All posts by sendpal.in

Getting Started with Email Marketing

Email is one of the most personal and direct ways a business can reach out to users. Traditionally emails used to be for 1 to 1 communication between people, but businesses also wanted to get in touch with their users in a similar fashion. Hence, email marketing came into being. Since email is a personal and private space, you would not want to turn off your users.  Therefore, its essential to be extremely careful in the way you ask for permissions, what you send them and how frequently you send emails.

In the 1998 comedy flick, You have Got Mail, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan connect via emails and that leads to a nice romantic story around emails. The idea behind your email communication should be on the same lines. That is, your users have to love what you send, for them to be interested.

You've Got Email

You’ve Got Mail

Below are a few things you should keep in mind while planning and executing email marketing campaigns:

Ask for permission:

Email is a private domain. Its always best to ask permission before you send across any communication. It’s a basic etiquette just like knocking the door before entering a house.

Know what is relevant for your users:

Know about your users (It does not hurt to ask them!). Send them communication which is relevant to them. Bulk sending does not work.

K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple Stupid. Simplify everything for your users. If someone has not opened your email for the past X instances, its best to ask them whether they are interested in receiving further communication or not.  Respect unsubscriptions. Ask feedback from users about what they would like to receive.

Keep these basic things in mind and you will always have great interaction with your users.

Happy Emailing!

Image Credit: Wikimedia 

Email Deliverability – an introduction

Short Introduction to Email Deliverability

What it is?

Businesses send millions of emails to their customers assuming all of them will be read. But like in traditional mail, an email be either kept by the post-office and not sent to the recipient at all, or just thrown by the postman in the recipient’s drive-way, or in the best case, handed over personally to the recipient after ringing his bell. Each of these cases results in different probabilities of the user reading the letter, from 0 upward, but NEVER 1. Electronic Mail also travels through so many intermediaries and processing systems, that the probability of the user reading your email gets impacted at a lot of traffic signals and due to a variety of reasons. The sum total of all these impacts and signals is what is called the deliverability of an email.

Why should I care?

Why do businesses send email? So that users read them and take actions on them that result in more business. Clearly improved deliverability means more users reading your emails and hence more business.

How do I fare?

Unfortunately GMail, Hotmail and other ISPs are not very forthcoming on data on email deliverability. Some of them will share feedback on a case-by-case basis but no one published aggregate data or analytics for the senders. Their reasons for being secretive are bona fide. The moment they make the analytics public, spammers may reverse engineer from that and build more techniques to fool them and spam them further. The main interest of the ISPs is to protect users from spam. Your best guess at email deliverability is the open and click rates you get on your emails and compare them with industry or competition benchmarks to make a guess. You may also setup some sample mailboxes on various ISPs and monitor them to arrive at sample statistics. Since this is very cumbersome, another way is to go for paid solutions like ReturnPath that do this sampling on a large scale and hence have more reliable data. Even then, there is no way of getting a complete and accurate view of your deliverability statistics.

What do I do?

The best bet for any business is to follow the fundamental canons of email deliverability and then hope for the best. Once you are following each and very guideline from the ISPs in particular, and of the email marketing world in general, you can be reasonably certain that you are getting maximum bang for your buck and time spend on email marketing.

What are the canons?

The four main canons of deliverability are

  1. Permission – Thou shalt not email a user against or ignoring his wishes
  2. Engagement – Thou shalt send mails that users want to open and click on
  3. Frequency – Thou shalt send emails at a reasonable rate
  4. Reputation – Thy email sending domains and IPs should have a good reputation

As can be easily seen, most of these are subjective rather than objective in nature. For more information on how you can improve upon these, get in touch with the SendPal Team!

Go!!

sendPal

We are pleased to announce the launch of the beta version of SendPal – an easy-to-use direct marketing platform that packs quite a punch under the hood. With nifty features like express mailing, drag and drop designing, RSS support and behind the scenes support of algorithmic warmup, robust bounce handling and dynamic IP pools, it has been designed to meet the needs of startups and enterprises alike. We are already handling more than 10 enterprise clients and sending millions of mails a day. The positive reviews from our clients and the upside in their KPIs provided the encouragement to open up the product to the world.

Email refuses to die. The earliest use of the internet continues to be one of its biggest despite the explosion in social and mobile. We WhatsApp, we SnapChat, we Gtalk, we AppNotify, but we still check and send mail. And probably will continue to, forever. The fact that the four horsemen have all amnitious product strategies around this channel, the fact that some of tech-street’s most loved companies are sending email all confirm this.

But there are already oh-so-nauseatingly-many email tools out there, and it is also not-rocketscience with cheap cloud-based options available, so then why SendPal? Good question! Turns out the all of so many tools out there suffer from one or more of the following shortcomings.

1. Touch – Direct marketing is in the domain of relationship marketing and customers are not just numbers. SendPal is focused on the Indian users and our spam control, segmentation and template library is connected closely to the Indian context (details in a later post)

2. Collaboration – New features or custom development is just not possible in most tools. Through our PalConnect initiative, we respond rapidly to client demands for new features and even custom integrations.

3. Express Mailing – Why should newsletters be any different from sending mails to your friends? If it is, your tool is not making it simple enough for you. Our philosophy is to simplify email marketing so you can focus on your content and your customers.

4. Delivery and Reputation – We acknowledge that some of the bigger players have large IP and MTA infrastructure leveraging third party system management tools and they have been at it for pretty long now. But large does not always mean better. Our IP allocation and warmup systems are smart and nifty, and the fact that they have kept up impeccable reputations despite being a set of completely new IPs and domains since past 6 months, speaks volumes about their robustness. Dont let anybody fool you into believing that delivery and reputation management is the great mystery it is made out to be!

And oh, did we forget! Our pricing is at an invitation stage right now and you will be pleasantly surprised. Just send us an account creation request and get started in no time. As they say, the only proof of the pudding is in eating it :)