EP #50 Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Email Marketing: Tracking Metrics, Maximizing Deliverability and Engagement

EP #50 Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Email Marketing: Tracking Metrics, Maximizing Deliverability and Engagement

About this Podcast

In today’s episode of the “For The Love Of Emails” podcast, we welcome Shmuel Herschberg – CMO Shyn Media, with host Matthew Vernhout – VP, Deliverability, Netcore. Shmuel is a detail-oriented marketing and management professional with over 15 years of experience in senior director roles. Shmuel has demonstrated his expertise in B2B and B2C marketing, consistently delivering exceptional results by crafting successful marketing strategies that exceed KPIs, grow revenues, and scale businesses for global companies.

Quick Snapshots
In this podcast, they discussed:
How the right "From Name" and "From Email Address" can help your email campaigns drive user engagement
Things marketers should consider when thinking about different types of split testing
Strategies that will help marketers drive email engagement and enhance deliverability of their campaigns
How to identify common mistakes brands make leading to delivery issues, and how they can resolve them for better results
Best practices for effectively tracking metrics across multiple email service providers
How to effectively plan your email marketing segmentation strategies and achieve higher deliverability on your email campaigns
Tips for marketers to better examine delivery issues and resolve them before they become a longstanding problem and impact revenue
Episode Transcripts

Intro (00:06):

You’re listening to the “For The Love of Emails” podcast powered by Netcore, a weekly show dedicated to helping email marketers, marketing enthusiasts, and professionals of all walks engage, grow and retain customers through reliable, smart, and effective email communication and engagement. Discover actionable ways to increase ROI and deliver value through email innovations, personalization optimization, email deliverability, and email campaigns. No fluff. Tune in to hear best practices and tactical solutions from the best thought leaders and practitioners. Master your email communication now.


Matthew Vernhout (00:39):

Hello, and welcome to another episode of For The Love Of Emails, the podcast hosted by Netcore Cloud. I’ll be your host today, Matthew Vernhout, and the Vice President of deliverability at Netcore Cloud. Before I begin today’s episode, I have an exciting piece of news to share with everyone. Netcore has recently launched an exciting email report regarding all things AMP; it’s coming out this April 2023. So definitely look into that if you’re interested in AMP and understanding what AMP emails are all about. Get ready to unlock the secrets of email campaign success and achieve a staggering 1,000% boost in ROI. Yes, we’ve seen those numbers come through with customers time and time again, that have implemented AMP. The report is set to reveal the full potential of interactive AMP emails like you’ve never seen before. With the data analysis of more than 1 billion Netcore AMP emails, insights from 25+ industry experts, and over 100 innovations of use cases, you’ll discover unique strategies and tips to level up your email campaigns. Say goodbye to drop-off due to friction, say hello to more streamlined interactions that keep your customers engaged. Be sure to follow our LinkedIn page and keep up with all things related to this and future episodes.

We’re actually doing a fantastic series this month as well on personalization, all available on our social media platforms. 


So diving into today’s podcast, I’m super excited. I have a special guest, Shmuel Herschberg; he is the CMO of Shyn Media with over 15 years of experience in senior director roles. Shmuel is an accomplished and detail-oriented marketing and management professional. He’s a results-driven leader who excels in creating winning marketing strategies that exceed KPIs, grow revenue, and help scale business. Welcome to the podcast. I’m looking forward to our conversation today. Let’s dive in.  And tell us a little bit about yourself.


Shmuel Herschberg (02:36):

Thank you so much, Matthew, for having me here. It’s a real pleasure to be talking with you today. And yeah, I’m really looking forward to today’s conversation. So yeah, as you said, I’ve been involved in email marketing for around 14 years now. Originally, I was in the world of PR and content, working in marketing teams. And then, around 14 years ago, the company was looking to level up its email marketing game. They tapped me to run the email marketing program. And I’ve been doing email marketing ever since then.


Matthew Vernhout (03:17):

That sounds like a story about how a lot of us get into email marketing. You kind of trip and fall one day at work. And next thing you know, you’re doing email marketing for the rest of your career.


Shmuel Herschberg (03:25):

Exactly. You know, like I’ve always heard, like, people talk about who grew up thinking they were going to be an email marketer, but I think we’re probably coming to that point in time where we might have someone that grew up in a world of email marketing, unlike us that grew up pre-email marketing.


