacts that you deal with, when you’re working in an ESP probably do understand what went wrong. Or maybe if you’re the marketing person, you know that that small change that you made, you know, really was was was kind of what, what started driving to the spam folder, you know, but you’ll need to get everybody on board for the fact that the industry is changing, right? Most of the bosses that we’re dealing with, you know, whether whether the person that you’re you’re, you know, whether your contact understands the stuff or not, most of their bosses who are expecting to see sales figures and ROI from email that exceeds or at least matches what you had in the past, will not be convinced by a deliverability person telling them that they now must behave right, which for them may include reaching less recipients or cleaning up data collection, which is time time consuming and may be expensive. You know, maybe they’re collecting less new leads, which is a problem for their balls, who they’re answering to right, you know, but email really, it’s not the same today, as it was 10, five or even two years ago, right, we’re continuing to see technologies introduced that combat fraud, and separate the spam from the ham in increasingly efficient ways, right. Gmail has recently stated that they block as many as 10 million emails per minute. And the estimate that around 50% of what they receive on any given day is spam. So not only do they have these fingers around how much bad mail is coming their way, they also have extremely sophisticated technology to catch bad actors and behaviours at scale faster than they ever have before. Right. So Gmail, while they may be ahead of the curve, other ISP is are also implementing technology that might make it harder, it’s going to continue to make it harder for marketers engaging in spammy behaviours to continue Virginian box right. marketers need to find ways to abide by the standards, the ISP sets or face being stuck in the spam folder or blocked you know, for much longer than their executive team. Teams can stomach so really our goal here is for you guys to just make that case, right make it compelling in a way that makes sense to to an executive, which typically is is driven by money, right. So I hope this session was helpful. I hope I didn’t talk to you fast. And I hope you guys enjoy the rest of your day. This Inbox Expo has been great. Thanks again Any questions? Thanks, guys. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Thanks everybody. It’s not a real cat. That’s actually a fake cat. But there is a real cat somewhere milling around my house. He just doesn’t really wear the the tuxedo except for special occasions. So yeah. All right. Thanks, everybody. Have a good day.

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