Remember the Little Things this Holiday Season
Autumn is my favorite time of year. The crisp air, changing colors, football, and the prospect of gathering with family and friends for the holidays. It is usually a time for reflection, to think of days past, failures, accomplishments, and the promise of tomorrow.
For marketers, fall is a shorter time for reflection and more time for action. It is a very crucial time of year as the revenue gained from forthcoming holiday sales may determine whether your business is profitable for the year. The pressure to accomplish good results is stronger than ever.
In an effort to attain better results, many marketers look for new technologies such as Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and Artificial Intelligence. The goal is that implementing these technologies can help enhance the customer experience, introduce your brand to a bigger audience, which leads to an increase in email revenue. In my experience, the newest technologies get a lot of attention from marketers and rightly so. The competition for the inbox is tough, and if you are not innovating and trying to improve, then you might risk losing your customer to a competitor.
While these small things by themselves may not have a direct impact on your inbox placement (some have a bigger impact than others), having bad sending practices or metrics in addition to neglecting these small things can make reaching the inbox a bigger challenge.
- Data quality: The quality of your data instantly impacts deliverability. Syntax errors occur, such as a misspelled domain name, a missing username, a misplaced period, and a missing @ sign are missed opportunities. Having your data clean increases your chances of reaching the inbox and making the sale.
- Design errors: Missing graphics, misaligned columns, and background color combinations, bad text, and misspelled words may affect your email to be seen as spam.
- WHOIS record: Assure you have updated contact information and don’t use a domain privacy service. Usually, spammers use domain privacy services, so be transparent about how you can be contacted and who you are.
- Role Accounts: Assure you have the postmaster@ and abuse@ role accounts configured to receive email and observe them daily for communications from mailbox providers or subscribers. 5. Abuse.net: Add your postmaster@ and abuse@ role accounts to abuse.net. Mailbox providers will look up your information there to try and contact you.
- Personal whitelisting requests: The major spam filter and mailbox providers companies all prescribe asking subscribers to add your sending address to their contact list or address book. In many cases, your sending address in their contact list or address book affects your email to bypass the Spam filter and will land in the inbox.
- List-Unsubscribe: Many major mailbox providers use the list-unsubscribe header. It gives recipients an option to unsubscribe rather than complain, pointing to a better sending reputation.
- Reply-To address: Mailbox providers find you trustworthy when somebody replies to your emails. Support this behavior and be receptive when contacted. Be certain don’t use ‘do not reply’ as a username as it will send the wrong message. a. Use a Reply-To header if you want replies to go to another address than your sending address. By default, replies are being sent to your sending address.
- Monitor Out-Of-Office messages: Congratulations! Spam traps do not send messages when they go on vacation; you have reached a real person.
- Bad links: Be sure that all links go to a genuine landing page and that there are no page errors. Make sure to check the links in your pre-header and footer as these areas are usually ignored.
- Personalization: Make sure to address your subscriber by their first name or title (e.g., Hello Mr. Smith, Hi Jane). Be certain that the message personalization is working and not inserting the database field name or just a person’s last name (e.g., Hello Smith, or Hi <first_name>).
- Alternative Text with Images: Display an engaging and actionable text that arrives with a disabled image. The majority of email clients disable images by default, so alternative text can ease describe your message or offer in the preview pane.