Editor’s Note: David Fowler is Act-On’s Head of Digital Compliance. He’s responsible for all issues pertaining to and affected by digital compliance, including email deliverability, privacy compliance, and industry stewardship. David has over 20 years’ experience in US- and Europe-based senior management positions focused on email marketing, deliverability, digital marketing, digital privacy, sales, business development, and product management.
David’s new regular column, “Digital Insights” will appear every other Friday in the Marketing Action blog.
Thanks for taking the time to review this column launch. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be discussing all things digital, with an emphasis on privacy, compliance, technology, products, and services, across all countries and regions. I invite your comments and feedback.
I just returned from New Orleans (no, I didn’t go to the casino, but I know folks who did!), where I attended the annual meeting of the Email Experience Council (EEC). I thought I’d share some insight on the event, as it’s significant enough to warrant actually attending.
The EEC is the email marketing arm of the DMA, headquartered in New York. Many of the world’s leading email providers are members; if you have the opportunity to attend an EEC gathering I highly encourage you to consider taking the time and effort to meet and mingle with other digital email geeks and industry insiders. You could learn a lot.
This annual event drew over 500 folks to New Orleans, which is a great indication that our channel continues to be vibrant and that email is still the center of the digital marketing ecosystem. There was local and global representation from vendors and clients alike.
The content was rich, with sessions like “Science Behind Emails that Persuade.” The “ISP Postmasters and Blacklist Operators” keynote lunch by itself was worth the price of admission.
One of the most relevant sessions was “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Deliverability (But Were Afraid to Ask). Some of the industry’s most knowledgeable deliverability professionals provided great insight about all things inbox related. The three key takeaways from this session were:
1. Data Quality:
I can’t stress enough about the quality of your data and how this is directly related to client interaction and conversion. Your lists are the potentially deadly Kryptonite (or the marketing gold) of your email marketing program. Getting the appropriate permissions and keeping up regular maintenance is a must in 2016 (and beyond) if you want to see continued performance and reap the benefits of user engagement.
2. Authentication Adoption:
We have been discussing email authentication (Sender ID, SPF, DKIM, DMARC) for many years now and the reality is that if you don’t authenticate your mail it’s on a one-way fast track to the junk folder. Authentication is a major building block of sender reputation so it’s really important to adopt. Having no email authentication would be similar to driving a car at night with the headlights off … you can predict the result. Your email service provider will provide authentication as part of their services so ask what flavor they provide.
3. Your Recipient:
Sending relevant email communications to your clients who want to receive the email they have requested is a key strategy and industry best practice to ensure continued deliverability success. Manage your recipients’ preferences and move them off your lists if they are not engaged. This will go a long way to ensure continued good sender reputation and ultimately ROI.
This conference ran two and a half days, and included 2 pre-conference workshops and 19 sessions. It was well worth my time, even including the stray alligator. Even with 20 years of experience, I’m still learning, as email continues to evolve.
I would strongly encourage you to join the EEC if you’re in the US. If you’re in the UK, consider the DMA UK, which has an email council representing the issues of UK-based email marketers. Get involved if you can with your channel; you’ll learn more an become a better, more effective email marketer.
I can assure you that we will keep our ear to the digital ground and share what we know, on your behalf as well.
Now that you’ve received the inside scoop for email deliverability, its time to put the information to good use! Deliverability is just one piece of the puzzle and there are many factors that will affect your email campaign’s performance. Download our eBook, “The Amazingly Effective Email Guide,” to learn 5 tips for successful and more profitable email campaigns.