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  • August 15, 2007

Takeaways from ‘An Expert Roundtable on Email Deliverability for Lead Generation’ webinar

Earlier this afternoon Bulldog Solutions hosted a webinar called “An Expert Roundtable on Email Deliverability for Lead Generation.” Here are just a few of the great insights and learnings from the event:

Whose Problem Is Deliverability?
>>Deliverability is a problem that cuts across the management hierarchy.

Delivering to Mobile Devices
>>“We find that many subscribers are saving your newsletters for when they get back to their PC,” said Stephanie Miller, vice chair of member initiatives at the Email Experience Council and VP of strategic services at email performance company Return Path. She said that about 20% to 25% of people are viewing emails on mobile devices.
>>“While they may be getting it on the phone, it should be formatted for viewing on both phone and PC,” said Ryan Rutan, programmer analyst III at virtual instrumentation company National Instruments.

Ensuring a Good Mobile User Experience
>>Miller had this advice for improving the experience of mobile email users:
—Add “Click here to view this email on a mobile device” links to the tops of emails so subscribers can access a mobile-friendly version of the email.
—Reduce the number of links at the top of the email. “There’s nothing more annoying to a mobile user than having to scroll past a bunch of links to get to the message,” she said.
—As part of their preferences or during the sign-up process, ask which platform they’ll be viewing your emails on.

The iPhone Impact
>>Michelle Eichner, COO and VP of client development at email delivery auditing and optimization company Pivotal Veracity, said that the differences in viewing emails on mobile devices and PCs has narrowed with the advent of the iPhone, although she stressed that the iPhone is less than 1% of the market. She explained that the iPhone supports the Safari web browser so viewing web email is very similar on the experience on a PC.
>>“[IPhones] set the bar for where the industry is going” with regard to the form in which content will be viewable on mobile devices, said Rutan.

The No. 1 Cause of Poor Deliverability
>>When asked what the No. 1 cause of poor deliverability, the consensus among the panelists was that spam complaints and poor bounce management were the top causes.

The Best Day to Send
>>Miller said that it’s best to try to avoid the busiest days, but then added that Tuesdays and Thursdays are so busy for a reason, that people find that response rates are higher on those days. But she encouraged marketers to test different days to see which one(s) worked best for their particular audience. She added that she’s seen some retailers have success with sending emails early Saturday morning.

Reducing Unsubscribes
>>Eichner advised marketers to measure each file from subscription to unsubscribe and look for trends and trouble spots. For example, “At the 7-month mark, why are more people unsubscribing? What can we do to prolong that to the 10-month mark?” She said that if you know you have a problem at a certain point in the subscriber lifecycle then you should look to change your email campaigns in the months leading up to that point to try to avert unsubscribes.

Reducing Email Overload
>>Rutan recommended sending dual-purpose emails to reduce the volume of email. However, he acknowledged that sometimes you may have problems with competing calls-to-action.

>>There’s no consensus on possible changes to CAN-SPAM, including the move to require a 3-day period for honoring opt-out requests, said Eichner.

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