I hate deliverability... Or not!

And yes... I admit it... I assume it... I hate deliverability! As I will celebrate my 13th birthday in this field in April 2021, I will share with you in this article my "coming-out" version of e-mail marketing! All in a good mood of course!

No, I wasn't out of inspiration - I still have plenty of exciting topics in stock for 2021 - but I wanted to end this year with a little bit of an offbeat article (sorry for the term). I'd like in a few lines explain deliverability to youWhy I hate it so much (or at least a little bit) and why I finally chose to venture on this path (maybe I will change the life of some of you... or not). Lets goooooo !

Email deliverability, a complex art?!

As I have been saying since I started, " Deliverability is a complex art that consists in ensuring that a message is correctly delivered to a valid e-mail address! ". This is normal, because if the address is not valid, it will be very complicated to send him an e-mail.

Now you will ask me why deliverability is a " complex art " ? Quite simply because it has never been so difficult to deliver an e-mail to the right address. mail box of a person. And I'm not even talking about reaching their inbox. There are several reasons for this:

  • Each ISP/Webmails uses its own filtering tools with different settings.
  • But also, ISPs/Webmails use their own filtering rules with different tolerance levels.
  • In addition, each ISP/Webmails will take its own decisions (whether you like them or not).
  • Finally, ISPs/Webmails will evolve the elements mentioned above without telling you !

To this day, I still emphasize the word "COMPLEX"I write it in big, bold, capital letters and red (a little nod to a Lapeyre marketer who loved to use these styles for her CTAs...).

In any case, assume that what was valid yesterday may or may not be valid today, let alone tomorrow... Such is the law of deliverability. 

... And after reading these first lines, you want to like it??? 

A complex language ?!?

In addition to understanding what deliverability is, it is also crucial to decipher its language, otherwise you will quickly lose interest. From experience, the words associated with deliverability are a major factor in marketers' lack of interest.
Here is a small non-exhaustive list of the different terms you can find in deliverability (page me if you don't know a definition):

"feedbackloop", "hardbounce", "softbounce", "spamtrap", "botnet", "spoofing", "smtp", "spf", "dkim" or "dmarc"...
Honestly, there's nothing sexy about it, and it clearly doesn't make you want to know more (just ask Marion DB )! And when you see the patterns associated with these words, you just want to go on vacation on a sunny beach and drink a good mojito (or two)!

In any case, deliverability isn't something you learn at school, but in the street (or rather, if you're in e-mail marketing).
Mind you, I'm not saying you have to be a "bad guy" to understand this language, but you can't be afraid of the unknown, not to mention the fact that you'll need to be overly curious. 

To conclude this part, I was confronted with this cloud of words 12 years ago now (by the way I thank Arnaud Clément Bollée for his training). I had to deconstruct them, digest them well to be able to explain them some time later in training and/or in performance. Finally, the mountain is not so high, is it?

A complex reputation system ?!?

When we talk about deliverability, the word "reputation" always comes up in the first minute. We must not forget that since the appearance of mass spam (see Botnets), each ISP/Webmails has set up its own reputation system. Therefore, if you do not have a good reputation, do not expect to deliver much.

As you can see, there are as many reputation systems as there are ISPs/Webmails. Thus, you can very well deliver your e-mails to Orange, SFR, Gmail and not deliver anything to Outlook or Yahoo.

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These reputation systems will be calculated from the following indicators :

  • The Hardbounces (or Unknown Users): the more errors you will generate on remote servers, the more you risk having a bad reputation.
  • The Complaints (or Spam Complaints): the more complaints you will generate (clicks on the spam button of the mailbox), the more you risk to have a bad reputation.
  • The Spamtraps (or Trap Addresses): the more you will target spamtraps (Pristine, Typo or Recycled), the more you risk to have a bad reputation.
  • The Volumes The more you have very variable volumes from one day to the next, the more you risk having sending limitations (temporary blocks) and therefore having a bad reputation.
  • The User Behavior The more people you target will have negative behaviors (clicking on spam, deleting without opening, moving to spam, ...), the more you risk to have a bad reputation.

What is certain is that these indicators will very strongly influence - positively or negatively - the reputation of an advertiser. This means that quickly impact its reputation and therefore its deliverability !

To summarize, previously the advertiser was mainly judged on the technical configuration (IP & sender domain) and on the quality of his e-mail. With the implementation of reputation systems, Anti-Spam filters will actually analyze all available indicators (including user behaviors) to establish the advertiser's reputation.
Your deliverability is hanging by a thread, let it go and that's the end!

Complex marketing practices in deliverability?!

And yes, deliverability is not only a matter of technique! You will also have to know the dark or light side (to each his preference) of marketing!
Here, we will talk about : "creativity", "e-mail content", "segmentation", "fatigue management" or "collection".. As if it wasn't complex enough with its language & reputation system, now you'll need advanced marketing skills!

And yes, unfortunately (or fortunately) you will have to set objectives to achieve to satisfy your customers / prospects. Because you mustn't forget that their behavior counts in the final score of your reputation. And I can't repeat it enough: no reputation, no delivery!

Different orientations are possible:

  • Experiment with new practices AB testing, renewing your objects, testing new content, ...
  • Separate your assets from your inactives and/or your customers from your prospects Have different templates depending on your sources (expectations are not the same).
  • Optimize your customer / prospect journey with personalized welcome emails.

The list of marketing practices (good or bad for that matter) is much longer. And each one can have a positive or negative impact on your deliverability!
Thus, opt more for good practices than the opposite, otherwise you will use our services . And just because Badsender says "Bad" doesn't mean we've chosen the wrong path - quite the contrary! Opt for virtuous practices 

A complex monitoring ?!?

It is perhaps the most boring thing in the world, at least that no one wants to do or likes to do (but that I love), it is monitoring ! I say "boring" because you'll have to follow a whole bunch of tools (not to mention their settings), scrutinize campaign reports, etc.

The monitoring is done in several steps:

  • Internal monitoring Here you should use the dashboards provided by your router and look at your detailed statistics per destination. Deliverability rate, bounce rate, open rate, click rate, complaint rate, unsubscribe rate... The goal is to detect anomalies.
  • External monitoring Here you will need to use external tools provided by ISPs/Webmails/Spam filters to monitor the reputation of your IPs/domains: Postmaster Tools By Gmail, Microsoft SNDS, Free Postmaster, Cisco Talos... Or provided by companies: Mxtoolbox, Dmarcian, SpamHaus, Senderscore, ...
    Like internal monitoring, the objective is to detect anomalies (and especially to correct them).

Generally, the time of a monitoring is several hours (everything will also depend on the number of campaigns to analyze and/or the number of IP & domains to check). Don't forget that this gesture must be done every day of routing to make sure that everything is fine and that you are not having a delivery problem!

If you don't have the time to do all this, you can either hire someone to do it (with the necessary skills) or entrust it to us (we love it!) 

What is the conclusion of this article ???

Let me conclude by saying that deliverability is indeed complex. I can understand why some people don't like it or hate it. Or as a former French President used to say: deliverability is either what you like, or what you leave.
Don't forget that this is a full-time job. That it requires - given the complexity - in-depth technical and marketing knowledge. And therefore to have a double hat.
In short, not just anyone can be a "deliverability manager". 

Feel free to like, comment, share this article! And you, do you like deliverability ??? (It's time to express yourself on the subject). Other articles related to the topic of the day:

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