Episode Thumbnail
Episode 1  |  34:19 min

Email Deliverability and Best Practices

Episode 1  |  34:19 min  |  04.03.2020

Email Deliverability and Best Practices

00:00
00:00
This is a podcast episode titled, Email Deliverability and Best Practices. The summary for this episode is: <p>During these tough times, now more than ever the world of email deliverability needs a superhero. Maybe even an Avengers-type deliverability&nbsp;<a href="https://wordtothewise.com/tag/deliverability/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(30, 139, 159);">ensemble</a>&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">—</span>&nbsp;Disney are you listening? Fortunately Cheetah Digital has Tom Corbett, our very own Senior Deliverability Consultant.</p><p>One of the great challenges for all brands right now is making sure they correctly convey the continuity of their services to customers during the COVID-19 crisis. Email is still the best and preferred way for businesses to communicate&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">—</span>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cheetahdigital.com/blog/covid-sos-sms-resource-were-probably-not-using-enough" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(30, 139, 159);">although an excellent case for SMS is made here</a>&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">— </span>but what should we have top of mind when it comes to deliverability?&nbsp;</p><p>Listen to the Uncaged Wisdom podcast&nbsp;where Tom talks to Kayla and Julian about a whole range of deliverability considerations for the times we’re living through. He also discusses some broader best practices to keep in mind when some sort of normality returns.&nbsp;</p><p>Tom is also joined by Winnie the Pooh, Bugs Bunny, and Frank Drebin from Police Squad.</p>
Takeaway 1 | 04:27 MIN
📧 - Misconceptions or mistakes marketers make when it comes to email deliverability
Takeaway 2 | 02:19 MIN
📊 - Advice on email benchmarks

1:16 to 14:00 - Due to COVID-19 revenue is down for most companies, and the immediate reaction is to send more  but should they? What metrics should we keep in mind to monitor deliverability?

16:00 to 24:20 - What are the top three things, misconceptions or mistakes that you see marketers making when it comes to deliverability?

27:00 to 30:00 - What are the top metrics or pieces of information that you look for when it comes to ensuring good inbox placement?

Guest Thumbnail
Tom Corbett
Senior Deliverability Consultant

Julian Bracey-Davis: Hello, and welcome to Uncaged Wisdom, your new talking video heads piece, where Kayla Siegmeier and myself, Julian Bracey- Davis, take you on a light and tumble journey through a host of timely topics in digital marketing. We're not embarking on this trip alone, though. We'll be joined by a passionate subject matter expert who will share with us some of their industry insights, and how they're solving problems with software and strategies. They'll also reveal what's entertaining them along the way. In this episode, we're very lucky to be joined by Tom Corbett, our very own senior deliverability specialist at Cheetah Digital. One of the great challenges for all brands right now is making sure they are correctly communicating with customers about the continuity of their services during the Coronavirus crisis. Email is still the best and preferred way for businesses to communicate, but what should they have in mind when it comes to deliverability? Kayla, should we un- cage some wisdom?

Kayla Siegmeier: Yeah, absolutely. Echoing Julian, we're super excited to have you. I think we're in a really unique time right now where retailers, and just organizations in general, are kind of in this panic. They're seeing their stores have to get shut down, they're forced online. Obviously, revenue is going to be down from that. A lot of these organizations, as a marketer standpoint, when you look at like CFOs and CMOs coming down, they're probably thinking their immediate reaction is like," We have to send more emails. We have to get more in people's faces." I'm sure that as an expert here, you probably are saying," No." So, we'd love to kind of understand what are some things that companies should be keeping in mind to make sure that they're getting good inbox placement, and they're making the right choices during this time?

