Thursday, May 25, 2017

Accidental Sends and Apology Emails

Mistakes happen. You’ve created your strategy, set up your template/content, scheduled the launch and then sat back and waited for the results to come pouring in. Except once it’s launched you’ve noticed it was accidentally sent to your full file because the proper filters weren’t in place. In sets the panic.

When this happens, the first instinct some senders have is to send an apology email. DON’T. If this happens to you, before you make any impulse decisions, it’s important to take a step back and look at how your overall program has been impacted.

Start by reviewing the data in your performance reports at the ISP level. First look at major ISPs such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and AOL. What do your bounce rates look like? What about your open rates? If you use a deliverability monitoring tool such as OMC Deliverability Plus, leverage that data to see if there are any bulking or spam folder placement issues happening. Do the same for smaller and mid-tier ISPs as well.

As you examine, you’ll want to keep the following thresholds in mind:

Hard bounces: 2%

Overall bounces (soft and hard): 5%

Spam Complaints: .2%

Your goal is to stay below those percentages. Anything above that could indicate that a block is in place. It may take time for blocks to be removed and reputation to improve depending on how well maintained your list is and how many bounces and complaints you generate. This is a good reminder to ensure you keep up with list hygiene best practices and regularly remove old/inactive addresses so they aren’t included in any accidental sends!

If after a couple of days the bounces are still high and have not yet returned to normal levels you’ll want to re-evaluate current sending practices. It would be a good idea to implement stricter filters and targeting practices at this time. For example, if you normally send to those who have engaged within the last six months, temporarily reduce this to 3 month openers/clickers until the issue has passed.

Above all, DO NOT send an apology email. One unwanted email is already one too many. If the subscriber receives a secondary email from you in such a short time period, it increases the chances of complaints and an increasingly frustrating customer experience with your brand.

Sending back to back high volume messages might also disrupt your volume patterns. Spike and dips in volume can be seen negatively by ISPs which could further hurt your reputation and delay your road to recovery.

The key is to stick to strict best practices and avoid anything that could further damage your reputation with additional, complaints, bounces, etc.  Once the wave has passed, consider implementing regular re-engagement and re-activation campaigns in order to keep your list in top notch quality.

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