September 27, 2004, 12:00 AM

Reducing bounce rates is one of the most crucial e-mail marketing issues

E-mail deliverability problems were the biggest obstacles cited by participants in E-consultancy’s roundtable report on e-mail marketing. Participants report bounce rates of 20%, double that of industry averages reported by e-mail marketing companies.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

E-mail deliverability problems were the biggest obstacles cited by participants in E-consultancy’s latest roundtable report on e-mail marketing. The report found that attendees at its recent roundtable were reporting bounce rates of 20%, double that of industry averages reported by e-mail marketing companies.

The roundtable revealed tactics that retailers can adopt to improve their deliverability rates including regularly changing their IP address and range. As part of this strategy, the roundtable found that sending operational mails from a different address than marketing messages can help assure messages get through. Retailers also need to monitor blacklists more closely and measure bounce rates. A close analysis of a retailer’s bounce rates would help the company determine the differences between soft bounces and hard bounces and then develop a strategy based on those differences. Soft bounces are unsuccessful deliveries due to reasons such as full inboxes, while hard bounce backs occur when an e-mail address is no longer valid.

The roundtable, which included a range of participants from retail, finance and consumer services providers, also suggested that retailers open e-mail accounts with the major ISPs, but send test e-mails before dispatching messages to thousands of subscribers. Content can also play a big role in making sure your messages get through as retailers should avoid capitalization and excessive punctuation and other content indications that are red flags that a message is marketing-related. The roundtable also found that retailers need to educate users better about unsubscribe messages and whitelisting. Users who appreciate a retailer’s messages should add them to their “friends” list to make sure the message keep getting through.

 

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