Your Email Reputation Depends on These Top 10 Must-Knows

Your Email Reputation Depends on These Top 10 Must-Knows

Issue: 

2014, February

Email marketing is still a top priority for marketers who seek leverage in their ability to target customers with relevant offers. But it’s very concerning when you realize 20% of emails don’t make it to the consumer’s inbox, according to data from ReturnPath.

Getting delivered requires some due diligence and care, but it also means giving consumers what they want. Web mail providers pay attention when consumers flag an email as spam, and when they leave the email unopened.  Here are the 10 ways to improve your email marketing:

1.       Email Append, Direct:  Today, it’s a risky move to append email addresses to your database and then email those customers without an opt-in. Many email service providers will not allow their customers to use this method, because it can hurt the sender reputation.

2.      Email Append, Indirect:  Appending your list to a third party list and emailing customers through the third party is still okay—on the surface. However, it’s highly recommended that you use a positive opt-in method, requiring the customer to click on a link and give their permission.

3.       Email Change of Address (ECOA): This service, which is not recommended, provides a new email address if old one is no longer working.  While the majority of consumers have more than one email address, it’s important to remember that email permission is based on a particular email address, not a customer record. When the email address goes bad, so does your permission.

4.      Cleansing: Take a hard look at your list.  Remove those hard bounces and any soft bounces that have occured a few times. When you send emails to bad addresses again and again, it hurts your reputation, wastes your money and impacts your ROI.

5.       Filter Out Inactives:  Consider only communicating with customers who have engaged (via opens or clicks, for example) with you in the past 90 days This keeps your list fresh, improves your metrics and mitigates any deliverability impact of using old addresses.

6.      Email Verification of Address (EVOA):  Use EVOA to verify that email addresses are correct.   Give your subscriber an opportunity to fix them, in real-time if possible.

7.       Organic Acquisition:  Look across your customer’s touch points with your brand and find opportunities to offer an opt-in. Look at web sites, social networks or even in-store locations. Build your list with customers who indicate that they want to receive your messages, to ensure relevancy.

8.      Preference Center:  Create a preference center to give subscribers the ability to change their frequency, channel or content types.  Put them in control of the message.

9.      Monitor Delivery:  Watch your email’s performance, by campaign and in aggregate. Watch for trends that indicate emails are not being delivered—and act quickly. 

10.   Mobile:  As more consumers move toward mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, leverage mobile-aware emails to ensure relevancy based on the device they are viewed on, as well as the content they deliver.

Remember that your subscribers are interested in your message, but it’s easy to lose their love. Relevant messages that matter will keep them opening and clicking, and will help you maintain a good email sender reputation—in a world where reputation is everything.

Author: 

Jeanette Kocsis
Jeanette Kocsis's picture

Jeannette Kocsis is  EVP, digital engagement, at the Agency Inside Harte-Hanks. Reach her at jeannette_kocsis@harte-hanks.com