Monday, July 29, 2019

Email Deliverability and Data Privacy: How to Resist the Allure of the Dark Side

Not a long, long time ago and not in a galaxy far, far away but in your actual digital marketing universe…

Email marketers feel as if they are at WAR!

The competition to grab prospects’ attention is fiercer than ever before, and email marketers need to stand out more than ever and know the key to that is personalization and drawing upon a prospect’s interests and preferences to craft an engaging email. This requires the proper use of data and knowing the right way and time in which to send to a prospect.

In other words, it’s about making your emails more deliverable.

You have your data and have sifted through it to find the most salient points and derived the most significant insights. Using this information, you have written a beautiful email with catching, concise copy and an eye-striking design. You have a strong call to action and an intriguing subject line.

You, my friend, are an email marketing Jedi knight.

However, before you hit send and hang up your light saber for the nonce, you have to consider a few things.

Is your email something your recipient would even want or be interested in? And, are you sending it at an appropriate time, one in which makes it more likely to be opened?

In other words, you have to think about your emails’ deliverability.

Who Wants Your Emails?

The surest way to develop a bad reputation as an email marketer is to send unwanted emails. Such a bad reputation can harm your brand, as more people might get wind of what you are doing and not want any of your emails, even if they are pertinent to their interests. Having a bad email marketing reputation can even create a negative impression of the rest of your marketing as well as your brand’s products and services.

How do you avoid this then? How do you make sure that the people you are sending to might be interested?

Consider how they have interacted with your brand.

Have they:

  • Signed up for your newsletters?

  • Given you their contact information to access some gated content?

  • Filled out a survey for you?

  • Signed up for a webinar, trade show, or other event you are involved in?

  • Downloaded one of your whitepapers or ebooks?

  • Followed you on social media? Liked or shared your posts?

  • Have done business with you before?

These are all good signs. They indicate interest in your brand. If someone has taken one of the actions above or indicated some type of interest in your brand, then they have likely given you their email address and perhaps some other contact information or information about them, their position, business, and the industry they are in.

Since they have shown interest and given you their email, you can send to them. If you’re looking to get them to open your emails and click through on them, then you want to personalize the email content as much as you can so that it’s tailored to their preferences. If it speaks more directly to them, you’ll have a better chance of catching their attention, holding it, and spurring them to some type of action (such as downloading an asset, signing up for an event, visiting a webpage, and so on).

Who Doesn’t Want Your Emails?

Even if someone indicates interest in your brand, you don’t want to barrage them with too many emails. You definitely do not want to send them an email that isn’t personalized and features nothing of interest for them. Those are good ways to make someone want to unsubscribe.

If someone unsubscribes or indicates that they are longer interested in your emails, honor that request. Take them off your list. In fact, it’s a good idea to update your list every so often to check to see if the recipients on it still want to be on it. One day, they may be interested in your brand again, but maybe they won’t be if you leave a bad taste in their mouths by sending them unwanted emails.

Send Times and Other Considerations

How many emails do you want to send in a month? You don’t want to send too many as to annoy your recipients, but you also want to keep in touch. Some businesses like to send an email every week and others less frequently.

At what times do you want your emails to go out? Someone might not want an email too early in the morning, especially if the notification wakes them up. They might not like it coming later on at night when they are off work and at the gym or with their family and friends.

So, when is the best time to send?

And what is the best copy to use? What is the best design, subject line, headline, and call to action?

There is no right answer. In fact, it will be different for everyone, as different businesses will have different audiences and needs.

How can you find out what works for you and your business?

Again, you should turn to your data. Consider A/B and multivariate testing. The results will tell what your recipients are responding to, even which send times and email frequency are working with them.

The Allure of the Dark Side

However, the temptation is great to just send out a bunch of emails at a lot of different times. You might think that sending out that many will at least get some results and not care if it irritates anyone, as they aren’t opening the emails or clicking through, anyway.

You might not care to prune your list and keep sending emails to everyone on it, whether they want the emails or not, as you think they’ll just delete the emails if they don’t want them. In fact, you may even have come across someone’s email through means other than them offering it to you and still using it to email them, even when they’ve shown no sign at all of wanting any marketing messages from you at all. But, you never know, right?

This approach is basically taking a hammer to things when a scalpel (or light saber) would be better. Digital marketing is all about getting even the smallest details correct in personalizing content and making sure it goes to where it’s wanted. Sending emails to whomever without a care won’t gain you anything but a bad reputation. It is a lazier approach and won’t lead to better results and will do long-term damage to your reputation and brand. It might even eventually affect your ROI.

Similarly, your recipients are entrusting you with their emails and personal information. They care counting on you not to abuse or misuse it. Some marketers and people they have done business with before may have, and that makes people wary of doing business with anyone. Therefore, many businesses have taken the step of telling people upfront what they will be using their information for, as to assuage their fears and keep in them in the loop.

This is why you should properly manage your email lists, honor unsubscribes, and only send emails to those who have showed continued interest. If you come across someone’s information in any other way than them giving it to you, do not use it. In the end, it will only make things more difficult and negatively impact your brand and business.


Email marketers have to consider mobile. Everyone checks their email on their phones, tablets, and other devices. Your competition has taken it into account. Have you? See what you can do to take better advantage of the mobile channel with this “Mobile Email Guide.”


from Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud