I Hate the Term: Email Deliverability by Jordie van Rijn @jvanrijn

I hate deliverability

I Hate the Term: Email Deliverability

It’s simple: I hate deliverability.

I can’t stand the word. And that is not a simple life when you are an email marketer. My skin crawls when deliverability is mentioned in the same sentence with, “one of the biggest issues” or “a big challenge in email marketing for coming years”. But hold on, I’m not “deliverophobic”. I’m not scared of the word deliverability. I’m just not pleased with how the term is used. Here is why:

Did you get the message?
Deliverability is how well your message is getting through — through to the inbox that is. Not through to your recipients heads. It combines all the issues concerning getting your messages in the inbox, nothing beyond that. And that’s the big problem.

Don’t mix it up!
The term deliverability mixes up technical problems with issues concerning common sense and marketing and that is not how it’s supposed to be. To put it simply: the technical stuff, your ESP should take care of that. But that doesn’t mean that they can guarantee the email is getting to the inbox. A part is to be done by the email marketer themselves. Those common sense and marketing issues should not only make that your message gets to the inbox, but also contribute to it getting opened, read and, if you can be so lucky, clicked.

“Interestablilty”
But what is a message in an inbox worth if it’s not being clicked and read and not contributing to your goals? Right, it’s worth nothing. I therefore would like to introduce the term “interestablilty” – making your message interesting. So interesting it moves your receivers to open your email and act on it. Mind though, this is not the same as relevance. So, what do we call the technical issues before that? Making sure the email makes it to the inbox? Let’s just call that email delivery.

More about “interestability” in my next post!

Until next time!
Jordie van Rijn

Takeaway: Getting the message through is a two part process. One part is delivering it to the inbox and the other is making your message highly interesting for the reciepent.

Meet the author:

Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn

Jordie is an independent email marketing consultant with his company eMailMonday. He specializes in email marketing and event-driven campaigns, helping brands to get the most from their email marketing efforts. Selecting emailtools at email vendor selection website is another.

Connect with: Jordie van Rijn

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  • Chief eMail Officer
    March 3, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Hi Jordie…

    Great post.

    I wanted to address this question:

    What is a message in an in-box worth if it’s not being clicked and read and not contributing to your goals? Right, it’s worth nothing.

    I would have to disagree. There is some some value and I will give you my analogy.

    It’s the same as a McDonald’s ad on the back of a bus. We all know who McDonalds is and we all know what a Big Mac is. Even if you are not going to go to McDonald’s today there is brand value in being able to see that stupid Big Mac on the back of every bus day in day out.

    Similarly, there is brand value in having your email in the in-box even if it never gets opened. Even if the recipient never opens my message there is some brand value in having them read my from address and subject line, day in day out.

    They might not consider my message in the moment, but they will remember my brand over time.

    After 6 months of no open and no click, I will pass on the branding exercise and move that recipient to my not interested list.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Jeff

  • Chief eMail Officer
    March 3, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Hi Jordie…

    Great post.

    I wanted to address this question:

    What is a message in an in-box worth if it’s not being clicked and read and not contributing to your goals? Right, it’s worth nothing.

    I would have to disagree. There is some some value and I will give you my analogy.

    It’s the same as a McDonald’s ad on the back of a bus. We all know who McDonalds is and we all know what a Big Mac is. Even if you are not going to go to McDonald’s today there is brand value in being able to see that stupid Big Mac on the back of every bus day in day out.

    Similarly, there is brand value in having your email in the in-box even if it never gets opened. Even if the recipient never opens my message there is some brand value in having them read my from address and subject line, day in day out.

    They might not consider my message in the moment, but they will remember my brand over time.

    After 6 months of no open and no click, I will pass on the branding exercise and move that recipient to my not interested list.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Jeff

  • Jordie van Rijn
    March 3, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Good point,

    I thought about it when writing the post and that is why i added “contributing to your goals”. Not every message is sent for the same reason.

    If branding is your goal and the subscribers only the message in the inbox is the right form, more power to you. But still; there is a bit “interestability” needed from the subscriber to recognise the sender and an interestability effort to make the subjectline pop!

    I agree that unopened and unclicked e-mails could have their worth. Some subscribers just don’t feel to open your message every time. It might even be that someone could return as a very active subscriber after being dorment for a long time.

    But still this is not the main reason most e-mailmarketeers send their e-mail messages.

    Jordie

  • Jordie van Rijn
    March 3, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Good point,

    I thought about it when writing the post and that is why i added “contributing to your goals”. Not every message is sent for the same reason.

