The From Line
Rants, raves and ramblings about multi-channel marketing.
Email deliverability is the most crucial part of your marketing plan. You can have the world's most talented copywriters and the most eye catching graphic designs, but if your email ends up in the spam folder, or perpetually floating around cyberspace, your hard work is all for nothing. But how do you know that your emails are reaching their destination? Most importantly, what do you do when you find out they aren't?
According to the Global Email Deliverability Benchmark Report by Return Path, “only 81% of all permission based email makes it to the world’s inboxes. Globally, one out of every five emails lands either in a spam or junk folder (7%) or simply goes missing—blocked by ISP level filtering (12%)”. Though an 81% deliverability rate is certainly respectable, over time, that 19% difference can make a big impact on your bottom line.
Consider this: if you send out 1,000 emails, that is 190 customers who will never hear your message. 190 missed opportunities to make a connection with a person who might be looking for exactly what you are selling. If you snowball this as your email lists continue to grow, you could soon be looking at thousands of lost clients.
To combat this, monitor your email deliverability closely by analyzing bounce back errors, and act to rectify the problems as they arise. If the subscriber’s mailbox doesn't exist, you can remove it from your list. However, if it is a temporary issue, the email address can continue to be monitored and sent mailings periodically. List cleansing and email verification services like LeadSpend exist to aide marketers in this.
As more people use their mobile phones to check their email during the day, email best practices for mobile devices is becoming more important. According to Marketing Pilgrim, a poor email experience leads 30 percent of consumers to unsubscribe.
Marketing Pilgrim columnist Cynthia Boris said companies need to get up to speed with email designed for mobile devices:
A year ago, mobile email wasn't that common, so it was easy to forgive a company for not getting on board. Now, though, there’s no excuse for a poorly executed email.
Emails that display poorly on mobile devices will prompt 30.2% of consumers to unsubscribe, accoding to a report from BlueHornet. Only 6.3% of consumers would read the email despite its poor display, the report said.
Email frequency and relevance is another common reason for consumers to unsibscribe. Offering subscribers flexibility in how many emails they receive can combat this and keep subscribers from leaving. Many firms ask subscribers if they want one email a week instead when they attempt to unsubscribe from email subscriptions. Giving subscribers options will improve their relationship and help retain them in the long run.
Best practices for mobile emails
One way to endear your emails to mobile users is to make coupons and special offers usable on their mobile phones. Instead of requiring users to print out e-mailed coupons, design the offers so they can be displayed and redeemed on mobile phones. The ideal mobile coupon can be scanned directly from the phone by a barcode scanner.
Designing emails for mobile devices can be accomplished through responsive design. The design queries the device that the email displays on, so that one email can be formatted differently for display on mobile phones, tablets and personal computers. For mobile phones, graphics should be streamlined for easier viewing.
For more information on crafting an email campaign that works on mobile devices, contact us today. Don't let your customers unsubscribe from your emails due to poor displays on mobile phones!
All email list administrators know what they look like, but what do they mean? Some bounces seem to have a clear meaning, but others are cryptic enough to make any normal person tear their hair out. The way bounce codes look when they show up is not even consistent!
Sometimes they'll look like this:
Remote-MTA: dns; smtp.myemail.com [192.0.2.3]
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 No such user here
Other times you'll see something like this:
while talking to smtp.store.example [192.0.2.3]
<<< 550 No such user here
Okay. Take a step back, a deep breath and relax.
You can safely ignore most of what you see in both messages. The important part of the message is the 3 digit numerical code, 550 and the short description that follows immediately.
What do those three digit bounce codes mean? Well here's a list of the codes that matter to a mailing list manager and what they are supposed to mean:
- 550 - The requested command failed because the user’s mailbox was unavailable (such as not found)
- 551 - The recipient is not local to the server.
- 552 - The action was aborted due to exceeded storage allocation.
- 553 - The command was aborted because the mailbox name is invalid.
- 554 - The transaction failed for some unstated reason.
The code to worry about for email marketers is code 550. Usually this means that there is no mailbox for that address. At this point you would want to cull the address from your list to avoid wasting resources on mailings, but even a code 552 which means that the user has exceeded their storage allocation is important. If the mailbox is full for several mailings it might be best to remove the address from the list.
Bounce codes are a great tool for refining lists gor maximum efficiency. If you have any questions about bounce codes or about how we can help you manage your email marketing please contact us.
Originally created by ISP’s to help identify senders of spam email, feedback loop management can be a great way for a marketer to effectively manage their email campaigns and send their subscribers messages they want to see.
Many ISP’s provide feedback loops to email senders as a way to help proactive companies cut down on spam complaints the ISP receives. Whenever someone tells their provider they’ve received a spam email, it’s basically like a “complaint” to the ISP. While each ISP’s threshold differs, the outcome is the same with all of them. Too many complaints will have a negative effect on all of your email campaigns, making it more difficult for subscribers who actually want your information to receive it.
With more and more email messages being sent, it’s important to understand what causes recipients to flag your message as spam. Common reasons for flagging email messages as spam include:
- Irrelevant content
- Receive too many messages
- Recipient doesn’t remember opting into your list
Even implementing email campaign best practices, you’re likely to get some subscribers who complain. While receiving some unjustified spam reports is unavoidable, there are some very practical ways you can use this information to improve your email campaigns.
When you review your feedback loops, you should unsubscribe any visitor who has reported your message as spam. This will make you look better in the eyes of the ISP’s and help keep your overall complaints low.
Feedback loops can also be used to help you identify what messages your list wants to receive and help you better target your message. Messages that receive a lot of complaints are clearly and indicator of the type of message your list does not want. The simple solution is to send more messages like what your list wants to receive and fewer of those that they don’t.
It’s easy to dismiss spam complaints as having come from unhappy people, but when used correctly, the information provided by feedback loops is invaluable for helping your refine your email marketing campaigns. For more information regarding feedback loops or any of your other email messaging needs, please contact us. Also, please feel free to check out one of our previous posts, It includes one of the most detailed FBL lists around!