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Email marketing: The unified theory of deliverability

Low inbox placement rates continue to plague email marketing campaigns, according to Return Path's Email Intelligence Report Q4 2012. Inbox Placement Rates on average are only 82% in North America. This means 18% of the average email campaign goes unseen.

How would you like an 18% performance improvement for your next email marketing campaign?

You can have it

You can take control of your sending practices and manage your inbox rates. In fact, ISPs expect marketers to manage their deliverability, so now it's part of your job. With email campaign performance thriving or tanking based on how much of each campaign reaches the inboxes of your subscribers, deliverability is an important part of your job.

Over the years, ISPs and filtering companies have deployed various technical approaches to filtering out unwanted email. If your critical email marketing campaigns got ensnared in that filtering, you had an uphill climb just to figure out the cause.

There is finally some good news for email marketers regarding deliverability

Today, ISPs are relying more on subscriber engagement metrics as a key factor in their spam filtering decisions. This is actually great news for email marketers. Why? Because marketing has always been about connecting and engaging with customers, and now that's what ISPs are asking you to do.

As marketers, if you can focus on one principle - engaging with your audience - your efforts will be rewarded with increased inbox placement rates and improved email program performance.

Subscriber engagement does it all

All the other core deliverability principles have not gone away. Bounces, complaints, spam traps, and spammy content will all still get you filtered as fast as ever, but you can solve all of these problems by focusing on subscriber engagement (with the exception of spammy content - you still need to watch that).

If you focus your attention on sending to subscribers who have been responsive recently, you're going to eliminate all the negative reputation metrics that come along with mailing to people who are either not interested or non-existent. Filter your own distribution list based on recent open and click activity, and you'll eliminate the people who are likely to complain, and you'll suppress invalid addressses on your list that could be spam traps. These are not the addresses you want to be mailing to anyway, so cutting these out will allow you to communicate much more effectively with your core audience of people who want to hear from you.

I work with many clients who have focused on this specific element of subscriber engagement. In every case, email performance improves significantly when sending volume is reduced to the unengaged segments of their lists. It's not unusual to see a 20% reduction in sending volume result in a 40% increase in conversions and revenue from email.

It's amazing what your email program can achieve when you're consistently reaching the inbox.

Try it.

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