What should be the last thing a marketer should have to worry about when designing and building a portfolio of rich messages and orchestrating them for ideal delivery? The uptime of their message service provider. It’s 2020 and, sadly, not all companies plan for near 100% uptime. Uptime and reliability for message delivery is an assumed quality that every vendor has, until it’s not there and your Black Friday, Holiday or Limited Time offers are either delayed or not delivered.
First, Let’s Define Uptime and Reliability
For Messaging, Uptime and Reliability can be summarized as your service provider’s ability to not only deliver messages when intended but also to support the data collection for all running campaigns. By now, the majority of providers have alarms to indicate when services aren’t available. This type of alarm is the bare bones to act upon and should clearly put one 9 on your uptime records (availability of >90%).
But how do you make sure uptime is always consistent, regardless of traffic? Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Messaging systems need to be designed from the ground up to prevent service faults from increased traffic spikes. A good software architect will influence making the right decisions to ensure only required operations are handled synchronously. Those changes will make it possible for spikes in regular items like the number of Campaign launches/sec to not impact your overall uptime.
Some companies validate processing via throughput, which definitely can correlate with processing, but I find it doesn’t come quite as close as measuring latency between a Campaign launch and individual message processing. My teams monitor latency and alert based upon any slowness in the system.
Why are Uptime and Reliability Important in Messaging?
Now that we’ve described uptime and reliability in the messaging world, why is it so important? Let me ask this another way: imagine you’ve been able to launch all those campaigns; how confident are you that all messages are being delivered? Some vendors can confirm a Campaign’s launch, but not whether all messages were processed or when they were processed. It’s important to not only acknowledge requests, but confirm nothing is unnecessarily queued up within the system. Whether it’s the transactional password reset email or the marketing offer you’re trying to deliver to the recipient at the right time, the underlying platform can determine your success. If your marketing platform suffers from outages or delays, it can influence your message deliverability, timing, response rates and, ultimately, your brand appearance.
First and foremost, your messaging provider needs bulletproof reliability to ensure message delivery. At MessageGears, automated monitoring systems track the process of each message on its journey through our mail servers and beyond. Any disruption in that process triggers failsafe protocols and ultimately leads to escalation and manual intervention to restore proper performance. Maximizing server uptime helps ensure consistent mail flow, avoiding the traffic spikes and periods of inactivity that can lead to poor IP reputation and decreased deliverability.
We live in a world where customer experience heavily influences brand sentiment, and nothing can be more frustrating than waiting for an expected email or getting an untimely message after it would have been relevant. Brands spend tirelessly trying to get the right message delivered to the right audience at the right time. However, no matter how good your campaign is, the time for delivery is dictated by the resource handing the message off to the recipient. Imagine spending weeks setting up your orchestrated marketing messages for the big July 4th sale, and your messages are delivered on the 5th!
Engagement Tracking and Redirecting
Catching customers at the right moment in a buying cycle is fundamental to driving improved response rates. Imagine you sent the right message at the right time, and your customer is interested in a specific product. She goes to click the “Buy now” link and … gets an error in the browser, leading her to abandon the purchase and have a negative impression of the brand. MessageGears is responsible for tracking and redirecting the billions of interactions recipients have with their messages, which means that reliability for our open- and click-tracking processes is vital to the health of your marketing programs. To ensure constant uptime for recipient interaction and engagement, we monitor both the volume and type of interactions users have with our core track/redirect services. We use these metrics to scale our infrastructure to always meet the needs of our users.
We understand that when it comes to modern messaging, you don’t want to have to worry about the uptime or reliability of your messaging service — which is why we worry about it for you. MessageGears is committed to providing you with the best possible service, and the uptime of our services are ever more important as we expand our product suite to include our Engage and Segment products.