Being an email marketer is like being a movie star
When you distribute an email campaign, you have millions of eyes ‘watching’ in the form of the mail servers you want to deliver to and the email recipients. How these parties treat your email will impact your ability to deliver future campaigns.
Celebrities have to manage the level of attention they get. If they disappear out of the limelight for an extended period of time or their work is inconsistent, their career is negatively affected. Similarly, an email sender must send consistent volumes of email at a regular frequency in order to maintain their sender score.
Fans are always comparing celebrities to other celebrities. What are they wearing/doing, who are they dating . . . and most importantly are they ‘A-list’ or have they ‘slipped’? In the same way, your sender IP is being compared to other senders in terms of complaints, blacklists and whitelists.
A bad database can seriously impact your reputation in the same way a couple of bad movies can sink a movie star (did Nicolas Cage ever really recover from Ghost Rider?) Not having clean, up to date, valuable and relevant data is a massive opportunity cost for your business and believe it or not, the consequence of bad data affects more than just the costs. It means that all of the amazing things one can achieve as an email marketer are just not going to reach the right people. Sending to unknown users, falling foul of spam traps or including recipients who are likely to complain due to lack of relationship or relevance, will have a negative effect on your ability to deliver.
Manage your way out
Just like a movie star you can manage your way out of a bad reputation with consistently good behavior and choices:
- Be consistent in both the frequency of your sends and the volume of emails you send out.
- Track your email failures and do something about them. Repeatedly sending to an unknown address contributes negatively in a number of ways, including the risk of getting nailed by spam traps. Aim to get your email failures down to less than 1% of your base.
- Have a process to monitor blacklisting sites and if you get listed, make it a learning experience.
- Sign up for Email Feedback Loops with the major ISPs. This will enable you to monitor the number of complaints and spam reports you get from those recipients.
- When you introduce a new sender IP address, ‘warm it up’ by gradually increasing volume and frequency of sends.
How good is your email sender reputation? Many factors influence your reputation with the ISP, so it’s important to get this right from the start – warm your IP’s, send at the correct rate for each phase of your reputation, adhere to anti-spam laws and keep constant track of your scores.
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