SCORECARD MARKETING. Find Out How Much You Are Really Getting Out of Your Marketing

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1 MARKETING SCORECARD Find Out How Much You Are Really Getting Out of Your Marketing This guide is designed to help you self-assess your sending activities. There are two ways to render an evaluation: 1) by section; and 2) from a whole-program perspective. While the overall score is good to gauge the big picture, the section scores will allow you to better evaluate detailed ways to improve your marketing program.

2 KNOW YOUR SCORE Deliverability Infrastructure Check all boxes that apply to your business. We use dedicated IP addresses for sending We have feedback loops set up with major ISPs We have correctly set up Reverse DNS, SPF records, and DKIM We are also set up with DMARC Score: (Checkmark equals one point) This should be your easiest evaluation. At KM, deliverability infrastructure is key in a successful marketing program. We do most of these items for you! Marketing Scorecard 1

3 DELIVERABILITY INFRASTRUCTURE AT A GLANCE Dedicated IP Addresses High volume senders want to have full control of their own IPs. This option allows for a single point that only your s are sent from. You have full control over your reputation and your deliverability. Throttling IP Addresses If an ISP receives too many s at once, they may kick back the entire batch. KM throttles the number of messages sent per hour to meet ISP restrictions. We use the industry best practices to warm up any new client IP address(es). An IP address with no sending history is in danger of having the s blocked. Warming techniques are a good way for you to build up a reputation with recipient mail servers before you start sending large batches of s. Feedback Loops One of the greatest challenges surrounding marketing is the ease at which a client s customer can complain about an that was sent. All feedback loops are set up by KM exclusively, with the exception of Yahoo which requires a domain based feedback confirmation. The process for how this works is as follows: when a recipient has decided to click This is Spam on your , it is considered a complaint. The mailbox provider receives that complaint and if they allow visibility, the message complaint is sent back to a designated sender address. KM can then suppress this user in your database within our platform. Complaints reduce your reputation score, so it s essential that customers who complain are unsubscribed in a timely manner. Marketing Scorecard 2

4 DELIVERABILITY INFRASTRUCTURE AT A GLANCE Sender Authentication Setup Since marketing has very little legislation surrounding who can send an message, there are several groups that police the community. These groups have established proper protocol that must be followed to ensure proper deliverability. One area that helps control spamming or phishing is the authentication of the sender. ISPs will authenticate incoming messages to verify the sender. If you are unable to authenticate yourself, you may be seen as a spammer. Proper use of both Sender IDs (SPF records) and Domainkeys (DKIM) are the most common methods used. Sender IDs (SPF records) are a way to say an IP or domain can send on your behalf. It prevents spoofing the from address (and gives KM permission to send s on your behalf). Domainkeys (DKIM) is a means to digitally sign an message and associate a domain name with it. This signature gives recipients and ISPs a reason to believe the message was created by a known sender and that it was not altered in transit. Proper use of both SPF and DKIM will create an anti-spam method that uses a combination of public and private keys to authenticate the sender s domain and reduce the chance that a spammer or hacker will fake the domain sending address. KM requires all clients to complete this setup before any s are deployed. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) helps protect the recipients and sender from being victims of phishing or spoofed attacks. It will prevent such attacks before they are able to reach the recipient s inbox. DMARC policies are published in the public Domain Name System (DNS), and available to everyone. Because the specification is available with no licensing or similar restriction, any interested party is free to implement it. Marketing Scorecard 3

5 KNOW YOUR SCORE Reputation Check all boxes that apply to your business. We throttle the number of s sent to each ISP We make it easy for a subscriber to opt out We keep our spam complaints low We monitor our reporting for inconsistencies We monitor our sender reputation Score: (Checkmark equals one point) Senders with good reputations get more delivered. Senders with poor reputations get blocked. Monitoring your sender reputation is critical for the success of your marketing program. Marketing Scorecard 4

6 REPUTATION AT A GLANCE Throttling s Spammers send s in high quantities, and ISPs flag these senders for violating send limits. KM throttles the number of s sent to each ISP to ensure your s don t get flagged. Easy Opt-Out All s are required by law to have an opt-out link; however, having obvious placement for this link, or a manage your subscription link can help ensure that your subscribers don t select the spam complaint button with their ISP. Best practice is to also include a Report Abuse link in the footer of your s as that request comes directly back to KM rather than reporting it to the ISP. These practices help keep your spam complaints among ISPs low. Monitoring Reporting With KM services, you have a vast array of reporting options at your fingertips. Monitoring reports on a consistent basis provides a baseline history and allows you to notice when your results raise a red flag requiring investigation to determine the cause. Monitoring Sender Scores If you have not signed up for a free account with Return Path, we highly encourage you to do so. You can monitor the sender score of each of your IP addresses. The score represents a ranking for the scored IP as measured against millions of other IP addresses in the Reputation Network. For example, a Sender Score of 0 means your sender reputation is badly damaged compared to other IPs. 100 means your sender reputation is as trustworthy as it can possibly be compared to other IPs. Marketing Scorecard 5

7 KNOW YOUR SCORE Sending Good Content Check all boxes that apply to your business. We ensure our spam complaints are low We try not to use spammy words We ensure the links in our content are not blocked We send properly formatted HTML We ensure our design renders appropriately in a variety of clients We send content that is relevant to our subscribers Score: (Checkmark equals one point) Marketing Scorecard 6

