Get to the Inbox Ten Top Tips to Maximize Your Deliverability

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1 Get to the Inbox Ten Top Tips to Maximize Your Deliverability

2 Introduction It s estimated that 70%* of all is spam - not just unwelcome promotional messages, but phishing scams, hoaxes and digital viruses too. So Internet Service Providers (ISPs, who take your message and place it into their customer s inbox) take precautions to limit the amount of spam that their customers receive. In this ebook, you ll find our top ten tips in three easy stages that will help you get more of your s into the inbox. 70% * Spam Report: February 2014, securelist.com PAGE 2

3 Before launching campaigns Before you even think about launching a campaign, you need to cover the basics. PAGE 3

4 1. Authenticate your domain There are two main types of authentication: Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM which signs your s) and Sender Policy Frameworks (SPF - which checks your is coming from an authorized address). These tell ISPs that s you send are from an authorized source. By validating your identity, ISPs know the is genuine. PAGE 4

5 2. Check your sender reputation To make sure you re not blacklisted, check Blacklists are used by ISPs to share information on suspicious senders, so they can block spam s from being delivered. There are many free online tools that let you check whether the or IP addresses you send from have been penalized. These tools tell you why you re blacklisted and how you can be removed. PAGE 5

6 3. Gradually build your reputation Before sending lots of s from a new IP address, you need to establish some credibility with ISPs and build your sender reputation. If you don t do this, ISPs might think you re untrustworthy. Start by sending small amounts of to active subscribers the more opens and clicks they make, the better your reputation becomes. PAGE 6

7 4. Only send to opted-in subscribers It s important to only ever send to genuine subscribers who have explicitly asked to receive your campaigns. Buying lists, or even sending to mistyped addresses, can seriously damage your sender reputation. The worst offence is to send s to a honeypot address an automated address that s specifically set up to catch serious offenders. PAGE 7

8 Boost campaign performance When building your campaigns, always think about how you can reduce the risk of spam complaints and unsubscribes. PAGE 8

9 5. Comply with anti-spam regulation Each country you send to will have distinct laws and regulation designed to limit the amount of spam that is sent. These guidelines usually mean being truthful about who you are and why you re ing. Make sure your subject lines are honest and clear To find out more about different laws and regulations, visit Allow subscribers to easily unsubscribe and honor those requests Be transparent about who the sender is PAGE 9

10 6. Code your for success s that use W3C standard-compliant HTML are more likely to be delivered to the inbox. Not only does it help ensure your s look and act the same across different clients, but it can also avoid triggering ISP junk filters. Following HTML best practices is a simple but essential step to maximizing deliverability rates. PAGE 10

11 7. Be relevant, every time Instead of blasting the same campaign to your entire database, send targeted campaigns to your engaged and active customer groups. Use appealing subject lines to encourage opens, and ensure your content makes customers click through to your website. By sending campaigns that customers want to read and engage with, you can t go wrong. PAGE 11

12 Reach for the stars! Maximizing deliverability doesn t stop once you ve sent the campaign. PAGE 12

13 8. Monitor spam complaint feedback loops Your sender reputation falls with every click of the junk button. Knowing who doesn t want to receive your s and who isn t interested in your s allows you to spend more time reaching customers who are. ISPs can tell you who reported your as spam, so you can remove them from your subscriber database. PAGE 13

14 9. Actively monitor bounce rates Deliverability stats are an important part of measuring marketing performance. As well as monitoring bounce rates (both soft bounces, which are short-term occasions where your couldn t be delivered, and hard bounces, which are permanent), you can identify and then rectify issues with specific ISPs or global problems that may be affecting deliverability. PAGE 14

15 10. Identify unengaged subscribers Sending to subscribers who never open your s can damage your sender reputation. They might not want your s anymore, or the address might be abandoned. Closed accounts are sometimes recycled for use by new customers, which can also lead to increased spam complaints. Identify your un-engaged subscribers, and stop sending to them. PAGE 15

16 You re not on your own If you follow these ten tips, you can improve the chances of your s reaching your customer s inbox. That means more opens, more clicks, and more revenue. Following best practice won t take much time or effort, but it will set you up for long-term success. Once you ve completed the technicalities, you re free to focus on creating relevant campaigns that engage customers, and you can monitor and discover deliverability trends as part of your normal reporting processes. At SmartFocus, we help thousands of marketers worldwide to successfully deliver their campaigns. We can take you through these steps, and help you send s that get into the inbox. We can give you dedicated or shared IP addresses, help build your reputation, and ensure key ISPs recognize you as reputable We protect your sender reputation by monitoring bounces, spam complaints and unsubscribes Our experts monitor deliverability results and maintain close relationships with ISPs to resolve issues before they escalate Our partnerships can help you avoid ing invalid addresses, and let you identify campaign deliverability issues before you send Contact us today to find out how SmartFocus can help you. Visit contact PAGE 16

17 Deliverability Checklist Before launching campaigns Boost campaign performance Reach for the stars! Authenticate your domain Check your sender reputation Gradually build your reputation Only send to opted-in subscribers Comply with anti-spam regulation Code your for success Be relevant, every time Enable spam complaint feedback loops Actively monitor bounce rates Identify un-engaged subscribers PAGE 17

18 About SmartFocus SmartFocus helps marketers make smarter decisions to acquire, grow and retain customers better than ever before. We partner with you to turn your fans into fanatics and grow the return on your marketing investment. Our retail-focused cloud delivered solution drives revenue, loyalty and satisfaction. Every day, our software empowers smarter marketing decisions. Each year we execute more than five million marketing campaigns, manage more than five billion customer records, and deliver more than 55 billion personalized messages. We re the only independent provider that gives you the ability to improve your business results across every channel to every customer every time.

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