Create relevant eMail campaigns — your reputation is at stake by Kenny Van Beeck @Kvanbeeck

Reaching the inbox of your customers and prospects and generating high response are inextricably linked.

Subscribers quickly tire of irrelevant messages and will complain by clicking the “report spam” button, depressing response rates for all campaigns. The only way to improve inbox deliverability and response is to create compelling subscriber experiences.

Subscribers want email that has valuable and interesting content that promotes products they want to buy and that comes at a frequency that is neither too often nor too seldom

Focus on building a relationship
A single email can make or break a valuable customer relationship. So why are 89 % of today’s marketers still sending low-value, one-off broadcast email campaigns? It’s wiser to plan strategically and execute high-value individualized lifecycle marketing programs.

A Jupiter Research study unveiled that – despite the extra costs – engaging your audiences in more relevant communications increases net profits by an average of 18 times more than broadcast mailings. Even more important, relevance is of major influence in your email deliverability.

A Return Path study confirms this and highlights that most deliverability failures are caused by the marketer’s poor data collection habits and complaints from email recipients in response to the content and frequency of the marketer’s messages. Even the best email service provider cannot control these factors.

These factors rest in the hands of the marketer alone.

You have the data, now use it
In order to better understand your subscribers needs, you can analyze your transactional data (e.g. e-commerce sales), preference data (obtained through surveys) and behavioral data (e.g. clicks in an email).

Analysis will give you a pretty good understanding about what interests and drives email newsletter readers.

A professional email campaign management platform should provide you with plenty of data on your readers’ preferences and behavior.

Is your reputation at stake?
Marketers who believe that only the ESP (Email Service Provider / Platform) is responsible for deliverability to the inbox are wrong. The reputation of the broadcasted email is what determines inbox placement.

ESPs have no control over what kind of email gets sent, whether or not the subscribers value that email or how the marketer has collected his email addresses.

The vast majority of factors that affect inbox deliverability are about targeting the right offer, to the right subscriber, at the right frequency; data collection practices; and list quality.

Email service providers do have a ‘limited’ amount of influence, though. The infrastructure of the supplier – meaning how the servers are configured and whether or not the proper authentication and security protocols are in place – is an important factor to consider.

Email sent from improperly configured servers will be blocked by ISPs. Your service provider’s other clients can also have an impact on your deliverability. ISPs look at reputation on IP addresses as a whole – and sometimes groups of IP addresses.

So if you share an IP with marketers who engage in poor sending practices then your reputation will be tarnished, too. Check it out when you decide to work with an email service provider.

Takeaway: Make sure you know what factors affect your reputation with subscribers and act accordingly.

Meet the author:

Kenny Van Beeck

Kenny Van Beeck

Kenny Van Beeck is a certified Marketing Experiments Email Marketing professional and is past president of the Belgian IAB email marketing taskforce. Hi is a common blogger and speaker in the field of email marketing. Also known as the former editor of the EmailGarage weekly tipmail with more than 5000 readers. As email marketing consultant he worked for several international companies such as Unilever, Thomas Cook, 3M, Microsoft, … Kenny is owner and senior email marketing consultant of Etale.

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