Email reputation can be a complicated and nuanced topic. It takes strategy and good habits to get mailbox providers to put you in the inbox. However, the technical nature of email can quickly get us caught up in the technicalities of reputation: Reduce complaint rates by sending more volume, lower sending frequency to less-engaged groups, etc. Sometimes, it’s worth taking a step back to ask: Do our subscribers enjoy our emails?
If your emails are uninteresting, repetitive, or irrelevant (pitfalls of sending en masse), you may be feeding emails to users who are becoming irritable and more likely to mark your emails as spam. The problem is, it takes dedicated resources and commitment to generate great content. No dials to turn or switches to flip. Just a team comprised of writers, designers, and strategists to pull together an editorial calendar that makes sense for your brand. The case study that comes to mind is Netflix and their increasing endeavors to invest in engaging, exclusive content. The lessons are the same when it comes to your email program. The NY Times recently wrote:
“Think about the simplistic equation: More good content equals more viewing, more viewing means more subscribers, more subscribers means money to spend on more programming, which means more subscribers,” said Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG Research. “It is a virtuous cycle.”
And The Wire aptly summarized this by saying “[Netflix] would rather draw addicts, who have just one just-for-Netflix show that prevents them from canceling.” Sounds like they’re talking about an email program, doesn’t it? Is there anything about your email program that’s different from your competitors? Is there anything about your email program that’s addictive? So much of the internet is templated, redundant, shared, and re-hashed content. Sadly, many email programs are following suite. Here are some steps I’ve put together to help your team do a health-check on your email creative:
1) Review your current email engagement statistics
2) Review your team for resource potential or deficiencies
3) Review your own emails for opportunities
4) What are your competitors doing?
5) Establish KPIs to track success
For additional reading, here are some recent articles published by my colleagues on optimizing content and reducing complaint rates:
You can also check out our recent research on email send frequency, which reveals that complaints may not come from where you’d expect.
Mary brings years of advertising experience to email and views deliverability data from a marketer's perspective. In her spare time, you'll find Mary eating through Canada's best diners, drive-ins, and dives (without the justification of a reality TV show). Follow Mary on Twitter @juenology for a haphazard glimpse into her life as a hungry-for-food email specialist.
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