Email Deliverability and its Challenges

By OctaneGo, August 22, 2012 | Tips & Resources

E-Marketing mailers have evolved drastically since the early days of plaintext messages. It’s now possible to create interactive campaigns and embed the power of social media right into your messages. But even with all the progress, the basic fundamentals of email marketing have remained constant – First among them; is to make sure that your email reaches the inbox safely. As it happens, email deliverability is still one of the key challenges that businesses using email marketing face. So what causes these problems? And what can be done to prevent them?

Here’s a short and useful analysis of the possible reasons:

  • Improper Segmentation: A basic mistake marketers make is that they either segment their lists incorrectly, or not at all. As a result the messages are delivered to people who might not be the best targets for that campaign and then this can result in a lost opportunity. Good segmentation helps you figure out what the different groups in your email are likely to respond to and create campaigns accordingly.
  • Mailing Volume: Marketers who dispatch multiple email campaigns in a single day can sometimes observe a large number of messages failing, either because of ESP servers trying to streamline email traffic flow, or simply due to technical glitches in sending. It also impacts your credentials negatively in the eyes of the ISP. It’s better to plan things and even out the variations in email volumes as much as possible.
  • Use of Spam Phrases: Certain words and phrases are now flagged as possible spam keywords by ESPs and should be avoided as much as possible. These include typical hard-sell words like ‘buy now’, ‘special gift’, ‘free’, etc. Of course this doesn’t mean that you can never use them, but just that an abundance of such words can have a negative impact on your campaigns.
  • No Suppression List: When people unsubscribe from your emails, you need to mark those addresses and add them to a suppression list. Not honoring an unsubscribe or sending messages again to an uninterested customer by mistake could make them mark your mail as spam! This can have consequences for your reputation and cause you to lose favor with your ESP. As you can see, not maintaining an active suppression list can have dire consequences for your email marketing efforts.
  • Too Many Images, JavaScript: Image mailers have been used and abused by spammers and virus mongers to such an extent that most email clients now block images in mailers by default. So if your mailer is made entirely of images, then your target audience will not see any content to start with and will need to proactively enable images to see the same. This is completely undesirable as the impact of your campaign is lost in the process. If however, images are essential to your communication, then use them as a small percentage of your design and be sure to specify the correct information in the image tag.
  • Similarly, JavaScript is also either blocked or rejected by some email clients, leading to ruined campaigns or failed delivery. Remember, keeping it simple, clear and straight is the best policy.

These are just some of the general best-practices that every digital marketer should be mindful of when planning an email campaign. We have previously covered the technical best practices of email deliverability as well and would like to encourage you to familiarize yourself with the same here. All these resources and best practices should enable you to hit that send button and dispatch your next great campaign correctly and confidently!

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