If your business counts on the deliverability of emails to your audience as a form of driving potential revenue, then you understand the need to constantly improve this aspect of your operations. In the Deals & Coupons industry, especially for Deal providers and affiliate marketers, getting your email delivered is directly correlated to the revenues you produce. We speak with a large amount of companies in this sector and it is shocking to us that many still do not have any technology that helps them deliver emails. Email deliverability is NOT the same thing as Open Rates. (more on that below).
We understand the budget constraints for a business just getting started or driving nominal amounts of revenue from email marketing, but we also speak with businesses that generate millions of dollars in sales, optimize every aspect of their email marketing campaigns, spend tens of thousands on growing their subscriber list, yet they have not invested in deliverability technology at all, even though it is quite affordable.
As such, we have decided to post excerpts from an email deliverability report originally published by SMTP, one of the leading deliverability companies out there. They are making a deliberate effort to engage with Canadian customers and seeing that the Deals & Coupons sector in Canada is chalk full of volume emailers, we’d like to recommend reading the information provided in their report.
Excerpts from the Report “Reaching Inbox Success” published by SMTP
Why email deliverability is the most important – and most overlooked – element of every email marketing campaign.
Every single day, there is collateral damage in the ISPs’ endless war on spam. Good marketers pitching legitimate products and services are going down in flames. ISPs are constantly tweaking their methods of catching spam and spammers – from zeroing in on suspicious subject lines to blacklisting suspicious IP addresses – but no system is perfect, and legitimate email marketers are sometimes caught in the cross fire.
Just a few years ago, ISPs measured just two things: hard bounces ~ and spam complaints. If your hard bounces were under 5% and spam complaints were within one complaint per thousand emails – you were considered reputable. Today’s ISPs assemble a number of metrics, including user click-though rates, to define your overall score. To make matters even more complex, the formula they use is constantly changing.
Why Email Deliverability is Critical To Marketers
Picture this: You’re about to flip the switch on what you hope will be a blockbuster product launch. You and your team have been working nights and weekends to make this happen. You’ve approved the ads. Your landing page is ready. Your marketing email is written, designed and ready to go live. But how about your email deliverability rate? How does it rank? Heck, do you even know what email deliverability is? If you think it’s the same thing as the open rate, you’re wrong (and we’ll get to that later).
This much is guaranteed: if email deliverability is JUSt an afterthought, you are already at a serious disadvantage even before your campaign has launched. To protect yourself, the sooner you address the factors that impact deliverability, the better. Preferably, right now!
Email clearly gets results. But to succeed with it, you must address deliverability.
Deliverability is NOT the same as Open Rate
As a marketer, you’ve probably heard of the term “open rate.” Open rate reflects the percentage of people who end up clicking on your marketing email in their inbox, rather than marking it as spam, ignoring it, or deleting it without reading it.
Deliverability rate is not the same thing as open rate. It’s even more fundamental. The open rate pertains only to the emails that actually make it to inbox. The deliverability rate takes into account all of the emails that, for whatever reason, don’t get to the inbox in the first place. Let’s face it: nobody is going to open an email that they haven’t even received. Yes, good subject lines and strategic sending times matter, but without a consistently high rate of deliverability, their impact won’t make much of a difference.
Marketers typically measure the success of their email marketing campaigns based on the open rate, but open rate doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s say that the open rate for your email marketing campaign is 20%. One out of five recipients took the time and trouble to open your email up. Sounds pretty good. But what if you have a
lower-than-average deliverability rate of 50%? That’s going to be a big problem.
It’s critically important to distinguish between intended recipients and actual recipients. Among actual recipients, your open rate stands at 20%. But among intended recipients, your open rate in this case is reduced by half, to just 10%. That’s half as many opens, half as many sales conversions, and potentially half as much revenue generation from your email campaign. Yikes!
NOW you can see why deliverability matters so much!
The Importance of a Good Reputation
When it comes to email marketing, reputation is everything. If you have a good sender reputation, a higher percentage of intended recipients will receive your marketing email in their inbox. If you have a bad reputation, that email you worked so hard to write and produce is more likely to end up trapped by spam filters, no matter how good it is.
Research shows that more than one out of five marketing emails (about 22%) fail to make it to the inboxes of intended recipients. ISPs are quick to flag emails sent from what they deem to be a bad sender reputation address, and so the risk of not following best practices is clear. Once you develop a bad reputation, your deliverability rate suffers, and it’s a problem that can be difficult to repair.
Your sender reputation depends heavily on the quality of your mailing list, and the quality of your list depends on the care you take in keeping it clean. Best practices for maintaining good email list hygiene will increase your sender score, which is key to earning and keeping the trust of ISPs. However, even if your sender score is high and your list is clean, you might still end up on one of the many anti-spam blacklists operated by anti-spam advocates. This can happen by mistake – if your IP address was erroneously flagged by an email server, for instance. If this happens, you must work directly with the owner of the blacklist website to remove your IP address from their database.
The difference between an Email Service Provider (ESP) and a true Email Deliverability expert.
ESPs are typically well-suited for smaller businesses that want to send a few thousand marketing emails or less.
The larger and more active your email marketing campaigns, however, the greater your exposure to issues that can derail your marketing success. With large mailings a minor problem can quickly become a major catastrophe, costing you time, money, and reputation. But don’t look to ESPs for help. They aren’t designed to handle either high-volume email campaigns or the potential problems that may ensue.
In fact, the typical ESP uses automated actions based on pre-set thresholds to terminate the accounts of error-prone clients. That’s right: instead of taking the time to help their struggling clients succeed, they usually just cut them off and say, “See ya!”
In marked contrast, a true deliverability expert actively collaborates with clients on a day-to-day basis, applying their analytical expertise to resolve issues and help clients regain their good reputations.
A true deliverability provider continuously analyzes clients’ sender statistics to pinpoint the reasons behind a soft bounce. They will also work with clients to analyze user engagement, which is increasingly important to ISP scoring, and to do content variation testing. They may also offer their own, high-reputation IP addresses as a means of helping clients improve their sending experiences and reputations .
Marketers need email deliverability
Email has always been a fact of digital life, but for today’s marketers it’s anything but ordinary. Email is the most effective sales channel because it takes your case – or your product or service – directly to the customer.
The higher the email volume, the greater the potential reward. But volume isn’t everything. Neither are fancy graphics or clever subject lines. To be effective, your email needs to be delivered.
Remember: on average, 22% of emails go undelivered, and it’s not just a simple matter of hitting a switch, or hiring a less-than complete email service provider, to improve on that statistic. Strengthen your sender reputation and you’ll likely reap significant rewards in deliverability, prospect engagement, interest, action, and results.
If you’re a high volume sender, you don’t have to be a casualty in the ISP email wars. A qualified deliverability expert will help guide you out of the rough terrain and toward the peace and prosperity that you and your email campaign deserve. It’s definitely a battle worth winning.
For the complete report on email deliverability, please visit SMTP
About the author, SMTP
If you’re looking for a true deliverability expert, consider SMTP. They work with clients who send 10,000 to 100 million emails a month while maintaining great sender reputations and ensuring high deliverability rates. Visit SMTP.com for a free trial or to learn more.