Email deliverability: don’t always blame the ESP, here’s what you can do!

Luc Robijns Email campaign management programs and ESPs are not all created equal, and not all actually do what they say they can regarding results, deliverability etc.   

However, email service providers are far from solely responsible for deliverability, although many marketers still seem to think so.

Actually, email marketers themselves play an important role in protecting their inbox delivery rates. In order to boost your deliverability, email clickthroughs and conversions, here are some tips and insights.   

Deliverability tips for email marketers

Make sure your content doesn’t trigger deliverability red flags, namely by using an unrecognized “from” name or a poor text-to-graphics ratio.   

Also, use less than 60% HTML/graphics, test your emails before any big campaign (renderability), and use a recognizable and listable “from” name to encourage white lists.

Make sure your campaign dashboard gives you useful information. Be clear on your data so no big surprises crush your email program. You will then be able to differentiate between delivery issues and weak response.

Know your recipient. If you get demographics of your subscribers, you will have a sizable advantage over email marketers who don’t. You still need to create relevant content for them, but it’s easier with demographics.

The impact of data collection habits and complaints on email deliverability

A ReturnPath study (Q1-2009) stated that most deliverability failures are caused by the marketer’s poor data collection habits and complaints from email recipients in response to the content and frequency of the marketer’s messages.

I quote from the study: “Globally, around one of every five permission-based marketing emails never reach the inbox . They get dumped in the junk folder or simply go missing. There’s a big upside to correcting this deliverability failure. Email that is not delivered to the inbox does not earn a response. Consumer research consistently shows that very few people go into their spam or junk folder to look for marketing messages that have been delivered there inadvertently. Of course the messages that don’t even make it to the junk folder have absolutely no chance of being clicked on. Therefore, lifting inbox deliverability lifts all other response metrics as well as the return on investment from the email marketing. “

Nowhere else is your name more on the line than in email marketing. You want to keep your deliverability rates high, to keep your spam reports down, to get your CTR up, to satisfy your subscribers and to get new ones.   

How do you stop Internet Service Providers, email and other service providers and your subscribers considering your emails spam?

Reaching the inbox and generating a high response are inextricably linked. Subscribers quickly tire of irrelevant messages and will complain by clicking the “report spam” button, depressing response rates for all campaigns.   

The only way to improve inbox deliverability and response is to create compelling experiences for your recipients.   

Subscribers want email that has valuable and interesting content and that comes at a frequency that is neither too often nor too seldom.   

The good news is that the creation of this kind of experience is within control of the marketer.

The best news is that you can enable your email subscribers themselves to create this kind of experience by offering them choices regarding frequency, content, etc. All it takes is that extra effort from you and recipient-centric thinking.  

Luc Robijns is coaching and managing projects and organizations with a strong focus on objectives and deadlines. He sees his job to help set conditions where people in the right positions can have options on the way forward. He brings along more than 25 years of entrepreneurship and sales and marketing expertise.

More posts about email deliverability:

Deliverability statistics for France, Germany and the UK from Return Path
Scott Hardigree’s email deliverability challenges in true Twitter-style
Email deliverability: an interview with Return Path’s Mario Marlisa (part 1)
Email deliverability: an interview with Return Path’s Mario Marlisa (part 2)
Common email delivery myths

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