30 October 2018 - Sharon Beilis

The increased use of email as the primary form of digital marketing has made inbox placement even more important for email marketers than ever before. Coupled with the increasingly selective nature of recipients and the barriers to delivery many mailboxes place to keep their mail client clean, it is no wonder that inbox placement is getting more and more attention by email marketers.

Without a high inbox placement rate, all other KPIs and measurements are irrelevant. If your email does not make its way into your subscribers’ inbox, no amount of split testing, segmentation, or automated emails will help you.

That is why email marketers need to focus on inbox placement – and the secret to better inbox placement is better database management.  

 

Better Database Management: The Basics 

To maximize inbox placement through better data management, there are a few things email marketers need to make sure are in place:

  • Make sure your subscribers opted in – adding purchased lists or emails of recipients that did not explicitly authorize you to use their email for marketing purposes is not only illegal, but it’s a great way to ruin your database. While it may be tempting to add every email you’ve ever encountered to your email list, email marketers are better off growing their list slowly and securely. While your list may be smaller, opt-in databases have a higher chance of being interested in your product, and as a result, more likely to engage with your emails and increase deliverability and ROI.
  • Have a visible unsubscribe button and clear process – if you make unsubscribing from your email cumbersome, recipients will not hesitate to mark you as a spammer, damaging your reputation and reducing your inbox placement. Instead, make sure you have a clearly visible unsubscribe button and that the entire process is simple. Don’t forget to offer unsubscribes a chance to change the frequency or content of emails before completely unsubscribing.
  • Routinely clean up inactive users – Many ISPs measure engagement to determine inbox placement. That is why it’s important to routinely remove inactive users from your database. Inactive users reduce open rates and click levels, ultimately damaging your sender reputation and inbox placement ability. Examine past campaign results and remove inactive subscribers to prevent that. If you are not a frequent sender, consider examining inactivity over a certain number of emails sent instead of a preset time.

Better Database Management: Advanced tips

If you practice basic healthy list management practices and still want to improve your inbox placement rate (which we all do), there are a few things you can do to make sure your database is optimized for high inbox placement: 

  • Optimize content – email marketers looking to improve inboxing at a higher level should focus on the content of their campaigns. Too many images, links or promotional text (like “BUY NOW!!!”) could trigger spam filters. Instead of sending emails that will trip up your inbox placement, focus on creating content that incorporates images, text and links in a streamlined way. Be sure to split-test creative headlines and campaign copy instead of relying on generic words and multiple exclamation points to create urgency.
  • Segment lists to improve personalization – Email marketers looking to gain that extra competitive edge and improve their database management and inbox placement need to segment their lists. By organizing lists into different segments, it is possible to improve personalization and therefor increase engagement. By having a strong segmentation strategy, companies can create unique email marketing campaigns per segment, further improving their relationship with their client.
  • Monitor bounce rates – having a high bounce rate is a huge trigger for ISPs because it often signals that the list is out of date or not composed of subscribers that opted-in. A high number of bounce rates could have the same impact as a high number of spam complaints and damage your sender reputation. That is why email marketers need to make sure they monitor bounce rates and suppress bounced emails from their database in order to continually keep up high inbox placement rates.
  • Examine your IP – if you are doing everything right and still have poor inbox placement, it might be time to examine your IP. When using a shared IP, the actions of other companies on the same IP could be impacting your deliverability. Whether using a shared IP or private IP, email marketers can always benefit from IP routing optimization. To optimize your operation, funnel engaged users through a premium IP, and the less engaged users through a different one. That way the behavior of the latter won't impact the reputation of the premium IP.   

Best Database Management: Use an Email Marketing Platform that Works For You 

The best thing for email marketers looking to improve inbox placement is to select an email marketing management platform that simplifies all of these tasks (and more). 

By choosing an email marketing platform that simplifies database management, provides in-depth analytics for bounces and unsubscribes, and helps maintain proper list hygiene, email marketers are setting their campaigns up for success.

 

To learn more about how Ongage can help you manage your database, improve inbox placement and more, click the button below.

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