Welcome to the thirteenth blog in our ‘Ask the Expert’ interview series, where we bring you industry experts to talk about outstanding practices in email marketing.
Scott is the founder and CEO of Email Industries, a leading email deliverability consultancy and solutions provider. Since 2008, his company has helped many of the world’s most respected brands make the most of their email marketing investment, including Adobe and Oracle. In addition to leading Email Industries, Scott is an advisor to numerous startups.
In this Q&A blog, Scott Hardigree talks about the impact of email deliverability on revenue growth and leveraging automation to improve it.
1. We’d love to hear about your journey as a marketer! What sparked your inspiration and ignited your passion for email? How did you start your marketing career?
All I’ve ever known was email. I began my career in 1999 as an email designer and developer and founded my first company shortly thereafter—a small but mighty full-service email marketing agency. Since founding Email Industries in 2008, we have been focused exclusively on expert-level email solutions, be they deliverability consulting services or products like Alfred, our all-in-one list hygiene solution. Along the way, we’ve had the honor of working with great brands and partners like Netcore.
2. How does email deliverability impact revenue growth? What factors affect email deliverability?
Email deliverability has a direct impact on your revenue growth, and there are four key factors that can affect your deliverability: your data quality, your sender reputation, the content you are using, and your email service platform. When you are able to land in your subscribers’ inboxes, there is a higher chance that your subscribers will interact with your campaigns. As a result, it will increase your conversion rate and generate more revenue. However, If you can’t reach your subscribers’ inboxes, it means you are leaving quite a lot of revenue on the table.
3. What are some proven strategies/best practices to improve email deliverability?
Always take care of your data quality, have a sunset policy to remove unengaged contacts and honor unsubscribe requests, and set clear expectations with subscribers on what will be sent to them and when it will be sent. And, of course, authenticate your domain.
4. How can businesses leverage automation and email workflows to improve email deliverability and drive revenue growth?
They can prove to be significant to your email marketing practices, especially when they add value to your customer journey and customer experience. Signals from automation and workflows, such as click-through rate, conversion rate, complaint rate, as well as unsubscribe rate, can be great data points to understand your subscriber behavior, can help you to build better-segmented flows and drive more engagement, and as a result, more revenue.
5. What are some practical ways to monitor and analyze domain issues and resolve them for significant email deliverability improvement?
I would say the best and practical way is to have an inbox monitoring service in place and conduct inbox placement tests occasionally.
6. Are there any specific metrics or KPIs that businesses should focus on to measure email deliverability? How can marketers track and analyze these metrics effectively to make data-driven decisions and optimize their email campaigns?
Results from inbox placement tests can be a good metric to understand and measure your email deliverability. Monitoring your click rate, complaint rate, unsubscribe rate, and conversion rates are also good data points to understand how you are performing. Based on those, you can make decisions to optimize your email campaigns.
7. How can artificial intelligence be leveraged to improve email deliverability and optimize marketing campaigns?
AI can help with deciding what to do with the data you are gathering from your subscribers. If it is sufficiently developed, AI can predict subscriber behavior based on previously collected data and add those subscribers to the relevant automation or workflows. It can create further engagement points without waiting for the email marketer to read the data, understand it and decide what to do with it, which could boost the optimization.
8. What are some common challenges or obstacles businesses face regarding email deliverability? How can these challenges be overcome or mitigated to achieve optimal results? Could you share some example(s)?
As deliverability consultants for a wide array of brands, we find that most deliverability challenges are directly associated with a sender’s email list. Specifically, sending marketing emails to too many undeliverable addresses, unengaged subscribers, and spam traps is easily avoidable but often overlooked. We recently worked with a direct-to-consumer brand to design and implement a new email hygiene policy, which resulted in a dramatic improvement in their deliverability and a 21.2% increase in email-driven revenue. The best way to ensure your email lists are healthy is to make sure all contacts are opt-in and employ a sunsetting policy (i.e., suppress unengaged subscribers), but when that’s not enough, we encourage our clients to use email hygiene services, like Alfred.
9. How can A/B testing be leveraged to improve email deliverability and maximize revenue generation? Are there any specific elements or variables that should be tested?
A/B testing is a great way to understand what your subscribers are thinking about the content you are sending to them. There are quite a lot of different elements that can be tested, such as subject lines, CTA, images, and body texts. The most popular one is to test different subject lines and CTAs to see their effects on open rates and click rates.
Considering the content you are sending to your subscribers will affect your engagement and deliverability, it is important to conduct A/B testing to understand your audience.
10. What are the top 3 things that are a big no to avoid crash landing in spam folders?
Do not use the purchased list. Do not send emails without authentication. Do not send content that your subscriber didn’t sign up for.
Email deliverability is a pivotal factor in driving revenue growth for businesses. Ensuring that emails reach the intended recipients’ inboxes directly impacts open rates, click-through rates, and, ultimately, conversions. Leveraging automation tools to optimize email deliverability can significantly improve engagement and revenue generation.
At Netcore, we are constantly making innovations that go beyond personalized content, A/B testing, and monitoring sender reputation. We are ahead of the curve in helping businesses build stronger connections with their audience, enhance brand loyalty, and achieve remarkable revenue growth. Connect with us to understand how you can benefit from our expertise and experience. We send over 20 billion emails a month on behalf of 6500+ businesses across 40 countries.