Vizergy Digital Marketing

Are you following best practices in e-mail?

Now more than ever, smart marketers rely on email to reach and engage with their audience. If done right, email can be one of the highest digital marketing ROI channels available. However, without proper list management, your email marketing program may not be performing to its full potential.

Gone are the days of sending one email to your entire audience, looking to cast the biggest net possible. As email service providers and filters become more sophisticated, it’s now more important than ever to ensure best list management practices are followed in order to engage with your desired audience.

WHY IS LIST MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT? THE RISE OF STALE EMAILS
From quality of leads to deliverability, your list determines how successful your email marketing campaign will be. As your list grows, it’s common for some of your audience to become inactive, or “stale.”

Email service providers such as Gmail and Yahoo sometimes repurpose these stale emails as “spam traps,” or emails that are designed to catch senders who aren’t maintaining healthy lists. These spam traps often cannot be specifically identified; only vaguely identifiable based on lack of engagement.

Sending to spam traps can have a large effect on email deliverability from not only that specific email service provider, but others as well. Email blacklists such as Spamhaus and Barracuda often rely on these spam traps to weed out spam my senders. In turn, other email service providers rely on them to determine whether your email should make it to your audience’s inbox based on your email reputation.

HOW CAN I CHECK MY EMAIL REPUTATION?
While most email marketing platforms offer their own internal email reputation monitoring tools, ReturnPath’s Sender Score is one of the best freemium reputation monitors available.
By entering your email IP Address, Sender Score shows how email service providers view your IP address by scoring it from 0 to 100. This takes abuse complaints, blacklists, spam traps, and rejected mail into account.

Although anything less than 100 leaves room for improvement, any score above 80 is considered a great sender reputation. Those below 80 may have deliverability issues that can prevent an audience from seeing emails.

WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY LIST?
Make sure you place links for receivers to unsubscribe as clear as possible. An account unsubscribing means much less than an abuse complaint. Some customers may flag your email as abuse rather than unsubscribe, which can trigger red flags for your IP. Instead, make it easy to unsubscribe by placing the unsubscribe link in a clear, easy-to-find place at the top or bottom of an email.

If available, use double opt-in confirmation. If available, double opt-in confirmations offer the added benefit of making sure a potential customer’s email address is indeed valid while also reaffirming that they want your emails.

Use re-engagement emails. These types of emails not only sift out stale emails, but can re-engage active emails that haven’t engaged with your email. Let your customers know you care!
Do not buy lists. While tempting, lists made available for purchase are often riddled with spam traps. At best, these may result in a few bounces and abuse rates. At worst, a list could be riddled with enough spam traps to tank your email reputation and deliverability.

Opt-out bounces. Bounces, or non-delivery of an email message, are essentially red flags for an email. A soft bounce, one that’s valid but not being sent to, is something to monitor. However, hard bounces, or an email that’s been permanently rejected, must be removed as soon as possible.

NEED SOME ASSISTANCE?
Need help with your email marketing? Vizergy offers a variety of solutions for you and your business, including TargetingHub: an omnichannel marketing platform designed for the new smart marketer looking to leverage their data to generate more business and brand awareness. Our experienced and knowledgeable team can help take the burden of digital marketing off your shoulders and allow you to focus on what you do best – running your hotel and providing a superior guest experience.

Blog Written By: Brandon Mitchell, Digital Marketing Specialist & Vizergy’s E-mail Marketing Expert

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