Matthew Vernhout (03:47):

I do know a few second-generation email marketers now; we’re someone who’s followed in their parent’s footsteps, so it’s an interesting time to be in the industry. Having been in it for so long, you finally see that second-generation circuit come through. So, speaking about second generations, when we were planning our conversation today, you were telling me about how you came up with the name Shyn Media, right? It’s not spelled like how you think but like S-H-Y-N Media. So tell me, where did that name come from?


Shmuel Herschberg (04:19):

So around four and a half years ago, I went solo and started my solopreneurship, doing digital marketing consulting, focusing on email marketing and marketing automation. And I just thought, Shmuel Herschberg was too long for a domain and wasn’t sexy enough. I wanted to brand myself as a full media company and everything. So, I like throwing around different names and stuff, and all of a sudden, it dawned on me, I have four kids, and you know it’s an acronym with their names, so I was able to get that in there in a sleek kind of way and spell S-H-Y-N. So that’s the story behind the name Shyn Media.


Matthew Vernhout (05:05):

That’s a great second-generation story. Like now you can make sure your kids grow up to be email marketers too.


Shmuel Herschberg (05:11):

Exactly. Then we can be Shyn Media, second generation in a few more years.


Matthew Vernhout (05:20):

It’s an interesting thing. It’s kind of how I also came up with Email Karma as well. So that’s my website. My wife and I were walking the dog one day in 2007. And we started talking like, oh, I want to start writing. I have a lot of things to say and know where to say them. And we started throwing out all kinds of names. And it just kind of came out when we were walking the dog was like, what about this name, Email Karma, see where that goes? Because the whole idea of.. you know, you appreciate this and it’s actually what we’re going to talk about, right? It’s the behavior you exhibit with email which gets  you the results you deserve. So if you have good email marketing practices, you tend to get good email marketing results. You have bad email marketing practices, you tend to get bad email marketing results. It’s the karma of email. Right? So that’s kind of where that name evolved from. And here we are.


Shmuel Herschberg (06:22):

In 2023.


Matthew Vernhout (06:23):

2023 and still going.


Shmuel Herschberg (06:26):

16 years later, awesome. And those good ideas always happen. If we’re talking about just email marketing, and we’re talking about just marketing in general, that’s where the good ideas happen. On my LinkedIn feed the other day, I saw a meme of an A/B. A – side one is in the boardroom, and the other one was in the field, someone going for a walk and top of it was like A good ideas; and the left side with the boardroom was like, 0%, and in the field it’s like, 100%. That’s like, you know, in the shower, and going for a walk in nature. That’s where the good ideas happen. I love the name – Email Karma.


Matthew Vernhout (07:10):

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I think that’s where a lot of my good ideas come from. It is when I’m out, not sitting focused on something else. You’re out walking the dog, obviously, like, Oh, what about that? I could try that when I get home. And off you go. So I wanted to talk about, you know, we’ve talked in the past with other experts around deliverability and monitoring performance and the types of things brands and marketers should look at. And we had talked about, you had mentioned about A/B split testing. I think a lot of  people look at it as two options, instead of one to N or A to N options. It’s always testing this versus that and seeing which wins. But when we were talking, you were talking more about, like how people should think from a deliverability perspective around different types of split testing? We even talked about what the “From Name” look like. What does the “From Name” drive that reaction? Do you want to dive into a little bit about some of the things you found when you’re doing testing, and it comes from even just simple “From Name” viewing for the consumer?


Shmuel Herschberg (08:22):