Tom Corbett: No, that's a great question, and it's a talking point that everyone in the industry has got. I think the most important thing to remember is mailbox providers aren't making special allowances for these kind of emails. It's no different from Black Friday, they're seeing a lot more email. The important thing is to always put recipient first. Revenue may be down, but your recipient's always going to come first, and mailbox providers will always put them first. And put yourself in their shoes, if you look at your own mailbox, what information are you receiving? You want to know about cancellation of a flight or hotel booking, that's critical information. That is impacting you. Product back in stock, essential food or medical supply information. You don't want to clutter people's inboxes with the same information every other brand has already sent, and information the government has already told us. So, announcing a store closure, you don't need to send that information if it's already been told to us by our local government that non- essential businesses are closing. It's already out there. And using that as an opportunity to send to your full database is only going to impact your inbox placement, because you're going to be sending to people who haven't heard from you in say 12 years or possibly more. A good scenario would be, just last week I personally got an email from a car dealership telling me that for the safety of their staff, the dealership was closed. An hour later, I then got a marketing email saying," Hey, come to our showroom." So, it's not a good situation to be in because it sounds like they're putting the safety of their store first, before their own customer, wanting me to purchase something. Nothing's really changed, from a deliverability standpoint. You need to send consented email. I think this is actually a good opportunity. We've been told about our own hygiene and washing our hands, this is the perfect chance for people to look at their own data hygiene and remove people who aren't actually engaging with their friends and strip them out because consent and engagement is going to be more important than ever. Individuals are going to interact with your email in a very different way. We're all at home. Many of us have and may have children or families, they're homeschooling them. So, the way they actually read and engage in emails is very different. And the type of content that you are supplying them is going to be more relevant than ever. So, ensuring that they stay engaged and you stay relevant means you're actually going to stay in their inbox. And as we come through this difficult time, you're going to be where you need to be and your revenues are going to go back to where they were.

Kayla Siegmeier: Yeah.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Right. And if you're a car salesman and you have to work, just make sure you keep those the two meters. So, maybe sell it from the bonnet to the boot.

Tom Corbett: Bonnet and boot. Yeah. Or they could sell it to us over a WebEx like this. I've heard a few companies are doing sessions like this, and I've seen the community doing that.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Tom Corbett: Especially yoga classes are doing them over Zoom now. So, it's adjusting to using a different channel for your marketing content, right? Now you can use your social media channels, your Instagram Live, the message doesn't have to be sent over email if it's non- critical. Definitely, there are brands out there doing some very good things, they're making relevant offers to the stay at home wares, to their active, engaged audiences. That makes sense. Sending to your full database to say," Hey, by clothes of us. You've never seen us, spoken to us in three years." You're not doing yourself any favors.

Kayla Siegmeier: I actually really liked that conversation about using other channels other than email, because I think we're looking at a completely different landscape. Nielsen was putting out a study, recently, people are spending 12 hours a day online. Content absorption has gone up 60% since this has all started. Our neighborhood, we're practicing social distancing. We're having play dates on Zoom. Three- year- olds just chatting on the computer. It's such a different world that I think it's easy for marketers to kind of fall back on that," This is what I need to do, this is what's safe and normal." So, I liked that you said that, and it's a really good time to explore those other channels and start testing it out.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Yeah. It sort of breeds new ideas and new approaches to things. And we're living it ourselves, the three of us on this call. We've gone from our normal day- to- day to scrambling or making sure we've got nice backgrounds or at least a plant, when we're doing a call, which always needs to be in video. To actually, what are other ways for us to communicate with our teams internally and externally? And, and to your point, Tom, actually, people are receptive to those new ways of communicating as well. If you come up with something that you have thought of before, it's getting the message across, and in a way that people will digest it, they will give it a go, now. Whereas before, perhaps we're a bit stuck in our ways.

Tom Corbett: This is the perfect time that we talk about segmentation, targeting, all those things. But for the individuals who you don't have information on, give them some of the power back. Preference centers is probably a great time to be implementing or updating right now. Like you said, everyone's at home, spending more time online. They're willing to do that more, that value exchange. If you can provide them better tailored content, moving forward. When we're back in the real world, you can give them a completely different shopping experience or customer experience, which I think is going to do wonders.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Pretty good point on a couple of things. Firstly, I've spent personally way too much making a Nintendo avatar. He looks better than me. I was thinking," Wow, I hope my wife doesn't see this. This avatar is a inaudible." But when it comes to sort of the preference, and coming up with the experiences to get some information. Because if it's done the right way, they are sort of emails when we're a bit more settled, or different ways of communicating that people would be receptive to if it's providing that value exchange. Or actually, this is quite entertaining, something's popped up in my inbox. Maybe it's a personality quiz over a brand. Or as you said, maybe some shopping preferences, but do you feel that once we're a bit more settled into things, we will be more receptive to that?

