What is Email Deliverability?
- Deliverability will drive email success. Four main deliverability factors will be in play in the coming year:
• Reputation. Email practices are the single most important factor in determining if your email will be delivered. Who do you email? What do you email? When do you email? Why? of reputation you have as a marketer.
• Technology. Domain keys and other authentication technologies are the table stakes; email marketers must implement them to be in the game. In addition, technology is required to help ensure you are not “mistaken” for a spammer, such as content screening before the send and technology to review your data integrity for known bounces, spam traps, and other things that can contaminate your list.
• The human element. A big part of successful deliverability comes down to human monitoring of your results across domains, dealing proactively with ISPs and individual companies, and addressing problem areas.
• Design for Email deliverability. This goes beyond HTML vs. Text and includes designing for smartphones and for emails with images suppressed.
- The open rate is overrated. Open rates do not tell us much about the success of an email campaign. How, then, should marketers gauge success? Engagement! Did subscribers click? Did they call? Do they order or fill out a form? We see emails that have 60 percent open rates and 1 percent click-throughs, and emails with 40 percent open rates and 30 percent click-through rates. Clearly, the latter is the more successful email.
- Email and web analytics will be integrated. To have the insight to what subscribers do after getting an email, marketers must integrate email with web analytics. This will give marketers a much better indication of success as well as build behavioral data that will help them become more relevant.
- Multi-channel marketing will deliver winning results. It has been widely publicized that a Nordstrom customer who interacts with three channels spends six times more than those who only interact through one channel. Another example, Hotels.com, which uses email marketing/transactional hybrid messages to send an email before and after a customer’s stay at a hotel. In addition to email and web analytics, the goal should be to measure and tie in all of your marketing efforts.
- all growth will be healthy but takes work. Average list turnover runs about 25 percent yearly due to unsubscribes, and email addresses have gone bad. A recent study by ExactTarget shows that list growth for many industries is healthy, with an annual net growth of 38 percent. As part of the study, ExactTarget spoke with marketing representatives from both B2B and B2C companies who maintained strong and consistent list growth. These organizations all have been very deliberate in growing their lists. Marketers need to focus continually on long-term list acquisition strategies, instead of quick fixes like co-registration and list purchases.
- There is a lot of talk about RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and how it will affect email marketing. While 2006 will not be the year of widespread RSS adoption at the expense of email, there will be an opportunity for RSS to become a significant component of email marketing. In an email template and then distribute that content as an email to their fans — email template. Alternatively, marketers can make content for their emails.
- An email will get more personalized. Who owns the relationship with your subscribers? An institution, a brand, or a person? Organizations realize one of the true beauties of email is the ability to communicate one-to-one on a large scale using tools such as “on your behalf.”
- Look for rich media in email. Rich media—such as streaming video and audio—have been difficult to include in email because of the large file sizes and scripting required. Now, better video software and increased bandwidth make rich media more realistic.
2006 Top Email Trends/Page 3
- Email as a carrier for third party advertising. Email is attractive to advertisers because it is targeted and trackable. Email marketers generally know quite a bit about who receives their messages. The key to success is that the ad has to fit with the expectations of the subscriber. You never want to abuse permission, violate the privacy or be irrelevant.
- The new metric: return on the subscriber. Marketing with email will fail if marketers only are focused on the results of one email campaign versus another. This is accomplished by simply monitoring the value of your subscribers as individuals. Measure their value quarter-to-quarter, not campaign to campaign.