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Protecting your deliverability in unpredictable times

Right now, world events have meant that our lives, and our businesses, are more uncertain than most of us have ever seen.

Some businesses are already in danger of collapsing. Others are having to make significant changes to the way they work. Some are having to move almost everything that they do online. And for some businesses, there are huge opportunities to help other people.

I’ve been affected both personally and from a business perspective. My daughter Charlotte turns 21 next week and she was looking forward to her first ever trip to America, where she was going to help me on my booth at the Traffic and Conversion summit. But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, the event was cancelled and we’ve had to cancel our trip. So no exciting trip to America for Charlotte, and it looks like I’m going to be focusing on online marketing for the foreseeable future 😉

A lot of businesses, schools and government institutions are moving from face to face meetings to online communication as they do the best they can to maintain business as usual. Linked to this, it’s inevitable that more and more people are going to be using email and we’re likely to see massive increases in sending volumes.

Sadly, we’ve also seen an upturn in scam emails, phishing emails and other nasties where people are trying to take advantage of people’s fears, which means that the spam filters of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are going to be working overtime.

All of this means that it’s going to be increasingly important that you do everything possible to make sure your emails are seen and opened, rather than them being consigned to the spam folder.

With all the concern and worry at the moment, I don’t want to add to that with uncertainty about whether your emails will get through. Right now, people need to hear your message more than ever so I’ll do whatever I can to help you with that. 

With that in mind, here’s what I’d recommend:

1. Be ruthless with your engagement management. 

If you have a large list (say, 10,000 or more), consider only sending frequent emails to people who have opened something from you in the last 30 days. You should still send emails to people who have opened something in the last 30-90 days, but not as frequently as you mail your most engaged people.

If you have a smaller list (below 10,000), still make sure that you’re only sending emails to people who have opened something from you in the last 90 days.

2. Create an effective re-engagement campaign

Bear in mind that, right now, some people might lose interest in what you’ve got to say while they focus on their personal needs. But they might be back later on. With that in mind, if people do disengage at the present time, make sure that you have a good re-engagement strategy.

The best re-engagement strategies reach out after 30, 60 or 90 days of non-engagement, and give those people a good reason to re-engage. Maybe an extra freebie, or some other incentive to start with. Then follow up with a simple question. And finally, an email to say “I’m taking you off my list”

3. Segment your audience and only send what they want to receive

If your audience has different interests, or they have different requirements, or are at different stages of their journey with you, it probably makes sense to personalise your communications and send different emails to different segments of your list. My usual analogy applies – if you own a pet shop, don’t send an email to dog lovers about cats (unless you know they also love cats).

How can I help you?

If you need help, especially at this uncertain time, I’ll do the very best that I can to help. If you haven’t already, please start by taking my Free Email Health Check. That also gives you access to Deliverability Dashboard and the associated Facebook Group where you’re welcome to ask any questions related to email deliverability.

Whatever happens over the next few months, I’ll be here to guide you and make sure you can continue to get your message out to as many people as possible.

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