The holiday season is creeping around the corner, and it’s one of the busiest times of year for marketers as they prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When businesses are pressured by revenue goals, there is often a tendency to expand mailing lists and increase sending cadence. Below, I will address a few tips and recommendations to better optimize your marketing programs and strategies for the holiday season.
The primary goal of all email marketers is to drive customer engagement and retention, while constantly improving ROI. From content to IP/domain management and analytics, there are countless factors that go into implementing a successful email marketing campaign. However, when getting to the core of optimizing email campaigns and deliverability, it comes down to how you’re using data. Having access to all your data in an organized manner is one the most valuable resources email marketers can have.
Within the MessageGears cross-channel ESP platform, we offer one of the most powerful data analytics tools available in the ESP industry. It provides in-depth aggregate data on the entire lifespan of a specific campaign or job, down to the domain level (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.). Our analytics features not only help marketers easily digest and understand their email metrics, but also how they can improve their email efforts.
The MessageGears analytics toolset is composed of three levels of data — the account level, the campaign level, and the job level with performance by domain. Each level provides valuable data and trends to help identify potential issues and patterns with your sends.
IP/domain warmup is a process where organizations starting to mail off of fresh IPs and domains, gradually ramp up their volumes, while ISPs (internet-service providers) assess the quality of the new mail stream. The goal is to establish a strong sender reputation by slowly ramping up to full volume starting with your most engaged subscribers over a period of time. Typically, this process takes ~3-6 weeks but will vary with each sender.
Google officially announced the redesign of Gmail for the web Wednesday, introducing new enhancements and features. They integrated G-suite so that you can efficiently navigate through Calendar, Tasks, and Keep all in the same window, without having to open multiple tabs.
One of my favorite features is the ability to click on attachments without opening and scrolling through lengthy email threads. Currently that feature is only available in the default view — they provide 3 options: default, comfortable and compact view.
Gmail also added a ‘nudge’ feature that will appear next to the subject line of emails, which reminds you to follow up and reply to any emails that may have been missed. The ’Smart Reply’ feature, which was previously released on Inbox by Gmail and Gmail app on Android/iOS, is now available on Gmail for the web. ‘Snooze’ is another addition that gives users the option to stop notifications from an email for a set amount of time to help reduce potential distractions.
We all agree email marketing is one of the top drivers of customer engagement, yielding the highest potential ROI of all marketing channels. We continue to see enterprise businesses investing more and more into email marketing, but are they optimizing their email efforts to improve deliverability?
With ReturnPath’s studies on email metrics, they show that read rates continue to drop annually and more messages are hitting the spam/bulk folder. Contrarily, they also found more consumers were marking promotional email as “Not Spam.”
Most ISPs (internet service providers) utilize machine learning to determine how they should filter inbound mail. Their primary goal is to ensure their users are happy, by delivering “wanted” mail to the inbox and keeping everything else out — whether it’s never delivered or filtered to spam. So it’s not necessarily that users aren’t engaging with email as often, but rather that ISP filters are becoming more aggressive — often filtering messages that users want to see in their inbox to the spam folder.
So as a sender, what are some best practices to follow to ensure your marketing emails are hitting customer’s inbox?
If you recall way back in 2015, Verizon acquired AOL and then Yahoo in 2017. Following these acquisitions, Yahoo and AOL were merged under Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.
Little information has been made publicly available regarding the consolidation of AOL and Yahoo’s email infrastructure, but we do know AOL’s MX (mail exchange) servers will be migrated over to Yahoo’s infrastructure as soon as next month.
As many senders experienced issues (and still are experiencing issues) with Microsoft’s consolidation of Office 365 and Hotmail platforms, we may see something similar with Yahoo/AOL.
Deliverability data has become a checkbox on the path of email marketing, but what does deliverability data reveal about the entire customer journey? The success of an email marketing campaign is usually evaluated by a few key deliverability metrics. Was…
Time Warner Cable/Roadrunner was acquired by Charter Communications in May 2016. Since the acquisition, there have been plans to discontinue their feedback loop service — one of the many FBLs hosted by ReturnPath.
On Oct. 19, they officially discontinued their FBL service, which essentially allows senders to receive and process complaint data from their affiliated domains.