Key to email deliverability is ensuring data integrity, relevance and reputation

Our latest “The Proactive Marketer” report highlights the need for marketers to understand the connection between data integrity, relevance and reputation and why these three factors can make or break a campaign.

Data integrity should always play a pivotal role in any successful email campaign and remains the number one priority for email marketers. Experian’s recent Single Customer View research highlighted that more than 90 per cent of UK companies suspect that up to 25 per cent of their data is inaccurate really underlining how potential returns can be lost even before an email marketing campaign begins.

Another important consideration is relevance. Customers have grown increasingly accustomed to getting the information they want, at the time they want and in a format that they can scan for relevance before investing time in exploring the detail. Our Experian Hitwise data shows that email users open an average of just five emails per inbox visit, but yet there are more than 500 million email-driven website visits each month. Understanding how to attract the reader’s attention and being one of the emails that gets opened is of vital importance to a campaign’s success.

Marketers have a number of opportunities to build a good understanding of who their customers are and what interests each of them. Our Experian CheetahMail research  shows that the initial phase of engagement is a critical time to set the tone for all future contacts, with welcome emails – compared to other email messages – achieving open rates that are 63 per cent higher and unique click through rates that are105 per cent higher. The report recommends that building content that starts and continues a dialogue with customers, creating the chance to learn from them at every opportunity, will build trust and significantly reduce the likelihood of disengagement.

With ISPs determining deliverability based on the sender’s reputation for complaint rates, unknown user rates and spam trap hits, it is vital for marketers to maintain their reputation by processing complaints from every ISP or email provider offering abuse complaint feedback loops.

Here are seven top tips for marketers to increase email deliverability levels:

  1. Data Integrity: Capture the data that drives your marketing goals and ensure that it’s constantly validated and always up-to-date 
  2. Data Integrity: Use your contact databases to store more than just addresses, incorporate information on permissions, propensities and preferences 
  3. Relevance: Start a real dialogue with customers to learn from them at every opportunity, building trust and reducing the likelihood of disengagement 
  4. Relevance: Move with your customers, with communications that are always targeted at their changing needs, and meets their expectations in terms of frequency, timing and channel 
  5. Relevance: Create content that encourages dialogue in the short, medium and long term
  6. Reputation: Keep abreast of technology changes such as graymail that may affect your ability to deliver emails 
  7. Reputation: Work closely with ISPs to ensure that you are a responsible marketer and your emails don’t end up in the spam filter.

1. Research into the importance of a Single Customer View conducted by Experian in 2012
2. Research conducted by Experian CheetahMail in November 2011