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Being an email marketer is like being a movie star

Do You Have Red Carpet Access To Inboxes Or A Big Black Hole En Route

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?). For email marketers; 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 behaviour 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?

Do you have red carpet access to inboxes or a big black hole en route?

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Alison Treadaway

Alison Treadaway

Director at Striata, South Africa

Alison Treadaway is a director at Striata. She joined Striata in 2002 and served as managing director of the African region for 13 years. Prior to this, her experience in Internet-related solutions included marketing and sales positions at Internet Solutions and Dimension Data. Her professional certifications and licenses include a Bachelor of Arts (English, German, WITS) and a Post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration (WITS Business School).

Read more of Alison's blog posts here or connect with her on the following social channels: