The Power and Potential for Mastering Email Deliverability

Marian Sahakyan
Marian Sahakyan

Content Manager

About the author

February 10, 2022

Email — it could be the missing ingredient to any marketer’s mission. A solid email plan is also the key to any consumer’s wallet, even if it’s targeted with ads and promotional content. But despite its popularity and the community aspect surrounding it, email marketing could still be a challenging strategy to strike gold on.

That’s why marketers are doing everything they can to master deliverability so that they can stay away from the spam folder.

This is exactly what shaped the two-part deliverability workshop at the most recent MailCon in Las Vegas, where email and data masters Adrian Williams, Founder of Email Angels, and Scott Shou, Chief Data Officer at OB Media, delved into details around the concept of deliverability, and what so many marketers are perhaps doing wrong.

In this story, we’ll unveil what Williams and Shou discussed during their workshop.

Stay tuned and connected to learn more about MailCon’s next event.

Understand the Message and Carry it Toward Conversion

Marketers with seasoned deliverability experts on their team should understand that the message matters just as much as timing.

Consumers want nothing more than to be reminded of products and services only when they need them. So, if you send the right message to the right user at the right time, you will seldom have any problems with emails.

While this idea may seem complex at first, understanding a target audience’s needs and behaviors is a part of the job that requires a look at previous open rates, the customer’s previous behaviors online, and other indicative aspects of their buyer journey.

Ensure Your Message Has a Point & Mission

Williams compared the concept of cold emailing to selling ice-cold lemonade in the North Pole — people won’t be interested in it because there’s no comprehensive benefit. But on the other hand, if you were to campaign for the same cold lemonade in a tropical setting with lots of vacationing customers, your odds of succeeding would be much higher.

This means that even when the text, metrics, and email lists are in place, you must sometimes go further than that and try to really understand your customers and target audiences and their current situations, with one question in mind — “is what I’m advertising relevant to this client?”

That’s where the concept of personalization comes into play.

Personalize Campaigns & Keep Your Focus on the Human

We’re living in times where every market is competitive, and there are probably many companies that can do what you do — sometimes even better than you. So the concept of always remaining relevant to your customers is more important than ever before.

As a matter of fact, marketers who use personalization tactics in their emails report 27% higher click rates and 11% more open rates than those who send general emails. Meanwhile, about 52% of consumers and email recipients say that they’ll work with other companies if they feel that brands are sending them non-personalized targeted emails, which can often be labeled as “lazy” and “careless” by consumers.

For that reason, you must always remain relevant with target consumers and existing customers, so tackling them with an omnipresent strategy that personalizes every touchpoint and experience they have with your brand should be top of mind when creating campaigns.

And don’t forget about providing prospects and clients with an omnichannel presence to ensure that when they want to buy a product or service like yours, they instantly think about your offerings.

How to be Proficient with an Omnichannel Presence

Anytime marketers think about securing an omnichannel presence, they instantly jump to thoughts on all the crazy campaigns they have to run, and all the research they may have to do to back it up.

While some of that may be true, a targeted social media post may often do just fine. With omnichannel marketing and the general concept of omnipresence, marketers sometimes have to pick what they’re putting a significant emphasis on, and what they’d like to put minimal effort on.

Both methods should deliver the results companies need in order to reach an identified success point, with a return on their investment that makes a difference. Other campaigns simply don’t require too much effort.

But when they do, it’s best that they’re backed by actionable data and comprehensive technology.

When planning for the technical aspects of deliverability, it’s important to dive first into the technology that backs up your email campaigns.

From the email service provider to the seed testing tools, you must ensure that all of your tech and data are in sync. Use different testing tools to reach carefully scaled data to get granular insights into how your campaigns are performing and what you can do to improve that performance.

Seed Testing for the Win

As a data expert, Shou identified some of the top tactics for seed testing. He mentioned that seed testing should always start with a short and clean experiment that lasts a few days but no longer than a week, as that can be too long.

When creating seed testing campaigns, marketers must always send the seeds from the sending domain, the sending sub-domain, the company domain, a personal email, and an IP address through the ESP.

With single-send seeds, always follow this structure to see the efficiency of each of the email parts:

  • Just the footer
  • A friendly form
  • Domains
  • A full link
  • A subject line
  • An empty HTML template
  • The brand name
  • Each of the content paragraphs separately

When following this structure for seed testing, marketers can understand which part of their campaigns needs to be altered to get better results and ultimately not land in the spam folder.

Shaping your deliverability diagnostics around the following categories will help you manage your campaigns in a much more effective format:

  • Constantly test and diagnose deliverability.
  • Design tests to isolate issues.
  • Separate your resources:
    • ISPs
    • Sending infrastructure
    • Atoms of each campaign
  • Always monitor your open rates and other data points for outgoing campaigns.

What Matters Most with Email Metrics

There are many metrics when it comes to email, but marketers must always know what to focus on. Here are a few of valuable tactics for evaluating email metrics:

  • Develop your own baseline metrics to go off of.
  • Remember that metrics vary drastically by the audience.
    • Gmail and Yahoo: consider email cache
    • The solution to that is unique naming
    • Apple Mail? It is a whole different issue as it pre-caches and delivers unrealistic metrics, like a 99% open rate.

When All Fails, Including Email Reputation, Here’s How to Fix It

  • Understanding the power of omnipresence and sending emails that follow your subscriber’s journey will help you regain the trust of your subscribers.
  • Don’t forget about the hero’s journey for clear omnipresent messaging
  • Dive deep and understand your audience’s value graphics
  • Create an empathy map to understand the fears, pain points, frustrations, wants, and aspirations of your subscribers
  • Create a cliffhanger sequence to boost email engagement

The two-hour educational session was followed by a workshop where Williams and Shou sat down with marketers to evaluate each of their email marketing plans and system to vet any unclear deliverability issues.

Stay tuned and connected to learn more about MailCon’s next event. Follow MailCon on LinkedIn for announcements, news, and updates on upcoming events and community initiatives. 

About the author

Marian Sahakyan
Marian Sahakyan

Content Manager

Marian Sahakyan is a Content Manager at MailCon. She’s a journalism graduate from California State University, Long Beach with a background in marketing, technology, as well as writing for Business-to-Business audiences.


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