Monthly Archives: July 2017

How to Create a Successful Email Re-Engagement Campaign

By | Marketing Email Deliverability, Tips and Resources | No Comments

Email Re-EngagementYour relationship with your subscribers goes through all the stages of any other relationship in your life. At the start, your subscribers are usually extremely excited about your emails and your offerings and look forward to anything that you send their way. All those exclusive discounts and personalized emails get them to blush with surprise and anxiously await your next emails.

However, just like with any other relationship, this honeymoon period doesn’t last forever and soon their interest tends to wane. After all, you need to be more than just about offering discounts and sending monthly newsletters to keep their attention and move your relationship forward.

However, just like with any other relationship, this honeymoon period doesn’t last forever and soon their interest tends to wane. After all, you need to be more than just about offering discounts and sending monthly newsletters to keep their attention and move your relationship forward.

While many brands tend to accept this as a sad, unfixable truth, it doesn’t have to be the case. Implementing strong, personal and strategic email re-engagement campaigns will make you unforgettable in the eyes of your subscribers.

 

Why do an Email Re-Engagement Campaign?

There are many reasons why subscribers stop engaging with a brand’s emails. With time, it is common to see a drop in open rates and clicks on emails. While a lot of the subscribers can also be considered as not the perfect fit for you, you’ll be surprised by how many of these can be won back with cleverly executed re-engagement campaigns.

Re-Engagement campaigns are opportunities for you to remind all those inactive subscribers why they liked engaging with your brand in the first place. It’s also important for you to target these non-responding subscribers because they can have serious negative effects on your deliverability. ISPs these days focus on things beyond the content of emails to determine spammers and are more concerned with the ways in which subscribers respond to your emails. All of this makes it important for you to take re-engagement campaigns seriously.

In our re-engagement strategies, we will be looking at the following three major steps:

  • Determining the People to Re-Engage With
  • Creation of Your Re-Engagement Campaigns
  • Knowing When to Quit

 

Determining the People to Re-Engage With

Even though the exact definition of an inactive subscriber varies from one company to another, they all agree it’s basis to be a subscriber who doesn’t open or click on an email in a certain period of time.

You will need to consider these when defining your timeframe:

  • Behavior Types – Most re-engagement strategies tend to be based on the email behavior, including lack of opens and/or clicks over a certain period of time, such as within the past 60 days. If significant, you might also want to consider on-site behavior and other purchase behaviors.
  • Email Frequency – Depending on your business, you will have to adjust your timeframes for inactivity. For example, a classifieds websites that specializes in daily and weekly deals might consider an inactive subscriber to be someone who hasn’t engaged in 90 days while a realtor who sends a monthly newsletter might consider a much longer timeframe such as 6 months or even a year.
  • Customer Journey – If the customer journey in your line of business is fairly long or your customers are more infrequent in their purchase cycles then you might want to consider inactivity time frames that are much longer to mirror this behavior.

 

Creation of Your Email Re-Engagement Campaigns

The first thing to keep in mind here is that since your subscribers haven’t been responding to your regular emails, you will need to send out something different. Some of the things that you can play around with include:

  • Content – Staying true to your brand values, mix up your content and communication, staying within the guidelines and present something out of the ordinary. Sending out extremely personalized emails with special messages and customized promo codes can help. Test things out and see what works here. Highlighting new offers and/or any changes to your business might be of interest to them. Some companies also consider sending out incentivized surveys to get valuable feedback while at the same time re-engaging with your subscribers. People like sharing their opinions and they LOVE being considered important.
  • Style – It is highly likely that your existing emails have been designed in HTML, having your brand as the “From” name. You should consider sending out plain text email from a customer support representative with a human name. This representative should contact inactive subscribers as a “check-in” to see if they have any questions about your products or services and if they would like to see something change. You should also be prepared for responses on such emails and should have a SOP on how to approach them. You should, however, still use HTML to create the appearance of the plain text emails, allowing your email service provider to include an open tracking pixel.
  • Pausing – Subscriber inactivity usually happens due to email fatigue, meaning that you have sent out too many emails to make them ineffective. If that is the case then it is a good idea to pause all activity on your inactive subscribers for a while before resuming with any kind of communication. Having said that, we also do not suggest that you keep them dormant for too long that they forget they opted-in to your communications in the first place.