8 SENDING GOOD CONTENT AT A GLANCE Low Spam Complaints We talked about this in the last section too, however, content reputation filtering can also cause issues in the success of your program. Content reputation filtering is a dynamically generated list of content elements that filters mathematically identify as being associated with a poor recipient response such as low open rates and spam complaints. Spammy Words A static list of known spammy words, phrases, or links, are often flagged through keyword filtering with each ISP, and may cause your to be rejected. Individual corporations can also set up their own custom protocols. Some will use specific anti-spam checkers to filter . Blocked Links Referring your subscriber back to a URL on your own website is a safe bet, but when referring subscribers to a third party, you can get tangled up. If the URL of the third party is blocked, your may get blocked as well. Properly Formatted HTML Poorly formatted HTML can also cause your to get rejected. Reusing content can also leave behind unclosed tags, etc., which can raise some red flags for ISPs as well. Rendering While a poorly rendered may not raise any eyebrows, it can cause limited engagement and that can flag an ISP s attention. Relevant Content If you re sending content a subscriber is not interested in, they are not likely to open the and read it. Limited engagement can affect your sending reputation. Marketing Scorecard 7

9 SENDING GOOD CONTENT AT A GLANCE One of the major disconnects between senders and receivers is the idea that engagement is a single measure understood by both senders and ISPs. Unfortunately, we are not privy to the metrics that receivers see and receivers don t have access to sender data. Each side has a different set of concerns and metrics: for ISPs it includes complaints, deletes and spam designations, and for marketers it s opens and clicks. Getting your subscribers to engage with you goes a long way in creating and maintaining a good reputation. You need to be able to understand the activity good and bad. You ll receive good scores when subscribers: Open an Click on a link Add your address to their address book Rescue a message from the spam folder obviously, they want to read it Reply to an Equally, the lack of action or negative actions can prove to be harmful to your reputation. Deleting a message without opening it Marking a message as spam Reporting abuse What s difficult for ISPs is that subscriber behavior is not consistent, and as subscriber attitudes to your messages shift, so will the ways in which ISPs handle them. Most of the issues above can be avoided by utilizing KM s Preview feature. Review how your renders across multiple clients in the Preview tab. Check spam analysis across a multitude of clients and spam tools. Resolve html issues found in the Code Analysis tab and check the URLs within your in the Link Check tab. It s like a preflight checklist! Marketing Scorecard 8

10 KNOW YOUR SCORE List Management Check all the boxes that apply to your business. We ask our new subscribers to confirm their opt-in request We conduct periodic re-opt-in campaigns We do not harvest addresses We do not purchase lists We send targeted s to segmented portions of our lists Score: (Checkmark equals one point) Marketing Scorecard 9

11 LIST MANAGEMENT AT A GLANCE Opt-In Confirmations The whole point of an opt-in list is to attract people who subscribe demonstrating that they are interested in the content you are sending. Using a double opt-in list is extremely important for keeping the quality of your list high. Re-Opt-In Campaigns A reconfirmation (otherwise known as a re-opt-in in ), is a great way to remind subscribers about your business, and what you offer. It can effectively clean your lists with minimal impact to deliverability, and to prevent inadvertently spamming your subscribers. It reinforces that the subscriber wants to receive what you have to provide, thus keeping engagement high. Harvesting harvesting is a typical practice of spammers. And you are not a spammer. While it might be tempting to add and type addresses to your list, it s a no-no. First, you don t have permission. Second, if you don t have some sort of relationship with the recipient (and that is the law), your engagement will be less than poor. Rented Lists Poor response rates, flimsy permission, honey pots, spam traps reason enough to steer clear. Segmentation Segmenting your list has an overwhelmingly positive impact on user engagement. If you want higher open and click rates, start looking for ways to segment your list and deliver a truly targeted message. Marketing Scorecard 10

12 KNOW YOUR SCORE Follow the Laws Check all boxes that apply to your business. Our from, to, and reply to identifies who we are Our subject lines accurately reflect the content of our message Our s include a valid postal address Our s include a valid opt-out link We honor opt-out requests promptly We honor CAN-SPAM legislation We honor spam legislation for all countries where we send Score: (Checkmark equals one point)

13 FOLLOW THE LAWS AT A GLANCE Spam Laws The CAN-SPAM Act, a U.S. law that sets the rules for commercial , establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop ing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn t apply just to bulk . It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service, including that promotes content on commercial websites. inbox (5) spam (99) delete (10) The law makes no exception for business-to-business . That means all for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line must comply with the law. If you are sending s to other countries, you will want to ensure you are following the applicable laws there too. Source: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business Marketing Scorecard 12

14 KNOW YOUR SCORE Monitoring Check all boxes that apply to your business. Score: Analysis We monitor our activities to maintain our reputation and deliverability We actively monitor SMTP logs to detect issues We actively monitor trends within the industry (Checkmark equals one point) Sit back and relax this was another freebie. KM does this all for you! Check all boxes that apply to your business. We know the ROI of our marketing programs We use statistics to help develop future marketing plans We use testing features to continually optimize our program Score: We utilize behavorial intelligence to provide subscribers with information they want to receive (Checkmark equals one point) Marketing Scorecard 13

15 YOUR RESULTS Your Marketing Score Deliverability Infrastructure (4 possible points) Reputation (5 possible points) Sending Good Content (6 possible points) List Management (5 possible points) Follow the Laws (7 possible points) Monitoring (3 possible points) Analysis (4 possible points) FINAL SCORE: (34 points possible) INDIVIDUAL SCORE: If your left more than one item unchecked in a category, you may want to review your activities. COLLECTIVE SCORE: points: You re a seasoned marketer. You have all the ingredients for a successful marketing program points: You re on the right track, but your program might need a little tweaking here and there points: Several visits to the kmlearning Center and a review of industry best practices might be in order to update your future marketing plans. UNDER 25 POINTS? Please schedule a visit with your KM Digital Specialist for an account review!

16 LOOKING TO IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING SCORE? CONTACT KM TODAY Phone Website ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND RESOURCES WHITEPAPERS WEBINARS BLOGS INFOGRAPHICS

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