Email communication is an integral and often successful component of a marketing campaign. For many years, it was a sure fire way to stay engaged with current and potential customers. Increasingly sensitive email engagement filters are now changing this dynamic. The email communication you just sent may or may not find its way to the top of the targeted inbox.
In the past, email programs mostly looked at content to determine if an email should be relegated to the spam folder or it was an active selection by the reader. It was an easy method for email marketing campaigns to work around. The latest email engagement filters are no longer just looking at content to determine if an email is spam, the filters are looking at how people are engaging with the emails in their inbox.
Email filtering programs track human behavior patterns? Yes. Your targeted client’s email engagement patterns will influence email deliverability. Will the email go to the inbox? Travel folder? Recipes? Or, the most dreaded of them all, spam, the purgatory between the inbox and the trash folder.
Email technology is also able to connect emails back to the same source. Data that is taken into the equation includes: the sending IP address, the “from” email address and also email fingerprinting.
Email fingerprinting takes components of an email, creates a hash for each component, and then compares them with other hashes stored in their database to see if it has come in before. If your emails reuse a template or even the contact information in the footer, there’s a good chance the email providers can link your past and future emails together. (source: http://blog.mailchimp.com/email-marketing-engagement/)
It truly is a brave new email marketing campaign world. Which is why the question, how nimble is your email marketing strategy, is an important one to consider.
To be fair, not all email programs have fully adopted these technologies. Adopting is not an if question, it is a when. If you notice your email engagement rates are taking a nosedive and the time to open rate is increasing, it is probably time to revisit your email marketing strategy. Better yet, don’t wait for the dip and be proactive.
Here are some things you can do to fine tune your email marketing strategy and improve email deliverability rates:
Utilize permission based email marketing campaigns and keep content aimed at what your customers are interested in.
Follow ISP and filtering guidelines. Your email communications will be filtered. Email marketing campaigns that rely on a high volume of email promotions, send emails to untrusted lists, or create user complaints are more likely to be identified as spammers.
Reduce the risk of finding your IP address on an email black list by implementing a double opt-in campaign. Set up your email subscriptions to send an opt-in confirmation email immediately after a subscriber signs up. Request they confirm the subscription. When your subscribers say “yes” twice, your IP address is less likely to have deliverability issues.
Maintain a consistent from address and subject line. By using a consistent “from” name, your email subscribers will be familiar with receiving email from you and will be less likely to hit the “SPAM” button.
Strongly consider using a reputable email delivery tool, such as Exact Target. Being able to track who opened your emails, what was clicked on, who bounced and who unsubscribed, allows you to have a deeper understanding of who your audience is and if your communications are meeting their needs and interests.