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3 Tips to Avoid Deliverability Issues During the Holidays

Email marketers can take proactive steps to avoid deliverability issues, especially during this critical holiday season.

Our studies at Yesmail have found that even the largest brands in the world experience deliverability issues on a regular basis.  Depending on a company’s industry and average email revenue, inboxing problems can result in $50,000 to several million dollars of lost income. There’s good news though. Email marketers can take proactive steps to avoid deliverability issues, especially during this critical holiday season.

  1. Data hygiene—Scrub your list to identify invalid or inactive email addresses. An address could be invalid if, for instance, a cashier misspelled someone’s contact information at the point of sign-up. An email address could be inactive if a recipient has not engaged with a brand in the past 12 months. According to Spamhaus, these kinds of addresses can become malicious spam traps.
  2. Inbox placement reports—Generate inbox placement reports 72 hours before you deploy an email campaign to inspect inbox placement at each Internet Service Provider. If an email marketer reaches a threshold of abuse complaints (spam) or poor user engagement (e.g. several unread emails start to bulk), ISPs see red flags and block messages. Given that users at the four major ISPs—AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail—represent 80% of a marketer’s email audience, it’s important to ensure that messages are deliverable before deployment. The lower the sending reputation, the lower the chance emails will reach the inbox. You can’t address this problem by simply acquiring new subscribers. Instead, evaluate your content and design, and target subscribers based on engagement. For example, consider launching a reactivation campaign.
  3. Mail stream separation—Run individual email campaigns on separate IP addresses so that if one mail stream has problems with an ISP, this doesn’t negatively affect the deliverability of remaining campaigns. So if you wanted to send three different types of email programs—perhaps retention, third-party and transactional—use three different IP addresses.

While improving deliverability can seem like a scary task, follow these best practices to keep your email marketing on track.

Want more deliverability tips? Click here to learn about Yesmail Deliverability Intelligence, our in-house email deliverability service.

Author Bio

Jason Warnock

Jason Warnock is a seasoned veteran of digital marketing. After creating successful email applications for Canadian bank CIBC (2004), Jason initiated and managed Deliverability Operations for Digital Connexxions (2006) implementing several key strategies for major publishing clients. After a successful acquisition of Digital Connexxions in 2006 by infoUSA, Jason proceeded to become Director of Deliverability for Yes Marketing (2007) followed by VP of Deliverability Services for Yes Marketing (2011). Jason has transformed Yes Marketing's Deliverability into an industry leading solution through enhanced offerings of technology and client services. Jason has designed successful technical and business strategies for several large Fortune 500 companies including: HP, Coke, Kodak, Facebook, eBay,, and United Airlines.