This page has been designed to act as your complete guide to all things high volume emailing. It contains advice on; an introduction to high volume mailing, an explanation of what it is, the Dos & Don’t, choosing the right platform (including a multiple vendor approach) and our advice surrounding deliverability.
At Ongage we’ve been writing about all things email for a long time, not least the important aspects of high volume mailing over recent weeks. We’ve pulled all of our best assets and information into one key area to make it easier for you to educate yourself on the concept of high volume mailing, and make an informed decision for your organization.
So make sure you bookmark this page and share it with your colleagues!
High volume mailing: what is it?
High volume mailing refers to the sending of high volumes of emails within your email marketing operation, all at once. This means not segmenting, or breaking down, you email list into more manageable, sizeable chunks to stage the delivery over a set period of time.
With the increase in consumer demand for highly personalized, well-targeted email marketing communications over recent years, many Email Marketers avoid the practice of high volume, or bulk, mailing. This is because our consumers are now savvier than ever - they expect the best possible communications, and you’d be forgiven for assuming that bulk mailing won’t deliver you with the sophisticated communications your recipients have come to expect.
So, typically within the email marketing industry, Influencers and Experts would be quick to advise any organization against the practice of bulk mailing their recipients. This is because there are many assumed side effects to undertaking the practice, such as higher risks surrounding delivery. A more tailored emailing approach comes with benefits like increased engagement and improved sender scores, hence why this practice is encouraged over the former.
However, within some businesses, there is still a prevailing need to be able to send large volumes of emails – even if most industry advice pieces you read would advise against it. Luckily for these business, there are practices that can ensure highly personalized and engaged bulk mailings.
Many of our previous learnings on how to innovate your email program are also applicable to high volume mailing, such as marketing automation tips and advanced profiling techniques. Our Level Up webinar with email expert Ryan Phelan discusses many great email practices which makes it a must watch - take a look.
Best practice: Dos and Don’ts of high volume mailing
Do: utilize and personalize Dynamic Content
The absolute number one way to manage your high volume email send efficiently, is via Dynamic Content. Dynamic Content enables your marketing operation to take advantage of heightened personalization and hyper-tailoring, of every aspect of your emails’ content, without having to manually segment your campaigns or manage multiple sends. It works by changing entire sections of your email content depending upon criteria you set, like subscriber preference data, thus providing each individual recipient with a customized email with content specific to them.
This applies to large volume sends by allowing sections of your emails be tailored to your recipients based on the data you hold on them, behavioral information and other elements. This benefits users in the form of a tailored email, while you benefit from the one-stop bulk send you need to help you fulfill your business objectives.
You can apply ‘if-else’ content blocks to a high volume send, to gain efficiency. With this solution, differing content is displayed depending upon the differing information held about each individual subscriber.
For example, if the subscriber’s location is known then different content will be shown that is relevant to their specific location. This is done automatically via the Ongage system and at scale, therefore removing the need for your team to manually create multiple versions of the same email.
You can read more about maximizing your email marketing with Dynamic Content, here.
Don’t: ignore your list health
When working with huge amounts of data in one go, it’s imperative to ensure that your list hygiene is tip top. In order to ensure you don’t fall foul of spamtraps and keep your emails landing into the inbox, it’s crucial to; adopt a double opt-in approach upon sign-up, regularly clean your mailing lists and take note of unsubscribes, bounces and ‘spammy’ addresses, ensuring to always remove them speedily.
All great Email Marketers know that list hygiene is priority number one - so don’t get left behind the competition when it comes to this part of your operation!
We have a whole host more of our Dos and Don’ts for high volume mailing over on our blog resource, here. Take a read!
Choosing the right platform for high volume mailing
Selecting the right email marketing platform to suit your operation is a big decision, let alone when your highly-lucrative, high-volume mailings rely on you making the right choices. To help you along in making your choice, we’ve created a helpful guide post with our three top tips on this topic. Take a read:
1. Familiarize yourself with their delivery reputation
Just because you’re sending to high volumes, this doesn’t mean you needn’t worry about your delivery rates. If anything, strong deliverability is even more important when it comes to high-volume emailing, and not every vendor can ensure you keep the high delivery rates you’ve worked for.
2. Consider taking a multiple vendor approach
When it comes to high-volume email sending it’s important that you don’t narrow your thinking to just one email vendor, when a multiple-vendor solution might be best for your level of activity. Using multiple delivery vendors gives you access to different systems for different purposes, creating a more efficient email marketing operation. Utilizing multiple sending vendors allows you to get access to the ‘best bits’ of each, such as one supplier’s easy-to-use interface or another supplier’s intuitive analytics tools, all tied up in one system.
Read more on the benefits of utilizing multiple delivery vendors here.
3. Focus on reporting and analytics
Large audiences have great potential for you to learn about what users like and don’t like, what email content and subject lines they react to and what parts of your email they engage with. Assuming that the large majority of your list is engaging with your emails on a regular basis and that you're on top of your list-hygiene, you have a fantastic sample size of data here to use in informing your email and wider marketing communications strategy. So, being able to utilize that data and information will give you a huge opportunity making analytics not one to be missed!
Read more on how to choose the right email marketing platform for high volume mailings, here.
Deliverability for bulk mailing: avoiding spam filters
Due to the nature of bulk emailing, your email marketing operation can be much more susceptible to falling foul of spamtraps and delivery regulations than lower-volume email sends. Competition is tough and spam filters are working harder than ever to filter through our sends, removing poor emails to keep recipients and inbox users on the right side of a good experience.
So when it comes to bulk mailing specifically, it’s absolutely vital that you do everything you can to keep your reputation on the right side of the ‘email law’. To help you do so, we’ve created a helpful guide post with our three top tips on how to avoid spam traps when bulk emailing. Take a read:
1. Never assume you have permission
Sometimes brands can forget where their data has come from - perhaps you’ve had a high staff turnover or you’ve moved lists around a lot and amalgamated some. This risk is even more prevalent when it comes to high volume mailing, as there’s a whole lot more data to get confused about. Use a double opt-in strategy to ensure any new data is permissioned, and only send to those accounts that you have clear opt-in date & timestamps for. Sending to non-permissioned email addresses makes you a prime target for spamtraps, and you can’t take this risk to your sender reputation when you need to keep it tip-top to continue bulk mailing.
2. Remember the importance of throttling
Send-throttling is where you limit the amount of emails you send within a certain period of time, such as one hour, to stage your send. By throttling your campaign you can help your emails to pass more-smoothly via the ISP. This practice also limits spam-trap triggers to a certain extent by enabling you to break down your lists into smaller chunks, assisting with IP warming and helping to improve your sender reputation.
3. Utilize Dynamic Content
As we’ve discussed above, the best way to manage bulk email sends well is to utilize Dynamic Content. But it’s not just handy for your email content to stay tip-top - it helps out when it comes to your deliverability, too. By demonstrating this high level of quality within your email communications, ISPs will see you as a quality sender, which will keep you out of the sights of spam traps.
So there you have it! The good news is that, for Email Marketers looking to execute high volume email marketing campaigns effectively, there are means and ways of how to go about that practice.
Considering the points we’ve mentioned above and the tolls listed to help you perform well, will help you succeed against both your business needs as well as in delivering email marketing communications that hit the spot in terms of your customers’ demands.