Why generic email sending practices won't guarantee inbox placement
Over the years, people's needs and interests have changed when it comes to the emails they receive. These days, people look for a more personalized email experience. Meanwhile, spammers have picked up new techniques to bombard inboxes with junk email.
As mailbox providers across the world validate various data points to offer inbox placement, they have been observing all this and have begun to make inbox decisions revolving around factors like email engagement and the sender domain's reputation. Techniques that granted inbox placement a few years ago may not yield the desired results now. In this webinar, we'll learn why generic email sending practices won't guarantee inbox placement anymore.
Q & A
We couldn't attend to all the questions during our webinar. However, we have answered them in detail here.
Q1) What is your take on using a separate domain for marketing campaigns to avoid affecting your primary domain?
A1) If you send transactional emails and marketing emails through the same sender domain, marketing emails receiving spam markings or unsubscribes may affect inbox placement for transactional emails. To avoid this, marketers may choose to use a sub domain to send their marketing emails.
We think this is a good approach to take. If your emails face delivery issues while sending marketing emails through a subdomain, it will be easy to identify the root cause and take necessary corrective measures. Even if your subdomain earns a negative reputation, it will not affect your primary domain or other subdomains.
Q2) Have email campaigns slowed down because of social media?
A2) Email marketing has proven to be the most effective marketing medium time and again as it directly engages with people. Though the number of people using social media platforms has increased drastically over the last few years, social media and the marketing activities carried around still won't be able to reach people as directly as email marketing does. Also, it may not be possible to achieve personalization through social media marketing.
Whereas in email marketing you can easily personalize your marketing efforts and achieve better conversions. As per industry experts, email generates $38 for every $1 spent. Hence, we can safely conclude that email marketing will not be affected by the growth of social media and the marketing activities carried around it.
Q3) Does certification for ESP improve inbox placement?
A3) There are various certifications that you can apply for in the email industry. When you qualify and get certified, you will gain entry into the whitelists that have trusted senders who have certified. The whitelist will be shared with all the mailbox service providers. Mailbox providers can access the whitelist through a secure DNS server lookup.
When mailbox providers receive emails from a sender who is not present in the whitelist, they'll thoroughly scrutinize the email and then make inbox decisions. Whereas when mailbox providers receive emails from a sender present in the white list, they know that the email is from a trusted sender and they may grant inbox placement after a less-intensive scrutinization.
Though getting certified does not guarantee 100% inbox placement, it will definitely get you into the good books of mailbox providers and help you achieve better inbox placement than before. To land all your emails in the inbox, you need to keep implementing hygienic sending practices and ensure that your sender domains and IPs establish a healthy rapport with mailbox providers.
Q4) Does SPF alignment drastically affect inboxing?
A4) If you're sending emails through your business domain as "From," DMARC will compare it with the "Envelope From" (also known as "Return-Path") domain. During the DMARC check, if the "From" domain doesn't match the "Return-path" domain, SPF alignment will fail. DMARC requires either SPF or DKIM alignment. So, if you have DKIM authentication, you will pass the DMARC check even without SPF alignment. SPF alignment failing won't affect your email deliverability.
Q5) Does Gmail provide a whitelist program for big ESPs like Sendgrid or Mailchimp?
A5) Gmail does not provide a whitelisting service for email service providers.
Q6) Hotmail usually says to certify with Returnpath. Is this necessary?
A6) To acquire a Returnpath certification, you should use a dedicated IP. Also, you should meet the criteria set by Returnpath to qualify for the certification. Once you acquire the Returnpath certification, there are chances for your email campaigns to witness better inbox placement.