Wellness Plan for Email Marketing: How to ensure your campaigns achieve peak performance

By Kate Intrater, Vice President at AtData

As the cookie disappears (eventually) and privacy rules take hold, email marketing remains a critical business tool, but ensuring that emails are effectively delivered to recipients is still ripe with challenges. From data management issues to evolving technology, understanding and maximizing the nuances of email deliverability can significantly enhance marketing efforts.

The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” has never been more relevant as companies are inundated with data and data sources. Poor data quality and inadequate campaign maintenance are primary causes of email delivery problems. Clean and authenticated email address lists are crucial for maintaining a healthy customer database and avoiding negative impacts on a brand’s reputation. And analyzing email marketing data is essential to identify areas for improvement, with a focus on tracking engagement and undeliverable emails.

With the help of Enverta, we summarized the findings from more than 1,000 campaign deliverability audits across a variety of industries and have identified four key areas to develop and maintain healthy email practices for reaching and sustaining peak email marketing performance.

Exercising Healthy Data Management Practices

The biggest challenge in email deliverability is data management. Mismanagement of data often leads to deliverability issues.  Just as a healthy diet is crucial for physical wellness, maintaining a clean and accurate email database is essential for effective email marketing. This starts with validating email addresses at the point of collection, whether on a website or at point-of-sale, to prevent invalid or incorrect emails from being added to the database.

Regularly cleansing your database to remove inactive or invalid email addresses includes monitoring for soft bounces, spam traps, mailbox full messages, and lack of engagement. This proactive effort can help improve open rates and reduce bounces.

Employing tools that proactively monitor the status of email addresses can also help maintain a healthy database as does connecting customer activity across other channels to ensure that active customers aren’t mistakenly removed from email campaigns.

Monitoring Vitals: Understanding Engagement

Similar to tracking health vitals such as your weight, height, pulse rate and blood pressure, monitoring the engagement metrics of an email database is crucial. This includes analyzing open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to understand how recipients interact with emails.

Evaluating email engagement helps with both the segmentation of audiences and re-engagement campaigns to target unique audiences. For instance, tailoring messages to different segments based on their engagement levels – such as early opens or multiple clicks – can improve relevance and effectiveness. In addition, identifying inactive subscribers and attempting to re-engage them can revitalize interest and improve overall engagement.

And, with traditional metrics like open rates becoming less reliable due to pixel blocking by various email clients and operating systems, marketers should look at additional data points such as click rates, website visits, and purchase traffic to gauge campaign success. With these insights in hand, more concise and personalized communication can boost engagement and conversions.

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Maintaining a Well-Balanced Diet with Good Data

Becoming and staying healthy isn’t a one and done task. Rather, maintaining good health requires dedication and ongoing assessment. The same is true for email campaigns. Ensuring the vitality of an email address database takes continuous effort and strategic planning.

Regular auditing of campaigns helps ensure the database is healthy. These audits should assess various factors such as deliverability rates, spam complaints, and engagement metrics and even look beyond the good data.

Bad data can also yield a wealth of insights. For instance, if there is a high influx of undeliverable emails it’s important to look at the reasons why. Could it be that there isn’t enough care being made at the point of sale? Adding in an extra layer of validation could help resolve this issue. Other areas of opportunity are looking at the database of inactive emails. At one point in time, these customers were active and engaged. Sometimes these customers aren’t really inactive but have multiple emails. Reengaging organically opted in lists can pay dividends.

Adding the Right Equipment

The integration of AI and machine learning into email marketing can optimize the timing and content of email campaigns. However, the effectiveness of these technologies hinges on the quality of the underlying data. With accurate and comprehensive data, AI can personalize and target emails more effectively, enhancing engagement and conversion rates. For email marketing, what is the next best action you want the consumer to take? The more data you have on customers, the more you can help prompt that next best action with the help of AI.

Reputation management also is critical in email deliverability. This requires setting up and managing your IP addresses effectively, whether through shared or individual IP structures, depending on your specific needs. Tailoring your messaging strategy to be proactive (announcing new deals) or reactive (responding to customer actions) can help maintain a good sender reputation. And relevant email content that is appropriately segmented according to customer data is vital for successful campaigns.

Implementing a wellness plan for email campaigns is not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment. Just as maintaining personal health requires regular care and attention, ensuring the vitality of an email address database demands continuous effort. By adopting best practices, marketers can keep their email campaigns in top shape, delivering relevant and engaging content that resonates with their audience.

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