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Email Sender Statistics Demystified

If you’ve spent any time among marketing automation, especially emails, you’ll probably notice email sender statistics. And you’ll probably notice a lot of ambiguity for how you can change your sender statistics.

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The Basics

An email campaign report is made up of two primary components: email delivery statistics and engagement statistics. Both of these combine to create your overall email sender statistic.

 

Email delivery statistics are made up of hard bounces, soft bounces, marked as spam, and repressions.

A hard bounce is a failure to deliver. These will lower your sender status if you have too many. Try to keep these under 2%.

A soft bounce is a temporary failure to deliver. Two of these will not lower your sender status, but they become a hard bounce on the third failure, which will lower your sender status. Soft bounces are a warning the email might be invalid.

Marked as spam were emails delivered, but were flagged by the email provider as spam and placed in the junk folder.

A repression is an email that has been suppressed by the tool you’re using. Some software, such as SharpSpring, will automatically suppress emails that are “high risk”— those that have been bought and sold on lists heavily and are often blacklisted by spam watchdogs.

 

Engagement statistics are made up of deliveries, opens, and possibly internal clicks.

Deliveries are emails that were successfully delivered to the address.

Opens are emails that were opened by the client.

Internal clicks are when the person clicked on a link within the email.

You need low hard bounces, high engagement, and high volume in order to improve your sender status. Until you have sent multiple thousands of emails, you will be considered a low-quality sender for the safety of already-established high quality senders

 

Best Practices

You want to make sure your lists are clean before sending anything to them. Sites such as BriteVerify allow you to get detailed reports of how many emails will hard bounce or be repressed because the emails are associated with spam, and return you a clean list.

If the list has low percentages of bad emails, it’s safe to use.

When it comes to soft bounces, keeping an eye on emails that have soft bounced is critical. You can either manually check who has two bounces, or you can rely on an automatically-built list that remove emails from your lists after two soft bounces.

You also want to be making sure your subject lines are attention-grabbing and enticing to keep engagement up. Testing different subject line lengths, offers, keywords, and “sent from” addresses Having people open your emails helps establish you as a high quality sender.

Also segmenting your lists to those who primarily engage with your emails to send the majority of your communication to them, only doing infrequent mass mailings, helps keep your engagement statistics high.

All of this must be done over an extended period of time, with a large volume of emails. The amount of emails it takes to be considered a good sender fluctuates, but is multiple thousands of emails. Building up a reputation with a solid, reputable email provider is necessary to work your way up to proving yourself a good sender.

Two businessman connecting puzzle pieces togheter with copy space

So What About Social Media?

Two businessman connecting puzzle pieces togheter with copy space

What a beautiful landscape! And what about your Social Media Landscape?

So what about Social media? Is your company social yet? Or have you tried it, but didn’t have the time to manage it, and now have some ghost page that gets little to no engagement?

Indeed, social media has now been around for a while but not all companies or professionals are online. More and more, companies want to see value in a network before dedicating a resource to social media. They’re anxious to know how many new leads and customers a post, tweet or update will attract. So where does one start? Or start again, if this is your second time around!

What is your landscape?

Well first things first, where are your customers? And your competition? What about market trends? Start by doing some research and answering these questions — ideally with a social media audit. The key is not to try and be everywhere, but to find the right place. An audit will allow you to have a full overview of your social landscape and identify your strengths as well as your possible area of focus. When doing an audit, work with professionals (like the PROSAR team!) to get insight, feedback and a strategic overview, without having to invest in all the tools. For more info on what an audit includes and how to start, take a look at one of my past articles on the topic: 4 Tips when doing your first Social Media Audit.

 

Now that you see the lay of the land, pick a direction

Now that you have an idea of where you are and where you should be, make a choice. Is it LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google+? Your audit would have given you an overview of what your competition is doing and how engaged your industry is with social media. Sometimes, it is possible that an industry or market is not using social media or might not yet see the need for it. This should not stop you from being engaged, and can even allow you to innovate in your field, but you will need to choose a particular focus. Do you want to improve communication with your customers? Do you want to reach out to new providers, partners or resellers? Perhaps you are in an industrial or manufacturing industry and want to be recognized as a reference in your field. Depending on your goal, you will be able to determine the best network for you. To start off, let’s take a look at LinkedIn. To learn more about the channels to consider and how to build your, check out our Online Marketing Plan blog.

 

The LinkedIn Landscape

Linkedin is a B2B focused platform. Beyond job searching, it is being used more and more as a way to connect with likeminded professionals and establish new business relationships. It is a place to create mindshare, position yourself as an expert or reference for your customers, and share knowledge through short articles that are then associated to your profile. If you have a strong team that is comfortable in becoming an ambassador for your company, and that you operate in the B2B space, LinkedIn could be a good opportunity for you to extend your reach quickly and start talking to CEOs, executives and other senior managers that are looking for information. If this sounds like your type of environment, here are the main things you need to consider:

  1. Create a company page

If you don’t already have one this is the place to start. Create one so your employees can tag the company in each of their profile. This will also be a good place for prospects to find information about your company and access the website from one central place on Linkedin.

