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What are the biggest deliverability challenges and how can marketers address them?

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The challenges to deliverability depend on the size of the company, its marketing activities and its target markets. Unfortunately, there’s not a simple checklist companies can go through, but by examining a few areas, such as data quality and depth, marketers can determine if deliverability is a problem they need to address.

A common mistake marketers make is focusing on how to circumvent content filters. Instead, they should examine their marketing behaviors, policies and procedures, paying attention to their company’s reputation, list quality, content relevance and accreditation.

The e-mail deliverability process is similar to the credit approval system. Once the service provider authenticates or identifies the company sending the e-mail, they look at the reputation associated with that identity. Have people filed complaints against the company? Are e-mail offers in line with what recipients expect? Do they have spam traps or too many bad e-mail accounts?

List quality and content relevance are also critical. Companies must look at their prospect lists on a regular basis to ensure e-mail addresses are current and relevant, and should segment their lists so targets receive only the type and frequency of e-mails they specified. A simple quarterly reminder of what they requested with offers for additional types of e-mails is fine. But by not adhering to prospects’ requests, companies jeopardize their reputation and may end up in the junk mail folder because of complaints.

Companies can also seek e-mail accreditation—a third party assessment that determines if a marketer is following laws and best practices guidelines when it comes to e-mailing and privacy.

Finally, marketers should pay close attention to prospects’ “digital body language,” or the way they interact with the company. By looking at signals such as whether a person has visited the Web site, requested a phone call or information, downloaded materials or attended a webinar, marketers can make better decisions about how best to market to these individuals and what e-mail offers to make.

Dennis Dayman is chief privacy and deliverability officer at Eloqua (www.eloqua.com), a provider of demand generation, marketing automation and lead generation solutions. He writes a blog on e-mail deliverability at www.deliverability.com.

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