Key Methods for Improving Mass Mailing Deliverability
Personalization has been key to email marketing for a few years now. It’s THE tactic we’re all supposed to be employing to keep engagement and thus deliverablity, strong. It’s the new in box placement. Adding the recipient’s name in the salutation, sending behavior based content and segmenting are the new common sense for successful email marketing. This strong call for personalization is a product of data driven marketing.
That (now personalized) data is precious. And that’s where the new school of list hygiene comes in.
List hygiene in the Age of Personalization;The New In-box Must
It wasn’t long ago that list hygiene just meant, list scrubbing. In fact, list cleaning is still vital. According to Jupiter Research, “more than 20 percent of email registrations contain typos, syntax, domain and other errors.” So, delete the invalids, the spam traps, the honey pots, the typos, etc. Just get’em OUT. That used to be enough.
But now, in the era of big data (or rather the era of trying to make sense of big data), it’s not sufficient to just keep your nose clean. You’ve got to be interesting too.
Email marketing is becoming more like search engine marketing, more holistic. Today just having an SEO optimized website isn’t enough. You’ve also got to promote, daily, across various social media outlets to endear yourself to the Google ranking Gods. And now emailers need to keep track of engagement in the form of opens, clicks, unsubscribes and plain-old inactivity. If you are still mailing via a hosted ESP this is more true than ever before. You must keep your recipients active to prove how healthy your email operation is.
What About the Big Guys?
If you’re mailing off of a mailing platform like VoloMP there’s more wiggle room in the engagement department…for now. Your master is not the ESP algorithm. It’s your IPs. High-volume email marketing can be exceptionally challenging due to all the little details you have to master, in terms of keeping your IPs and delivery rates healthy. The reward, of course, is cost-effective, high-volume emailing. And who doesn’t want that?
On Beyond Spam Complaints
Darn-it if standards aren’t just going up. As consumers grow more accustomed to being so well catered to by smart email marketers who mail off ESPs, your job as a high-volume mailer is only going to get tougher. While the little guys, mailing less than 100K a day, are bowing to the engagement demands of ESPs, they’re also learning how to get more agile and responsive in order to please and even delight their subscribers.
The Popularity Contest is Getting Intense!
We all have access to more. More formats; desktop, mobile, tablet. More social media outlets. More free email addresses. Our attention is defused and most of us would rather switch email accounts than take time out to clean our in-boxes or do individual unsubscribes. That means list expiration dates are coming up faster.
The bigger the list, the more attention needed to make your campaigns feel personal. And let’s remember that permission to send emails is not evergreen, even the most engaged subscribers lose interest over time, which in turn means they may become a liability instead of an asset.
Your hottest assets tend to be the freshest ones.
You are most likely still relevant with these folks:
- Recent Opt-ins.
- Purchasers or subscribers that have been billed within the last 120 days.
- Opens and clicks from the last 120 days.
So how do you use personalization to keep these addresses vibrant and engaged? Here are some simple methods:
Not everyone joins your list for the same reason. Start by asking a question at sign up. For example if you’re a mortgage business ask something like, “How soon will you need a mortgage?” Possible answers could be “As soon as possible.” or “Not sure, just getting a lay of the land for now.” As you can see, their needs are going to be quite different. Create automated emails accordingly and enjoy much better response rates.
Create Customer Profiles
Using website behavior and download history, group each subscriber into one of your pre-established profiles. Sticking to the mortgage example we could come-up with three common profiles like, “well-qualified,” “OK credit” “sub-prime.”
Be Location and Time Sensitive
Your subscribers likely span many time-zones and locations. There’s no reason to just blast everyone at the same time. Group your sends by time and location.
Use Automated Behavior Based Triggered Emails
The data’s very clear on this one. If you’re not using triggered emails, pardon my French but, you’re a silly, silly goose.
Add a Face to a Name
Sending an email from a live human being, inside a company, is often more effective than just sending email from a company name. This is why real estate agents add their photo to business cards and purchase bus bench advertisements with their smiling mugs. Hubspot did an experiment to back this up.
Again, as a high-volume email marketer you’re already performing an impressive juggling act. Adding in personalization tactics might feel over-whelming. So just take it slow and steady. Keep at it though, because based on that stats, you will be richly rewarded.