Deliverability – Building a Bridge to Profit

Lance Hemenway Blog, Delivery

Did you know that nearly 20% of all e-mails sent in North America do not reach their final destination? That statistic should scare the pants off of any online marketer who uses e-mail as the main source of customer contact. Don’t get me wrong. An 80% success rate is good … if you are happy with a B- in deliverability. But stop and think about how much those MIA e-mails are costing you in potential sales and new customers. It adds up quickly. That is why deliverability must be top of mind.

So, what can you do to improve your deliverability rate and ensure that not only are your messages being received but opened and read?

Monitor your data like a hawk.
To ensure positive Inbox delivery rates, you need to actively monitor delivery. Monitor complaint rates, bounce rates, and inactive accounts. Monitor your open rate data. Unopened messages obliterate your delivery rate. The average open rate is 24%-26%. If you aren’t achieving the average rate at a minimum, you need to find out what you’re doing wrong. Run the numbers to see how much your deliverability rate is affecting your sales. I bet you will be surprised.If someone hasn’t opened one of your messages for awhile, they either just aren’t interested or they have abandoned that account.

Thin the herd.
Get inactive subscribers off of your distribution list ASAP. Not only do they hurt your deliverability rate, they can get your blacklisted. Inactive or abandoned e-mail addresses turn into spam traps, and they can negatively impact your ability to send mail to the specified domain. Also, update your list of unsubscribes daily. When a customer submits an unsubscribe request, remove their name immediately. If you continue to send them e-mails after they submit the request with the hopes that they will change their mind, or if you tell them that it will take 48-72 hours to remove their name, you will annoy them and lose their business forever. Just deal with the heartbreak and get them off of your list. Likewise, if you e-mails get reported as spam, remove those addresses now rather than later.

Double down.
By this I mean use the double opt-in option to make sure it is 100% ok with the customers to send them marketing e-mails. Typically, this involves sending them a confirmation e-mail requesting that they take some sort of action to verifythat they really, truly want to hear from you.

Call a pro.
Actively monitoring your deliverability process and keeping the house clean isn’t easy. In a recent survey of 333 senior marketing executives, 16% said they had no way to track their deliverability, 26% said their biggest challenge was knowing how to optimize their e-mail marketing, and 24% said their biggest challenge was analyzing campaign results. If you are nodding your head in agreement right now, you might consider outsourcing this function. Networks such as Adknowledge employ deliverability experts that specialize in helping affiliates troubleshoot deliverability issues and maximize their deliverability rate.

If deliverability isn’t at the top of your priority list, bump it up now. When it comes to internet marketing, e-mail distribution hasn’t taken a backseat to social media. It still has incredible value because it is used every day. You want to make sure your most valuable method of attracting business and contacting customers is running at optimal performance.

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About the Author
Lance Hemenway

Lance Hemenway

Lance is the AdStation Director of Marketing. He's an internet veteran who was a founding member of Intermix Media, the parent company of Lance serves on the boards of the Bureau of Internet Accessibility and Think Big Kansas City. He's based at the Kansas City headquarters.