Make Monitoring Mandatory in Your Email Marketing: Here’s the Why and How
What you don’t know will hurt you. And when you don’t regularly monitor your email marketing program, there might be a lot you don’t know. The number one reason for monitoring is email deliverability. Email deliverability matters because only the emails that actually make it to the inbox have any chance of getting opened, acted upon and converted. Any email that does not get delivered represents missed opportunities for branding, engaging and—above all–selling. No delivery, no ROI. Period.
If you are enjoying a 92% deliverability rate and that number starts dropping to 90% then 89% then 85% or lower, think about how those percentage points translate into actual dollars.
A lot of what happens in email can happen without our knowing. Once that email campaign launches, it’s only by tracking our results and checking our reports that we can see what happens. And without regular, consistent monitoring in place, those reports might be bad without our noticing. You could be graylisted or worse–blacklisted–with a major ISP or corporate IT department blocking your emails. Your sending reputation could be headed to the toilet. Unless you’re monitoring, you won’t see this happening. You’ll only see the end result: fewer dollars generated.
The email industry is in constant flux. Keeping up with regulations and requirements is imperative. That’s why blogs like The eMail Guide are such important resources.
But monitoring your email marketing program is also imperative, to prevent the kinds of problems described above. Monitoring will help you notice little issues before they become full-blown ones. Monitoring will enable you to spot trends like lower deliverability rates or a declining sender reputation.
The first and foremost step is committing to monitoring as a regular and ongoing part of your email marketing program. Establish a schedule and stick to it, allowing for weekly, monthly and quarterly reviews of pertinent information.
The next step is determining if you will do all of the monitoring in-house, or outsource some or all of it to an email marketing consultant. If you’re going to do it all or partially in-house, below are some tools to help:
- If you have the time and manpower, set up free email accounts with major ISPs like MSN, Gmail and Yahoo, and include them in your seed lists. You won’t get reporting, obviously; going this route is literally a manual process, but you can keep an eye on which ISPs are letting your emails through and which are not.
- Periodically keep an eye on your sending reputation using Sender Score or SenderBase (or both). Sender Score aggregates data from millions of mailboxes at a variety of ISPs, spam filtering and security companies. SenderBase is the largest monitoring network for email and web traffic. Think of it like a ‘credit reporting service’ for email.
- Get more in-depth information about your reputation from Pivotal Veracity. Pivotal Veracity also offers several other tools for monitoring your email, from rendering issues to how recipients interact with your email once it hits the inbox. This kind of insight can be extremely useful for spotting trends that need attention before they grow from trend to trouble.
If you would rather leave the monitoring to a professional email expert, shop around for a consultant with proven experience. Ask for testimonials and study the sample reports they give you, to be sure the data they gather is the data you’ll need.
Takeaway: Because everything ROI hinges first on email deliverability and getting into the inbox, monitoring your email should be considered as necessary as crafting your offers and designing your templates. Whether you go the low-tech, in-house route or choose to outsource this critical task to an email marketing consultant, make monitoring mandatory.