Deliverability: Preparation is the Key Success Factor

So often the term Deliverability is bandied about, especially when email marketers and ESPs are not seeing particularly glowing open rates, which leaves them worrying that each campaign will become cause for apprehension and dread.

ESPs find themselves at the receiving end of the 4 W’s (and an H) – if you’re not sure what they are, here’s a reminder:

  • Who (fault is it)
  • What (are you doing to fix it)
  • Where (is the problem)
  • When (will this problem go away)
  • How (will you ensure it doesn’t happen again)

Here are some practical solutions you can do yourselves to help your deliverability,  just bear in mind that there is no one simple fix or answer to deliverability problems experienced individually or from one email marketer to another.

However what we have in our arsenal are some tried and tested solutions to mitigate this issue. All of which are pre-emptive for those in the know, and those who are wanting to be proactive when they find themselves in a deliverability predicament.

As best practice, most ESP’s will check the data prior to allowing the use of lists. Always ask for a health check for your data as step one in ensuring there is no data that will be caught out by spam traps or automatically trigger a spam trap.

We need to get back to the beginning when looking at the solutions. What we recommend should be cross checked to avoid finding “your company” or “yourself in a meeting” in the unenviable positioning of explaining why your results are poor and not positively meeting your acquisition or engagement targets.

Have you checked the following?

  1. Have you branded  the ‘From’ name

As best practice I’d suggest putting your brand name as a welcoming known name your audience trusts, this will quickly identify your presence in the recipient’s inbox, be it B2B or B2C, and will influence engagement with your email. As you jostle for opens, you need to give your emails as much credibility even before they get to that winning subject line.

  1. Have you routinely checked if you are Blacklisted?

It is advisable that you check if you have been blacklisted if you notice your open rate is dropping off the cliff. I would go as far as to check your status routinely. There are a number of tools for this purpose: a quick google search for “Domain Reputation Check” is a good place to start. If indeed you have been blacklisted it is not the end of your email marketing career, you can be de-listed and be given another chance to redeem yourself.

  1. Ramp up plan

When using a new IP address we advise you slowly control the number of people you email in the initial stage. A good strategy is to start with my most actively engaged segment and build a credible reputation. Off the back of that increase the number of recipients subsequent emails will be sent to.

Best practice would be to segment your data and work foremost with your engaged marketplace to build your reputation, then later send to those you will reengage with after your reputation has been firmly established and recognised.

  1. Consistency

Consistency is key to establishing good relations with ISPs. Send your emails at regular intervals be it weekly/specific day of the week rather than a machine gun approach which will draw unnecessary attention from various spam filters and ISPs

As I’m sure you have realised, KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) is the most advisable way to get off to a cracking start and improve the health of your inbox placement.