Not too many businesses prefer to pause and think/review before hitting the “Send” button. After all, they have planned meticulously for their email marketing campaign and are eager to test the results. But slow down a little! In the race to conversions and campaign success, give some thought to the email receiver, the very person who is going to respond to the message. And a huge factor in deciding whether he clicks on the Buy button or the Spam button is your business reputation.
Reputation is not only how the end-user sees your business, but also how the ISPs rank you based on their internal assessments. It turns out that there are certain best practices to make sure you remain a trusted sender and manage higher inbox deliverability:
- Volume of email: How many emails do you send every month? A few hundred? A few thousands? Or a million? Actually, that’s not really important for the ISP; what’s important is the continuity of that email traffic. Irregular traffic and high spikes in email volume make the ISP assess you negatively.
- Bounce rate: This is something not only your ISP, but you too should worry about. While 0.5-1.0% of email bounce is acceptable, higher rates of failure indicate something fishy and ISPs tend to rate you poorly and may even blacklist your IP. Permission-based marketing, anyone faced such problem? I bet they CANNOT.
- Spam traps: This is where the ISPs play one-up on you, maintaining some defunct email addresses purely for the purpose of catching you red-handed. If your list is not clean, you will end up sending campaigns to many of these email addresses, losing reputation points.
- Get authentic: By that we mean your email address should be authenticated by the ISP, which adds credibility both on the ISP’s and the user’s end. This makes your email welcome every time!
Doing this much will you shine in the eyes of the ISPs, would also help in maintaining your SMO & SEO activities and hopefully even get preferential treatment. But business reputation as seen at the user’s end is tricky business and a topic for some other day!