Case Study: Optimal Deliverability Requires Continued Vigilance

Posted by George Bilbrey 

It’s comforting to think of deliverability as a problem you can solve and be done with. And, in some cases, that can seem to be true. We have many clients that went from so-so inbox placement rates to nearly 100 percent across the board and, for the most part, stay there every campaign. But it takes work for that to happen.

The rules of the deliverability road can change without warning. Smart marketers must be prepared to react to those changing rules to ensure their delivery rates remain high.

Such was the case for one of our favorite clients, Overstock. We have been working with them for some time and brought their inbox placement rates up by 11 percent — they are typically near 100 percent for every campaign. Then, in November, a sudden drop in their deliverability at Yahoo! raised alarm bells.

Yahoo! was having problems with large volumes of spam that caused it to slow down all email. As a result, some legitimate mail was getting inadvertently blocked. A change in sending strategy to Yahoo! was all it took to get them back to 100 percent. But, making those changes takes the dedication to watch for problems, and the willingness to fix them quickly.

While we were able to point them in the right direction through our consultative relationship, a lot of the credit here goes to Overstock. Their ability to respond quickly to our suggested fixes meant less downtime for their email. Given the holiday season timing, this was impressive. It also increased the return on their email efforts dramatically.

For details on how we worked with Overstock and their impressive results read the full case study.

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About George Bilbrey

George Bilbrey is the founder of the industry’s first deliverability service provider, Assurance Systems, which merged with Return Path in 2003. He is a recognized expert on the subjects of email reputation and deliverability and is active in many industry organizations, including the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) and the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). In his role as president of Return Path George is the driving force behind the ongoing innovation of our products and services. Prior to Return Path, George served as Director of Product Management at and as a partner in the telecommunications group at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina.

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