High Volume Email marketing has made a comeback! Enhanced tooling and analytics make it easier than ever to implement thoughtful, and personalized messaging strategies on a large scale. What once took a dozen marketers is now handled by one or two individuals. Automated analytics and actions help senders implement efficient strategies that save time and money while improving deliverability.
High volume email marketing strategies that also implement segmentation and targeting are easier than ever to implement. Sure, there is still a lot of data to manage, and often finding the relevant information from the fray can be tricky, but taking advantage of the enhanced tools for dynamic segmentation, hygiene, and automation can streamline the process.
If you’re spending all your time making custom audience segments and scheduling separate campaigns, you may want to reevaluate the way you build your marketing strategy.
Mass email marketing is about building trust and brand awareness. That is only possible if you’re treating your audience like the nuanced individuals they are. Bulk email marketing isn’t so much about the spray-and-pray methods of years past, but about implementing personalized messaging strategies on a larger scale.
Data Driven Decision Making
The best high volume email marketing strategies implement data driven decisions. At scale, it is difficult to keep up with the large amounts of recipient interactions, campaigns, messages, etc. What once required dozens of marketers on staff can now be run by one or two individuals when they implement the right combination of automated decisions.
Trigger based actions go a long way towards automating this process. Instead of manually segmenting openers and clickers to different audiences (Lists), an automation can be enabled to handle this data management as events occur.
When it comes to on-boarding new leads scheduling Campaigns by hand can be tedious. Drip Campaigns can automate the welcome process to boost engagement. Dynamic Segmentation can be paired so that opt-ins which convert during the on-boarding process to automatically start receiving revenue offers immediately.
Automating the welcome process and implementing Dynamic Segments to set the filtering for revenue offers ensures that response metrics are directly linked to delivery filters on a running basis.
Data Quality and The Recipient Journey
Every audience member is unique. With respect to mass email marketing, that means some people will invariably be more engaged than others. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but continuing to send to disengaged recipients is a primary cause of bulk folder placement.
In other words, offers will resonate with some people more than others. Good data quality is about segmenting audiences in order to keep track of which recipients engage with which offers. For high volume email marketing this is especially critical given what we know about the email delivery best practices. The best results are achieved by prioritizing delivery to those that are engaging and quickly shifting gears when things are not going to plan.
For this, we need to lay out the recipient journey. We want to treat everyone as individuals. To do that let’s start with some meaningful dynamic segments:
- New Registrant - A new opt in or recipient import. We want to engage with these people as quickly as possible and start filtering. A welcome message and a few follow up special offers are a great way to jump start the on-boarding process to boost engagement before you send any revenue offers.
- Very Engaged - These recipients have joined the mailing list and have recently engaged with the majority of offers. As most likely to engage, these recipients should receive the highest priority when sending offers.
- Somewhat Engaged - These recipients are currently not engaging with many offers or have not engaged in weeks. While that does not mean we should give up hope, we want to start de-prioritizing traffic. Instead of 1 a day, move them down to 1-2 a week distributions.
- No Longer Engaged - These recipients have not engaged with any offers for weeks. We can move them to an off-boarding drip campaign in which they receive a few offers over the course of next several months, but generally speaking, no revenue offers are sent to these recipients as continuing to send to them will increase spam folder placement.
Throughout the entire recipient journey, the focus remains on recipient interest and segmentation of traffic. Dynamic Segments play a crucial role in the implementation of revenue offers. However, more granular segmentation can also be accomplished by Tagging recipients that interact with specific kinds of offers. Preference Centers also help build interest profiles for recipients allowing for recipient feedback.
The end of the Recipient Journey and Data Hygiene
(Why it is imperative to purge non-responders)
Towards the end of the recipient lifecycle, the risks of continuing to mail to disinterested recipients and abandoned accounts increases. Recycled Bounces, a type of spam traps (honeypot) are little more than recipients who stopped logging in to check their email.
Most of the nasty, hidden problems in high volume email marketing stem from a failure to remove dead weight fast enough. Bear in mind that someone less interested in daily offers may have signed up with their spam email account too. They may abandon the account a lot faster that someone who signed up with the primary email account.
In fact, most of the hidden honeypot email addresses are designed to target senders who aren’t following best practices. Moles and seeded trackers, for example, are unleashed on sign up forms that aren’t implementing COI (Confirmed Opt In). These addresses don’t bounce, and some spam traps will even open/click on emails every now and again. Spam traps in your list will continue to hamper deliverability and sender score.
The best way to stay ahead of this problem is by implementing a robust recipient journey and to re-prioritize efforts with those engaging less. The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of time, money and effort spent on sending promotional offers to people that aren’t generating any return from the revenue offers.
Fortunately, enhancing engagement is also how you build trust and a strong sender score.
Sender Score, Reputation Systems, and Building Trust
Reputation systems are another term for common spam filtering appliances and algorithms implemented by networks that receive email. Sender Score refers to the reputation a domain establishes when it sends email. To put it one way, the sender score is less about what your brand has to offer and more about how much trust you’ve established.
A sender score is established by many factors including:
- The amount of email sent
- How many recipients report the emails as abuse (spam)
- Delivery to spam traps
- The organization’s inclusion on different blacklists
- Amount of email that is bounced
- How many recipients interact positively (open, reply to, forward, click) and negatively (delete, skim).
- How many recipients unsubscribe
For high volume email marketing, sender score becomes especially critical. Volume rates and traffic quality are central to building trusted reputations.
Establishing trust with ISPs is like establishing good credit. The better your response rate, the greater amount of trust you establish with ISPs. This translates to higher volume levels. When you exceed your volume levels for the amount of trust you’ve established, it’s like maxing out your credit card. The problem is that ISPs aren’t going to give you clear feedback, though recent increases in spam folder placement and bounce rates are often indications of sender score problems.
Gradually increasing volume is a key place to start with any new sender score but volume is not enough on its own. Getting positive interaction with your emails is like paying off your credit card quickly. The credit industry wants you to keep borrowing and paying interest. So too do the ISPs have an interest in enhancing the positive interactions with their platforms. When your recipients are happily reading and clicking on your emails, they are spending more time on Gmail.com and being shown more ads in the process.
Tying it all Together
Successful high volume email marketing strategies implement automations to make data-driven delivery adjustments. Big senders often have multiple brands, each with their own audiences and sender scores. Keeping track of it all by hand can lead to mistakes. When mistakes threaten your brand reputation, and therefore the revenue you can generate, it’s not just a best practice to build and maintain trust, it’s the only way to succeed in the long run.
The biggest change in high volume email marketing we’ve seen at ReachMail over the years has been the way marketers manage their delivery strategies. What once took a dozen or more employees is now handled by one or two marketers.
High volume email marketing often gets a bad reputation in this industry as it brings flashbacks of the spray-and-pray era of bulk spamming. In today’s email industry, mass email marketers are implementing personalized messaging strategies at large scale and across multiple brands.