Tom Corbett: I think so. I think like you said, now we're kind of, some people are already suffering from this cabin fever kind of approach. So, they want to interact with people in any shape or form. I know the travel industry is struggling right now, but I've had a lot of my friends going," Oh, I wish I was on a dream holiday right now." This is the perfect time to be talking to customers." Okay. Where would you like to be going? How can we look to the future?" Because a lot of flights being postponed, canceled, airlines are giving these credits. Why not start looking to build a package for the summer, for the winter, but really tailor it to adding value to that customer and building that true profile on who we are. I think a lot of retailers are getting the real insights into what we are really like in our own shell. I've heard some Zoom nightmares. I think there was an article published, I don't know if it was in the New York Times or something, where people don't realize how to use technology and they didn't realize they had their video running. And their other half doing laundry in the background-

Kayla Siegmeier: In the bathroom.

Tom Corbett: Yeah, in the bathroom.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Yeah.

Kayla Siegmeier: The girl in the bathroom.

Julian Bracey-Davis: This is why you've got to watch cultural bastions, like the Naked Gun. Don't leave your mic on when you go to the toilet. I was actually waiting for the Mayor of New York to do that, but he's managed not so far.

Kayla Siegmeier: Sorry for the let down, Julian.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Oh, you know, it's toilet humor. What can I say?

Voice Over 1: Same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girl dies in a tragic accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.

Voice Over 2: Good year?

Voice Over 1: No, the worst.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Anything else we want to talk around the coronavirus, communicating during that? Is there anything else-

Tom Corbett: Yeah, I would just say if you're in doubt, don't do it. If you aren't sure on a message, just don't do it. Your reputation providers aren't going to... Mailbox providers aren't going to ding you. They filter you day in, day out. If they're seeing behavior, which is uncharacteristic, in widening your segmentation, it identifies you with a bad sender. And it's going to be really difficult to recover. The blacklist providers did a panel last week, and they've mentioned that this whole situation has highlighted a lot of true spammers out there who could be major retailers or any business out there, because they're sending to a list they clearly purchase, that have been harvested, that clearly just been on file for a long time. So, it's really calling out the bad actors. So, send, as you would normally send beforehand, sending to customers who are engaged, who want your mail, who are consented. If you're doing mixed messaging to say," Hey, we're here for you. Or our store is closed." And it's got a 20% offer, it's a marketing email, it's then covered by Canadian anti- spam laws, or CASL, or European GDPR, or CAN- SPAM. So, you really need to make that consideration as well. Yes, it's important to communicate with customers and tell them information that's needed. But if everyone else is doing it, it's not new. And if you're not sure about it just don't do it.

Kayla Siegmeier: Kind of like a little," When in doubt, just take it out." I think-

Julian Bracey-Davis: That's the motto to live your life by.

Kayla Siegmeier: There was one other thing that I want to ask you, and I think it's okay to say, I think we're still looking into it. But I know that we have been, as a company, looking out for our clients and kind of looking at the engagement rate and the impact that this all has had on email engagement specifically. And so, we're looking at open rates, we're looking at click rates, and there was some clear identifiers of open rates started dropping, click rates started dropping, the engagement rates went way down during all of the," Here's what our company's doing." Kind of what you're talking about, everyone is sending the exact same email. And finally, engagement rates are starting to kind of pop up. But from a deliverability standpoint, are there any significant metrics or things that you're seeing right now that are things that we should be aware of and like," Hey, kind of give a look at this metrics." Specifically, right now, I think is a big deal for you. Especially like the segmentations, or anything like that.