    If branding is your goal and the subscribers only the message in the inbox is the right form, more power to you. But still; there is a bit “interestability” needed from the subscriber to recognise the sender and an interestability effort to make the subjectline pop!

    I agree that unopened and unclicked e-mails could have their worth. Some subscribers just don’t feel to open your message every time. It might even be that someone could return as a very active subscriber after being dorment for a long time.

    But still this is not the main reason most e-mailmarketeers send their e-mail messages.

    Jordie

  • Brandon Lachance
    March 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I would have to disagree with the statement found in this post:

    “Did you get the message?
    Deliverability is how well your message is getting through — through to the inbox that is. Not through to your recipients heads. It combines all the issues concerning getting your messages in the inbox, nothing beyond that. And that’s the big problem.”

    Deliverability is always evolving and changing. We are now working with clients to insure relevency and highly targeted mail. On a daily basis we suggest new ways to send mail and how you can make your mail as efficient as possible. Deliverability is strategy, relevency, targeting and information on how to mail to the best of a company’s ability.

    Deliverability will continue to grow and offer more solutions then just “getting your messages into the inbox”. Its not just about getting your messages to the inbox, its about how your doing it as well and that includes many variables. Think about it.

    Brandon

  • Brandon Lachance
    March 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I would have to disagree with the statement found in this post:

    “Did you get the message?
    Deliverability is how well your message is getting through — through to the inbox that is. Not through to your recipients heads. It combines all the issues concerning getting your messages in the inbox, nothing beyond that. And that’s the big problem.”

    Deliverability is always evolving and changing. We are now working with clients to insure relevency and highly targeted mail. On a daily basis we suggest new ways to send mail and how you can make your mail as efficient as possible. Deliverability is strategy, relevency, targeting and information on how to mail to the best of a company’s ability.

    Deliverability will continue to grow and offer more solutions then just “getting your messages into the inbox”. Its not just about getting your messages to the inbox, its about how your doing it as well and that includes many variables. Think about it.

    Brandon

  • Jordie van Rijn
    March 5, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks a lot for your input. I think you are right on target with your comment. Deliverability is evolving. In the old days it was just not being on a spam list, now things are a bit more complex. Technically that is.

    Because there always was the need to make interesting e-mails. It’s needed to have a high interestability to get in your recipients heads and accomplish your business goals. A way to get there is by making your e-mails highly targeted and more relevant.

    A lot can be improved there. Many (starting) email marketeers don’t have that knowledge to make the most out of their e-mailing and get a high “interestability”. It’s great that ESP’s like your yesmail help these marketeers with suggestions and coaching. But please, just don’t call it deliverability….

    Greetings and again thanks for your input,

    Jordie van Rijn (http://www.twitter.com/jvanrijn)

  • Jordie van Rijn
    March 5, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks a lot for your input. I think you are right on target with your comment. Deliverability is evolving. In the old days it was just not being on a spam list, now things are a bit more complex. Technically that is.

    Because there always was the need to make interesting e-mails. It’s needed to have a high interestability to get in your recipients heads and accomplish your business goals. A way to get there is by making your e-mails highly targeted and more relevant.

    A lot can be improved there. Many (starting) email marketeers don’t have that knowledge to make the most out of their e-mailing and get a high “interestability”. It’s great that ESP’s like your yesmail help these marketeers with suggestions and coaching. But please, just don’t call it deliverability….

    Greetings and again thanks for your input,

    Jordie van Rijn (http://www.twitter.com/jvanrijn)

  • Anna Yeaman
    March 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Jordie, I’m all about email design. I like to let others sweat deliverability… saying that, delivery is tied to engagement, so targeted/relevant content – interestablilty – is more important than ever 🙂

  • Anna Yeaman
    March 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Jordie, I’m all about email design. I like to let others sweat deliverability… saying that, delivery is tied to engagement, so targeted/relevant content – interestablilty – is more important than ever 🙂

  • Andrew Kordek
    March 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Jordie,

    Great post. However, I think the term interestability is a subjective term here. 30% of your subscribers might find content interesting while the other 70% can care less. It could also be in reverse. So my question centered around interestability is do the iSP’s judge this a pre-cursor for inbox placement and to what standards are these guys going to judge on?

  • Andrew Kordek
    March 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Jordie,

    Great post. However, I think the term interestability is a subjective term here. 30% of your subscribers might find content interesting while the other 70% can care less. It could also be in reverse. So my question centered around interestability is do the iSP’s judge this a pre-cursor for inbox placement and to what standards are these guys going to judge on?

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