Maximize Deliverability and Security to Optimize Email Marketing
Consumers will spend $4.9 trillion a year on e-commerce by 2021, and retailers are optimizing their sales and marketing for the online consumer. This means prioritizing digital sales drivers like email, a tried-and-true favorite. But first, brands need to ensure they’re following email marketing best practices to better ensure deliverability. Why? Solid deliverability means more consumers reached and more potential sales.
First and foremost, senders need to ensure they’re following as many security practices as possible to protect not only themselves, but their recipients. Unauthenticated (or unsafe) email is more likely to be flagged as spam. While it may seem overwhelming, marketers need to get up to speed with these terms:
- Authentication (SPF, DKIM, DMARC): Standards developed to identify the legitimacy of a sender’s email to its recipients. These policies include SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, which help verify a sender’s identity, intent, and credibility. If something doesn’t seem right, say the DKIM public key doesn’t match your from-domain’s private key, the email can appear to be malicious and will likely not be delivered into the inbox. The more this happens, the less your domain and brand are trusted, and the less likely your email is going to find your recipients’ inboxes.
- IPs, domains, subdomains: These pieces of the puzzle indicate to a mail server from where the emails originate. Sending infrastructure items like these carry their own reputation, and the better the reputation, the more likely you’ll have good deliverability. If the IP address you send from is a source of spam, even if it’s not your own, your deliverability will be dinged. Likewise, if your domain gets spoofed and is flagged as illegitimate, your domain and your brand become untrusted.
Keep an eye out for more opportunities for brands to embrace stronger authentication standards and send safer mail, like Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), an additional brand touchpoint which requires a DMARC policy at enforcement to qualify.
Once you’re implementing best-in-class authentication standard to protect your domain and mail streams, you can take additional steps to ensure not only that you're securing your mail, but sending the right mail.
- Validate your email lists. You can run your lists through an email address validation service to confirm whether the addresses you have are valid. Some of these vendors give you broad strokes answers, like undeliverable vs. deliverable, but others can give you detailed analysis on which addresses afford the greatest (and least) level of confidence. Using this information, you can better assess where you should send your mail to avoid getting penalized for emailing any address you receive.
- Set up a preference center. Yes or no answers are limiting. If you create a robust preference center where recipients can tailor your email frequency and content, you might find your emails are more engaging to them because they’re tailored to their interests. By simply offering people to unsubscribe, you’re giving unhappy customers no choice but to walk away from emails that don’t resonate, rather than giving yourself a chance to craft better, more successful email campaigns.
Email marketing is about maximizing your customers’ interactions with your business. To ensure users are seeing and opening your messages, they need to be secure, valuable and actionable. Ultimately, retail marketers need the proper tools in place to drive customers to their business through email, and not away from it.
Anthony Chiulli is director of product marketing at 250ok, a SaaS platform bringing marketers advanced insights into email deliverability, design, sender reputation, fraud protection, and consumer engagement — the ultimate email intelligence add-on to any ESP.
Anthony Chiulli is director of product marketing at 250ok, a SaaS platform bringing marketers advanced insights into email deliverability, design, sender reputation, fraud protection, and consumer engagement—the ultimate email intelligence add-on to any ESP.
With more than a decade of email experience, Anthony Chiulli embraces educating and advising email marketers on the latest trends and insights within the email industry. In his work as Director of Product Marketing at 250ok, Anthony oversees launching new products and services through participating and influencing go-to-market strategies, supporting collateral, and brand evangelism. Before joining 250ok, Anthony served in a number of leadership roles at Salesforce, including Deliverability Practice lead and Associate Principal of Deliverability Services.