Getting deliverability right is the foundation of every successful email campaign. If you aren’t hitting the inbox, all that work you did to create the content and get it out the door doesn’t matter. Our latest webinar brought in deliverability experts Brad Gurley (MessageGears) and Luke Martinez (250ok) to discuss some of the challenges marketing teams face when considering how to fix deliverability issues.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from the webinar:
Don’t wait to get deliverability help
Virtually every team that sends regular marketing email campaigns will have deliverability challenges to overcome at some point. Waiting until your inbox rate goes into a freefall to start shopping around for expert help could cost you a load of time and money. The time to find and contract out for the help you’ll need is now. Maybe that’s through your ESP, or through a deliverability platform, but waiting is likely to bite you eventually.
“You know you’re going to have some deliverability issues no matter who you are, no matter how you’re sending,” Gurley said. “And if you wait until they actually happen, a lot of times you’re going to be already in the hole, and it’s going to take a lot more work to get out than it did to keep from getting there in the first place.”
“I think, unfortunately, one thing a lot of people kind of get wrong is they tend to leverage an ESP delivery service or a deliverability platform like ours when something has gone horribly wrong,” Martinez said. “And our happiest customers are actually people who don’t have an acute deliverability issue. They’re people that maybe everything’s humming and we’re working on small little iterative improvements.”
If you wait for issues to actually happen, a lot of times you’re going to be already in the hole, and it’s going to take a lot more work to get out than it did to keep from getting there in the first place.
Be honest and open with deliverability help
Once you’ve chosen an expert to work with, be open and transparent with them about any issues you might be having. Holding anything back only makes it more difficult for them to make the diagnosis you need, and to be able to build a plan for getting you back on track. Getting all the stakeholders involved in the process from the beginning will help everyone get on the same page, and make the most of the relationship.
“Very rarely is it like this one simple trick where we just need to take the emoji out of your subject line and everything’s good,” Martinez said. “There’s going to be a lot of work on your side, depending on the scale of your problem or how often they’re coming up, but be ready to listen to us and work with us.”
There’s going to be a lot of work on your side, depending on the scale of your problem or how often they’re coming up, but be ready to listen.
“Ask questions when we give you advice or when we give you something to try,” Gurley said. “Don’t just say OK and go do it and just kind of leave it at that. It’s not necessarily set it and forget it. We want to be very transparent as to not only, ‘Hey, this is what we recommend’ but why we’re recommending it. And if you as the marketer or the sender don’t really understand why we’re doing that, then you’re likely to fall into the same trap again in the future.”
Being proactive always helps
There are plenty of actions you can take proactively, in conjunction with your deliverability pro, in order to stave off issues before they start. Being sure to get out in front of problems is the best way to prevent them from ever becoming a problem in the first place. If you work with an expert, they’ll be able to put in a proactive deliverability monitoring program to ensure there’s never a panic.
“When we see specific types of events occur, we would get an alert that says either a certain metric has fallen too low or the open rate complaint rate got too high or delivery time dropped,” Gurley said. “Across the years, we’ve been able to catch instances where we saw maybe an unusual bounce message that came back, use that to dig into what’s happening there and find out that there’s actually some other issue in play.”
Being sure to get out in front of problems is the best way to prevent them from ever becoming a problem in the first place.
“In almost every case, there’s some signal that’s a precursor to that, whether it’s an increase in complaint rates that we should have been monitoring, whether it’s an increase in spam trap hits, whether if your tracking IP reputation from either Google or Microsoft sends, and you start sliding from the green to the yellow,” Martinez said. “A lot of people might ignore that until you’re actually getting blocked or until your mail starts getting in the spam folder, but if you’re paying attention to these signals, you can head that off.”