I would love to dive into that. Because of my background in content and user engagement, I’m really focused on that one-to-one. When I’m working with clients, and some of them are working on long-form emails, I’m always trying to drive the point home that we’re speaking to people. And then when we look at the inbox, people are always like oh, let’s A/B test the subject line. That’s where everyone just always runs to. That’s, like, where people gravitate to because that’s what you could change in the email client’s view of what you send out. But the reality is that the “From Name”, and also the “From Email Address”, those are other things that you can play with, and they can really manipulate the deliverability by a lot and from my experience, my personal experience, and I think I told you this before, is that’s where I see the real movement on the scale when it comes to open rates and engagement rates is that the first step is how you position the email with the “From Name” and also the “From Email Address,” as opposed to just the subject line. I joked with you. I said you know, maybe I’m just like an amazing subject line writer because, I’ll admit, sometimes I just don’t see movement when you’re split-testing subject lines, that can be frustrating. So obviously, I tried to work on strategies that you can see a difference. But I think taking a step back and peeling that onion one layer down, you test that “From name,” right? So if I’m sending out an email, I could send it from Shmuel Herschberg, or I could send it from Shyn Media. If I’m, let’s say, in the fitness space, I could send it from Coach Shmuel. There are lots of different ways to position the “From Name.” And that’s something I think that’s overlooked by a lot of email marketers.


Matthew Vernhout (10:32):

That’s actually something I see quite frequently discussed in the various email communities, such as the email geeks. Like, what should my “From Name” be? Should it be from me? Should it be from my company? Should it be Matt from the company? When you’re planning on testing those types of things, what type of guidance do you give your customers to say, like, here are five options, pick two, pick three, and, test them. And then, what level of impact do you see when it comes to a Gmail user Vs. a Yahoo user Vs. an Outlook user, for example, with some of these tests?


Shmuel Herschberg (11:09):

So when it comes to different email clients like Gmail and Yahoo, and Outlook, that’s also something that needs to be evaluated. And, I think, we could talk about that as well because that’s something that also – people have that problem, just put everything in one bucket, so to speak, and think that everything works the same way when in theory they don’t. In reality, Gmail has its own algorithms, and Yahoo has its own algorithms. So, the “From Name,” when I’m working with the client, obviously I want it to be something that resonates with the brand. I’m not advocating anyone to go rogue here and start ending up in the spam box.


Shmuel Herschberg (12:03):

That’s not it; it will be the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish here. But, in terms of a brand name, there are lots of, like I said, it could be, Coach Shmuel, it could be Shmuel Herschberg, it could be Shmuel at Shyn Media, or Shyn Media. So, I would just go through a few permutations of different names and personas that you can choose for your company or the name of your brand and just roll with that. And then also at the same time, also start testing out the, “From Emails”. So you could have support@shynmedia, you could have shmuel@shynmedia, you could have info@shynmedia, you could have sub-domains, and it goes on forever. But I think when you start testing things, that’s when you’ll see the differences, and you’ll see, oh, okay, I should be sending from this name, I should be sending from this email. And then once you have that kind of paired up, then you can actually dig down into your email client and say like, oh, who’s on my list? And stuff like that. And start developing deliverability strategies 2.0.


Matthew Vernhout (13:23):

Does it make sense to use coach@Google and first name@Yahoo? Do those audiences perform differently based on those types of things, or have you seen in your experience, you know, pick one, and it kind of works the same across all the different audiences?


Shmuel Herschberg (13:46):

Well, yeah. So it’s an interesting question, and I think, before answering that, you need to ask yourself another question, like, who’s actually on my list? Like what my list consists of now from the stats that I’ve seen both industry-wide that I’ve read and also from some of the clients that I’m managing. If anywhere 50 to even 60% are Emails, they have the lion’s share of the market, but after that, you could see Yahoo Mail and Outlook, and they could comprise 10% of your list. And that’s a significant chunk. So I think that the first thing is seeing the pie chart of who is on your list.


Shmuel Herschberg (14:42):

And, when I say who, obviously, I don’t mean Matthew or Shmuel. I mean, Matthew is using, let’s say, Gmail, and Shmuel is using Yahoo and a pie chart based on that. And then from there, you have to make an educated guess and make a decision saying, okay, these are the ISPs that I’m focusing on. For our case, let’s just say Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook. And then you could have some other smaller domains. You could have your vanity domains. And then for those, let’s say you wouldn’t need to start testing, but with the ISPs, you have a significant share. So I might want to drill down into those and do a test there because I don’t think it’s gonna be the person who’s using Gmail. It’s gonna resonate more with, let’s say, coach Shmuel Vs. Shmuel.


Shmuel Herschberg (15:43):

But I think the algorithm with Gmail might favor one over the other. And that’s something that you wanna kind of catch, and loop that information back into your email service provider. So when you’re running your campaigns, you are training your email subscribers and email clients to say like, okay, anyone who has a Yahoo, give them Coach Shmuel. But anyone who has, let’s say, a Gmail just writes Shyn Media, so to speak, if that makes sense.


