Deliverability 2012: Everything is about Relevance
The first step to success in e-mail marketing is to ensure that whatever you send reaches its recipients. Opinions on junk mail are constantly changing, just like the technologies for stopping it. What was true a couple of years back does not necessarily have to be relevant today.
The question is – what do things look like in 2012? What do you as a marketer need to think of when it comes to deliverability?
“Junk mail filters were rather primitive in the past,” Magnus Een, deliverability expert at APSIS, says. “They looked, for example, for individual words and concepts associated with junk mail. It was much easier then, even for a serious marketer, to make a mistake and be singled out as a junk mail sender.”
“However, this has changed a lot over the last couple of years. E-mails at the moment are viewed to a much higher extent in a context that factors in many more aspects than that. Words and expressions in the e-mail certainly play a part, but senders, your technical platform, your reputation and – in particular – the recipient’s reactions are factored in, as well.”
What does this mean for marketers?
“In principle, if your intentions are honest and you play with an open deck, you will reach your recipients without getting stuck. It certainly falls within the bounds of reason to come up with enticing product offers, which is why other ways of differentiating between desired and undesired mail have been developed.”
“Then there is naturally a lot that takes place behind the scenes. We at APSIS take care of the technical part and make sure that it lives up to all the requirements that are placed on a serious e-mail provider. This makes it possible for you as a marketer to relax and to not have to think of the technical elements. Things are simply too complex to do them on your own. We offer support, knowledge and experience. We have the technical solutions and look after important elements such as IP reputation and speed of delivery. These are things we do in the background, things that our customers haven’t the slightest inkling about. And this is how it should be – the challenge to marketers lies in a completely different field anyway.”
What characterises the opinion of deliverability and junk mail today?
The short and sweet answer is this: “Behaviour is decisive”. E-mail clients have developed towards learning more and more from your own behaviour and habits. They learn from what you usually open and what you cannot be bothered with reading. This has led to a greater degree of filtration in which e-mail clients help you sort mail based on how interested you are in it – without any need for you to think about this yourself.
As a rule, this means that whatever ends up in my own inbox is not necessarily what ends up in yours. And this places a completely different type of requirement on the marketer.
As a rule, has it become easier or more difficult to succeed in e-mail marketing?
“It is actually too easy to send an e-mail,” Magnus Een thinks. And even if he says this with a glint in the eye, he is dead serious about it.
“What I think is that it is more important than ever to think of what you are sending – and to whom. In a way, it is easier to compose an e-mail now than ever before because the technical aids have become so intuitive and powerful. However, it has simultaneously become much more difficult to produce content that is suitable for many different groups of recipients. And this is exactly the reason why, in my opinion, we are steadily moving away from bulk mailing. Triggered personal e-mails are much better at meeting today’s needs.”
“This is actually part of a larger and more general trend of moving from large-scale solutions to individual and personal ones. The perspective has been turned upside down. Instead of asking yourself how you can produce and send something as simply as possible, the question becomes how you can give your recipients as much value as possible. And this makes a difference.”
“Marketers should dedicate their time and attention to ideas, not to the technology behind them!”