 

Knowing When to Quit

Keep your campaign performance expectations as realistic as possible. Since these subscribers haven’t engaged with you in a long time, you shouldn’t expect any fireworks from them all.  While initial numbers will most likely be small, any win should be appreciated as you are managing to awaken some of your most difficult subscribers. Even having the most thorough re-engagement strategy will convert just a fraction of these inactive subscribers so you should know when to quit.  After understanding that nothing is working, it might be a good idea to send out an email on parting ways.

You don’t necessarily have to remove them from your list, but it is a good idea to stop annoying them with your emails when they ask or fail to engage in order to help improve your deliverability and your overall reputation score among different ISPs. We do not recommend removing these subscribers because they might still find a way to crawl back into your active, engaging lists.

Reputation Tracking – Why is it Important for You?

By | General, Product Features, Tips and Resources | No Comments

Email Reputation TrackingIn our recent blogs, we have been talking about ways in which email marketers can stay away from the recipient’s dreaded spam folder. This week, let’s touch on another essential way in which you can avoid getting your messages from being marked spam: Reputation Tracking.

Reputation tracking, also commonly referred to as Sender Reputation Tracking and is closely linked with the IP address of the mail server that is being used to send messages to your subscribers. ISPs review multiple factors of your email marketing activities and will award you a sender reputation score based on their findings. This score indicates to the ISP the level of your trustworthiness when it comes to sending non-spam related emails. While there can be some differences in how each ISP reviews and assigns trustworthiness, there are some common factors that you, as an email marketer, need to familiarize yourself with in order to help yourself score higher.

Newcomer Penalty

As with many other things in life like credit scores and finding your first job, being a new kid on the email marketing landscape can cause some initial issues.  If your company and email address are brand new, you shouldn’t be surprised to see yourself land in the spam box at first, as a new IP having no history whatsoever is typically treated suspiciously by all of the ISPs. With time, however, you can make considerable improvements.

 

The Importance of Clean Lists

Reputation Tracking is closely connected with having a clean list for your email campaigns. To repair your sender reputation you need to ensure that your subscriber list is of quality because this will affect your bounce rates and damage your score. If your bounce rate is above 10% then you need to look into your subscriber lists to see what the problem might be. Also, a hard bounce can be even more damaging – this is when you send your emails to invalid email addresses. These are often referred to as spam traps as they appear to be valid email addresses, but in reality, they are anything but valid. According to most of the ISPs, a hard bounce rate can drop your reputation score by 20 points with just one such invalid email address, so you will want to be vigilant about monitoring for this. Some of the things that you should try to avoid include:

  • Poor List Sources – Avoid paid subscriber lists at all costs.
  • List Aging – Use bounce management tools to filter out any old email addresses that might be used by spam traps.
  • List Poisoning – Inserting Opt-In approach can help you minimize getting those invalid email addresses.

 

Spam Complaints

You should be concerned if you are receiving multiple spam complaints about every 1000 emails that you send out; a ratio like this can damage your sender reputation. Whenever a recipient clicks on the “spam” button on your email, a complaint is logged at the ISP level or will be notified to the sender if there is Feedback Loop. To prevent this negative reporting, ensure that your ‘opt-out’ and ‘opt-in’ messaging is clear to understand and easy to access and/or update if necessary. You should also review the content of your emails in case you continue to get a high level of spam complaints even after integrating opt-ins. Sometimes, your content just isn’t relevant enough for your subscribers.

