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2 1. Introduction Deliverability-Benchmarks Working with Your Service Provider sent delivered Bounces unsubscribe requests Complaints It s all about Spam Spam Found in Written Content Spam Found in HTML Structure How Providers Screen How Sending Program Influence Deliverability Frequency What day and time to send? How Your Sender Status Influence Deliverability...8 a. Bounce management...9 b. User engagement and Content Filters filtering Content filtering Best Practices for List Management Content Tips for Deliverability Track Your Response Rates Do's and Don'ts for Deliverability Conclusion Address:...16

3 1. Introduction Deliverability is the measure, usually expressed in the form of percentage, of how many s actually make it to the inbox. To create campaigns that are deliverable, you must learn the settings and the challenges that can be overcome to place a message in an individual s inbox. Every individual receiving Internet Service Provider (ISP), business and individual account uses considerably different rules and the scenery changes every day. Deliverability is affected by the business processes and status of an service provider, but the most critical deliverability factors rest with you, the sender, regardless of which marketing solution you use. At B2B Experts, as marketing campaigns are intricate, businesses take a quick turn to specialists such as marketing automation solution providers to handle much of the mechanics of a campaign. This whitepaper underlines deliverability significant factors and solutions in the marketer s control.

4 "80% of delivery crisis are directly attributable to a poor sender status." 2. Deliverability-Benchmarks 2.1. Working with Your Service Provider In the early 90s, as companies began to adopt as a marketing tactic, service providers sprang up to help with the technical aspects. There are many who are still in business today, providing a wide range of services. As digital marketing evolved to encompass techniques complementary to marketing automation, it evolved to manage marketing and incorporated all these new components sent This metric describes how many messages were in the queue before any delivery attempts were made. For users who subscribe to a number of active contacts, this is the number counted delivered This metric describes how many s were completely transferred to the intended recipient s mailbox provider without generating a bounce or other delivery error. It is termed as Delivery Rate There are two levels of delivery: 1. If the recipient s provider discards the message, it does not count as delivered. However, if the provider accepts the message, it counts as delivered. 2. If the recipient has content-based filters set up that prevent the from reaching the inbox (e.g., being diverted to the junk folder), it generally will count as delivered. inbox delivered: This metric is an estimation of how many of the sent s actually ended up landing in the inbox Bounces Bounces are s that cannot be delivered to the mailbox provider, and are bounce back or rather come back to the service provider that sent them. Hard bounces can be defined as the

5 failure of delivery due to a permanent reason, such as a non-existent address. Soft bounces can be defined as the failure of delivery due to a temporary issue such as a full inbox or an unavailable ISP server unsubscribe requests This metric counts how many people took an action (such as to click an unsubscribe me from this list link) to unsubscribe from a list Complaints This metric counts how many individual clicked a spam or junk button link in their to report it as spam or junk. Other common metrics such as Opens and Click-throughs, are also vital to help determine overall how wanted an is.

6 3. It s all about Spam The biggest risk to your deliverability is having your misjudged as spam. Spam is unwanted commercial messages. We consider it first in line with advertising, but spammers also use it to spread malware. Any type of electronic messaging can be a channel, including instant messaging, cell phones, social networks, and so on, but it s the most troublesome in . Spamming persists because advertisers have no operating expenses beyond the management of their or mailing lists, and it s difficult to hold them responsible for it. The expenses, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by internet service providers (ISPs). As a consequence, ISPs and industry groups works persistently to develop new ways to find and stop spam before it reaches the inbox. It is up to the internet marketers to create and use sending protocols that are tech savvy, squeaky, clean and compliant, in order to avoid being identified as spammers and/or having their messages recognized as spam Spam Found in Written Content Some of the characteristic content differences between wanted and unwanted are due to the sender s usage of written language. Certain differences are due to senders of unwanted trying not to reveal their identity or their content. Many of them are due to the different quality software used to send each sort of . clients used by individuals, and content composition software used by high-quality service providers, be likely to produce well-written code, act in accordance with the and MIME standards. The software used by spammers, viruses, and low-quality service providers have a tendency to write bad code that is non-compliant with industry standards. As long as you are using a responsible, legitimate service provider to send an , and checking your content to ensure it meets industry standards, these filters should not cause you any difficulties Spam Found in HTML Structure HTML Structure is another aspect of analysis. Genuine senders should always use valid and correct HTML. Spammers have used HTML tags in an attempt to avoid filters; now some

7 filters actually comes across the tags and compare them with HTML standards. Therefore, many content filters now appear at the ratio of HTML comments to visible text How Providers Screen Every internet provider screens and filters incoming s at some point of level. You can be grateful to the spammers of the world for flooding the Internet with malware, fraudulent offers, thus making legitimate e-commerce difficult. The goal of an ISP or corporate server is to reduce or eliminate those fake messages from the human user s inbox. To help your s make it through the screening process, it is important to understand the deliverability decision factors applied by ISPs.

