Email Deliverability

The True Value of Email Insurance: How One Sender Saved Their Black Friday Campaigns

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Here at Validity, we spend a lot of time talking about the uplift senders see when they join our exclusive Sender Certification program. 

However, we spend far less time talking about what happens when they stop using it. 

To illustrate these points, let’s take a look at what happened when one sender chose to deactivate Sender Certification, and ran into trouble before the busy Black Friday weekend. 

What is Sender Certification? 

First, let’s back up a little. 

Email success starts with your ability to get emails to your subscribers’ inboxes where they can earn clicks and conversions.  

But it’s not that simple—every year, millions of marketing emails end up in spam and junk folders because senders have a poor reputation with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and other major MBPs. Over time, this deteriorating reputation leads to even more emails being filtered to spam.  

As the marketing landscape grows more and more complicated (for reasons we’ll discuss below), we like to think of Sender Certification as an insurance policy for your email program.  

This program provides tangible protection against deliverability threats—and gives senders peace of mind that their emails are going to the inbox where they belong.  

If problems do arise, Certified senders have a dedicated compliance team to help them detect and resolve deliverability issues and receive real-time alerts to changes in their performance. Certified senders also receive data directly from our Certification partners explaining exactly how their emails were processed, which can be used as part of their troubleshooting. 

And for some senders—like the one we’ll look at in a moment—Sender Certification is more than an insurance policy. It’s more like a VIP ticket, providing access to the inbox that mailbox providers might not otherwise provide. 

See for yourself how you can maximize your inbox placement and get rewarded for your good sending habits by becoming certified.

Why is “email insurance” important right now? 

As we’ve just seen with this year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, increasing spam volumes, artificial intelligence, and stricter requirements from mailbox providers are all making it more difficult to reach the inbox. 

We certify programs of all sizes, but on average Certified Senders get 27 million more emails to the inbox each year and enjoy phenomenal inbox placement rates (IPRs) of over 99 percent. 

You might think these results speak for themselves. But there are a few reasons senders may choose to leave the Certification program: 

  1. It’s easy to become complacent about great inbox placement.  
  2. The person who benefitted from the original uplift may no longer be there. 
  3. Some senders have trouble quantifying the dollar value of better inbox placement. 

Whatever the reason, the key question is: Will deactivating Certification (I.e., leaving your email program “uninsured”) really make a difference? 

To answer that question, let’s take a look at a recent example of a Sender who left the program. 

What happens when a sender deactivates Certification? 

This is real data, received directly from our Certification partners, for a B2C sender in the retail sector.  

This chart is a visualization of the performance data we receive from our Certification partners. The vertical green bars are the daily mail volumes that were processed, and the solid green/yellow line shows the inbox placement rates. 

As you can see, their inbox placement rates as a Certified sender were close to 100 percent. 

When they deactivated Certification in late January, their email performance plummeted almost overnight, with IPRs even dipping into the low 20s 

Over the next few months, their IPRs fluctuated wildly. We also know they experienced material levels of email blocking, which aren’t shown on this chart.  

Note that this graph shows the sender’s Microsoft performance (which includes Hotmail and Outlook), which is a significant part of their list, but it’s only part of a much bigger story.  

Sender Certification provides benefits with many other major mailbox providers, too. 

For a closer look at these performance uplifts, read our recent guide, “Making the Case for Sender Certification.” 

The revenue impact of deactivating Certification

For those wondering if these performance uplifts are really such a big deal, let’s look at this another way—through the revenue lens.  

We won’t use the company’s actual revenue figures. 

Instead, we’ll take their estimated monthly send volumes, the percentage of their emails we knew weren’t making it to the inbox, and apply a conservative revenue estimate of $0.01 per email (the global average is closer to $0.07).  

Even using this deliberately conservative scenario, when we dial up target IPRs to the 99 percent they should be achieving, we can see the deactivation of Sender Certification cost this company over two million dollars per year in the form of lost revenue that they would otherwise have generated.  

Curious how much revenue you could be earning from your email campaigns? Try a streamlined version of the revenue calculator for yourself, here. 

How things ended 

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. We started talking to this sender a few weeks ago and walked them through the same story you’ve just read. 

 They understood exactly what we were telling them, and they re-Certified a week before Black Friday.  

Here’s what happened next!  

An extra 600,000 emails each day back in subscribers’ inboxesand just when it mattered most!  

We’d love to discuss how we can help your email program see similar results. 

Learn more information about Sender Certification and how you can get pre-approved below.