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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.

Stethoscope on laptop keyboard

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.

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Get Personal With Dynamic Emails

Custom messaging is the future of Internet communication.

 

Custom messaging, or dynamic messaging, is content that changes and is served on your website based on a visitor’s characteristics. Imagine going to a website and having only the product or service pages that most interest you being highlighted on its web pages. Or receiving an opportune email about the product or service you are the most interested in.

 

A lead visits your site for the first time? Provide them a white paper or an educational document about your products of services.  A visitor’s site visit history indicates they are ready to buy? Offer a quote or testimonial to close the deal.

 

Custom (dynamic) messaging is all about providing content that is personalized to a visitor, helping to increase online conversions.

 

In this previous article, SharpSpring’s Dynamic Landing Page feature is discussed. Today, we discuss SharpSpring’s Dynamic Email capability.

 

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Dynamic Emails help to significantly increase conversion rates as we are delivering messages that are tailored to the recipient.

 

Dynamic Emails are single emails with contain content that changes based on information that we have on a lead. As an example, let’s use a lead who is interested in services that a Marketing Agency provides. These services could be Branding, Website Design & Development, Digital Marketing or Creative Services. When a lead shows an expressed interest in one of those services we can change the content in your email to be specific to that interest.

 

When the lead fills out a form on your site for more information on the service in which they are interested that triggers an automatic email to be sent from your automated marketing platform, such as SharpSpring. Using a Dynamic Email, we only need to create one email that sends to all leads who fill out the form – however the content within that email will be specific to the interest of that lead.
Not sure where to start with Dynamic Emails? Here are some ideas:

 

  • Use the contact field “Has an Opportunity”, and then create Dynamic Emails with variable content based whether or not the lead has an opportunity associated to them.
  • Lead Status – If a lead is a customer, email may point to our support forum or provide an email address for support or “Manage Your Account”. If the lead is not a customer, include an email segment that directs them to Sales.
  • Create a custom contact field called “Has Provided Review”. If a Customer has provided a review, then we show an email segment that points them to a “refer a friend” page. If the customer has not provided a review, we include an email segment pointing them to a review forum.

 

 

 

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Sharpspring and CASL Compliance

Building a Prospect List With CASL

Marketing automation is a useful tool in any business, but it becomes more important with Canada’s Anti-Spam Laws (CASL). In order to be CASL compliant, companies must provide evidence of compliance in the form of opt-ins and records of transactions in order to establish the communication to their prospects is consensual. This can be difficult to manage, require constant updating, and can drain resources away from other facets of your business. It can also make your website less effective, because you’re not holistically tracking your customer base.

However, with tools like SharpSpring, you can determine worthwhile leads, use forms to opt-in, track lead behaviour, and use lists to qualify leads. SharpSpring also automates the tracking of who has opted in and not, and has options to track purchases.

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credit: s576/ getty images

Forms

Forms are, by far, the strongest SharpSpring tool for CASL compliance. By including an opt-in on all gated content, you increase your odds of receiving permission to send email communication.

All opt-ins can then be stored in a separate list (more on lists later), meaning you never have to worry about sending communication to somebody who has not opted in.

Using forms also allows you to capture emails and get a barometer for who is seeking out your content, giving you better audience data and allowing you to improve your future campaigns.

 

Track Lead Behaviour

If somebody doesn’t check the opt-in box, that doesn’t mean the contact is useless. You can proceed to track how much they use your site, what pages they visit, and see if they’re worth manually calling (something not covered under CASL), or transferring them to an “opt-in” list after they’ve made a purchase from you (at which point, there is implied consent).

SharpSpring allows you to both set a lead score based on behaviour, and has an option to trigger workflows that notify your salespeople when a lead has done actions that your company has deemed important. Both of these features allow you to use methods other than email campaigns to further your sales efforts, making CASL less of a concern.

 

Lists

Arguably one of SharpSpring’s more powerful features, lists allow you to segment all contacts by criteria you determine. Not only can you separate those who have opted in versus those who haven’t, but you can create rules-based lists that adapt according to lead score or user behaviour.

The previous two features (forms and tracking lead behaviour) are critical in helping you build lists. While the most obvious uses for lists is creating email campaigns, lists can also be used to qualify prospects. By assigning lead score points based on pages visited, number of return visits to the site, and number of forms filled in, a sales team can establish which leads are qualified and ready to make a purchase. Instead of following up with every lead, salespeople can limit themselves to following up on leads who are more likely to produce a return on the investment of selling to them.

 

Overall

Automated marketing is a vital tool to maintain CASL compliance. In order to best cover your legal bases, it makes sense to purchase a tool such as SharpSpring and work with a partner to best establish how you can advance your business without relying on random email marketing.

 

Why You Should Use Marketing Automation to Gather and Use Analytics

Analytics. For many business owners and marketers, the word comes with mixed feelings: both excitement at the opportunities it could present, and intimidation, for the seemingly endless breadth of knowledge available on the subject.

First, what are analytics, in the context of marketing for your business?

Analytics: a collection of online data from which meaningful information and insights can be derived that can help you make better marketing and business decisions.

If you’re doing it properly, you’re not just collecting any data, but actionable data. Actionable data is useful, relevant, meaningful information that can be used to make intelligent, real-life marketing and business decisions. This is where marketing automation platforms such as SharpSpring come in.

Analytics-ThinkstockPhotos-473265020 Photo: Thinkstock / iStock / pingingz / 473265020

The Power of Marketing Automation

One of the best ways to not only acquire useful analytics, but to act on them, is to invest in marketing automation. Marketing automation allows you to do so much more than simply accumulate and store analytics and look at graphs, it allows you to take the data and turn it into something useful that will help move your company forward!

