December 12, 2012

Don't Sabotage Your Holiday Email Marketing Deliverability!

by Cathie McFarren, Deliverability Analyst

Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday really the best time of the year to send to your unengaged contacts? As Chris Kolbenschlag, Director of Deliverabiity, states in this blog post, “Don't Sabotage Your Email Deliverability!”, are these days really the best time to try to reintroduce these contacts to your main marketing stream? If you are not sending to them currently, why start now? Mass email is not about getting the biggest coverage; it should be about targeting the correct audience. Spikes in volume can also be a trigger for ISPs to monitor your mail more closely as this is a tactic used in the spamming world, especially around the holidays.

Marketers have seen that this can be one of the worst times of the year to send to your unengaged contacts as everyone is being overwhelmed with email. Over saturation to your contacts can drive complaints up and lower your ROI, not to mention damage your brand/IP reputation. Not only should you avoid oversending, Kristen Gregory recommends that you suppress select contacts during the busy holiday season. As marketers know, complaints are the number one driver of domain/IP reputation. This time of the year should be around segmentation, not about blasting to your entire database. Marketers should be looking for the most value out of their lists.

ISPs have already started to monitor engagement and reputation metrics to determine where to put your messages - are they placing them in the inbox or bulk folder? We have to ask ourselves, is it worth the risk of sending to contacts who are not engaged this time of the year?

Here are some issues that we saw in the deliverability world specifically on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  • Increase in sending volume
  • Increase in contact loss due to invalid addresses
  • Increase in complaints
  • Lower open rates, contacts were simply overwhelmed with the volume of email being received.

As Chris states in his blog, "5 Essential Deliverability Tips for the Holiday Season", the following are key components for marketers' success during this busy season:

  • Permission
  • Relevancy
  • Cadence / Frequency
  • Subject lines
  • Engagement

During this busy holiday season target your audience effectively!  Don't rely on mass sends to help you meet your revenue numbers, make sure to keep deliverability in mind so that you can keep your contacts all year round. Happy sending!

Cathie McFarren
Deliverability Analyst at Bronto

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Cathie McFarren, Deliverability Analyst

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