Tom Corbett: Sure. That's a great question. I think send volume frequency increases are always a big, big piece, right? If you were sending a million emails, and somebody's sending 25 million, that's going to have an impact on you, right? A mailbox provider looks at your consistency, and that's going to be uncharacteristic behavior. So, send volume is one. Your actual delivery rate, we're seeing increase in bounces, and some customers are sent in to full file. They're seeing huge high bounce rates. And that's a problem for them, because ongoing recovering from that can be quite difficult because they put themselves in, I suppose, a kind of a quarantine box right now. But as you mentioned, read rates, now opens have always been a key metric people focus on, but I think actual click- through rate is probably more important. People open, but a lot of filters are checking links now because people are maliciously taking advantage of the situation with compromising accounts. So, actually having conversion on your site is going to be more important than the open. The open always gives you a key indicator. If you're seeing, let's just say 10% open at Hotmail, but you're seeing 0. 1% of Gmail. You've definitely got an issue that you need to address and fix at that provider. So, I think, build yourself a benchmark on what you were seeing before, kind of score yourself against that." We're here to help." I'm seeing a lot of people in industry just offering help to people who aren't customers," This is a difficult time and we all are here to help. So, you can contact us. Having a conversation open, like this, is the whole point to get through this."

Julian Bracey-Davis: A little bit like the way that we have to deal, medically, with what's happening right now. Which is the best thing is to test and to just check the numbers on a regular basis. And you can start to see where we are in the phases we're living through.

Kayla Siegmeier: Okay. Well, Julian, do you want to do your favorite part?

Julian Bracey-Davis: Well, yes. You see... So, Tom, what we try to do, again, this is a concept before we ended up getting locked away, hence the term Uncaged Wisdom. But we like to not just crack open the brains, that sounds a bit violent, of our contributors, but also just like to share what they are listening to, what they're watching, or what they're reading. Well, we have one of each section, we break it up. So, this is your choice, would you like to do your watch, read, or listen? And it can be specific, it could be just your own personal preferences.

Tom Corbett: May I start with read? So, I think from an industry perspective, there's a blog called Word to the Wise, which is kind of more focused towards deliverability. And it's kind of community- based, so all of us in the deliverability space do talk to each other, we aren't all against each other. We will have a common good, I suppose. But Laura Atkins is very good at putting content together, hearing what's in the space, be it from providers or what we're all seeing, and kind of putting into a piece to read. From a personal piece though, as I have a baby on the way, my brother bought me the The Expectant Dad's Handbook. So, it is a book written by a dad for dads, just trying to get you familiar with what the whole process is going to be like, which has actually been really useful.

Kayla Siegmeier: That's brilliant.

Tom Corbett: I think one of the funniest chapters was the realization of when you find out you're pregnant and he's written that there's going to be one of those moments where you're like," Is it even mine?" That fight or flight kind of moment, which made me laugh. Because I was very excited, but it was interesting talking to my friends. And at first, some of them had said," Yeah, is even mine."

Julian Bracey-Davis: Wow.

Tom Corbett: crosstalk For 10 years-

Julian Bracey-Davis: crosstalk And also, that's part of the surprise at the end.

Tom Corbett: Yeah.

Julian Bracey-Davis: I also love the idea of the next Marvel action/ adventure movie could be for a deliverability team, you're superheroes crosstalk be a force for good.

Tom Corbett: I mean, I think it might help insomniacs, right? We'd send you to sleep, talking about data. And I've actually been reading The Complete Works of Winnie the Pooh.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Oh, incredible.

Tom Corbett: She kicks a lot during the night-

Kayla Siegmeier: I love that.

Tom Corbett: ...reading that. She'll fall asleep and then my wife will fall asleep, so it's perfect. It does remind me a lot of my childhood, because I grew up quite close to where, supposedly, the Hundred Acre Wood is in Ashdown Forest in the UK.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Tom, do you do it in the real deep accent?

