[Guest Post] When Patience Pays Off: The Journey to Improved Deliverability

Asking marketers to make a change to their sending methods is always a tough conversation. But asking them to make a change when improved results are hopeful, but not guaranteed, is even harder. As deliverability experts, we face this challenge (and opportunity) when we partner with our clients to address deliverability issues. We can’t always predict how mailbox providers will respond, but tightening sends to a more engaged audience is a tried-and-true method, and can help even the most lost sender improve their deliverability. The key to success? A commitment to follow this method for an extended amount of time.

The problem

A new client—who had been struggling with their domain reputation across the board—found the transition to a new ESP (Cordial) highlighted the depths of their challenges. Beyond low sender reputation, they were experiencing low open rates and were hitting a high amount of spam traps. We knew they had made the mistake of purchasing a list or two a while back, thinking “highly qualified contacts” would help give their opens a boost, but the data told us otherwise. This small sender was hitting a high amount of traps relative to their overall list size and their open rates were low across all domains.

As you can see in the above graph, every send included a large handful of traps, according to 250ok’s spam trap tool.

The solution

We partnered closely with our client to reduce sending to only their most engaged audiences in October 2019, and within a month, we saw a decrease in spam traps hit.

Fast forward to March 2020—almost six months later—and they were seeing zero trap hits every day! In addition to the decline in spam traps hit, their domain reputation at Gmail (according to Google Postmaster Tools) increased from Bad to Medium and open rates improved 12% during this time. All as a result of following strict engagement criteria for months—no easy feat for a small sender where every address counts. This data told us not only was their reputation improving and their spam traps decreasing, but mailbox providers across the board were giving our client better inbox placement, ultimately giving their customers the opportunity to open their mail.

The outcome

This client experienced first-hand the difficulty of scaling back the size of their regular mailing audience and tightening up engagement criteria, while simultaneously reaping the benefits of increased reputation, decreased spam traps, and increased engagement. If you’re going through something similar, it’s quite difficult to guarantee the outcome, but we know patience is worth it.

For many of our clients, email is the largest revenue-generating messaging channel. Cordial has a dedicated deliverability team that will customize your migration to ensure you recapture your hard-won reputation, and work with you to keep your hard-earned engagement rates. To learn more about these services and the Cordial platform, visit cordial.com.

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