Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Patty Atwater of Validity.
There are many stats thrown about in the industry around the value of email marketing and its high ROI. With a low cost and high return, email provides a big opportunity for marketers, but also its own set of challenges.
In Validity’s recent State of the Email Marketing report, we surveyed marketers to identify their biggest email challenges and found that over one third of marketers still struggle to reach the inbox. Reaching the inbox is the cornerstone of any email marketing program. It doesn’t matter if you crafted the perfect subject line or have an enticing offer. If the message doesn’t land in the inbox, it won’t generate any revenue.
While there are many elements that impact your ability to reach the inbox, below are a couple of places to start.
Monitor and boost your reputation
A sender’s reputation is calculated using hundreds of sending behavior signals to determine if their email should be delivered to the inbox, spam folder, or blocked. Some of these reputation factors include sending history, list quality, and infrastructure. Mailbox providers rely heavily on sender reputation to determine what to accept into their users’ inboxes. To ensure your messages are being viewed positively by mailbox providers, monitor your reputation and be sure to check your latest Sender Score before every campaign send.
Check the quality of your list
While having an extensive list to mail to is ideal, sending messages to “bad addresses” can have serious consequences on your deliverability. Addresses that are not ideal to send to can include misspelled email addresses, malicious sign-ups, abandoned email addresses, and addresses changed due to mailbox provider migrations. Keeping these types of addresses in a subscriber list is a signal to mailbox providers that the sender has poor list hygiene practices and as a result, the mailbox provider is more likely to deliver the sender’s messages to the spam folder and will continue to do so until the sender’s list quality improves. To maintain a healthy list, use a list verification program to identify any potential bad addresses and immediately remove them from your list.
Track subscriber signals
Mailbox providers are looking to provide their users with the content they want and to protect them from content they don’t want. To do this, they monitor how their users have engaged with a sender’s content in the past to see if the incoming messages are desired and factor it into their deliverability decisions. Senders looking to reach the inbox need to pay attention to subscriber engagement beyond the success of a single campaign. Declining open rates and rising complaint and unsubscribe rates are early warning signs of dissatisfaction and uninterest in your program.
Signals 19 – Come See Us!
Looking for more information on reaching the inbox? Join the Return Path from Validity panel discussion at Signals 19 on Thursday, September 26: Get in the Inbox! Increase Revenue with Email Deliverability.
In this session, Courtney Finger (Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Validity) will be joined by Joe Guereschi (Sr. Deliverability Consultant at Cheetah Digital), Jennifer Granda (Sr. Global Partner Manager at Validity), Scott Mineart (Director of Audience Growth, Platforms and Operations at Meredith Corporation), and Sarah Vickers (Marketing Manager at Starbucks) to discuss what it takes to hit the inbox every time.
Additionally, if you are looking for more personal insight into optimizing your program, Validity will also be hosting three lunch roundtable sessions on Thursday, September 26. Courtney Finger, Jennifer Granda, and Henry Gutierrez, Validity’s Sr. Email Strategist, will be happy to answer any questions you might have.