 

  1. Create strong profiles

Profiles are an essential step when starting on LinkedIn. Prospects will click on profiles to learn more about the people and the company. Make sure your team has professional pictures, a good headline and an informative summary with engaging content.

 

  1. Craft your company message

Give your team a 1-2 liner to describe what you sell and your corporate mission. By using the same keywords, the team will reinforce this message and your brand positioning, as well as arm them with the terms they can use to find more info online and better understand your solution.

 

These first few steps will help you build your professional presence online and help you develop ambassadors within your company walls. ‘’Start from the heart’’ to improve your branding and help it reach its potential. Get in touch with PROSAR today to have your first Social Media Audit and an overview of your landscape!

4 Ways to Improve Your Current Website

I had been referred to a consulting company by a mutual print representative who said they wanted some help with their online presence. I reviewed their website, social media accounts and any relevant posts and pages that came up in Google searches. When I met with the President of the firm I explained where I felt their deficiencies were, and what I recommended as a solution; which included a revamp of their current website.

While she concurred with most of what I had to say, she replied that their website did not need to be replaced. However, she went on to say “but, it isn’t really working for us. What can be done to improve our website, short of an actual overhaul or revamp?”

Her response is both understandable and fairly common, which made me think about it further. If you had a website that was developed only two or three years ago, you may feel reticent to invest in a new one. But like this client (yes, she’s a client now), you may not be satisfied with your website’s performance.

If you are happy with the website design and branding, if it is an easy, intuitive site to navigate, if it is responsive (automatically conforms and optimizes for different sized screens) and if it is accessible (people with disabilities can navigate your website) — then you may not need a new website. But, if it isn’t actively promoting your organization or contributing to the sales process then you’re letting it off easy.

In our digital age, a website should do more than say who you are and what you do. It is an opportunity to engage with your audience and impress upon them your ability to satisfy their needs.

Here are four things you can do to help turn your current website from an online brochure, to an online marketing machine.

1. Content Audit

Do you know what content you have and how it fits into your overall marketing and sales goals? Don’t worry, most companies don’t. (This blog will help you get started: Own Your Content) We recently completed a comprehensive content audit ourselves and were surprised to see how many holes we had in our own content and strategy! (A reminder that it needs to be looked at regularly to properly guide your content strategy.)

Having content is good, but in order for it to be strategic it needs to fit into a plan. The plan determines what you need, the audit reveals what you have, you determine how it fits into the overall strategy and what other pieces you need to fill the holes. To make this manageable, we use a spreadsheet with columns for:

  • Source (web page, blog, whitepaper, infographic, etc.)
  • Topic
  • Name/Title
  • Funnel (does it fit top, middle or low in the info/sales cycle)
  • Workflow (what workflow or campaign is it part of)
  • Usability (our own scale on how useful/effective it is for our audience)
  • CTA (is there a relevant/custom call-to-action/ad in the content)

2. Improving SEO

The times of keyword stuffing are long gone, but the importance of keywords is still prevalent. Google’s keen sense of good online content can sniff out the junk to determine what is truly a good resource with many layers and forms of relevant content. And you know what? Your audience is pretty good at it too, so try not to fool either. Provide substantial content that is of interest to your readers, and in different formats, such as video, images, infographics, as well as text.

Meta data is still important as it is used in your search displays, so word your page titles and descriptions carefully, to engage potential readers as they search the web. Check out our 5-Minute SEO Check You Can Do Yourself.

3. Leveraging Social Media

Your website may not offer much engagement or opportunity for dialogue, but your social media accounts do. If social media accounts are relevant to your business, look for ways to integrate them beyond a linked icon on your home page.

Streaming social content on your website is easy and can spur involvement. Inviting dialogue or feedback on topical issues within your industry, requesting and displaying testimonials can be effective, and adding polls or contests can be fun and engaging. Be sure that whatever you do fits with your brand, audience, and is part of an overall engagement strategy. Simply getting clicks, likes, retweets, etc. really doesn’t matter if it isn’t moving your audience along an information or sales cycle.

4. Marketing Automation

Often referred to as Inbound Marketing, automated marketing enables a series of tasks to be automatically completed when triggered. For example, a client clicks on an e-newsletter link to your “Our Widgits” web page, and visits a specific new widget page three more times in a week. That shows some obvious interest, so your website may automatically send an email to the client with more information on that specific widgit, additional shipping information and a link to your delivery schedule. If your client clicks on the delivery link, another more informative email could be sent, and the appropriate sales rep sent a prompt to call said client immediately. II the client doesn’t click on the delivery link, then a different email with other information and an incentive might be appropriate, or links to relevant blog articles, or references from other clients who have ordered that widgit…

Point being, strategic tasks can be set up to happen automatically, accommodating for the receiver’s actions and sending the right information at the right time. It allows you to look after prospects’ and clients’ needs efficiently and effectively. (Read more in Get Personal With Dynamic Emails.)

These four items — a content audit, improving SEO, leveraging social media and marketing automation — can each contribute to making your website far more effective and engaging to your audience. Used in combination, your website will become a veritable marketing machine.

Photo credt: GettyImages