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In email marketing, breaking through the noise has never been more challenging. More than 280 billion emails are sent each day. That number is projected to skyrocket to 333 billion by 2022.

And even if you spend hours crafting the perfect email, all that effort may go unnoticed because roughly 20% of all emails never actually make it to the intended recipient.

Wondering what's the best way to avoid falling victim to the dreaded spam folder? Try zeroing in on your reputation.

Though much is made of the content of an email or its design (rightfully so), sender reputation holds plenty of power over where an email ends up. The stronger your reputation, the better the chance your email will reach its expected destination.

A broad range of factors contributes to sender reputation. Here, we'll explore a few steps you can take to enhance your brand's reputation—and, ultimately, improve email deliverability.

Juggling Quality and Quantity

There's a fine line between keeping customers in the loop about your products or promotions and bombarding them with emails all day, every day. The top reason US consumers unsubscribe from a marketing list is that they receive too many emails. Cross that line, and you could begin speaking to a much smaller audience.

Ensure the growth of your brand's audience by paying just as much attention to the frequency of your emails as you do to the content of those emails. Just because you've personalized each communication doesn't mean you have a green light to send three or four emails per day. And if a customer hasn't engaged with your brand for more than a few months, it may be a good idea to dial down the number of emails you're sending.

Monitor email engagement rates over time to see which specific strategies work best for your brand.

Divvying Up Domains

The more options you have, the more difficult a potential decision may be. Decide whether it makes sense to use the same sending domain or different ones: Carefully consider whom you're trying to reach and how much mail you are sending.

Although marketing campaigns may fall within the same season, they may be targeted toward vastly different audiences. Consider using separate sending domains to ensure you're catering to the subtle differences that make customer segments unique—if you have enough volume.

Another important factor is the type of email you should be sending. Hoping to build relationships with new customers? Create a subdomain for that specific audience. Bringing old customers back into the fold through a series of emails may also warrant an independent subdomain.

All those options should be discussed with your service provider to help you get the most out of your campaigns, while also identifying and resolving any issues if they should come up. Although these extra layers may take time, the benefits may outweigh the cost.

Doing More With Less

It can be tough to hold off on sending more emails, especially as C-suite executives cite slowing sales numbers. Too much of a good thing, however, can often make a bad situation worse.

Lean on cold, hard data to show relevant stakeholders why moderation plays such a key role in email marketing. Having reached $0.08 in 2017, average revenue per email is one example of the many metrics used to guide email marketing strategies. Make room for additional data—such as the average cost of an email or the number of emails that can begin driving customers away—to show decision-makers the best future course of action.

Once you've established buy-in, as well as the importance of cutting down on email when necessary, the next step is to track the results. Measuring how often you send emails, as well as their impact, can give you a good idea of what's working and what's not.

Getting From A to B

Ever wonder where your emails end up after you click "send?" If so, it may be time to try some new tools for testing deliverability.

Age-old metrics such as click-through rate can shed some light on an email's performance, but there's not much insight into inbox placement. Consider bringing aboard a technology solution that delves into specific metrics, such as whether an email was rerouted into a junk folder or blocked by an ISP altogether.

The steps you take to craft an email subject line may also affect where your emails end up. the subject line, often the first thing users notice, has a lasting effect on overall engagement. And with increased engagement comes an enhanced reputation.

Pave the way for better deliverability by using subject lines that adhere to your brand's voice and tone. Although emojis may work well for some brands, those in more buttoned-up markets such as finance or cybersecurity would be wise to choose from other options.

Putting a Face to the Name

Adding a personal touch to your emails may seem like the right way to go. After all, listing a real employee as the sender instead of your company can help raise open rates. Just remember to be mindful of whom you choose as the face of your brand.

Determining whether recipients have a favorable impression of your CEO or CMO can help ensure deliverability doesn't take an unexpected dip when you use their names. Also, to gauge consumer sentiment toward your brand, it may be worth monitoring media coverage in the weeks leading up to an email campaign.

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As more brands use email to connect with current and potential customers, look for sender reputation to assume greater importance. Whether it's checking the frequency of email campaigns or using new subdomains, there are more than a few ways to raise the bar on your brand's deliverability.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Spencer Kollas

Spencer Kollas is vice-president of global deliverability services at Cheetah Digital, an enterprise cross-channel marketing software company. He is responsible for the product development and innovation road map of Cheetah Digital's email deliverability services in 30+ countries.

LinkedIn: Spencer Kollas