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Since the volume of email sent by B2B marketers is often much lower than retailers or other B2C sites, marketing automation providers often spread the usage of their Email IP addresses across multiple clients. As a matter of fact, most marketing automation subscriptions default to a shared IP. Consider checking with your provider on the costs associated with a dedicated IP address for your company, otherwise your deliverability could be impacted by the bad practices of the other companies on the same IP.
Major B2C ISPs and webmail providers publish the volumes that they accept on an hourly basis. Unfortunately, B2B senders don’t receive that information. Many B2B networks and mail servers can handle small volumes and don’t have dedicated mail server administrators. This makes it difficult to send a large amount of volume to these B2B networks. Instead, send smaller volumes and spread out the volume over the course of your send to achieve better results.
Keeping a clean, active email list is key to achieving high deliverability. Meticulously manage your lists by removing unsubscribes, suppressing complaints, come up with a good bounce strategy, and use caution with list append and acquisition providers. Strive to continually segment and prune email lists to get the results you want and get into the inbox. After all, increased deliverability starts with good email hygiene.
B2B feedback loops exist and should be set up and enabled for your email programs. A feedback loop allows the recipient’s network to send you back email digests of those that complain (hit the spam button) about your emails. Not all networks/providers have this, but it is important to sign up for all that are available, as well as suppress those that do complain.
Whitelisting, or Safelisting, has long been associated with B2C mailers.The truth is that getting your recipients to whitelist your sending IP address(es) and sending domain(s) to their mail server and/or mail-filtering solution will help improve deliverability reputation. Often times, marketing emails will get quarantined on the mail server, and having your sending information whitelisted will bypass this and get delivered to your recipient. Always include this information in your emails, on your website, and communicate this to your recipients.
IP and domain authentication are very important when sending B2B emails. Setting up these two types of authentication is typically very easy to do and helps your deliverability. By enabling IP and domain authentication for your email programs, you are showing your passport to your recipient’s network and stating, “I am who I say I am”. This helps your recipient’s network possibly filter out any emails that are not authenticated and could be a phishing email.
Sending the right content, to the right buyer, at the right time, is the perfect combination to achieving your conversions. Making sure that your content passes an array of deliverability checks can also help get your emails to the inbox. Maintain a good text-to-image ratio, include verbiage relevant to your audience, design your emails with images off, design for mobile, and don’t include all of your calls-to-action in an image.
Content URLs can also pose deliverability challenges. As IPs can get blacklisted, so can domains and URLs. Make sure you test all URLs, not only to make sure that they work, but also check to see if they are blacklisted. Too many URLs could also potentially cause deliverability problems, so always plan on testing when doing your content checks. Avoid all URL shorteners, as many of those are blacklisted, and make sure that the domains you are referencing don’t keep redirecting to many other URLs.
Stand out in your buyer’s inbox by choosing the best subject line. Many webmail and email clients now don’t display the entire subject line. B2B subject lines are often overlooked and could cause deliverability challenges. There are many B2B studies on this topic and most reference the fact that promotional words (e.g., ‘free,’ ‘exclusive’ or ‘ROI’) do not perform as well as words that speak to the basic, substantive business benefit (e.g., ‘revenue’ or ‘profit’). Make subject line testing a must to help improve overall email deliverability.
Deliverability reporting is not glamorous, but paying attention to it will help improve conversions and revenue. Don’t just focus on opens, clicks, and conversions, but pay close attention to bounces, unsubscribes, and complaints. Keeping an eye out for IP and domain reputation is very important as well. Staying off blacklists, monitoring blocks, and reviewing deliverability data/reports will help make sure that you maintain high deliverability. Marketers must have a consistent and proactive approach to email deliverability to run programs that drive revenue.
Have more questions about email deliverability? Contact one of our strategists.