Matthew Vernhout (16:17):

That’s an interesting segmentation strategy, I would say to segment your “From Name” and, I think, different mailbox providers tend to have a different dynamic of user. And I think that’s where understanding the user dynamic behind the average Microsoft user, consumer user – not your business user, business users are using Office 365, or using Google Workspace, for example, right, they’re a little different, again, than your consumer domains.


Matthew Vernhout (16:39):

But focusing on the consumer domain, seeing the demographic difference between like an AOL user and a Gmail user and a Microsoft user, and then tailoring your from line, your “From Address,” or your friendly “From” even to those users. It’s a strategy that I’ve actually never tested myself, but it’s an interesting one to bring up, and sort of consider how those different audiences perform. You mentioned something about the algorithm, the machine learning algorithm, and the anti-spam algorithm’s reputation. When it comes to these types of solutions, you know they’re all kind of looking for user engagement, user feedback, complaints, etc. What are some of the results that you’ve seen when you’ve been testing clients with your customers, and how do those various platforms and some of these changes you’re talking about impact their deliverability?


Shmuel Herschberg (17:59):

Yes, I think what you’re saying brings up a point that every email needs to have a purpose, and you need to kind of map this out, let’s say, on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis, or an annual basis. And what needs to be mapped out is what is the call to action. What am I looking for in this email? Now, case in point, I work with a non-profit organization. So one of the non-profit organizations that I work with, obviously fundraising is a big part of their overall program – of what they need to do. They also send out content.


Shmuel Herschberg (18:43):

They also send out emails, let’s say, from the editor, right? So every email can’t be asking for a donation. You’re gonna upset people. And so you might have to earmark a certain amount of emails saying that’s what my call to action is. Giving Tuesday, you know, the end-of-year donations through, maybe, a few touch points throughout the year. And that’s gonna be a focus on that. And then when it comes to content, right? I’m not looking for a donation. I’m looking for a click. I want to engage my user and get them to click. And then there’s a third category, which I think all email marketers know is a fabulous metric and a fabulous data point to send back to the Gmails and the Yahoos out there, and that’s a reply to an email.


Shmuel Herschberg (19:42):

So you can really hone in on that, I think, only if you plan for it. If you’re just seeing, if you’re not really planning your emails, like what kind of email are we sending out today? You know, then it’s gonna be like all of a sudden it’s gonna be Q2 like it is now. Like, I don’t know where Q1 went. And it’s like, wait. We didn’t have any emails that were specific, and we were looking for people to respond to an email. So that’s something that needs to kind of be baked into the email calendar and saying like, okay, maybe like once a week, maybe once every other week, but that’s a specific email that’s kind of like more of a one-to-one type of email that you’re asking for someone’s feedback. It could even be negative feedback you might find, right? But hey, you know, Gmail, I don’t think they’re reading the email to see what the email is. They’re just kind of like seeing a response to an email, and that sends excellent feedback. So that’s really important in terms of deliverability as well.


Matthew Vernhout (20:46):

I’ve seen people use that tactic, and you don’t have to use it for your entire list, right? Like, you could look at your non-profit, for example, a customer from a non-profit, right? You could look at it and say, you know, there are 12 months a year, but we’re gonna avoid sending in November, December because those are big commercials. So we’re not gonna ask those types of people. So you take the rest of your list and divide by 10, and you just reach out once a month to one 10th of your list and just say, we’d love your feedback. It’s your month, right? So every January you get feedback, or every February you get feedback kind of thing, and get that rapport with a portion of your list. I think there are a lot of different ways to do it. Like you said, it could  be a reply, it could be a survey, or it could be a Q&A.


Shmuel Herschberg (21:35):

That’s actually an excellent strategy that you bring. Matthew, because you don’t wanna lean on to everyone all the time, right? So you kind of just divide up the list, especially if your list is big enough. It’s also important as well, like, just in terms of, you know, you have to ask yourself also who’s getting these emails, right? Who’s gonna get these responses, and who’s gonna fill them? Now, I’m a big proponent of saying like, the most important part of your email marketing strategy and your team is your customer support and your customer success team because they’re the ones that are fielding the good stuff and also the bad stuff, which is excellent feedback in terms of what you need to improve on; and if they’re also going to be writing back, you don’t want to inundate them with too many responses that they can’t handle. So, yeah, what you said, I think, is excellent. It’s a brilliant, brilliant strategy. Like, you know, divide up that list and make sure that you’re in line with that customer success team that they could handle the responses as well. So, yeah.


