The 2016 holiday mailing season may be behind marketers, but many top brands show no sign of backing down from sky high email volumes heading into the New Year. If a marketing team is forced to face the reality of not matching or surpassing their revenue goals, they may opt to continue churning out messages—hoping to recoup their losses.
Why is this problematic? Surveys show 50% of consumers already receive nine or more emails from retailers each week, and 37% of those individuals don’t open any of them. The OMC Deliverability Operations team averaged holiday inbox rates for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the December holiday period via EDataSource, and corroborated these findings with up to 23% of mail going to directly to spam and delete rates as high as 30% across major industries:
This reinforces what we’ve said all along: Sending more mail does not always lead to more revenue, but it can result in inflated metrics that are deceiving. Maintaining reliable insight into sender reputation and deliverability health is critical for any marketer. Adhering to best practices – including limiting mailings to only the most engaged subscribers on a given list – is a key component of that strategy.
The big picture here is that subscribers are finding no relief from their inboxes as senders continue to dig deep into their lists. As a result, marketers find themselves in an ongoing dilemma. Even with sales revenue on the line, the more unwanted mail recipients receive, the more likely they are to flag it as spam, ignore it, or delete it outright. In turn, senders will experience reputation issues, bulking, and potential blocking or black listings.
So while it may be tempting to keep the floodgates open and continue blasting an entire mailing list, performance and sending reputation alike will ultimately be bolstered by keeping campaigns trimmed and efficient rather than bloated by inactive recipients. Most importantly, succumbing to poor mailing practices in the hopes of a short-term sales boost will not outweigh the long-term effects of reputation damage in the eyes of major ISPs.
Here are some strategies for getting to the inbox and engaging your customers without putting their inbox on blast:
- Personalization – Subscribers want messages that are tailored to their interests and needs. Keep the message personal, and the content relevant with the individual consumer in mind, rather than the audience as a whole.
- Segmentation – Don’t flood your mailing list with inactive members of your audience. Strict open and click criteria should be applied to every campaign launched, to ensure recipients are active and up-to-date. Inactive segments of your list bring down reputation through negative engagement, hard bounces, trap hits, and spam complaints.
- Engagement and Re-Engagement – Keep safeguards in place to engage, and re-engage your contacts before they become inactive. Deploy regular re-engagement campaigns as subscriber activity lapses – particularly during high volume mailing periods – and always provide them the option to no longer receive messages from you. An unsubscribe is better than a spam complaint any day in the eyes of major ISPs, and will protect your reputation overall.
- Consumer Preferences – Allow the subscriber to dictate the terms in which they receive communications from you whether that is monthly, weekly, or only for special events, offers. Etc.
Achieve Deliverability That Really Delivers
Modern Marketers must orchestrate and deliver marketing messages that are relevant to individual preferences and behavior. Getting email delivered to the inbox is critical to this process. Download download Email Deliverability: Guide For Modern Marketers to learn more.