8 4. How Sending Program Influence Deliverability When you ve formed and tested your message content, and you re positive enough that it should not trip any spam or other filters, then it s time to actually schedule and send your campaign. With all other aspects of , there are factors that you can control to improve the deliverability Frequency The optimal frequency of an campaign is directly related to the deliverability rate of s, the more it is acceptable a greater frequency will be to your prospect. If you too frequently, some recipients will grow irritated and unsubscribe or mark your s as spam What day and time to send? Your company, your position in the market plays a big role, and your prospective consumer creates a unique combination of significant factors calling for a customized and tested solution. You ll need to test your way to success, and keep testing as external factors change. Test timing separately from testing messaging. After testing, set your own benchmarks and work to your plan consistently How Your Sender Status Influence Deliverability ISPs track the status or position of the sender organizations. From a receiving server point of view, when it comes to IP addresses, previous performance is an indication of future results. If an IP address consistently delivers good , then it is very likely that this new is good, too. On the other hand, if an IP address consistently sends bad , then it is very likely that any new it sends is bad, too. Many webmail providers and filtering companies recommend preferential delivery to senders using IP addresses with good reputations. The key factors in your reputation are: Bounce management User engagement

9 a. Bounce management Soft bounces are usually due to a temporary factor, such as an overloaded receiving server. It s okay to resend to them, although at some point it s good to put them into a suppression list. Hard bounces indicate an address is no longer good. Don t just suppress them; move them out of marketing lists regularly. b. User engagement Internet service providers track how engaged subscribers are with an and its sender, and the nature of the engagement. Positive actions tracked may include opening a message, adding an address to the contact list, clicking through links, clicking to enable images, and scrolling through the message. Negative actions may include reporting the as spam, deleting it, moving it to the junk folder, or ignoring it. Engagement ratings are another compelling reason to use only opt-in marketing lists. Optin maximizes the likelihood of engagement, because in theory there is a relationship already established with the receiver. Tips for managing engagement: 1. Send content subscribers expect and appreciate.. 2. Set subscribers expectations. 3. Deploy a good on-boarding program. 4. Keep your lists clean.

10 5. and Content Filters filtering delivery is a complex process with many stakeholders influencing the outcome. filters interact with an during different stages of the process to determine the answers to the following questions: 1. The should be accepted or not? 2. The is getting delivered to the inbox or the junk folder? 3. How the should be displayed? 4. Whether contains any malware or other intrusive data? The first stage of filtering begins when the sending webmail server first contacts the receiving webmail server. The receiving server should decide whether to accept the or not. At this point, the only thing the receiving server knows about the is the IP address of the server sending the . Firstly, the receiving server looks at the reputation of that address, including the authentication that indicates that the really came from that address and sender. that passes all the evaluation checks gets accepted into the receiving server and is passed on to the next filtering stage. that fails all evaluation checks is rejected Content filtering Content filters look at a range of things, from the simple to the complex: word use, misspellings, the ratio of text to images, font colors, the subject line and actual text in the message, and much more, including the hidden structure of an . Content filters look at domains, links, and images Many content filters look at domains, URLs, links, and images in an , including: The domain has been seen ever in before? with this domain has generated any complaints? Whether the plain text part of the link match the domain listed? The domain has been listed on any domain-based blacklists? Have we blocked this domain in the past?

11 6. Best Practices for List Management More than maintaining clean and accurate lists of engaged subscribers there are other few things that affect your deliverability. Even the best lists need constant maintenance because factors like constant turnover of addresses, loss of interest, and other factors makes your list stale just as soon as you create it. The staler an list gets, the fewer open rate, conversions, click-throughs, and purchases it generates. This could be a big threat to your engagement and potentially your reputation scores as a sender. A good list management protocol helps to keep your engagement high and your reputation for integrity intact Listed below are some best practices: Opted in contacts in are your best prospects send s only to such people who want and expect your ; contacts that opt in are your best prospects. Ensure that you confirm or double-confirm subscribers who opt in. Encourage your recipients to add you to their address books and make it an easy task. Keep your privacy policy clear for subscribers. Create online forms that encourage people to indicate their interests; you can always use this data to create targeted subscription lists. If contacts are looking to opt out make it easy for them. Take immediate action on unsubscribe requests it s the law. Maintain consistency in your mailing time and frequency, and stick to it. Ensure to clean your lists regularly.