Tom Corbett: I just can't. All my voices just seem to blend into one. I think the way it's written, some of those the sentences of the characters, like,"So said Pooh", and then it continues. Well, why did you say" said Pooh," when it's like three sentences talking?

Voice Over 3: The bear called Winnie the Pooh. Pooh, for short.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Good one. What a nice way to kick on to our next segue. Kayla, I'm going to let you introduce this as you're the host with the most.

Kayla Siegmeier: Oh, goodness. All right. So, kind of going back to deliverability, I think we want to look at this as a future term perspective as well. So, beyond COVID. COVID eventually, it will grow, we'll find a cure, vaccine, we'll get through it. But going past that, what are some of the three things like misconceptions or mistakes that marketers are making when it comes to deliverability, that would be good to get a call out for them in the future?

Tom Corbett: Yeah. I think the most obvious one is the misconception of delivery and deliverability. I hear a lot of people saying," I have a great deliverability." Right? And they're referencing how much mail has been delivered. And then, you look at their actual engagement and they could be 1% with people opening and clicking and you're like," Well, that's not very good deliverability." And to kind of clear it up, delivery is your mail being sent from a system like Cheetah Digital, or another one. And it being accepted by that mail provider, be it Hotmail, Gmail, your corporate email, whatever. Anything that doesn't get delivered is bounced back, and that could be a hard bounce, soft bounce. That should deliver, right? It doesn't mean it's gone, it just means a percentage has been accepted to be put somewhere. It'd be like putting a letter in the mailbox. You've delivered it, and that's all you know. Deliverability is kind of that UPS carrier, or FedEx who's got that package and they want a signature. You could go to your reception and the package could be signed for and put on someone's desk, that would be inbox placement, right? Quarantine would be, maybe I was rude to our front desk person and they've got a bit of a beef with me. They'll hold the package. Maybe at the desk, they're not going to bring it to me. Or they're busy. That would be like kind of quarantining it, delayed delivery. But then you've got," Oh, that person doesn't exist here." And they just throw it in the bin. That would be like a spam going in the trash. So, it's kind of giving people that understanding is, do look. Your delivery rate is a key metric to your deliverability. If you've got 99 or a hundred percent delivery rates, great. If you've seen 76%, you've got a problem. And that kind of then goes to your data. A lot of customers talk about consent and saying," My data is great." And this actually goes back to the story a very long time ago when I first started in deliverability. I had a customer saying," All my data is all opted in. We speak to our customers on a regular basis." We got a lot of automated replies logged in the system I used to work with. And there was over a hundred people who no longer worked for the business they supposedly were talking to, or they unfortunately passed away. And it said on the watch of the respondent, this person has passed away, please use this email address. So, your data tells a really big story on how good a sender you are. We talked about hygiene before, doing it once doesn't mean your inbox placement is going to be great. It's an ongoing practice. Just like gardening, you've got to do your weeding, you've got to cut your grass. You just got to keep doing it frequently. The more you do it, the better your inbox placement is going to be, the more trusted you're going to be. It's about having that good reputation and being trusted by the filter company. And I think the third one is a lot of people are shooting as a silver bullet to fix this, right? They think we can press a button. We can just magically speak to Gmail and fix your problems for you. That's unfortunately not the way it works. Sometimes we are kind of maybe seen as the bad cops, we have to kind of play interpreter between the two. Every sender is different, right? All your data is different. Your message is different. Your tone of voice is different. Your overall goal is different. So, everything's going to be case by case. Yes, there are certain things we can do together which are tried and tested and typically work. However, there might be small nuances of things where we have to do them slightly differently. If you have a big problem with Gmail, easiest thing to do is stop sending and kind of restart sending to a very small populous of customers who are very engaged. It's about, like we said, have that conversation. Don't be afraid to ask the stupid question. There is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to deliverability, it's ever changing. Now, Gmail used to be that really problem provider for everyone. Everyone hated them. Everyone went on about when they introduced the tabs, we had a conversation about," Why is my email going to the promotions tab?" It's the inbox. It's just a folder, as you know, it's just helping get customers to the information they want more easily. They're smart enough to know where your mail should be. Trying to trick the system, trying to play the system, they're going to catch you out and you're not going to get the mail you want delivered, and you're going to start losing money.

