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Customer-centric thinking: key to reach the inbox

25th Jan 2010
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Many marketers still struggle with questions regarding their email marketing efforts. What is the best time to send an email? The best day? How do I circumvent spam filters?

In all cases, customer-centric, or in this case recipient-centric, thinking is key for email marketing timing and deliverability as you will discover. In this post, I give some clues and ideas, coming from several interviews and other posts.

Let’s start with the eternal “what’s the best day/time to send an email?” question. The answer? It depends from many things: B2B or B2C, your ‘audience’, the type of email (newsletters, promotions, etc.); the content, etc.

There are some general rules, like “it’s best not to send B2B emails in the week-end”, “Tuesday and Thursday are the best days” but the best way to define the ideal day and time to send your emails is by asking your customers and by testing as you can read here.

Deliverability is about the customer

Then comes the deliverability issue. That’s not an easy one, since the number of sent emails is increasing and ISPs are changing the way they work to determine whether an email is OK or not. The main changes ISPs are testing and implementing revolve around customer engagement, recipient interaction and so on.

In an interview, Mario Marlisa from Return Path says “Your goal is to maintain an active, healthy file so carefully track the activity level of your subscribers. Are your subscribers responding to your offers? If so, how often?  The more engaged your subscribers are the more likely you are to drive response. Consequently, inactive subscribers tend to complain more, which can drive down your inbox placement rates. Make sure you track engagement metrics to be sure you only send email subscribers want to read”.

So, deliverability has much to do with customer engagement and interaction and to achieve that your emails have to be very recipient-centric: relevant content etc.

According to Marlisa, the keys to reach the inbox are permission, engagement, frequency and reputation. Of course there’s more but still, the recipients – and thus customer – always come back.

Another email deliverability expert, Casper Schoute from Reputy, said sender reputation is key in email deliverability.

And how do you achieve a good sender reputation? In the interview Schoute wrote: “various metrics are taken into account to determine the reputation of a sender. For instance, when somebody hits the “this-is-spam” button, ISPs will treat this as a complaint by one of their customers, and they are very serious about that”.

Now, think about this: when will recipients of your email complain? Right…

Jean-Paul De Clerck is a 360° interactive marketing consultant, founder of the Fusion Marketing Experience and owner of conversionation. You can connect with him via Twitter.


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Replies (3)

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By curtis194
18th Apr 2011 10:45

This post is very idea generating one with key substances that are viable to know with an utmost importance regarding email marketing and its custom oriented nature.The tips being talked about are vital for understanding the problematic conception and its solutive measures which will be helpful during email marketing.

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By cilu
21st Apr 2011 08:51

The technique shown here to reach the customer inbox is correct and reliable.I was searching for such new post since many days to gain some fruitful information about email marketing.

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By mattC86
22nd Aug 2012 07:26

As usual most of the business organizations are simply get the structure of marketings and advertising for their business to grow more, so they adopted many plans and staregies for marketing their business, so here we got a traditional formula for marketing a business through email marketing which helps to target the customers inbox directly, really I got a proper way for marketing my business through these generating ideas.

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