At the heart of developing an email marketing campaign is an emphasis on solid fundamentals and the creation of valuable and engaging content. However, once you take these attributes and apply them to real world situations, the path to success becomes a considerably rockier road. This resonates even more if you’re brand hasn’t always had the best reputation when it comes to what goes on in the inbox. Thankfully, with a solid plan in place, you can dig yourself out of this mire and finally capture the true power that comes with being a reputable email marketing entity.
Does Your Brand’s Reputation Really Matter?
Of course, there’s no doubt that some of you on the other side of the screen are probably a little wary about where something as subjective as reputation fits into the bigger picture. After all, we do spend quite some time hashing out the intricacies surrounding advanced tactics and the implementation of metrics and data in the world of email marketing. However, not giving the presentation of your brand and its reputation the proper due is a quick way to come out on the short end of the marketing process.
As George Bilbrey of Media Post explains, reputation matters more than ever in today’s email marketing landscape. In fact, Bilbrey believes that the impact of reputation in the decision to open emails has never been higher. For the established and reputable brands, breaking through the often congested inbox becomes a much more manageable affair. Don’t believe this? Try getting your message across on the other end of the spectrum and it won’t take long to see that consumers, and their email service providers, see more than just the offers, discounts, and content held within the body of your message.
Honing in on the Prime Suspects
So what makes a brand lose credibility with an audience? While the answer to this question comes in a variety of forms, it all starts with the reputation of your domain and the IP address from which the email originates. In his look at how these two pillars of brand reputation in the inbox work, Business 2 Community’s Chris Arrendale points out that email service providers continue to segment and isolate ill-reputed senders to the spam folder with increasingly effective tactics. This means that auditing your site and ensuring it matches up with other industry leaders in terms of functionality and safety is a must.
Additionally, having images in your emails can cause a plethora of reputation problems. This doesn’t mean that fitting in these visual aids is always a bad call, but rather hosting these selections off-site at a disreputable domain, or keeping them in-house on a server that’s prone to crashing, can sink your reputation and ability to successfully capture the attention of wary email customers.
On top of all of this, enacting “spammy” tactics that once stood as yesteryear’s best practices can also derail your deliverability. Whether it’s taking on a message frequency that steps beyond an appropriate amount or implementing misleading and obtuse subject lines, abiding by these methods can often be just as detrimental to your campaign as the rest of the aforementioned reputation issues.
Protecting Your Brand Moving Forward
Now that we have you up to speed on the importance of reputation, as well as what causes customers to turn the other way, Tom Sather has some great ideas for regaining lost ground on this front. First up, make sure you’re aware of every step of the marketing process. Simply assuming that you’re brand has a spot in the ranks of the reputable sets a dangerous and inaccurate precedent for the rest of your operations.
From here, working with a trusted service provider and getting your hosting practices in order can eliminate plenty of deliverability and content issues. If you’ve been around the block before you might think you’re doing okay, but there’s nothing that compares to having the helping hand of an expert when you’re trying to lower blocked message rates and inbox viewer complaints made to Internet service providers (ISP.)
The last piece of the reputation puzzle focuses on keeping your email contact list in top shape. While more is better in many cases, invalid or inaccurate addresses can distort your consumer data and contribute to deliverability and reputation issues. Additionally, trimming off the less active portions of this list can also help lower the risk of blocked and flagged messages. Obviously, watching this shift back in the right direction won’t happen overnight, but at least with this information in hand, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you’re doing everything needed to get your reputation in the right place.