This week, we’re looking at a topic we all care about as marketers: what happens to your marketing email after you hit send? Learn tips you need to make sure you keep off the email naughty list this holiday season.

Tune into the full conversation and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Reach out and let us know if you have an interesting topic for the Marketing Cloudcast.

Here are some highlights from the episode:

1. The Importance of Deliverability

If you are just getting into the email marketing space, you may be interested to know that for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you gain on average $38 in return. This all depends, of course, on whether or not customers actually get your email, which means you need to stay off the email naughty list and in this episode we share ways you can do that.

To understand email deliverability, we reflect way back when this channel started to gain momentum. Alex shared that “It was like the Wild West, with regards to marketers sending everything and anything that they could get out to their clients, and they were seeing really good results. The problem was that there was a little bit of too much of it going on, and not all of it was explicitly allowed. Email marketing has evolved into a more personal experience between companies, brands, and their customers.”                                               

2. Getting Your Email Marketing Deliverability Right

“Deliverability is as much of an art as it is a science,” Tyler says, “there are literally thousands of variables and components to the deliverability puzzle.” You need to know the basics of content filtering, reputation management, all of the authentication pieces that play a role in email marketing. For Tyler, “deliverability is something that you have to work at really day in and day out.”

The most important factors are the volume of emails, the frequency that you send them, and what kind of segmentation you have going on. Looking at your data is the best way to figure out if your email is going to the hit the mark or end up kicked to the curb. The more precise you can get with getting the right type of content to the right group of people, the more success you’ll have.



3. Taking a Peek at the Email Naughty List

To get a sense of where you are with deliverability, the first place to look is How do you avoid running afoul of the Gmails and Yahoos of the world? “That really starts with number one, having a sound infrastructure. Something that is great about Salesforce Marketing Cloud, their customers just don't have infrastructure issues. It's set up from day one so that they are successful, it's authenticating, your mail is on a sound platform and you go through a regimented IP warmup process.”

Another major factor is making sure you have a healthy mailing list. Tyler shares, “If somebody hasn't opened or clicked on an email in three years, why are you continuing to send to them?” Validate your list so you’re not continually bouncing your emails and creating other problems. This also helps you build a strong sending history: “If I sign up and over the first month, I get one or two emails and then Black Friday or the holidays roll around and I start to receive fifteen a day, that's not something I'm used to seeing so there is going to be a high rate of complaints from that change in frequency, that change in cadence.”

4. The Increasing Importance of DMARC

If you are in the email marketing space you’ve probably heard of the term DMARC. The basic fundamental of DMARC, it's just like most email authentication methods out there today, which are primarily comprised of you implementing a text record in your DNS.  But what does that mean for your email program?

It's a really cool authentication method to implement because it solves a lot of problems. I think the most important thing about it is it makes a company aware of the mail that's coming out of their digital real estate.

“DMARC is a way that provides authentication for senders to tell Gmail, Microsoft and other email providers what to do if they see spoofed or phished emails,” Tyler says. With the amount of spoofing and phishing that is going on in today's world, it’s a key way for email senders to be able to help inboxes identify questionable email. Gmail is considering making it a requirement to even reach its users in the coming years, so it’s something to get your head around now before you’re caught playing catchup.

5. Deliverability Tips

Deliverability is all about finding a way to consistently make data-driven decisions. Tyler says, “Test, test, test and really understand what are the drivers for engagement. If you see things that are resonating in your client base or in a competitor's client base, take advantage of that and really try to meet your customer where they want to be met.”

Julia shares “Email programs that are data-based, that are using the data available to them and using more segmentation, more targeting, more triggered messages that are relevant to subscribers with where they are in their life cycle, are going to drive better inbox placement because they're relevant, because they're getting that engagement and those clicks and conversions.”

You need to be continually asking yourself, what can you look at to tell you whether or not you’re really providing relevant content, and how do you make sure that it reaches the right people?

What Makes a Marketing Trailblazer

According to Alex, “Being a Trailblazer to me, means being part of the innovation process... try to stay as involved as possible, attend as many conferences as you can, talk to as many people as you can, and really get a good feel for where the industry is headed..iit's somebody that looks at the current status of whatever situation they're in and determines that there's a better, more efficient, way to do something.”

Here more on the full episode of the Marketing Cloudcast. Join the thousands of Trailblazers who are Cloudcast subscribers on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or Overcast.