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How to Avoid a Bad Reputation with Effective Email Communications this Year

Tuesday 7 January 2020 Digital Marketing

Fraser Rallison's picture
By Fraser Rallison

Many a marketer has battled with the argument of 'quantity vs quality', and it's often the former which wins in the end. For years, companies have adopted the usual 'batch and blast' method for 'effective' email communication, but today this no longer cuts the mustard.

While we all know we should target our most active subscribers, not many of us are aware of the potential harm it could be doing to our overall email reputation to continue with this method.

January is the time for reflection and with targets to meet, it's easy to adopt this approach for convenience. But please, before you blast your base, spare me a minute to try and change your mind.

Subscriber engagement is key

Communication is a two-way street, and within the world of email, it's not just the recipients you're building a relationship with; it's the various ISPs (Google mail, Outlook etc.) which you're communicating to who act as the gatekeepers. If their users are regularly opening and engaging with your brand, they will take the view you're a safe, reputable sender. However, if you regularly communicate with customers who are consistently unengaged with your brand, then this is a clear sign to the ISP that they are not interested in your content and that you, as a sender, are not listening. This type of negative feedback, on a regular basis, can harm your next attempt to communicate with those subscribers as you may find yourself with a reduced inbox placement rate meaning your communications are less and less likely to land in the inbox.

How will I know if I have a reduced Inbox placement rate?

Unless you have a specialist deliverability tool, the best way is to observe your open rates for any sudden drop. This sudden drop may indicate that your inbox placement rate is lower than it was before, and some of your emails are being actively filtered into the recipient's junk folder.

Ok, I've removed the unengaged group. Can I send the email now?

Not entirely. If you suddenly deliver a large 'batch' of emails, the volume of which is significantly higher than the norm for your brand, then you may find yourself encountering some throttling to your send. This throttling can come from your platform (to protect your reputation and avoid any potential blacklisting) or from the ISP itself who has identified a substantial spike in traffic.

In this situation, the best course of action is to understand how many emails you usually send per hour and throttle your delivery to match this. Be sure to factor in bounces and retries, which will be occurring on top of your next wave of emails. This bite-size processing will help to alleviate any traffic jams which could occur and reduce the strain on your sending framework.

A consistent send volume and high subscriber engagement are vital in ensuring you're always present in the inbox in 2020. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at frallison@caci.co.uk

For years, companies have adopted the usual 'batch and blast' method for 'effective' email communication, but you should be aware of the potential harm it could be doing to your overall email reputation

How to Avoid a Bad Reputation with Effective Email Communications this Year