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When is Email Deliverability Like a Fine Wine? [CHART]

Egan Cheung
Manager, Revenue Performance Analytics

When is email deliverability like a fine wine? When it gets better with age.  Previously, I have looked at deliverability rates by region, and conversion metrics by industry. So, this week, I decided to have a look at deliverability rates by industry. But, I was also very interested in seeing what types of issues are encountered, in what proportion, and how those are affected by marketing automation experience.

I took a look at customers who joined us near the end of 2011 and normalized their data to show them all progressing over the same relative start time (month 1, month 2, etc.), as well as through their first year of marketing automation.

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One of the biggest factors affecting your email reputation is abuse complaints, but my findings show that our cohort exhibited some very good results here. I found that abuse complaints (think “report as Spam” buttons in Gmail) can be highest during the marketers first few attempts to reach their list (interestingly in their second month), but almost immediately dwindle down to acceptable rates. Financial Services seem to have the harder time with this issue, as recipients may be more sensitive about emails from financial institutions. This sample group was pretty heavy in B2B where such webmail-centric reporting mechanisms are more rare giving rise to some very respectable average rates of fewer than 5 in 100,000 sends.

Voluntary opt-outs (through subscription management) remain quite constant throughout, but bounce backs see the greatest improvement over time as the benefits of clean lists through automated data cleansing and segmentation drastically reduce the number of bounce backs, by more than 60% over the first year!

Email deliverability may very well be like fine wine if it gets better with age; and, like many vintners, marketers are using automation tools to great effort to setup the ideal conditions for great results after a very short aging period!

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