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BizReport : Email Marketing : July 14, 2015

Top 5 tips to improve email deliverability

With the US presidential election coming up quickly, politicians are gearing up to get in contact with their constituents. One expert weighs in on how politicos can make more of their email efforts.

by Kristina Knight

Tip #1: Limit blowback by knowing and building a QUALITY list

"First and foremost political email campaigns need to focus on the quality of their email list rather than the quantity. Political mailers don't have to follow CAN-SPAM, and they regularly share lists, buy lists and use old lists; therefore it is essential that political mailers remember it's the behavior of the recipients that matters and what dictates the reach of a campaign. Following best practices in the long run, will bring more exposure and less blowback. Mailbox providers care about wanted mail and following CAN-SPAM is considered a minimum best practice in the email industry to ensure that wanted mail is being sent. Not following these and using lists with poor hygiene will cause the mail to be treated like spam by mailbox providers, likely resulting in poor deliverability and ultimately ruin the reach of the campaign," said Tanya Plaza, Email Deliverability Consultant, SendGrid.

Tip #2: Fine tune messages using testing to get the best response

"Understand what your supporters want to see from you. Measure your click-reach and open-reach. Focus on sending the right email to the right person at the right time with the right frequency," said Plaza. "Grow your fans in a thoughtful way, testing each step to make sure you're giving them what they are going to pay attention to. Exposure and support (whether through money or volunteering) is the outcome, right? Don't alienate supporters by sending too much or irrelevant mail."

Tip #3: Make the supporters that love you feel special

"Know who loves you! Every email campaign has supporters that want to hear from them everyday. These are the people that are opening your emails and interacting with your campaign - they're genuine super users. Segment them out and make them feel special - they want to help you succeed, so let them. Conversely, stop sending mail to people who aren't interested. There is no one-size fits all campaign - smaller, well segmented lists are the way to go," said Plaza.

Tip #4: Don't expect magic from people you don't have a relationship with.

"Focus on growing your lists organically. This is the best way to have a robust email program. That said, we all know voting records and boutique lists are a staple when sending political mail. The honest truth - they are dangerous. When you do use these types of lists, understand the source and find out as much as you can about the recipients you are mailing before sending that first email. Add them to your core engaged list slowly, testing to make sure the email being sent is really wanted. If you start to see otherwise, heed the warning signs and stop mailing. We recommend sending to no more than 10% of an unknown list at a time and making sure it's not more than 10% of your main mailing," said Plaza.

Tip #5: Use data to grow your list intelligently

"Monitor complaint rates and know what segments are contributing to positive and negative metrics," said Plaza. "When politicians know this data, they can change patterns accordingly. Know that you are sending the right email to the right person at the right time with the right frequency. The major email campaign challenge political senders will face in the 2016 election is a crowded inbox. It will be important for their email campaign to focus on permission marketing to get their fans attention in the inbox. 2016 will be a challenge for political senders because campaigners have more knowledge about the value of email marketing campaigns and we are going to see a lot more of it in our Inbox."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: 2016 Presidential Election, email marketing, email trends, political marketing, SendGrid

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