To improve deliverability, businesses need to maintain a good sender reputation and thus avoid spam complaints, use the righ opt-in procedures and understand the demographics of their recipients to offer them what they ask for.
According to Econsultancy's "Email Marketing Industry Census 2010 report" the number of businesses stating to have problems getting in the inboxes of their subscribers has increased to 54%.
Deliverability seems like a growing concern for many e-mail marketers and that is not a surprise. Conversion rates, such as click and open rates, are dropping as well but this mainly has to do with the overabundance of marketing messages and the increasing risk of marketing fatigue, as we have described it in our latest white paper that provides answers to this challenge.
Although the increasing concerns regarding e-mail deliverability strictly speaking are not that much related to conversion rates, in a way they are.
In both challenges, the central position of the needs of e-mail marketing recipients and the relevance of the e-mails, from a content, timing and personalization perspective, are key.
From a deliverability viewpoint, topics such as typical spam words in the content, subject lines, authentication, list hygiene etc. are still very important. But the value of the content and the way we approach our e-mail subscribers are even more so.
Marketers have to look at the people behind their e-mail addresses and increase relevance of interaction, by personalizing, segmenting and engaging their recipients, both from a content and marketing scenario viewpoint: the preferences and triggers of the subscribers play a very important role in this.
At the same time this is a very important argument for an integrated, CRM- and data-driven, highly sophisticated and cross-channel approach of e-mail marketing as it exists in marketing automation.
Three tips to improve deliverability from the interaction and relational perspective:
1. Know your recipient in an integrated cross-channel way
To improve deliverability, businesses need to maintain a good sender reputation and thus avoid spam complaints, use the right opt-in procedures and understand the demographics of their recipients to offer them what they ask for. But there is more: simply focussing on avoiding spam complaints by respecting these basics is not enough. It is crucial to have a 360 degrees view on your recipients, including behavioral and transactional data, interactive CRM data and other sources of information about subscribers, regardless of the channel. All this information must be used to optimize the e-mail interactions in function of a personalized relationship. This is an ongoing exercise that strives towards an e-mail marketing program that is as valuable as possible for all subscribers.
2. Engage your subscribers and focus more on them instead of only on traditional deliverability challenges
The ways ISP's and other organizations are filtering e-mails are changing. There is much more attention for the level of activity on e-mail lists and programs. We are moving from content-based filtering mechanisms to more sophisticated mechanisms whereby sender reputation and deliverability are also a matter of interaction parameters such as the number of opened e-mails and clicks. It can be expected that this will become increasingly important and encompass shares and forwards. This is another reason to create compelling and personalized e-mails with valuable content and to regularly clean your e-mail lists.
3. Offer control and combine a personal approach with marketing automation
Customers are using various interaction channels. Although e-mail marketing is crucial in business interactions, e-mail marketers must think beyond their channels and offer subscribers the possibility to choose the interaction channels and formats they prefer. Whether it is regular e-mail, mobile or other media. The same goes for the choice of content, timing, frequency etc. This way you avoid marketing fatigue, inactive subscribers and potential complaints that drive down your inbox placement rates. It's obvious that testing and asking feedback are important elements here. But also use marketing automation ( real-time cross-channel automated processes) in order to set up flows, scenarios, lead nurturing processes, e-mail programs and triggers that, based upon data, keep your e-mails fresh and valuable and improve interaction and engagement.
Implementing this will not online benefit deliverability but also your brand's reputation and the perceived relevance you offer.
But most of all: it creates value, both for you and your subscribers.
Download our white paper "Efficient customer interactions: how to prevent marketing fatigue?" and learn how to optimize communication in a cross-channel and customer-controlled world.
Download the paper, including essential tips, here.