Matthew Vernhout (22:45):

And I think there’s a ton of strategy behind that, right? You could do your bottom 10% and ask them why you are not engaging. You could do your top 10% and say, what more can we do for you? You can pick a random 10% and sample them that way. So there are lots of different options. And yeah, I think you’re right. Based on your list, can your team handle a hundred thousand replies in a month? That is probably not correct. So you wanna look at those different segments, and maybe you look at how you split it into 50 segments, and you’re asking a very small portion every week for their feedback versus, if your list is of a thousand people, you could probably ask all thousand of them every month for feedback. So yeah, depending on the size of your list and the strategy you want to unplug. Now you know, we talk a lot about those strategies cause we’re trying to drive engagement. And you know, the reverse side of that is when you have low engagement, you tend to have delivery issues. What are you seeing as trends right now that are common mistakes brands are making that are causing some type of delivery issues for them? And then, like, what do you recommend to resolve those things?


Shmuel Herschberg (23:56):

I think that’s a very hot topic, because I’ve seen recently some of the email marketing gurus out there, they say just don’t segment. They’re just saying send all the time. I am not a hundred percent on board with that. I’ll argue with that. And I think you do need to send it to active subscribers. And, obviously, like, I’ll send to unengaged subscribers as well, but not all the time, maybe every eight days. So it’s kind of like you’re rotating through the week, so it’s not gonna be like every Sunday you’ll send to your lapsed. But speaking of lapsed, I think that it’s also very important that you have to find that cliff of, like, when do people become lapsed? Like how often are people reading your emails? Like when they sign up on day one, day 20, are they still reading your emails?


Shmuel Herschberg (25:03):

And whatever that point is, we’ll call that the email marketing lapsed cliff, for lack of a better term, Event Horizon. So we bought a kind of, like, attachment before they fall off the cliff. Let’s say it’s 50 days. So start getting your lapsed email, let’s say, at 40 days, 45 days,  just before Apple kind of threw a spanner into the works with the whole open rate and stuff. And, it’s something you need to be very sensitive, and, I think, very cognizant of, especially when you’re talking to people, and you send out that lapsed email because, a few years ago, you could send out a lapsed email and say, Hey, you hadn’t opened up an email like since, and you could tell them when their last open date was, right?


Shmuel Herschberg (25:56):

But now you’re not exactly sure when people are opening up emails and stuff. You know, some systems are counting opens from Apple privacy. So it’s obviously something that you wanna look into, on a personal, one-to-one basis with what your email service provider is doing. So you understand the algorithm and how they’re tracking opens. And then basically make sure that you understand, and take that learning, and then you apply it to your lapsed email. So, for example, like a year or two ago, my typical lapsed email would be like, Hey, you know, we’ve missed you @ brand so and so, here’s a great piece of content that you missed. 


Shmuel Herschberg (26:47):

And with the Apple privacy issues, I don’t really know if they’ve actually opened the email or not. So I’m kind of basing it on engagement and clicks because that, for the most part, that’s kind of like the big engagement that I’m looking for. And rather than going with that approach like, Hey, did you see my content? I kind of take the approach like, hey, like if anyone knows about being busy, it’s me. I’m, you know, a super busy guy, and I have this website where I have all this amazing content, so I know how it feels to be busy. I know I’m in your shoes. But if there’s one article that I could share with you today, it would be this timely article. And that strategy worked  wonders for me. Like, in Q1, it’s really made an impact on the lapsed email because, kind of like pivots that, because, we’re not saying you’re not opening up emails, we’re saying, you’re just not clicking on emails. And that might be because you’re busy and you might be seeing our emails, but, you know, we obviously want them to be clicking on our emails as well. It’s very important.