Julian Bracey-Davis: For people who are like, maybe they have to reevaluate their current practices and take the long- term approach that you just suggested there. And let's face it, we're in a position now where we've got a bit of time on our hands, potentially, to look at the businesses, and to reevaluate things. And maybe this could be a good project for someone. When it comes to reviewing that whole section of the business with email, putting strategy in place, is that a month? Is it a process of what you'd plan for years like a five- year plan and for Premier League clubs when they're trying to get promoted? Well, how would you approach basically tearing it up and looking at it again?

Tom Corbett: That's a really good question. I think, as you said, it can vary, right? There are little quick wins you can do, obviously removing unengaged data is the easiest. You can do a very quick segmentation on any platform to do that. I think the challenge is getting investment from your business and that's where the time can then be an issue. But if you can test it during a segment to say," Right, here's all my active customers in one cell, here are my non- engaged customers in a cell, sender and one mailing with kind of a split. Then you've got the data to show the higher ups to go," Look, of the people who are, let's just say, engaged in 12 months, we're getting a 20% read rate." Whatever that number might be. But then for the 12 months to 18 months, let's just say, it's that number who've never opened. We're getting a 0. 1%. And we're getting of that, 20 people clicking through. It's actually worth your time. And the money you're spending on sending team inaudible if they're not, if it costs more to send them an email than make, where these people can actually have a real big impact on your bottom line. And it's just doing a bit of a health check. Now, you can do it ongoing, that's the easiest one. But you know, reviewing your infrastructure, how is your sending domain? Like your authentication. They can be bigger projects. And I have web customers where implementing certain security standards would have taken over 12 months, just because of the size of the company and how many offices they have. So, I couldn't put a fine line on it, but when you're testing something each month, doing little changes, you will improve crosstalk slow and steady wins the road.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Yes, but now I'm just thinking about it, this is how my brain just jumps to complete random references. Now I'm thinking of Bugs Bunny and that tortoise that always gets... One of the few times Bugs Bunny actually loses out because he's a character and only gets his way. It is, in the tortoise and the hare, even Bugs can't get over that fable.

Bugs Bunny: Oh, yeah? That's what he thinks.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Kayla, sorry. Is there anything else you want to crosstalk?

Kayla Siegmeier: I mean, how can I follow that up, Julian? I don't know.

Julian Bracey-Davis: That's tough. Do you want to do an Elmer Fudd impression?

Kayla Siegmeier: Please, don't. I do not want that on the internet. But no, I think that that's really, really sound advice. And going back to your first statement around the deliverability rate, I think that's such a huge misconception of the market. I know I've previously worked for organizations where they were like," Yes, this is how we figure it out. We obviously don't have a deliverability problem, we're 99%. There's no way." And lo and behold, when you start looking at that domain level and you look at open rates there and it's definitely not the way to go. And I think it's good to call that out.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Great. All right, Tom, now that we can lighten the mood, what's our second series of free things to recommend?

Tom Corbett: I think everyone's watching and streaming a lot of content right now. I think Netflix and Disney + and all those, Hulu and all that are going to run out stuff eventually. Someone's going to watch it all. But for me, I struggle. I think the biggest change is spending so much time trying to find stuff-

Julian Bracey-Davis: You're a browser?

Tom Corbett: Major browser. But I actually started re- watching Luther. I was missing the UK a little bit and I was like, I need to introduce the wife to Luther." I was like,"This is some real acting. This is some real good crime."

Julian Bracey-Davis: Glorious three seasons, the first three, aren't they? Oh, my word.

Tom Corbett: Yeah. My wife was a little bit speechless come penultimate episode of season three. If you haven't seen it, watch it. I'm not going to spoil it-

Julian Bracey-Davis: We're no spoilers here, aren't we?

Tom Corbett: ...spoiler free conversation.

