Email Sending Blues

by Rozina Hussain, Product Manager

Every so often, we find ourselves in discussions on email deliverability and why ‘cleansed’ data might still result in undeliverable status after the blast. After all it seems like a no brainer that an opt-in list that has been vetted would not result in bringing the ire of your ESP down over everyone’s heads. So what gives? Here are a few reasons why your email won’t reach your recipients’ inbox.

Well, I got some bad data

During an email verification process be sure you’ve completely removed any complaints, unsubscribed or bounced emails from your last mailing.  If your list consists of duplicate data or disposable accounts, ensure that those are removed. Additionally, if you’ve noticed functional or generic email accounts (those emails that relate to a role or group rather than an individual) it is commonsensical to remove those addresses as well since they generally will not result in any revenue uplift. Continuing to mail to any of these generic email addresses can eventually cause your IPs and domains to develop poor sender reputations. This is the sure-proof way to get into deliverability issues.

And my IPs are old

So you only send an occasional promotion, perhaps a monthly newsletter and you’ve painstakingly segmented your list so that it’s delivered across multiple separate IPs? So what did you miss? Well, letting your IPs sit stagnantly can be a cause for concern for your ISPs. After all they may have forgotten all about you from your previous blast. If the IPs have lost their reputation from not having sent mail across them in some time, you may notice a surprising drop in deliverability or even a slowed delivery rate caused by throttling from ISPs. In this case, more is better, so be sure to not let your IPs get cold.

And my content really sucks

Even though subject lines and body content aren’t weighed as heavily, there are still some aspects that may impact your overall list hygiene and deliverability. MIME structure, text encoding, use of images, spammy words or ‘phishy’ links are some of the most common issues that can result in poor email deliverability. Ensure that the content is professionally drafted and well tested. The best results from valid email address campaigns come from testing, refining and repeating based on test results, not necessarily intuition alone.

Still I got a ton of addresses so I’ll send ‘em all at once

Sending large amounts of email, on an infrequent basis is called “bursting” and can lead to undesirable list hygiene.  If your list is segmented, try sending different portions of the list over several days.  You may find that different users are more engaged on different days and times so rather than trying to get all your users engaged within a short window, automate the mailing at different intervals instead.  You’ll find this more successful as you adapt to users’ preference and behavior over time.

I got the email sending blues

These are just a few of the reasons why the campaign results may be less than desirable and how to optimize them. The answer is not brain surgery, though it does require my favorite 3 P’s: patience, persistence and planning to make all the nifty pieces come together like a jigsaw puzzle.

If you have found other reasons in your experience, please feel welcome to share with our readers.

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