Here at Mail Monitor, we work tirelessly to help our customers with improving their reputation score. With our application and online tools, you can be sure to land a consistently high score after the ISPs perform reputation tracking on your email marketing campaigns. You can find more about our features here.

How and Why to Establish an Email Deliverability Audit

By | Email Delivery Tracking, Marketing Email Deliverability, Services, Tips and Resources | No Comments

Email Deliverability AuditAre you worried about your email strategies? Is there uncertainty around the effectiveness of your messages or even worse, are you sure your emails are even reaching the intended recipients?  The answer to all these questions is simple: In order to be sure, you need to perform an email deliverability audit.

When performed quarterly, an email deliverability audit is helpful in improving the performance of your email marketing campaigns. While the term “audit” can seem to be broad, meaning a variety of tasks, in common terms, it is the overall assessment of your email marketing processes.  You can think of it as your company’s way of putting the email marketing campaigns under a microscope and figuring out what does and doesn’t work.

 

Why Should You Conduct An Email Deliverability Audit?

An email deliverability audit should be performed for several reasons, with the core purpose of evaluating one or a group of the following issues:

  • Security
  • Reputation
  • Content Quality
  • Deliverability
  • Effectiveness

In most cases, an audit will cover most of the areas above, with specific issues identified as well as their apt solutions. If performed correctly, an audit should also reveal all areas where your email marketing is working effectively.

Additionally, it is important to note that while any quarterly deliverability audit can reveal a variety of problems, some of the most common ones to look for include:

 

How Can You Establish A Quarterly Email Deliverability Audit?

Okay, so now you know all the great things an email deliverability audit can do for you. I’m sure your next question is: How can I perform an email audit for my email campaigns? Not a problem — leave that to us! When MailMonitor performs your email audit, we cover the following areas:

  1. Perform an Interview – First off, you need to become the Sherlock Holmes of your company and do some detective work. Talk to your staff and team members, especially those involved directly with your email marketing campaigns in any way, including content generation and technical executions. Also engage with your clients and contact lists in gathering useful information, asking them of their experiences with your emails, including surveys, polls, and questionnaires.
  2. Perform a Process Analysis – Have a list prepared on all the processes that are involved in an email campaign’s evolution, from the initial concept to delivering the finished product. Prepare a flow chart with timelines if that helps. Some of the likely parts In your process analysis list will include:
  • Concept Ideation and Creation
  • Subject Line Creation
  • Header Creation
  • Text and Format of the Main Content
  • Message Template Design
  • List Acquisition and Management
  • Email Delivery
  • Testing and Evaluation of Deliverability
  1. Gather Useful Information – This includes studying your samples, using historical data for evaluation and tracking trends to predict any possible changes. Look at your email campaigns with a critical eye, from a neutral standpoint. You might also want to engage with your ISP or email service provider in getting you any useful information that you can use.
  2. Have a Reputation Analysis – You need to be critical with this, as your company reputation can be seriously damaged by your email campaign’s reputation. Bad emails from your end, even few, can get you straight to the spam lists, destroying any chances of salvaging a decent delivery rate. You need to be regular at identifying your email reputation and quick with cleaning it up. Feedback loops are a great way to track your reputation.
  3. Compile Existing Delivery Data – After all, investigations have been performed and process understood, you need to compile your data. You need to have a strong focus on your next email campaigns. Monitor all steps identified and watch out for any pitfalls and/or trouble hotspots. Some of the crucial type of data to compile includes:
  • Bounce Rate, Open Rate, and CTR
  • Text-Only Mail vs. HTML Ratio
  • Opt-Out Figures

We understand that all of this can be overwhelming and to put things on autopilot, we recommend that you try the MailMonitor Email Deliverability Tool. Our deliverability suite has you covered, reporting you in real time on dozens of ISPs, giving the much-needed visibility to the delivery performance at all major ISPs worldwide. You can sign up for 30-day Free Trial, with no contracts or hidden fees.