Email: are you communicating or lost in space?

By Pippa Anag, Senior Data Executive, Catalist

Email creative is an art in itself – but without good science ensuring your email’s delivered, it’s wasted creativity. Now, with the advent of IP6, best practice has never been so important.

With the recent migration from the original Internet addressing system IP4 to IP6, the industry is moving away from traditional IP based filtering to domain blacklisting. As a result the effects of being blacklisted are even more detrimental to your email activity: while previously you might have been able to switch to a different IP should your current sending IP have been blocked, now domain blacklisting has the potential to block all email communication. So not only your customer and prospect communication but all of your internal mailings too. With this in mind and taking into account that ISPs are implementing even tougher filters (it now generally accepted that at least 90% of today’s email volume is spam), if you are not following best practice guidelines, you could be heading for a disaster.

Gone are the days of basic content filtering per email. Now it is sender practices that are the key factor in whether an email is accepted. Reputation is crucial - recent studies show that nearly 80% of delivery issues were based on reputation problems. So even if your content meets all creative best practices and standards it’s irrelevant. If your sender reputation is bad your message has very little chance of even being received, let alone opened.

Catalist’s guide to getting into good email shape for 2014

Get an identity. Use a dedicated IP, create a branded domain or set of sub-domains to mail from, use a standard From Address that you can ask your consumers to add to their whitelist or safe sender list, use standard From Names and get authenticated (DKIM, SPF)

Analyse and segment your data.  Segment your data based on engagement and suppress users who have not shown any activity in a set period of time (we would recommend no longer than 12 months).

Make your messages relevant. Make sure the content of your messages is relevant and of interest. Personalisation coupled with relevancy will ensure subscriber interest and a good reputation, thereby keeping complaints and opt-outs to a minimum.

Build a relationship. Encourage user engagement with the likes of customer feedback surveys, targeted offers and one-off promotions. Send re-engagement emails to those that have gone quiet.

Manage your mailing volumes. Ensure steady send frequency and find a good balance – mailing too little can be just as detrimental as too often when it comes to your reputation. 

Don’t get lost in space…call Pippa Anag on 01732 529 360, or email pippaanag@catalistdm.com and she will get you on the right track.