Email Marketing Delivery and Open Rates

email marketing

When evaluating the success of an email marketing campaign, senders will often look at the numbers, or, open rates. Depending on the customer base used, target open rates can vary drastically. While one list may have a target open rate of 45%, another could be 18%. But how can you judge a marketing campaign at all based on open rates? What if the email never even hit the targeted receiver’s inbox?  It’s often assumed that someone who has opted in or double opted in to their email list will receive the emails. While opting in does increase the chance of emails being received, many other factors directly impact deliverability. Those factors include:

System abuse – The first and most obvious deliverability problem is abuse of the system. If you use a shared server, your squeaky-clean email list has the potential to be tarnished by other companies and their behavior. Even worse, if multiple sales representatives are given the same email list to run free with, the actual danger could be coming from inside the house. While many brand-name email campaign senders will quickly ban system abusers from their service, it can take time to restore the clout of an email server.

Neglected lists – Sales or marketing departments sometimes have campaigns to reconnect with old leads or previous customers who haven’t been recently contacted. In this case, the emails are reaching a large number of leads who have not previously been receiving emails. If these leads are emailed directly, a problem is unlikely. However, if, say, 50,000 of the same or augmented random emails are sent to a neglected list, it will likely cause a red flag and disturb delivery.

Bounces – List hygiene is important for email delivery. If you have a list of 50,000 sent emails, and an email server such as Gmail sees 5,000 of those emails as undeliverable, you will be flagged as spam for a short period of time. If emails are bouncing back (you are receiving error messages that the emails are undeliverable), remove those email addresses from your list immediately. If you see a pattern with email bouncebacks, you may need to investigate the cause.\n\nThese are just a few points to consider when trying to maintain or increase email deliverability. Also note that the reputation of your email server and your mailing list are major factors in the success of marketing campaigns. So, the next time you see poor open rates on email campaigns you have been using, do some investigation into how those emails are hitting inboxes. The answer could be at your fingertips.

For additional facts about email deliverability, click here.