Working at Cheetah Digital, I have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best marketing minds in the industry. On that list is Spencer Kollas, our vice president of global deliverability services who has been in the email marketing business for more than 20 years.
I recently sat down with Spencer to discuss how deliverability impacts a brand’s ability to connect with customers and create loyal, engaged, lifelong brand ambassadors — the very thing that every marketing department strives for. To Spencer, deliverability isn’t only about helping clients simply get their messages to their clients; it’s helping them to understand and deliver the best possible customer experience.
The conversation was illuminating, and I wanted to share Spencer’s insights on deliverability ROI, customer experiences, and how linking the two together can help marketers get back to what they truly enjoy doing.
KL: What should marketers consider when creating customer relationships?
SK: Their focus should be on the quality of data and the sending of relevant information. If you’re collecting bad email addresses or bad demographic data, it's going to be extremely difficult to reach customers and create lasting relationships. Building upon that, even if your data is accurate, the last thing you want to do is send something simply because, “You’re supposed to send an email every Monday, so you find something to send.” When your message isn’t relevant, it negatively impacts your engagement levels in the short term and your brand in the long term.
KL: How does consistent, relevant deliverability help brands build loyal customer relationships?
SK: When customers are aware of when you send messages and the types of messages you send, it enables them to recognize that your brand values their time. That's the biggest difference from 20 years ago. Today’s consumers feel as if they’re in complete control. If their inbox fills up with a bunch of irrelevant emails, they’re not going to engage with your brand — not online, not anywhere. As a marketer, you need to look at all the various aspects of the customer experience and make sure you respect them all.
KL: When it comes to you and your team, what can clients expect from you? What’s the value of having the right partner in terms of deliverability?
SK: Brands should make sure they’re not receiving the exact same services as every other client. We take a client-centric approach during the implementation phase and really understand the different types of mailings our clients are interested in, their volume, how often they're sending messages, etc. Then we determine the appropriate way to set up their system so it addresses their needs (as opposed to a single set-up offering). The value of a true marketing partner is making sure they understand your business model and that the system is set up so you can optimize it for your unique goals.
KL: Like you mentioned, a lot of companies send emails just to send them. How does shifting deliverability strategies affect marketing departments? What are the benefits?
SK: We witness ROI increase because the client doesn’t waste its time sending emails that are useless. To achieve deliverability and experience higher ROI, you should concentrate your time and effort to engage with customers with a sale or other engagement method that will actually resonate. Keeping in close contact when that particular sale or engagement isn’t relevant is important too, but this degree of focus enables you to actually accomplish the things that attracted you to marketing in the first place: developing cool marketing ideas. Nobody says, “I really want to wake up every morning and try to make sure my email ends up in a customer’s inbox.” When you focus on engaging customers with offers that matter to them, you set a baseline of good deliverability, enabling you to create next-level marketing programs.
I think we can all agree: Too often, it seems, marketers fall into a lull where open and click-through rates are all that matter. In reality, marketing is about finding unique and creative ways to connect with customers to give them useful information they might not even know they want. That’s the true essence of deliverability and how brands can build long-lasting customer relationships and create fans for life.
Spencer is one of more than 1,300 marketers here at Cheetah Digital. He and his team have been in your shoes and understand your pain points. If you’re interested in working with a marketing partner who can help enhance your deliverability and build better customer relationships, contact us today.
Keith Lifschin is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital, where he helps shape the company’s suite of products and solutions to best help our customers succeed. With over 15 years’ experience, Keith was an early believer in cross-channel communications. His career has brought him a wealth of knowledge in email strategy and execution, solutions engineering, and loyalty programs. Keith received a B.A. in Communications from Marist College and jokes that one of the things he knows better than martech is how to smoke a mean rack of ribs.