Unhealthy Sending Practices and Their Correlation to Email Performance and Deliverability

As a continuation of our five-part email deliverability experts interview series (here’s part 1 and part 2) we’re diving deeper into the dangerous but common email sending practices, their motivations, and the ways they manifest themselves.

Real-World Sending Practices

More than 20% of these deliverability professionals specifically mentioned top-down pressure from management as the primary reason why many marketers behave in ways that may negatively affect their revenue and reputation. 

This pressure, we learned, often shows itself in senders focusing on short-term sales goals, violating terms & conditions, overmailing, and lack of segmentation/relevance. Specifically, those companies that lack overall list segmentation, have low engagement rates probably don’t see as high ROI rates as businesses that fervently track sign-ups and segment their lists in an attempt to keep engagement as high as possible.

“There are some cases where clients come in and based on their sending behavior we have to proceed with caution,” said Kent McGovern, Senior Deliverability Consultant, Oracle. “We have one IP warm-up campaign that we’re doing right now […] and it’s obvious that their sending practices are really good. They’re two weeks in and delivering at 99.95% and open rates are in the 48%. It’s ridiculously good.” 

McGovern went on to give an example of a client that isn’t doing as well because they want to push hard and faster than recommended. “However,” he said, “when clients listen to the advice given and send wisely, provided there’s top-notch data to send to, that’s where we see great deliverability—and they see great results.”

Fresh Perspective on Education

We also heard several suggestions for how deliverability pros are trying to help marketers to help themselves.

One of our favorite ideas was to create educational materials speaking about deliverability in marketer-friendly language and showing examples of revenue gains associated with sound sending behaviors.

In other words, rather than try to convince marketers that quality, rather than quantity, is the key to better results…show them. After all, for deliverability professionals, it’s in the job description to make sure their recommendations are data-based and structurally sound.

While deliverability education can sometimes seem like an uphill battle, it’s a worthwhile endeavor. We just need to get creative and think like email senders.