Getting your campaigns into the inbox - Adobe ? Getting your campaigns into the inbox Ramp up your
Post on 04-Jul-2018
Adobe Campaign White Paper
Getting your campaigns into the inboxRamp up your email reputation with IP warming
When starting your email migration journey with a new vendor, youll be assigned new IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. In the context of sending email, an IP address is the route thats used to deliver your email messages to your customers.
At the beginning stages of sending email, its critical to execute deliveries carefully to establish a positive sending reputation with an IP address. A positive sending reputation puts you in the best position for inbox placement and campaign success. The global deliverability team at Adobe Campaign partners with each client during the IP warming process to accomplish this goal.
Getting startedFirst, we assign the appropriate number of dedicated IP addresses for sending emails. This is determined by your sending volume, email programs, and data segmentation practices. IP addresses and domains are used for identifying senders on a network.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) take precautions whenever they detect an unfamiliar IP and sending domain and have to decide whether an email is spam. Unfortunately, its not always an educated guess. Since they dont have time to examine the content of your email or research your business, they use volume, frequency, complaints, and bounce rates of mailings as measures of your reputation.
Experience tells us that if youre just starting to send emails from a new IP address, emailing large volumes could raise a red flag with ISPs. If you havent established a positive sending reputation, they might block you, limit or throttle your overall email volume, or randomly deliver email between the inbox and the junk folder.
The best way were able to minimize this reaction is to warm up your IP addresses by gradually ramping up your sending volume. This gives the ISPs a chance to get to know you and establishes your messages as legitimate and reputable.
How ISPs rate youISPs apply reputation scoring to rate senders to determine whether or not to deliver your email to the customers. Reputation is built over time and, like a credit score, your email reputation depends on a few metrics:
Engagement: How are subscribers interacting with your emails? Are they opened and read?
Complaints: How often do subscribers hit the This is Spam button?
Spam trap hits and antispam blacklists
Bouncebacks: Number of invalid email addresses
Proper configuration of email domains and IPs, and authentication
Similar to a credit score, the more positive reputation you build, the more trusted you are. You can demonstrate to the ISP that youre a legitimate sender by sending a few initial emails and gradually increasing the volume over time until the traffic has been registered at each ISP as a trusted source. By applying best practices when designing your campaigns, youll build a positive reputation with the ISP. We realize, however, that each ISP is different, and well work with you to resolve any concerns.
Of course, IP warming and ramping up are not enough to ensure deliverability. You must also be using the best practices for designing your campaigns.
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IP warming processThe process for ramping up and warming an address will be different for each company. If youre an established business thats already sending a lot of email, you should gradually migrate your sending. You can do this by moving small portions of the traffic to your new IP addresses. Well work with you to schedule this transition. If your company is already maintaining multiple mail streams, you can move them over to the new IPs one at a time.
How well help you build a positive sending reputationWell help collect information so we can provide the best recommendations on how to prepare your data for deployment. Well also give you the Adobe Campaign deliverability questionnaire, which helps us determine the best strategy for you. Additionally, well examine your email marketing calendar, metrics, and benchmarks as well as your prior email platform (if applicable) so our consultants get a 360-degree view of your program. Well use this information to check the reputation status of your previous email system to identify any issues and practices that might hinder securing a positive reputation on your new IP addresses.
The global deliverability team will use this information to devise a customized ramp-up schedule and strategy that will help deploy messages in a way that builds a positive reputation over time. Part of the process will be identifying your most engaged subscribers. By sending to them first, you demonstrate to ISPs that your subscribers do want to receive your email, as well as minimize the chances of hitting reputation-damaging spam traps.
ISPs require very specific technical configurations that align with their policies and best practices. Adobe configures your IPs and delegated subdomains to identify you as a responsible and trusted sender.
Authentication helps receivers validate whether a sender has the rights to send from that IP or domain. Think of authentication as similar to showing your passport at Customs. Its a way to validate that you are who you say you are. Authentication allows the ISPs to validate that the company sending from a domain or IP has the right to do so. ISPs reference SPF and DKIM as the primary forms of authentication. Many ISPs are also incorporating DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) into their filtering decisions.
Unauthenticated emails arent necessarily blocked, but theyll go through additional filtering.
How well deploy campaigns to build your positive email reputationISPs look for consistent volume and good data quality. Well start slowly and steadily to increase traffic over the next four to eight weeks. Some ramp-ups require more or less time based on your volume and goals. Email traffic will be deployed in a slow and steady progression, increasing each week until the entire list has been sent. In addition, each segment will follow the schedule until completion. Start with the most recent subscribers first, and finish with the least engaged subscribers last.
