A lot. We are transitioning out of lockdown and there are some MAJOR developments that we need to be aware of and respond to as digital marketers:
Lists got bigger – When Covid hit, every single digital marketer I knew was behaving like it was the last day of school and they were in fifth grade. “Let’s email every address that we have ever seen, opted in or not.” For a minute there were no rules because everyone was concerned the pandemic would close their business forever, which allowed them to throw caution to the wind. A few indiscretions about list compositions were overlooked because you lived to fight another day.
Emails were abandoned – The pandemic did bring some winners where business grew and headcounts increased. However, there were also businesses that now had empty desks and emails associated with those empty desks. As a result, those vacated emails will now bounce, and an email bounce is the scarlet letter for mailbox providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft). If too many of your emails bounce, you land in the naughty corner, making it harder to get any of your emails to the inbox.
Apple flexed – They have a new disposable email address feature that allows you to send email without giving your permanent email. While this concept is not new, Apple brings this to the forefront by making it a core feature, which means that you are going to see more and more disposable emails in your sending file. Apple also started opening every single pixel that goes through their inbox, so not only are there more fake addresses, but there are a lot more opens as well.
Your emails may not get delivered. The above conditions will lead to that. Deliverability issues are a reality facing a lot of marketers. When email is not delivered, it is not converting, and that means no money. What is a marketer to do who just survived Covid and is now tasked with standing the brand back up to pre-covid level revenues amidst all of this volatility?
- Email more! Identify your most engaged subscribers and send more email to them. This will build up your brand reputation and increase revenue. It will also solidify your sender reputation.
- Remove subscribers that have not engaged with you in the last 90 days, and use a list hygiene/validation service like AudiencePoint to identify the subscribers that you should keep and who you should drop
- Talk to your email service providers. If you are paying for your ESP based on the size of your active file, your bill is going to go up, WAY UP. Have that conversation now.
- Loop in your leadership team. Often the biggest problems facing a company are not the root cause, but the underlying communication misfires.
A successful email program is compiled from a lot of small decisions. Your brand makes the best decision based on the information that it has at the time. As part of your go forward plan every marketing department should review who is in their file and who is not. Every sport requires a physical before participation. Why would digital marketing be any different? Take the time to review the health of your list as you drive forward in the post Covid-19 era.
At AudiencePoint, we are analyzing our global data pool of 550 million email records from over 160 enterprise brands. The underlying engagement data enables us to identify which subscribers a brand should be sent to and which should be excluded.