Clean subscriber data is key; in order to ensure your mailing list doesn’t contain any spam traps or invalid accounts (closed down, poorly formatted, or incorrectly spelled email addresses), you need a clean opt-in process, know the origins of the data you mail to, and be cognizant of how it was collected and validated.
The other 3 components that help you achieve optimal inboxing – subscriber engagement, predictable mailing volume, and consistent mailing frequency – depend exclusively on how you execute your mailing program. If you plan on changing your mailing volume and frequency around peak season, you should gradually start increasing them the quarter before so ISPs have enough time to adjust their expectations and allow your campaigns into your subscribers’ inboxes.
To promote high subscriber engagement:
- Introduce triggered campaigns (welcome series, transactional messaging, feedback requests, etc.). They garner 2.5X the open rate of regular marketing campaigns and twice the unique click rate.
- Create audience segments based on subscriber tenure and engagement and mail to the ones that are consistently responsive. The rest you can ‘activate’ from dedicated activation or acquisition domains.
- Create multiple sending domains so you can mail different segments or different types of campaigns off of each one and have proper visibility into how each segment is performing. This also gives you a ‘Plan B’ if a deliverability issue such as a temporary block or a blacklisting occurs at one of your domains.
While deliverability is not the sexiest component of email marketing, it’s arguably the first and most important step to ensuring your mailing program does its job - reach your subscribers, engage them, and eventually, convert them to repeat purchasers.