14 November 2018 - Sharon Beilis

2018 was a turning point in the email world, bringing many changes to the years to come. With 2019 just around the corner, we contacted the biggest email deliverability experts, our close partners from top-tier SMTP vendors Mailgun and Oracle Dyn, and asked for their insights from 2018. Perhaps more important, we wished to learn about their outlook for the email industry in 2019. Here’s what they had to say.

 

“What was the most significant thing that affected email marketing this year, and what should mailers be excited about entering 2019?”

 

NickNick Schafer, Deliverability Engineer at Mailgun:

“In my opinion, the most significant thing that affected email marketers this year was something that actually started back at the end of 2017. That was the migration of the backend mail systems for both Microsoft’s freemail services and Oath’s properties including AOL and Verizon.

Unfortunately, these migrations caused quite the headache for email marketers across the globe as there were some hiccups along the way with both. Not completely unexpected, as these migrations were massive projects, but it did cause a lot of throttling issues and delays in getting emails out at the right time! Many of the original issues seen by senders have since been resolved, but some do still pop up from time to time which is why it’s important as a marketer to always be monitoring your traffic.

Those issues aside, it does seem like it has been difficult for marketers to inbox with Microsoft specifically, and many want to blame the migration on this. The reality is that if you are having trouble with deliverability to any mailbox provider, not just Microsoft, there is something that can be improved in your current email practices.

Mailbox providers get flooded with spam every day and they have to protect their users - even if sometimes good senders get caught in the crosshairs. Fortunately for marketers, these reputation systems have been getting better with time, and they aren’t just looking at IPs anymore.

I feel that in 2019, domain reputation will be a bigger factor in the criteria these reputation systems use to decide who’s making it to the inbox. That should be something marketers look forward to, as it can help you stand out from the pack by sending messages that are fully authenticated with DKIM, SPF, and DMARC.

Think of it as TSA pre-check for your messages: by checking the boxes and giving ISPs what they’re looking for, they know what to expect and won’t scrutinize over your messages every time you send because you’ve established trust. Believe me, mailbox providers want to inbox messages that their customers want to see, now it’s just up to you to prove to them that your messages are wanted.”

 

About Nick: Nick is a Deliverability Engineer at Mailgun, where he is the go-to for all things deliverability. He’s passionate about teaching large and small business alike how to do the right thing when it comes to not only sending email, but also building and growing a healthy and engaged list.

 

JoshJosh Nason, Senior Email Deliverability Consultant at Oracle Dyn:

“It has to be GDPR compliance because a) it was another industry regulation and b) it scared a lot of companies into reviewing their database practices. I’m not sure if it will have the desired effect, but it was big enough where the question of “Are you GDPR compliant?” was asked of every email provider and by every email provider at some point in 2018.

The big question with GDPR is whether it will make a difference. CAN-SPAM exists, but feels like more guidelines than hard truths and CASL has been a bit of a disaster from an impact standpoint. Until companies get heavily fined and scare other companies straight as a result. I feel like I know where this will end up, but I could be wrong.

Emailers can be excited about getting to the inbox more... if they remove unengaged users and send overall better content. How we take in content changes constantly and with more media trying to get our attention than ever before, the key to a better program isn’t to send more, it’s to send more strategically. Avoid bragging about list size. Instead, look at list engagement.

Look, the game hasn’t changed that much. While new social platforms pop up all the time, email is still the best way to communicate a direct message with an engaged audience where you can track the results. The problem is brands worry more list size than the actual results. End that mentality and the industry will improve substantially.”

 

About Josh: Josh Nason is a senior email deliverability consultant for Oracle Dyn’s cloud-based email team, and has worked in the email industry for more than 10 years. He specializes in content creation, campaign evaluations, and strategic planning initiatives.

 

The Future is Now

The future of email marketing is already here, and it isn’t here for long. Email marketing, like everything else digital, is continually evolving. The job of email marketers is to stay on top of trends and innovations and make sure they adhere to the latest regulations. Our job is to make that easy.

At Ongage we continually seek out new ways to improve email marketing campaigns for our clients, bringing together top back-end deliverability solutions that seamlessly work with our feature-rich front end. We do our best to offer advanced integrations and third party solutions to improve every aspect of email marketing campaigns, from design to content through integration and analytics.

To learn more how Ongage can suit your email marketing needs, click the button below.

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Special thanks to Mailgun and Oracle Dyn for sharing their valuable insights with us.