Matthew Vernhout (28:00):

Yeah. I think there are a lot of things I’ve seen that also work in a successful way that way, right? Monitoring, when was the last time somebody logged in? When was the last time somebody used your app? When was the last time somebody made a purchase? If you can’t track the open rate. Can you track other engagements from that consumer? Are they still visiting your website and logging in and making purchases, but they’re just ignoring your email? Cause maybe the subject line just says, oh yeah, I should just go to that website. Instead of clicking, I just go to the website, right? Can you tie those metrics together to say Matt’s still active even though he is not reading the email? Maybe he just doesn’t care about the email.


Matthew Vernhout (28:43):

Probably my least favorite email, and the one that I will never open but will prompt me, is “Your weekly flyer has arrived”. I don’t need to read that. I’ll just go to the website. If I’m interested in looking at what’s in the flyer, I’m not going to click on the link and take me to the digital flyer. I’m just going to open the digital flyer. Or, depending on the company, I’ll just go downstairs and check out the flyers that were delivered to my door. Because it’s probably in there, but that email is the least enticing email “Your weekly flyer has arrived”. There’s no reason for me to engage in it. But I think testing changes that. Like you said, sending what you will be most interested in from this week’s flyer would probably be a more useful email.


Shmuel Herschberg (29:34):

But on the flip side of that, Matthew, there is something to say about just that, and this obviously needs to be tested, but just that consistency, like, it’s chocolate ice cream every week, it’s good, it’s like, let’s go with it. And people know, oh, here’s my chocolate ice cream. And it’s going to be good, right? So there is that as well. But yeah, I think definitely in terms of just going back to, like, what we need to be tracking about people like omnichannel, like looking at the bigger picture. It’s not just open rates, and it’s not that I would just get rid of open rates altogether because it just has its limitations now, right?


Shmuel Herschberg (30:24):

But obviously, click rates. And, also just in terms of getting that login and website visits back into the email service provider. I don’t know if we could mention any brands here, so we won’t, but there are some brands that we can, that can tie in that information in terms of website visits, obviously, the purchase is very important. So all that kind of information also needs to be part of those lapsed campaigns. You see someone who purchased right but hasn’t opened up an email in a few weeks. You can say, where are you? That wouldn’t be a very good touchpoint to have with a customer that just bought from you within the last 24 hours.


Matthew Vernhout (31:15):

Yeah, that’s an interesting thing. Because a lot of people keep their transactional data in one bucket and their marketing data in another. And you could be doing nothing with your marketing data, but you’re getting transactional notices. Here’s your shipping, here’s your purchase, here’s your receipt, and here’s a feedback form. It may not be feeding back into your marketing database. I think that’s something that a lot of brands need to connect to make sure that they’re looking at that engagement data if I send a receipt to this person, which means they’re active. I need to make sure that it flows. And I don’t mistakenly send them that “we haven’t heard from you in a while” email. And I think it’s a huge disconnect when it comes to some of those data relationships, whether it’s because their transactional platform is one platform, and their marketing platform is another platform, and they don’t have that tieback in their own CRM for those types of things.


Matthew Vernhout (32:05):

I think there’s a huge opportunity, and that’s a great point that you made there around being able to see sort of that wider audience for behavior. When it comes to looking at your metrics, one of the things that I found helpful, and we talked about this during planning, is, looking at metrics by domain as opposed to overall. You get a click-through rate but maybe you have zero openings at Comcast, as an example, right? There are zero clicks at a specific domain. What do you do when you’re working with marketers, and how do you identify those little, like small but painful spots, maybe where they’re missing out on an entire segment of their audience?


Shmuel Herschberg (32:55):

So this goes back to looking into seeing what your biggest email clients are, right? Who’s on your list? And then kind of understanding what’s going on. I wrote an article about this at the end of last year. And basically, I pointed out that with just very basic data, you could have a problem that gets swept under the rug without you even knowing it. And, you could have, let’s say, a 22% open rate. And, the way that happens is basically, you know, simply that you have, let’s say you know, a certain segment, let’s say Yahoo or Outlook, Hotmail is acting up, and they’re just directing all your traffic into the spam junk inbox. And you won’t even know it because, let’s say, Gmail is performing slightly better.


