When Email Snafus Happen to Good Companies
“As that was happening, it didn’t seem like a good idea to push harder on marketing because effectively we’d be getting new email addresses, and some of them we wouldn’t be able to mail. So we held back a little bit on marketing,” said Vadon, who didn't say how many customers were impacted.
Earlier in the call, Zulily CEO Darrell Cavens said that the company has experienced email issues on occasion over the years, but it's “always been able to work through issues as they come up.” The most recent issues are largely resolved, Cavens said. But he added that the company does expect to see an occasional impact “from time to time.”
So, what can retailers do to ensure they're not faced with these types of issues? I asked Jim Davidson, a great contact of mine who is the director of research at email marking firm Bronto Software, if he had any advice or best practices he could give our readers around email deliverability. He offered up the following:
1. Review email acquisition points and CAN-SPAM compliancy. Ensure all email acquisition points set an expectation with the consumer that they will receive promotional emails. Revisit existing email forms to confirm that a new user would understand that they're opting in for ongoing marketing messages. Additionally, review your email program to ensure CAN-SPAM compliancy. Small details like including a postal address can be overlooked as email templates change.
2. Dissolve the dead weight. Identify subscribers who are no longer opening or clicking on your emails. These subscribers may still be actively purchasing in other channels so it may not make sense to remove these dormant subscribers from your list. Attempt to re-engage these segments and then drop the dead weight — i.e., consumers who could be more likely to take the lazy man’s opt-out and report your message as spam.