Back in the day when I was working as a loan broker I was working through Real Estate agents to find new loans to do. Things were going pretty good however, I was not getting as much business out of the Real Estate Agents as I would have liked so I came up with the bright idea to start using email to stay in touch with the agents I was working with. So, I created some nice emails and started sending them out, however nothing really changed. One day as I was talking to a realtor the topic of emails came up and I asked if he liked the ones I was sending and he looked at me like I was crazy. Turns out he did not even know he was receiving them due to the emails going to his junk mail folder. I felt like such an idiot. I knew nothing about email marketing and was just shooting blind and in the end wasted my time because I did not take the time to figure out how to do it right. Now years later I am taking the time to learn the in’s and out’s of email marketing. In this pursuit I read an interesting article about deliverability entitled “10 Myths For Inbox Deliverability” by Stephanie Miller and learn the things that I should have figured out a long time ago with my first email-marketing attempt.
I found a couple of the Myths to be somewhat eye opening. The first myth that hit me was “Permission-based marketing messages are delivered to the inbox” What? If someone has given permission to receive an email why would they not get it? It turns out that Stephanie’s company did some digging and found that 20% of legitimate emails in North America do not reach the inbox. That seems like a very high percent to me. She indicated that sender needs to track email delivery and make changes as need and I agree. However should the system used to send out the emails be part of the problem as well? At any rate, 20% should not be overlooked so anything that can be done to improve this should be done.
“My email service provider handles inbox placement for me” was the next myth. Wow–do email service providers do anything? Well, yes, they do a lot and help us understand what happened with reports; well the good ones do at any rate. It comes down to that old saying “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. The service provider works with the data we give them and it is up to the marketer to control the data sourcing, frequency and content.
The last one was not surprising to me, yet it is an important one that can be easily overlooked so I thought it was worth bringing up again. “Changing the content or subject line is a good was to get a block lifted” There are many different factors involved in getting blocked and removing a block. Using a tool like Sender Score provided by Return Path we can see what factors they look at to determine someone’s Sender Score that effects being blocked. They look at things like hostname, other IPS with the same hostname and deliverability risk. Now, this is not to say that content is not important because it is–however being confused as one of the dirty junk mailers because of an IP hostname conflict can really hurt.
Creating great content and having good copy and compelling offers that are relevant to the user are very important to having a good email campaign and doing things right will definitely improve things but you can not forget these other factors that hurt deliverability. The best emails in the world will do no good if they are never seen because they did not go to the inbox of the intend user, just like I faced with my first attempt at email marketing. Learn for my mistakes and look before you leap when trying something out for the first time. I promise it will save you time and money.
“10 Myths For Inbox Deliverability” by Stephanie Miller posted Feb 17, 2010 on Clickz (http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1701157/myths-inbox-deliverability)