Monday, November 12, 2012
As the Black Friday/Cyber Monday kickoff to the holiday season approaches, we’re happy to offer some tips to help seasonal senders hit the inbox. In Part 1 of this series, we took a look at the unique challenges facing seasonal senders. In today’s post and Part 3, we’ll offer guidelines for a successful sending season.
- Create a consistent sending environment. This is one thing you have direct control over. Year over year, you should maintain the same "From" address, sending IP, and DKIM domain so that ISPs who look at long-term reputational data will have an idea of your sending reputation even after prolonged periods of minimal sending activity.
- Build up to the big day. Don’t go busting out of the gates during your busy season. Instead, methodically increase your sending volume leading up to the peak period. Not only will ISPs start seeing traffic from you earlier (thereby building your reputation sooner), you will also receive advanced notice of any potential red flags that may have popped up during your dormant period. Need help building up volume?
a) Break down campaigns into smaller sends: Divvy up your mailing list so you only send to a subset of your recipients on any given day. Working your way through the entire list over a period of days (or even weeks) will help your deliverability, as ISPs tend to treat huge and sudden spikes in traffic with suspicion.
b) Send an early-bird offer to your last campaign’s responders: Recipients who opened or clicked on your last message are likely to be the most responsive segment in your target audience, so what better way to reward them than with an exclusive offer? This will give you an opportunity to start sending mail (and build a sending reputation) earlier, but it also gets you off on the right foot with ISPs since the recipients will most likely show high engagement.
c) Suppress (or send a permission pass to) your inactive subscribers: You emailed them last time around and they didn’t open or click on the message. Rather than blindly sending to them again, ask them to confirm that they want to continue receiving your emails. (It wouldn’t hurt to give them a special offer, either!) If they still don’t respond, permanently remove them from your mailing list before you start the next campaign. By doing this, you’ll preseason the ISPs with some sending volume and avoid sending to uninterested recipients.
Do you have other tips or advice to share? We’d love to hear your feedback.
You can also learn more about how ExactTarget can help you hit the inbox by visiting our Deliverability Services page.