Shmuel Herschberg (33:50):

And because they have so much weight. You won’t even realize that there’s an issue. Obviously, if Gmail goes south, you know people will probably be on that very quickly because they have so much weight in that weighted inbox. So it’s important to kind of just go back to that pie chart of your top ISPs, and then just send out, obviously, depending on your overall list size and then also per price pay. So, you know, you might want to do this once a month or twice a month, once a quarter, whatever works for you. But it’s something that should be investigated, like saying, Hey, you know, I have, let’s say, 5,000 people on my Gmail.


Shmuel Herschberg (34:37):

Okay. Send them all, see what the open rate is today, and what’s the baseline there. What’s the baseline for Yahoo? What’s the baseline for outlook.com? And then kind of seeing, like, are those matching up? And if they’re not matching up, you’ll be able to readily identify a problem if they’re not right. And that’s something because of those work in silos. So, you know, just because you’re doing well with one doesn’t mean you’re gonna be doing well with the other. And then, as we spoke about testing different “From Names” trying to be aware, more conscious of the wording, making sure you’re inside your email, the HTML is set up correctly that it’s not too heavy and stuff, there’s a good amount of text in there.


Matthew Vernhout (35:30):

So when it comes to, say you’ve done this, you go, and you identify that, you know, Gmail’s performing at 30% opens, Hotmail’s performing at 30% opens and Yahoo’s at 10% opens. You know, when you’re looking at that type of mix, what’s your sort of thoughts around troubleshooting, you know, whether it’s a Yahoo issue or whether that’s just the way your audience performs at Yahoo?


Shmuel Herschberg (35:55):

Yeah, so it’s interesting. It’s a good point that you’re bringing up because, in the beginning, you mentioned, you know, in terms of personas with the “From Name,” you said how, oh, maybe Yahoo that audience, the people that are actually using Yahoo react differently. And it might not be the algorithm; maybe it’s just how the people react. So, it might be right, but I wouldn’t pick up the white flag and call the day and say, oh, 10% open rate on Yahoo and low engagement on Yahoo is because those people on Yahoo just aren’t so into emails. I would, obviously, try split testing, doing a little tightening up your audience list with Yahoo. Let’s say you have a strategy for engagement.


Shmuel Herschberg (36:48):

That ‘s, you’re going based on 60 days engagement in general, right? With Yahoo, maybe go for a 30 days engagement, clamp down on that, and see if that can move the needle a little bit, and then do that for a couple of weeks. And then again, after the results improve, you could start opening up those, that segment again, to a larger list. But I would throw in just one caveat out there: it’s about working smart when it comes to email marketing, right? It’s not a matter of it, not about saying like, oh, okay, I have, like, four or five important ISPs, and now every email campaign I have to multiply that by four because I need to send that out.


Shmuel Herschberg (37:40):

So, working with segmentation is important in terms of building out your segments, like we spoke about earlier in terms of planning. I’m gonna say, like, okay, today’s April 4th, April 15th I’m going to have a test where I’m gonna test these domains and put that on the calendar. And then that’s done. And then the week after that, I’ll come back, and I’ll see where things stand, and then I’ll make decisions from May. And not just say, like, oh, I have a problem with Yahoo, let me just send Yahoo for the rest of the time as its own campaign.


Matthew Vernhout (38:22):

That’s a good point. Or, in extreme cases, I’ve seen it where customers said, I’m never gonna send it out that domain again. I’ll just suppress them forever.


Matthew Vernhout (38:31):

That’s always a red flag for me when a customer’s like, I’ll just suppress them forever.


Shmuel Herschberg (38:35):



Matthew Vernhout (38:38):

So when it comes to working with customers and sort of third-party tools or things that you look at as a measurement to say, you know, inbox placement is good, or there’s a problem with bounces, and you need to go look at maybe this blocklist or things like that. What are some of the tips that you could give to marketers to better monitor or better examine these problems before they become a longstanding problem and impact revenue?


Shmuel Herschberg (39:09):

So I think just in terms of your sign-up, your flow, in terms of going to the source of where you’re getting your emails from, you wanna make sure that is laid out very clearly that you’re optimizing all the landing pages basically where anyone could just enter an email address and make sure that those are being optimized. I’ll just give a brief example. Like, if you’re looking at, let’s say, a landing page on mobile, and it’s not optimized, Meaning that the width and the padding are not set properly. So, when someone enters their email address, they can’t see their full email address. And I’m not talking about someone who has an email address that’s 50 characters long, I’m talking about, let’s say, I don’t know – what’s, what’s the average email?


