Have you thought about what might be the real reason behind your poor email delivery? Many marketers blame the email platform they are using.
In most cases, it is not a flaw with your platform, but a flaw with how you follow best email marketing practices. One of the most overlooked areas is a poor quality email list.
What Hurts Your Email Delivery?
Not maintaining your data quality will compromise your deliverability. Situations that hurt your sending reputation are hard bounced emails, spam complaints, hitting traps, and your subscriber engagement rate. Start by finding out where your reputation currently stands. You can plug in your mailing IP address or domain at senderscore.org to review your score.
Hard bounces are typically a result of email addresses you have on your list that either do not exist or once existed but have now been closed. The best example of this situation would be email addresses that have been typed incorrectly.
Over time, good data goes bad. For example, consider an employee who was once with a company and then left. The email account would have been good while the employee was with the company, but is no longer valid after he quit. In the long run, too many bad addresses hurt your email delivery.
Spam complaints and traps are even more harmful to your sender score because the users in your list are not interested in hearing from you. A spam complaint is whenever the users mark your email communication as spam and send you to their junk folders. You might not know when people mark your messages as spam with their mail providers, but you can setup a feedback loop (FBL) to identify these users and unsubscribe them from your list.
A trap is likely the biggest problem you will face when you are email marketing. Traps are designed to catch spammers and shut them down. Even if you are not spamming and are following best practices, it is still possible to get spam traps on your email list, especially if you are affiliate marketing. Hitting traps will lower your score and cause you to get blacklisted.
Review Your Engagement Rate
If you are reading this right now, I’m sure you are facing some struggles with your email marketing. Is your email engagement rate depressing? That is probably a result of having too many unengaged users on your list.
If your list is full of inactive subscribers, again, your reputation will be degraded. The idea behind email marketing is to have a list of users who are wanting to receive your emails. The more the users open and click, the more it shows the ISPs that they like your brand and that your brand is trusted. I would recommend going through your list on a quarterly basis and unsubscribing users who have not engaged in any of your past three months’ worth of email communications.
Poor Data Collection
Now that we have discussed what hurts your reputation and why your engagement rates are important, let’s discuss your data collection methods. Collecting good data is key to having a better-engaged list.
Organic Lead Collection – If you are collecting organic leads on your website in real time, it’s likely that your biggest problem will be typos that later lead to hard bounces.
Affiliate Marketing – If you are driving leads to your landing pages via affiliate marketing, then you should be careful because a lot of fraud occurs in the affiliate space. When you are incentivizing marketers to get you leads, there is a risk they are sending you email addresses that are bogus or email addresses of users who never came in contact with your site.
Using Data Lists – When you work with data brokers, you can have the problem of the list being cold and likely old. When you send data to a list you’ve acquired, the engagement rates will be very low as users are not familiar with your brand. Many data suppliers do not cleanse their data. So it’s likely that a high percentage of it will lead to invalids and hard bounces.
The Dos and Don’ts to Improve Data Quality
- Do collect data organically through your website.
- Do implement real-time email verification to eliminate invalid addresses.
- Do clean up your entire database on a quarterly basis.
- Do remove unengaged users from your list.
- Do be cautious when working with affiliates.
- Do setup FBLs to unsubscribe spam complaints immediately.
- Don’t work with data suppliers.
- Don’t allow every lead into your database.
- Don’t keep emailing complainers.
- Don’t forget to add verifications.
To get good email delivery, treat your list like gold and take care of it. Think of it this way: airport employees don’t let you board your plane unless you clear security. Don’t let any lead through your entry point until it passes validation. Too many rotten email IDs will destroy your list.
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- Your Email List Can Be Destructive to Email Delivery - March 10, 2017