‘Email deliverability problems’ is a touchy subject among email marketers. More than a few times people have asked me how we at ActiveTrail deal with this issue and manage to keep our email deliverability among the highest in the industry. Well, I will do my best to lay it all out for you.
When I say, ‘email deliverability problems’ I’m referring to situations in which your emails are blocked from your recipients by the various email providers, without you even understanding why.
The money question has always been and always will be, “Why are my emails being blocked?” In the past ten years the answer to this question has varied from block lists, spam traps and complaints. Today the answer is a little less promising: “I have no clue.” What used to be a relatively easy problem to detect and fix, is now a bit more tricky.
So, what do I do?
Some of the brightest minds in the technological field, from companies such as Google, AOL and Microsoft, gathered at the Email Evolution Conference in February and raised the issue of email blocking.
It was Google’s representative that confessed to the filtration method. According to him, these companies use an algorithm that processes thousands of pieces of virtual information. Along with this algorithm they use software, invented by email providers, that filters on the IP address level, on a comparative level, and on an individual level.
While they use an algorithm, we examine the different elements from more of a marketing standpoint.
There’s a solution
The representatives claim that all the email providers request is that the content of your mailings be relevant to the recipient, something that he would be happy to receive. Apparently, all we email marketers need to do is take on a new perspective.
In light of this, review your campaigns from A to Z: from Opt-in recipient approval to recipient participation levels. In addition, take a look at the base of your campaign: user authentication, DNS, remove-from-lists and other technical details. But what about your mailing lists? How do you collect email addresses? How do you approve registration? What do you do with the non-responders?
The answers to these questions will paint you a much clearer picture of what needs to be done.
The value of your mailing
Unfortunately, many email marketers underestimate the value of their participants’ participation, when in fact recipient participation levels essentially determine the value of your emails. ISP providers work day and night to promise their customers – in turn, your recipients – that their inboxes be restricted to interesting, relevant emails. This goes for neighborhood pharmacy owners and big businesses alike.
Your recipients’ feedback to your mailings, be it complaints, indifference, or satisfaction, is worth a lot. Every small piece of feedback directly affects all of your mailings while also indirectly affects your relationship with the email providers – and that is one relationship that you need!
While ISP filters are too complex to fully understand the logic behind them, there is a very important take-home message that is quite easy to understand: If you’re a good email marketer and you do all of your homework, they will reward you well.
My recommendation is to respect your recipients by sending them quality, relevant content, and to pay close attention to your campaign’s recipient participation.
Of course, even when we do all of our homework and try our best to send out relevant, interesting content, there will always be a few that just aren’t interested.