12 7. Content Tips for Deliverability Content is King investing in high-quality content, drives your campaigns towards success. Content is one the most important and challenging aspect of your campaigns. While an informative content is mandatory at the same time making it interesting is also significant. Lack of good content, and lack of planning around the development of content, is a common cause for failure for campaigns. Here are few tips that will increase the deliverability rate: Showcase your brand clearly and deliver content that defines your brand strategy. Your offer should have enough value to make your customers glad they got the . Proofreading is important a spell checker is not enough! Maintain consistency in your mailing time and frequency, and stick to it. Consider the below points while developing content: Is engaging for readers. Content needs to be informative, entertaining, or both. Addresses a problem and is precise. Supports your business goals. Ensure that all graphics are high quality and that your renders correctly in HTML. A service such as Litmus can facilitate to review how your message will render in various clients and devices. Truly outstanding content aligns with your company s brand strategy, enhances your deliverability reputation, presents a clearly actionable opportunity to the reader and delights your customer.

13 8. Track Your Response Rates Follow a systematic approach to track your response rates, including deliveries, responses clicks, non-responders, bounces, and actions taken on any external links that are in an . Reporting is the main channel to understanding and increase the efficiency of your campaign performance; moreover, it has a role to play in delivery assurance as well. Below given are a few broad guidelines: Click-through rates for a B2B newsletter generally range from 5%-15%. If your content isn t interesting or if you aren t giving people clear links or good reasons to click them then you could notice low open and click-through rates. If you re looking for B2C marketing promotional campaign click-through rates generally range from about 2%-to 12%. Low open and click-through rates may indicate that your list or offer isn t good. The more accurate, targeted and personalized your is, the higher your rates will be; in B2B campaigns a click-through rate of 10%-20% is good. Spam complaint is when a recipient tags your as a spam mail, it is not when a webmail provider filter tags your messages as spam If you notice a sudden increase in your bounce rates, look into your content first and structure. Your marketing automation service provider may be able to provide feedback about probable or actual causes from webmail providers, and shares that information with you. Note: Unsubscribes do not hurt deliverability, but spam complaints and hard bounces do. If you are consistently getting low rates this shows that your is uninteresting or your list is bad. Either will lead to higher delete rates, which will affect your reputation and delivery.

14 9. Do's and Don'ts for Deliverability In this topic we will cover a list of do s and don ts for the deliverability that we think you should be following in order to improve your inbox rates, click-through rates, and sender reputation, while minimizing unsubscribes and spam complaints. Do Be trustworthy and Reliable: offer incentives to your subscribers to opt in, but don t promise more than you can deliver. Segment and maintain your lists: ensure that addresses are correct before ing your new contacts Select a reliable marketing service provider: a good service provider should be able to handle bounce codes, feedback loops, and connection optimization. Make the opt-in form clear and easy: If contacts are looking to opt out make it easy for them. Don t Use attachments in your messages. Use loud colors in the body text, such as fluorescent red or green. Use capital letters constantly in subject line or overuse them in the body text message to dead accounts. Some of these may be spam traps. Make unsubscribe difficult for your audience: your prospects who have opted in are still more likely to mark your as spam if they find the unsubscribe process complicated, so it s always advisable make it simple Constantly use words like free, excessive punctuation, or misleading subject lines.

15 10. Conclusion deliverability rate (or acceptance rate) is the success rate an marketer has in getting an delivered to a person s address. The success of an -marketing program is highly dependent on deliverability simply because, people can t respond to your campaigns if they never receive your s. deliverability is very crucial to the success of any marketing campaign, imagine your s are being delivered to people s spam box instead of their inbox, this could result in a negative brand image. This means that none of your s are going to be read, furthermore, you won t be generating much revenue, from your campaigns. Adopting and implementing the above given best practices are sure to help you in your deliverability rates, improve your brand image, conversations, engagement and finally ROI. Once brand gets that reputation, you tweak your strategies, and deliver best content; you can notice drastic improvement in your deliverability. But hold on, this not it! Don t settle after improving your system once. Deliverability is a continuous process; therefore you need to keep testing your techniques and process and keep updating it on a regular basis. High deliverability rates can save your money, so why not just put in a little effort? If you have been looking for the best ways to improve your deliverability and increase the rate of the number of your s opened? Then get in touch with experts at B2B Experts for pioneer marketing and campaign services.

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