Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a world-class suite of digital marketing automation tools that allow you to create, manage and deploy highly personalized email campaigns. The intuitive all-in-one platform can be a vital tool in jumpstarting your email program and seamlessly move campaigns from concept to completion, but what happens after you press send?
“Deliverability” is the measure of how many emails actually make it into recipients’ inboxes. There are a myriad of factors involved in email deliverability and many of them are impacted before a message is sent. With so many elements contributing to a successful inbox delivery it can be difficult to get every part right, every time. Fortunately, for those working in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the platform provides services and automated tools to ensure marketing messages reach your subscribers.
The first thing to consider is whether the structure of sending IP address and domains are in line with best practices for successful email sends. Dedicated IP addresses are reserved solely for the use of one organization, while shared IP pools are communal and carry the weight of the reputation of other senders within the pool. Dedicated IP addresses are ideal for high volume senders who average over 100,000 sends per month and wish to have control over the reputation of their sending IP. Inversely, shared IP pools are great for senders with less than 100,000 emails per month and can help mitigate damages to reputation that would weigh more heavily if the sender were to carry the burden by themselves. It is also important that the name of the sending domain is relevant to the content sent and appropriately represents the organization. Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers both types of sending IP addresses, as well as fully prepared Private Domains set up with proper authentication.
The technical aspects of the deliverability of email campaigns are often overlooked, and, can at times seem tedious or difficult to fully understand. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) are two forms of authentication designed to detect and prevent email spoofing. Having properly configured authentication in place not only increases security but will also improves company reputation in the eyes of the service providers.
Whether you’re seeking to create a new sending domain or use an existing domain, the Sender Authentication Package included with every Pro, Corporate and Enterprise License will help ensure that your emails contain proper authentication to assist in reaching recipients’ inboxes. Through the Sender Authentication Package, users have the option to select a new domain to represent their brand which will be purchased and set up. The Sender Authentication Package also includes link and image wrapping, providing the ability to custom-tailor links and images to match the authenticated domains’ branding.
Another, largely overlooked, component of the technical side of email is an unsubscribe link. Having an unsubscribe link within an email not only provides a method for recipients to opt-out of further communications and reduce complaints, but is also viewed as a favorable feature by ISPs. Many countries require a working unsubscribe link, which is included as a standard feature in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The Sender Authentication Package also includes products such as Private Domain, Dedicated IP, Reply Mail Management and automatic enrollment into available feedback loops such as Microsoft SNDS and Google Postmaster.
Prior to deploying an email campaign, it is crucial to have an ongoing strategy in place for list hygiene and maintenance. Bounced messages negatively impact a sender’s reputation. Common reasons for a bounce include sending to an invalid address or domain, technical issues with the receiving server or sending to inactive accounts whose mailbox is no longer accepting mail.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s List Detective will automatically remove common typos and known bad domains such as “Gmall” or “Hotnail” after importing subscriber lists and results in a reduction of bounced emails. It is critical to be able to identify a bounce as a soft bounce, which is a temporary bounce, or a hard bounce which indicates a permanent delivery issue. The Bounce Mail Management tool automatically monitors bounce rates and will proactively remove recipients who have an ongoing history of bouncing emails.
The next step to ensuring good deliverability is building and maintaining a good sending reputation. The best way to maintain a positive sending reputation is to send to valid email addresses which are highly engaged with the content they are receiving. Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides a family of reporting tools to give in-depth insights into what happens after a campaign is sent. Engagement and disengagement reports offer an understanding of the direction in which opens, clicks, unsubscribes and spam complaints are trending. There are more granular tools available such as Email Performance by Domain and Spam Complaints Over Time to help isolate problematic areas which could impact sender reputation. Discovering what content is engaging is easy with reports that drill down to the subscriber level.
Utilizing the strategies and Salesforce Marketing Cloud tools discussed will future-proof email sends to ensure senders remain in the good graces of the ISPs who will review and decide on the placement of your campaigns. Just like the world of email deliverability is ever-changing, the interests of recipients may change over time as well. Throughout the course of sending campaigns, brands may decide to reduce the amount of emails sent to less engaged recipients or stop sending to them altogether.
The Dynamic List tool allows senders to set criteria so that mailing lists adjust to the needs of recipients. If there is a group of recipients who have not opened an email for a set amount of time it may be time to consider using the Dynamic List tool to automatically reduce or halt future sends to these recipients. Further down the road brands may want to reach back out to older subscribers who have been removed from sending lists due to lack of engagement. The Permission Pass tool provides a one-time email to be sent to prospects on an out-of-date list. Permission Pass recipients who click an opt-in link contained within the email will be automatically added back to the send list which greatly simplifies the re-engagement process.
The mobile-friendly, trusted platform built with intelligence will enables engagement with every customer through the use of highly personalized email campaigns and monitoring tools ensuring messages are always up to speed with subscribers’ interests. There are a variety of tools on the market to assist with the creation, sending and monitoring of email campaigns, few provide the ease of access and accuracy that you will come to expect from Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Interested in learning more about deliverability in Salesforce Marketing Cloud? We’d be happy to chat with you!