By: Webbula and Zembula
Email marketing remains an extremely useful communication tool and is widely used in a variety of industries. Year after year, email continues to prove itself as one of the best ways that marketers have to reach their customers. All of which means that customer inboxes are full of messages from a wide variety of industries. With people receiving dozens and dozens of emails every day, how does a marketer stand out from those other emails to ensure customer engagement?
It’s also not a surprise that deliverability has always been a struggle for email marketers. There are essential steps you can take to increase your deliverability today. According to Return Path, in 2017, one in five emails were missing in the inbox. That means on an average, 20 percent of emails are not reaching their destination. It’s a universal issue in the email marketing world. There are many ways to help improve deliverability and customer engagement such as:
- Keep your messaging short
- Test and test again
- Plan for mobile
- Segment your list
- Personalize your content
- Understand the value of a subject like
- Don’t speak like robots
But there are more significant steps you must take to improve deliverability and engagement, and Webbula and Zembula have teamed up to help you on your path to improve deliverability and engagement.
Email Hygiene is a crucial step to keep in mind when it comes to improving deliverability. Yes, content, list segmentation, and your subject line matter, but if you’re caught sending to inactive users, or dangerous email threats many things can happen to you. Most of them being wrong.
What is Email Hygiene? It’s the process of identifying active and inactive email treats in your email data — hidden threats such as spam traps, moles, bots, honeypots, seeded trackers and more.
Why do you need Email hygiene? We’ll people change jobs, pass away, and abandon old email addresses regularly, so it is imperative that you keep up with good email hygiene best practices. There are even threats in your data like disposable domains, that are only temporary emails that can explode after a certain amount of time. Spam traps are another threat which is a type of tool used by organizations to identify spammers. If you have them in your list and send to them, you could damage your sender reputation, or permanently be placed on a blacklist.
Verification alone cannot detect these vicious threats. Only email hygiene has the power to detect inactive and fraudulent threats that can receive, open, click, and track your campaign.
So the most important tip for increasing deliverability? Ensure your list is regularly checked, and free from hidden lurking threats that are ready to hurt your sender reputation.
Make sure your data is on point
Every month about 3% of customer data becomes obsolete due to changing conditions. Like mentioned above, customer move, get married, change names, and pass away. Whatever the reason being, this exact fact is why marketers are always in need of updated and accurate customer contact information. And buying data isn’t a brilliant option. So what do you do?
Sending to a list that is even 4 to 6 months old opens you up to considerable risks, including spam traps, disposable domains, and even poor conversions. If you fail to keep up with your data lists, you will lose the existing customers and will also tarnish your opportunity to attract new customers. Data appends can give you more information on your customers and contacts, allowing you more flexibility when it comes to marketing and communication.
So what is data appending? Appending data will help you freshen up your lists with updated and accurate information like name, phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, as well as other details like – interests, financials, hobbies, political data, mortgage, and other specific data points. It also can:
- Give you a better understanding of your customers and prospects with complete information at your fingertips
- Boost your response rate by eliminating emails to invalid or outdated addresses
- Keep your data clean which can help increase deliverability and avoid landing in spam folders
- Give you options for segmented and personalized marketing and communications based on enhanced data.
Data append is the solution you need to help fill in the gaps of your customer data.
Be more relevant and improve your online reputation
Once you’ve cleaned up your sends and eliminated any threats, it’s time to improve your sender score and online reputation. The very first tool you should be using is audience segmentation. You might be doing some form of this already if so, that’s great! But segmentation has many layers, and diving into all of them can only help your sending reputation — segment by audience type, demographics, engagement, site visits, reactivation, and more. Utilizing great segmentation, and combining it with personalization (which is easier to do if you have lots of great audience segments) helps you send more relevant emails, leading to more opens, clicks, and visits to your website.
Basically, when you send an email that contains no relevant content to the recipient, they probably will not open, won’t click, and if they do open they may even mark as spam. These things all have a negative impact on your online reputation. But don’t worry, the opposite is also true! When you send segmented and personalized emails your messages resonate with your audience. They will open, click and even mark your messages as important– all good for your deliverability.
Now is really the time to start segmenting your lists with the data you currently have. Whether it is based on interest, location, or some other criteria, always craft messages that fit that particular audience.
Another great way to increase engagement in your emails is to incorporate interactive content. Anything that requires your audience to click can only help your deliverability! Take advantage of powerful psychological principles like FOMO, curiosity, and the IKEA effect. These are incorporated into many interactive content options for your emails. Interactive content in email is a not only a great way to encourage action on your offers, but it also delights your audience and shows them something they have never seen before. In turn they will be more engaged with both the emails you send them and your brand, leading to improved sender reputation for you.
Stay consistent with your branding
You really want to control all the content within your email. Making sure you’re staying consistent with your branding and not changing your sending domain is really important to your reputation!
It helps if you can stick to your own domain from sending all the way through to linking. Kurt Diver, Manager of Email Delivery and Expert Services at SendGrid, says that a “higher concentration of a single domain carries more weight” and it can help you improve your online reputation as long as you are doing all the other things right; “It is kind of a snowball effect.”
Your online reputation is based off of EVERY domain you include in your emails. So be careful. Think twice about using links that are not your own in your email. Even if they are just shortened by a third party, they can negatively impact your online reputation.
Be Proactive For Better Deliverability in the Future
It isn’t the most glamorous topic out there, but deliverability certainly is important. Email deliverability can be a make or break for companies, especially since email is still the number one marketing channel out there. Eliminate threats, check your data, be relevant, and stay consistent with your brand. If you do these things, you stand a much better chance of not only being delivered to the right people, but also seeing your engagement increase!
Register for the webinar on May 15th at 1 PM ET. Our hosts, Robert Haydock, CEO of Zembula, and Steve Wagner, Senior Marketing Manager at Webbula, will walk you through their favorite tips and tricks when it comes to being better email marketers.
Webbula is the undisputed industry leader in data solutions. Our Multi-Method Hygiene and Data Enhancement services mitigate delivery threats, enhance data lists for email campaigns and create actionable audiences for online ad serving. Webbula has a proven track record of helping our customers navigate dangerous data quality obstacles and increase their return on investment.
Our passion remains what it has been since day one, to provide the confidence and reliability that our customers have come to depend on. Webbula pioneered and perfected multi-method hygiene, the ability to detect spam traps, and much more – all in pursuit of truth in data. We look forward to another decade of leading the way and of helping all of our customers succeed.
Special thanks to Cheyenne Minor and Tori Johnson at Zembula for co-authoring this post.
At Zembula, our mission is to help you engage and convert every potential customer with unique interactive experiences that are easy to create and implement. We aim to make interactive content accessible!
We do this by:
We empower brands to create fun and engaging experiences with their customers through our interactive content.
We believe that interactive content can entertain and convert at the same time.
Delighting your customers
We love to make brands look good by surprising their customers with something unique.