Julian Bracey-Davis: What you need to know is it's Idris Elba, in his absolute finest policing form. And brilliant, brilliant, brilliant scripts, which sort of for our British sensitivities, they've got a bit of a Se7en vibe going on, haven't they?

Tom Corbett: Definitely a darker side of things. I think, compared to something more modern. I mean, you could kind of think more like we watched the Outsider recently, so it's just good writing, I think that's what's good TV. But yeah, I think that's the main thing. There's been a lot of binging Disney +, but I think more time spent finding stuff than watching.

Voice Over 1: Someone said to me once," Hell is empty, and all the devils are here." I can't explain what makes people do the things they do, but I just know I have to stop them.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Fantastic. Kayla, we got anything else for Tom?

Kayla Siegmeier: I think that there's one more piece, ad this could be a little bit of overlap, but there could be a little bit of new information. So, I still want to touch on this again, looking at long- term business as usual kind of strategy. What are some of the top metrics or information pieces that people should be looking for to make sure that they have good inbox placement?

Tom Corbett: So yeah, if you don't have access to the inbox placement tools, as I mentioned, your open rate is probably one of the best indicators. And I always recommend customers benchmarking themselves. So, look at your average read rate on a campaign, then look at the breakdown of your domain delivery via how is your hotmail. com doing versus X provider Y provider. And focus on the big providers. If you've got one at six domain, no, six recipients, and it's only got a 1% read rate, is that really a problem? Versus you selling to 300, 000 at Gmail. They can give you a key indications of how you're doing at inbox placement rates if you're benchmarking around the same, you're pretty consistent. I've mentioned about your high bounce rates. If you're getting big, hight bounce rates, you've got a big problem, soft bouncing as well can highlight some data pieces with regards to reputation, looking at your unsubscribe rate as well. It's not just a case of people clicking, but people are actually reviewing your content. Is actually wanted? You see a huge spike in unsubscribes, it's time to review what kind of messaging you're sending. What are you trying to say? And like we said, content. Content is a big piece. It's difficult to measure, reviewing that subject line versus the actual body copy, are you being transparent with what we're trying to get across your customers? You're trying to earn their trust at the end of the day. And if you're being seen as being devious or causing mischief, it's going to cause you problems. And I think that's the main one. Like I said, if you've got access to those inbox placement tools, great. But if you haven't, there are metrics there and then you can have a conversation with someone. Reach out and say," Hey, I'm seeing this big change. Can you help me validate? Is there something I need to take action on?" And don't be afraid to ask that question of," Okay, well, how should I segment that? How should I change my program?" Because if some people are new to the marketing game, they've come in, they're seeing a problem, they don't know how to do it. Someone will help you. We want to tell you how to get the most out of your program. Our job is to want you to be successful. We're seeing quick wins or highlighting changes. You know, it might be a case of reviewing acquisition sources as well. If you know certain data scores and problems, it's time to follow it all the way back to," Okay. Is it from my Facebook acquisition data? Is it from my website? Is it from sweepstakes?" Whatever it may be.

Kayla Siegmeier: I have a bonus question. All right.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Well, go on, then. I think he's earned it. I mean, Tom's crosstalk great now. But go on, Kayla, throw in your breezy bonus, there's a reference that I think you would get.

Kayla Siegmeier: Just as I'm hearing you talk, and obviously we talked about the blog piece you were discussing earlier, and your stories that may put people to sleep. I think that there's-

Julian Bracey-Davis: Outrageous.

Kayla Siegmeier: Never, never. I think there's a certain sense of passion, obviously, that you have for this subject matter. And I think, as all marketers, when we're incredibly passionate about something, we always have our soap box, right? Mine is I don't like seeing when companies are being greedy and focused on their bottom line only, and they're forgetting about the full consumer journey and focusing on putting the customer first and what's best for them, versus our bottom line. That's my soap box. Right? So, what is your soap box?