For example, instead of simply sending out an e-newsletter to an email list and wondering how they responded to it, marketing automation platforms such as SharpSpring allows you to not only collect actionable data, but they allow you to act on it!

With SharpSpring:

You you get a real-time report on the amount of contacts who open the email and click on specific links, and finally, have the software automatically sort them into lists based on their behaviour and interests (i.e. what they click on)! Now, you’ve learned something about each contact that you can use in a variety of ways. Further, if certain links in the email haven’t performed well, you’ll know, and can adjust your tactics accordingly to improve engagement next time!

Perhaps some of these same contacts have visited certain landing pages on your website, that show further interest in your company and/or specific services you offer – this criteria could be added to your list(s), too!

For example, you might create a list called “People who are Interested in Vintage Fashion” and have it automatically populate with contacts who have clicked on links to blogs about vintage fashion from your e-newsletter and have also visited product pages on your site devoted to vintage fashion.

From there, when it’s time for the next e-newsletter to be sent out, you’ll be able to send each new list a version of the e-newsletter that is tailored to their interests, perhaps with a link to a form with a new offer that they’ll appreciate (e.g. a free resource on vintage fashion). Of course, you’ll be able to automatically track all of this too, and to automatically save it with your contact’s profile. The more you learn about your contacts, the better equipped you’ll be to give them what they want and to continue to nurture them along the sales process.

This is just one example of the many ways in which marketing automation can enhance the value of your analytics and your ability to use analytics intelligently and profitably. Check out our other recent blog on what questions to ask when putting together an analytics report.

Why Marketing Automation?: Eliminate Blind Spots with Smart Lists and Lead Scoring

Your current situation: you have a database with your company’s contacts, leads, including past and potential customers. This database contains a bit of contact information about each one but, have you ever asked yourself: What do you truly know about them? In particular, what do you know about them that is meaningful to your company?

For example, what is their current interest (and degree of interest) in your products/services, and do they have the potential to ever be or should they be considered a qualified lead? These questions might leave you at a bit of a loss.

Lastly, how do you avoid wasting company time on a long list of contacts (by sending out generic bulk emails or cold-calling, for example) that might not be ready to buy, and instead identify and refocus most of your attention on those with the greatest potential?

 

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Credit: iStock / Rawpixel Ltd

 

Forget Cold-Calling:
Use Smart Lists and Lead Scoring to Automatically Gather Meaningful, Actionable Information About Your Contacts’ Interests and Behaviour

Lead Scoring and Smart List are two features offered by many marketing automation platforms that help you to automatically and dynamically collect valuable information about your contacts’ online behaviour (e.g. what they click on, pages they visit from an email you send, forms they fill out etc.) resulting in actionable information for you and your company. Among other things, Lead Scoring and Smart Lists can let you know who is ready to buy, when they are ready to buy, and will provide you with the information you need about a contact’s behaviour and interests so you can tailor the appropriate message to close the deal.

And, if they’re not ready to buy, lead scoring and smart lists are a part of the marketing automation process that will help you (and the marketing automation platform) identify where they are in the buyer’s lifecycle, so those with potential can be moved closer to a sale.

How it Works

What is a Smart List?

A Smart List is a dynamic list of contacts and leads that self-populates and automatically updates over time based on “rules” you assign to it. If and when these “rules” match any of your contact’s or lead’s behaviour, they are added to the smart list. For example, you might include the following “rules” when setting up one of your smart lists: “Contacts in this list: have visited landing page ‘X’ on my site less than a week ago, and have visited my website’s pricing page less than a week ago.” Now, you can watch the list begin to populate with any contacts who have exhibited these behaviours! Depending on your current relationship with a contact or lead who appears on this smart list, their behaviour might indicate to you that they’re a hot lead who deserves more personalized attention. Armed with actionable information you wouldn’t have otherwise that will help you tailor your message (such as: their interests and stage in the buyer’s lifecycle), you might choose to give them a call or send them a personalized email to check-in on them.

Crucially, Smart Lists will keep you updated on: who you should invest your time in, when to act, and what the message should be, helping to increase the likelihood of closing a sale.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead Scoring is a points-based system that allows you to automatically rank your contacts and leads based on variety of factors, including:

• Fit – How well a lead aligns to your target audience and ideal customer

• Completeness of Contact Information

• Engagement – # of page visits, # of clicks from emails sent to them, # of forms is filled out

• Specific Page Tracking – If they visit a specific page(s) on your website

You can then assign each factor any positive (+) or negative (-) number value you choose; depending on how important each is to you and your business (e.g. +5 for each webpage page visited, or -20 for people not living in Canada). The total is automatically calculated and updated automatically to make up each individual’s lead score.

You might then create a smart list that will only include people (a) with lead scores over a certain number and (b) who have visited your website less than a week ago.

In this way, lead scoring in combination with smart lists can help you keep track of and sort your “top” contacts and leads – helping you to focus your energy, time, and money on those who are most likely to result in a sale.

Eliminate Blind Spots, Waste Fewer Resources, and Make More Sales by Using Lead Scoring and Smart Lists

Both smart lists and lead scoring help to eliminate “blind spots” you might have in regards to your contacts’ and leads’ behaviour. This previously unknown data empowers you and your sales team to make informed marketing decisions that increase sales and waste less time and money.  

Lead scoring and smart lists are just a couple of the powerful features offered by many marketing automation platforms like SharpSpring. Follow the PROSAR Blog to learn more about inbound marketing and marketing automation.

Recommended Related Reading: 

5 Reasons to Choose Marketing Automation for Your Inbound Marketing Business Solution 

How to Find Your Ideal Client

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