Once the appropriate traffic limit has been reached for each ISP and your reputation is established, youll be able to send full volumes to the domain on any given day of the week.
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The global deliverability team develops a detailed schedule designed to accommodate your email program.
During the ramp-up process, emphasis is placed on sending to the most engaged subscribers to increase the likelihood that your emails will be delivered and opened. Older and nonengaged subscribers will be incorporated into later mailings midway through the ramp-up.
MonitoringDuring the IP warming period, our global deliverability team will monitor bounces, complaints, and engagement metrics (opens and clicks) and perform routine seed list testing. Well also monitor various third-party data, such as Microsofts Smart Network Data Services, Ciscos SenderBase, and WatchGuards Reputation Authority (these sources will display complaints and spam trap hits from an ISP perspective). Our team will look for spikes or changes in any of these categories.
Monitoring deliverability reputation metrics will give our team insight into how your ramp-up is progressing and if additional strategies or ISP assistance is needed to amend the process. Our global deliverability team will also schedule weekly calls to provide you with feedback and recommendations until ramp-up is complete.
What to Expect During the Warming Process
Deferred or blocked mailSpammers are sending from new IPs all the time. As soon as theyre shut down on one IP range, they sprout up on another somewhere else. As a result, ISPs are forced to restrict the flow of email sent from all new IPs to determine the quality of the traffic before allowing substantial volumes through.
Its not uncommon to receive deferral messages when you begin your new campaign. After a few retries, the message is usually accepted and delivered. Achieving a normal flow of traffic through those ISPs that defer new senders may take a few days. If the delays last longer, we will submit a whitelist request to the ISP. In rare cases, the ISP blocks the new sender. Well be monitoring your account, and if such a block is suspected, well reach out to the ISP to resolve the situation.
Spam or junk folderThe possibility exists that mail from new senders can end up in a recipients spam or junk folder. Well be monitoring your account, and if such a block is suspected, well reach out to the ISP to resolve the situation.
Monitoring or reportsAdobe Campaign has many tools such as broadcast statistics, tracking indicators, and technical monitoring reports to monitor your campaigns performance.
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ComplaintsComplaints occur when a subscriber labels an email as spam through their email program. This sends a notice to the ISP, and enough of these complaints can affect deliverability. If your delivery issue is caused by complaints, its important to determine why recipients are complaining.
Subscribers complain for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a subscriber doesnt want to receive any more email from you, perhaps because they feel theyre getting too many messages on the same topic, they werent expecting the message, or dont recall opting in.
The global deliverability team at Adobe Campaign can review your data acquisition methods and unsubscribe procedures to make sure youre fully aligned with industry best practices. From sign-up to opt-out, we can help.
Data validityHard bounces occur when you send to an undeliverable address at an ISP. An address can be undeliverable for many reasons, such as a mistake in typing the address or mailing to an address that was previously active but has been closed or terminated after a period of inactivity.
If you encounter a substantial number of hard bounces, its important to understand why. Review how the addresses were collected and confirm that permission was given. Sometimes people close their email account and dont notify those who have that address on their marketing list. As soon as you receive a hard bounce and youve confirmed its not a spelling error or cant confirm how it was obtained, remove it immediately from your list.
EngagementMore and more ISPs are making delivery decisions based on engagement and whether your subscribers are opening your emails or deleting them without reading them, which can affect the deliverability of your mail. Because ISPs dont share their decisions with senders, we must utilize the information we have available and translate opens, click-through rates, and transactions to measure engagement.
As part of the ongoing maintenance of your reputation, its important to develop a risk hierarchy for your subscribers based on the time of the last email open, click-through, transaction, or sign-up date. The amount of time between engagements can differ depending on the nature of your business, but engaged subscribers are typically considered those who have been active within the last six months.
In general, reduce the frequency of your mailings to those who havent engaged in a while. Create a series of emails designed to reengage for those who have been inactive recently, and develop a reconfirmation campaign for those who dont reengage. Finally, after your reactivation and reconfirmation initiatives, you should define an appropriate drop-off point where you delete subscribers who dont reengage. The right amount of time can differ based on the sales and buying cycle of your particular market.
ConclusionThe better your sending practices and the higher your reputation score with ISPs, the more likely your email marketing pieces will be delivered. IP warming and ramping up, along with following the best practices for the design of your mailing, will help optimize your inbox delivery. Our global deliverability team is your partner in this process and will help you every step of the way to build a positive sending reputation.
About Adobe CampaignAdobe Campaign is a world-class, cross-channel campaign management solution that helps marketers build meaningful relationships with their customers, deliver relevant offers and messages, and orchestrate great experiences, all through an open and flexible architecture. To learn more, visit www.adobe.com/campaign.
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