Inactive users and email deliverability-Disengage to connect

Click-through rates, bounces, deliverability rates, these are key phrases thrown around in the email marketing sector. An email marketing team feels like the pit crew of a NASCAR race car. A lot of preparation goes into building the car, months of tireless, sleepless nights, blood and sweat is poured in gallons to perfect the machine. When the race starts, on board monitors stream live data and engineers dissect it, to its last breath. It's very much the same with email campaigns. You spend months collecting data, furnishing it well, and also the perfect pitch. You send it out and your email campaign management streams metrics live. It's pure exhilaration!

A loose screw can mess up the car big time, and these screws for an email campaign are the inactive users that inevitably creep into the data. The toughest challenge for marketers has been the inability to effectively capture and tag inactive users. We have metrics to quantify every action that is worthwhile in email marketing, but the truth of the matter is that metrics that denote or signify activity have never been accurate to a large extent. It is closely tied to the parameters that marketers set for their metrics. One of the most common approaches is that if you are sending across a picture in the mail, a positive open happens when the picture is downloaded.

The inaccuracy in this process is that today, over 60% of business users access emails over their tablets, mobiles and other such hand-held instruments. Their scope of access is limited and most of them do not allow images to be downloaded. This in-turn is considered as an inactive user, while the reader may have actually read it and taken action!

Removing inactive data is a process of epic proportions. It requires a high level of skill from the point of view of tools used. You do not want to pick, choose and eliminate emails which are actually engaging with you but do not register on your metric parameter. Data cleansing over a period of time is the only option that email marketers have found as truly effective to a certain extent. Getting ROI from your email marketing efforts is serious business and today, it is essential to involve various channels to hit the right balance. The reason is that ISPs have gotten stricter with regulations on who gets through the magic door and who does not. You need to approach the process of marketing from various angles.

Here is a two stage process you can employ to make sure your deliverability issues are handled well.

  1. The first step is really the major step, and it needs to be done well. The email campaign which will give the most returns is not the largest list, but the most focused one. Data cleansing is a very important step in the process. Your data needs to be up to date, and clear of spam traps, unsubscribed ids and inactive addresses. This step requires a high degree of expertise and only a select few in the data industry have the means to do this efficiently. Pick the right service provider who knows exactly what this process means to the entire program.


  3. Do not put all your eggs in the same basket. The world has moved on from batch and blast a long time ago, it is time you did too. Segment your list efficiently. Test out the waters before you hit the send button. Ensure your parameters are realistic and allow you to understand where you have gone wrong. Also, today, social media has become a very effective medium not just for prospecting but also for creating connections, understanding the pulse of the market and finding where your ideal buyers are at. This should always be your campaign blueprint, allowing you to fall back on something when you may come across issues with one.

Ensuring that you get high delivery rates is a rather difficult proposition today with vast amounts of barriers set up on the way. This has given digital marketers the means to approach the goal in different ways, spread out their wings and hone in on targets through multiple avenues. This approach is what will truly make you a successful digital marketer.

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