Tom Corbett: I think, for everybody to use honesty, right? Don't lie to us, because the data tells us a very different story, right? You don't want to butt heads with anyone, but when you're seeing 20% higher bounce rates, huge complaint rates, black- listings everywhere, and we're being told," But it's my data. It's it's all opted in. They consented." But all of this is telling us a very different story. A blacklist provider doesn't just do it for no reason. They have the facts. If you're hitting no pristine traps where you've data harvested, they know. They tell us, you know what? Just be honest. It's not worth us wasting going round in circles and then lying about it. Pretending you change your ways, and then going back to those same practices? We're going to be going in the same conversation week after week, month after month, year after year. So, yeah. For me, it's just honesty.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Tom, not only you've delivered us a fantastic amount of information, you've also helped shape the future of our features. Kayla's soap box is now probably my new favorite feature. And then, I've already started thinking about how we would visualize Kayla's soap box, but we'll come up with something.

Kayla Siegmeier: Talk about that offline, Julian.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Great. To close then, again, Tom, you hit hat tricks. So, is there anything you're listening to? Because this is all going to be listed, and it's all good recommendations. People should be watching Luther, they should definitely pick up the books that you recommended, the Fathers to Be, or at least picking up Winnie the Pooh. Is there anything that's tickling your ears right now?

Tom Corbett: So, this where I will go downhill, right?

Julian Bracey-Davis: There is no wrong answer.

Tom Corbett: So, I think it's been a mix of things, right? I've got no shame to admit I'm a huge Beach Boys fan. So, in these times where we're stuck inside, pretending you're at beach-

Julian Bracey-Davis: Wouldn't it Be Nice?

Tom Corbett: Yeah. Wouldn't it Be Nice, Good Vibrations. Had a lot of random classic playlists on to keep you sane and keep you calm. But then yeah, randomly, three things. I was looking at my top repeats actually, before this.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Brilliant.

Tom Corbett: Kendrick Lamar, I.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Yep.

Tom Corbett: I've had The Weekend on, and then Nial Horan. I don't know why.

Kayla Siegmeier: crosstalk None of those are Beach Boys.

Julian Bracey-Davis: And on that, this is nosing into both of you. I should ask you before Kayla, but do you guys listen to music when you're working? Because we write a lot, I guess, Kayla. So, sometimes some people have to have music, classical music or actually some rock, some rap, some people can't. What are your views on that, Tom? Do you have stuff in the background when you're on a-

Tom Corbett: crosstalk Yeah. Usually classical or jazz. Just something consistent just to keep focus. When you're looking at data or trying to really focus on certain triage issues, not having major changes in music tone is very useful. But then once it's done, then I can go to kind of a bit more wild rock and stuff.

Kayla Siegmeier: For me, I can listen to music any time, except when I'm writing. Because I think when I'm writing, I start getting 19 billion ideas in my head and I just-

Julian Bracey-Davis: That's a lot.

Kayla Siegmeier: ...need silence. I know, my mind is like a disaster. crosstalk Oh, my gosh, it's like a teenage boy's bedroom up there episode.

Julian Bracey-Davis: That is not. You were misogynistic Noah's episode, and then look what you've done.

Tom Corbett: You trashed us teen boys.

Kayla Siegmeier: crosstalk Sorry, that was a very sexist statement.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Unbelievable. Keep your solo socks to yourself.

Kayla Siegmeier: I'm sorry.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Well, on that note, on trashing all men.

Kayla Siegmeier: I know, sorry.

Julian Bracey-Davis: Tom, thank you so much for that, by the way.

Tom Corbett: Happy to be here. It's been a lot of fun.

Kayla Siegmeier: Yeah, thanks so much.(singing)

More Episodes

A Breakdown of the Critical Elements of Financial Modeling w/ Jay Weinberg

Why Financial Modeling is Crucial to a Successful Loyalty Program w/ Jay Weinberg

Developing A Human-Centric Approach To Loyalty w/ Jodi Rausch & Hannah Sherwood

Inclusivity and Authenticity in the Workplace w/ Sarah Yeazel & E.C. Burns

Email Insights Mini-Series: Privacy changes at Apple and Google w/ Tom Corbett

Moving Past Batch and Blast w/ Benoit Bouteille