This is the second in a two-part series exploring the fundamentals of creating a successful email marketing campaign. The series will cover everything from the quality of your lead source to the technical aspects of your send setup and feedback loops through your Email Service Provider (ESP).
In part one, I covered 4 of 8 steps you can take to maximize your email deliverability. This included sourcing quality leads, experimenting with varied content to avoid spam filters, handling lead responses, and constructing feedback loops with email service providers to avoid a damaged sending reputation.
Now, let’s cover the last 4 best practices for a successful email marketing campaign:
- Services: A Must Have
- Utilizing Your Internal Metrics
- Set Your Authentication Records
- IP and Domain Reputation Management
5. Services: A Must Have
Email marketing can be an overwhelming endeavor. Between managing a sending reputation, handling feedback loops, ensuring email leads are high quality, and coming up with quality content, email marketing quickly becomes a full-time job. An important thing to keep in mind is that there are a number of third-party services that have been developed by experts in the industry to do these things for you.
Instead of sending email yourself, find someone who does it exclusively. Make sure they have feedback loop handling and plenty of internal metrics to help you gauge the success of your campaign.
Below are a list of third-party services I highly recommend:
- Sending Services – These sending services require some integration development but offer many valuable metrics in return.
- Marketing Automation Services – These sending services do more of the heavy lifting for you while still offering valuable metrics and handling feedback loops.
- Litmus – This service runs your marketing campaign through a large list of common spam filters to tell you what content you can change to achieve a higher level of deliverability. In addition to this, Litmus will display your marketing campaign on a variety of different devices and browsers. This is particularly valuable for HTML emails.
- StrikeIron or BriteVerify – These services are used to validate email addresses. This can help you maintain a quality sending reputation by avoiding bounced emails and spam traps.
- SenderScore – SenderScore can help you determine when your domain or IP has a damaged sending reputation.
6. Utilizing Your Internal Metrics
Internal metrics can be used to uncover both negative and positive aspects of your email marketing campaign. Having the ability to sort spam clicks and email bounces by lead source can help you determine where you are wasting money. Perhaps you will find a correlation between spam clicks and the frequency of your emails. Maybe you will find that you obtain a much higher response rate when sending during business hours for your B2B campaign.
You may find yourself generating a number of reports before finding any useful trends in your marketing data. It may be frustrating at first. Don’t give up. While it may take some effort, I guarantee you will find useful data in your internal metrics.
7. Set Your Authentication Records
Email authentication was designed to increase the security and deliverability of your emails. Properly authenticated emails provide the recipient email service provider with an identification proving you are the person you claim to be. Sending emails that are not properly authenticated could cause the recipient service provider to assume you are a spammer and either reject your emails or send them to the spam folder. The two most popular forms of email authentication are DKIM and SPF. Most email services (see best practice #5) will provide you with both SPF and DKIM records to log in your DNS interface. These records will ensure your outgoing emails are properly authenticated.
8. IP and Domain Reputation Management
If you haven’t already, create a dedicated subdomain of your primary domain solely for marketing purposes. By separating automated and manual emails, you obtain a certain level of protection for your primary domain. This is crucial if you own the dot com for your business and don’t want to change your company name if your domain’s reputation plummets.
Consistently monitor the reputation of your marketing domain using third-party services. Use your internal metrics to identify trend changes in response rate over time.
Understand that domains and IP addresses build a positive sending reputation using consistency. Start out with a reasonably small volume of emails. Ramp up your email volume slowly in a linear manner. Nothing will burn your domain faster than sending a large volume of automated emails in a short amount of time.
I hope you enjoyed part two of my blog post on email marketing campaign best practices. It is important to know that there is no simple solution to achieving a perfect deliverability rate. Understanding and following best practices has proven to be the most effective way to combat the thousands of spam detection algorithms floating around the internet. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to shoot me an email or comment below. We’ll see you next time.