How to use WCA to improve your email deliverability
Is your sender reputation hurting you? Think of your email Sender Reputation as you would an agent representing an actor. The wrong agent will miss crucial opportunities to see your career take off but the right one will ensure you are known and heard by the people that are going to make you a success.
A good agent will navigate you away from potentially damaging relationships and build a buzz, that organically grows and turns you into the success you are. Of course, you need to have the acting skills to back it up but if no one is hearing about you, you’ll be hard pressed to get a gig. A good agent will seek out your most dedicated fans and use them as a base to build from, and so it is with Sender Reputation.
Your email Sender Reputation can make or break your ability to connect, build upon and maximise your customer “fan base”. For this reason, both IP Warm Up and ongoing deliverability monitoring are essential elements of email marketing success.
There are a number of tools built in to WCA that can help you ensure your emails are being delivered and these can be used as a part of your ongoing campaign processes.
- Database Health: The health of customer data is possibly the single biggest issue when it comes to deliverability. Do your customers expect and want to hear from you? If they really don’t want to hear from you, they are more harmful on your list than off it! Ensuring your customer data is healthy involves going further than the essential first step of data cleansing; your customers negative actions or their inaction is actively affecting your Sender Reputation. If engagement metrics are showing a customer is inactive and unresponsive to your mailings, consider removing them or entering them into a re-engagement program to understand if they want to continue to receive mailings from you. There is a strong Automated Programs functionality in WCA that you can take advantage of to set up a lights-out re-engagement strategy. Check out our recent video on WCA Automated Behaviour Updates to assist with measuring customer engagement levels and remember that even after Warm Up is finished, the ISPs are actively monitoring your mailings to ensure they meet the best practice criteria of a good sender.
- Unsubscribe Links: Ensure all your mailings have an unsubscribe link: it should be as easy to unsubscribe from your mailing as it was to subscribe in the first place. If you make it difficult to unsubscribe from your mailings, you exponentially increase the chances of recipients marking your mailings as spam, deleting without opening or in the best-case scenario, ignoring them. A customer that successfully unsubscribes is much less harmful to your sender reputation than a customer that wants to unsubscribe but can’t. WCA includes a number of link options to make unsubscribing easy, including, one click opt-outs, opting out via a form and email replies. In most cases we recommend ensuring your Organisational Settings are set to not allow a mailing to be deployed if it does not have an unsubscribe link in it.
- Health checks: WCA will automatically apply a health check to each of your mailings and list out any potential concerns it sees in the template. While we recommend running your own sense checks on content also, the health checks can prompt you to fix issues that may otherwise cause your mailings to end up in spam folders or cause blacklisting. Some of the more common issues include low text to image ratios and spammy subject lines.
- Email Insights: Email Insights is an application integrated with WCA which can be used to preview how your email is rendering across the most popular devices and email providers. While the main preview tabs in WCA will show you a desktop, mobile and tablet view, we recommend using Email Insights to understand exactly how your messages are being displayed across the board. Whether you’re using an agency or building your HTML content in-house, the code developed needs to be strong and responsive across devices. Checking how this content renders for every new template will significantly improve your deliverability. This step can be especially important if you’ve been using the same template for several years and haven’t checked how it is rendering across newer devices.
- Reporting: If you’re on a Dedicated IP, we recommend regular review of your Deliverability Dashboard in the Support Portal to ensure you are seeing the expected results and are actioning any negative mentions. As a helpful reminder, add the Deliverability widget to your personal dashboard so you see it whenever you log in to WCA. If you’re on a Shared IP, deliverability reports will allow you to monitor your open, click and bounce rates for each send. Even if your bounce rates are average but your open rates are very low, there is a high chance your mailings are being sent to the spam folders of one or more ISPs. You can schedule regular reports to be delivered via email, allowing you to keep track of deliverability directly from your inbox.
- Segmentation & Automation: The Query segmentation and automation features within WCA allow you to target messages at the right customers and actively listen for their responses. Whether this is via the use of exclusions, inclusions, automated triggers or multi-channel customer journey’s, WCA’s capabilities can help you get the right messages to the right customers to support and build a healthy Sender Reputation and avoid spam traps.
- Content remains King: If your message is irrelevant, poorly designed or articulated, it won’t resonate with your readers. While this may not affect your first few sends, customers will learn over time that your messages are not something of interest to them and begin either ignoring them or worse yet, marking them as spam. Every email count’s when it comes to your customer base and at the end of the day, good content will prompt engagement with the current and future communications coming from your brand. Keep in mind also that what counts as good content for one customer, may not be the same for another. A personalised message goes beyond a customer’s name in the salutation. Don’t forget to take advantage of features like dynamic content and relational table personalisation when deciding on customer content.
If you are experiencing deliverability issues or even just want to improve your scores, WCA’s built in functionality and features can really help you tackle some of the most common issues.
Need support with Email Deliverability? PSC offers a full Email Deliverability Review package that includes a 30-Day mailing report, client deliverability processes assessed against industry best practices, current IP/domain reputation status and data hygiene. Get in touch to find out more.