Shmuel Herschberg (40:04):

Probably maybe 12 characters, gmail.com is already eight characters. So let’s say it’s like 15 or 16 characters. So you want to make sure that there’s enough space that people can see their email addresses. And I think that will mitigate certain emails or then, you know, you’ll never be able to communicate with that customer again. So it is a no-brainer in terms of just making sure that all your funnels are optimized, that it’s clear, and then also if you do have different entry points. Start stacking those up in terms of what your conversion rates are on those pages as well because you might know, as I said, in terms of someone mistyping their email address. If you have a page, which is much lower than your baseline, right? It could be something happening there. That’s not supposed to be happening, and people aren’t getting into your email service provider properly, which is causing issues for engagement and deliverability.


Matthew Vernhout (41:25):

Yeah, that’s a great observation. I think it’s one that I’ve used in the past as well when working with brands to say, tag your sources. Some sources may be riskier than others and risky meaning bad data collection, call centers typically are riskier because you’re relying on someone to hear the right thing and then type it. Or, you know, handwritten consent forms, you’re expecting someone to be able to read my handwriting, which is awful. I’m the only person I think in the world that can read my handwriting reliably and then say, is that a, V or is it an N or it is, you know, whatever the characters might happen to be. So I think there are clearly some things to establish a risk score and then maybe treat those streams differently when they come into your list. I think that’s a great thought.


Shmuel Herschberg (42:21):

Absolutely. Thank you.


Matthew Vernhout (42:27):

I just want to wrap up. When it comes to final thoughts and advice for our listeners, what would be a couple of things that you would say after listening to this – go out and test this or look at this or do something in regards to your email program – based on the conversation we’ve had today?


Shmuel Herschberg (42:50):

Okay, so I would say three things. And now let’s hope I can remember those three things. First and foremost is the email planning calendar. I think no one should wake up at the beginning of the week and say, all right, what emails are we going to send out this week? I think it should, you don’t need to have everything scheduled, but you should kind of have a holistic approach, and that approach that kind of is targeting and focusing on all the important metrics that email clients are looking for. Not just the opens but also clicks, also responses. So that’s number one. Number two would be to make sure you see and understand the lay of the land in terms of your email service provider in terms of your subscribers within your email service provider. Make sure you understand how many people are on Gmail, how many people are on Yahoo, Outlook, AOL, and so on and so forth. And then last, but not least, is to take that knowledge and apply it to make sure that you’re getting the best open rates and the best engagement rates by utilizing various “From Names” and sender “From Emails” based on the various email clients that you have.


Matthew Vernhout (44:18):

Awesome. Well, thanks very much. Do you want to drop a contact point? So if somebody that was listening today wants to reach out and ask some questions, what would be the best way for listeners to reach you?


Shmuel Herschberg (44:30):

Yeah, I would love that. I’d really appreciate that, Matthew. The best way is, you could just email me. We all love email, so it’s [email protected]. I’ll spell that out because, as we spoke about…


Matthew Vernhout (44:45):

We’ll put it in the show notes as well.


Shmuel Herschberg (44:49):

Well Yeah.


Shmuel Herschberg (44:51):

[email protected]


Matthew Vernhout (44:58):

Awesome. Well, thanks very much for your time today. I had a great conversation, and if you enjoyed our episode today, be sure to hit that like button, subscribe, and share it with your friends. And you know, we love having all of you join us on our monthly podcast and listen in on what’s going on in the world of email and what’s going on in the world of deliverability. So Shmuel, thanks again for joining us. 


Shmuel Herschberg (45:21):

Thank you for having me, Matthew. It’s been a real pleasure speaking with you today.


Matthew Vernhout (45:25):

Great. I really enjoyed the conversation. Thanks.


Outro (45:27):

You’ve been listening to the “For The Love of Emails podcast”, powered by Netcore. Hit subscribe in your favorite podcast player to make sure you never miss an episode. To learn more about effective email communications and engagement through AI-powered email solutions, visit netcorecloud.com The only global email engagement leader delivering marketing ROI and value to 20+ global unicorns and 6500+ brands for over two decades.

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