3 NEW Things Direct Marketers Need to Know In Order to Enter—and Stay in—the Inbox
But Trivunovic says paying attention to content—such as using red flag words like "free," "call," "lose," "money," and "opportunity"—isn't as important as knowing whether the content is really what customers want to read. (Enter the omnipresent word "relevant.") That means ESPs are closely watching opens, clicks, replies and emails deleted without opens, she says. So, "If you haven't already done so, stop using 'do not respond' language in email communications," Trivunovic says.
2. Engagement. Murphy says: "The biggest issue or trend in deliverability currently is focusing on engagement rather than content or IP reputation." He adds that ESPs are actually looking at specific domain names, rather than the IP address. So once a marketer dropped disengaged customers, leave them off the list, Murphy advises.
Furthermore, simply getting in the inbox doesn't necessarily accomplish the first step along the path to engagement. Sather says: "Based on our recent Global [Email Deliverability] Benchmark Report, Gmail Priority Inbox has an adoption rate of 81 percent, meaning that it's reached the mainstream and marketers need to pay attention. Additionally, out of the email that landed in the Gmail inbox, we found that only 17 percent made it to the Priority Inbox. Marketers could potentially see response rates decrease as a result, or even see the time it takes for a subscriber to open an email decrease, since they're paying closer attention to emails that are classified as Priority."
Murphy provides a guide on how to increase engagement, which he suggests be repeated every 90 days:
A. "Select recipients who have opened an email within the last three months. Call this the 'engaged' list."
B. "Send a separate re-engagement email to all others. It should: re-introduce the marketer, assume the recipient forgot who you are; and provide an excellent incentive, make the best offer possible [and] if the recipient still does not engage, then you know you have virtually zero percent chance with them."