Newsflash, email marketers: ESP tightening and new Canada anti-SPAM regulations are taking effect soon that a savvy email marketer will not want to ignore. With Google and Microsoft both updating their DMARC, or email authentication, policies on July 1, 2016 deliverability rates could take a hit for those who aren’t in compliance. (Hint: if you don’t know what that is, take a peek at this article ASAP.)
Deliverability is not always a high priority email topic. If deliverability is good and nothing is urgent, it’s not uncommon for a marketing team to view it as a deferrable topic. That decision can be rationalized.
When proactively focused, email deliverability can be used as a great position of strength. While the topic has often been secondary, regulatory changes (CASL) and non-regulatory industry standards (DMARC), may require elevating email deliverability to a necessary audit–and deeper incorporation in email operations.
For many email marketers, there’s no reason to sound the alarm. In fact, this can be an opportunity to justify trimming up things that can lead to better open rates and KPI performance. What’s happening in email marketing during 2014 – 2016 feels remarkably similar to SEO in 2010 – 2012.
A History Lesson
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” – George Santayana (1905).
If you study history—whether war, politics, or financial markets you know the truth of this statement. In 2010, SEO was the wild west, and for several years industry standards were posted by Google, but were weakly enforced. Many marketers viewed this as PR scare tactic—if not a “Boy Who Cried Wolf” scenario—during this lax period.
Suddenly in 2012, Google’s proposed SEO best practices were strictly enforced. Marketers and premier brands that spent years ignoring the warning signs saw their top rankings for non-brand terms take a plunge from the first page on Google to the 10th overnight. A fraction of the SEO industry went into a panic, while others were vindicated for following best practices and watched their competitors disappear.
What It Means for Your Program
You know your data. You know where the opportunities are and what the blind spots are. If your campaign is judged by “list size,” this is your chance to make the argument to stop. So much about CASL is about list hygiene and permission.
Here are some next steps to consider:
- KPIs to Elevate in Importance: Acquisition rate, churn, actives, at risk, and winbacks
- KPIs to Decrease in Importance: List size
- Data Hygiene Cleanse: Good investment with changing industry standards. Also may be necessary for CASL compliance.
- Audit & Monitor Deliverability: Review how your IPs and domains are performing with the various ISPs. Make adjusts to strengthen branding and authentication as needed. Have a plan in place to monitor performance.