We’ve all been getting a lot of emails recently. And that makes sense: We are experiencing unprecedented times. But this increased email load has some major consequences for deliverability. We’ve heard from plenty of customers who are worried about overwhelming their subscribers or, worse, hurting their sender reputation.
All because the rapidly developing coronavirus pandemic has triggered an influx of emails going out to larger audiences than marketers usually send to.
While we understand the need and urgency for marketers to communicate with their audience during this difficult time, it’s also important to be mindful of the impact these emails have not only on your sender reputation but also the experience of the person receiving the email.
With a rapid increase in overall email volume being sent out globally, we have already seen changes in email filtering as email servers and anti-spam providers try to process incoming messages. This has led to some marketers experiencing a decline in open rates, increased unsubscribe rates, and spam complaints in wake of the higher volume of COVID-based emails being sent.
As your trusted email service provider (ESP), the deliverability of your emails and protecting your sender reputation is top priority for us.
Thus, we’ve listed some key factors to consider before sending your next COVID-19 content email.
Is your email relevant?
Is your message critical to your subscribers? Is this an emergency for your brand and your subscribers? Are you announcing:
- A closure or disruption to crucial services
- Changes in opening times
- Staff or student disruption
Be considerate and think about what your subscriber needs to know.
And don’t forget: Just because your email is important to you doesn’t mean it will automatically be relevant to your audience.
Are you experiencing a drastic increase in list size?
Before you send that email, ask yourself: Is your list much larger than usual?
Your sending patterns are like your fingerprint, and email servers and anti-spam filters use them to recognize who you are and how to treat your email. If this fingerprint changes, then receivers may treat your emails with more caution and may filter your emails to the junk folder rather than the inbox.
Avoid high volume sends if they’re not necessary, as recipient servers are sensitive to sudden and drastic changes to your usual email sending cadence, especially when global email volume has increased dramatically—as we’ve experienced recently.
Remember: Try not to include your entire database. People who shopped, dined, interacted with you 1-5 years ago are unlikely to remember who you are or how you collected their email address and will wonder why you’re sending them hygiene tips.
Their inboxes are full of the same kinds of messages that you’re trying to send. Even though you mean well, it’s frustrating to your former customers to be suddenly inundated by every brand they’ve ever given their email address.
Are you emailing opted-out contacts?
Carefully consider before you add unsubscribed contacts back to your lists. We know you care, and you want to reach as many people as possible.
However, those people are overwhelmed, too.
If they’ve opted out, there’s a reason for it.
Don’t forget to monitor your results.
Send an email to your smaller segment of active subscribers first and monitor how your subscribers respond to that email in the next 24 hours.
If you’re seeing delivery or engagement issues to your active subscribers reconsider sending to the larger segment of less active contacts.
Monitor your acceptance rate, your unsubscribe rates, and spam complaint rates. These metrics highlight any engagement and delivery issues which in turn directly impact your sender reputation and may impact the success of your future campaigns.
Your subscribers’ inboxes are overwhelmed right now.
There’s a rapid increase in overall email volume being sent out. Your own mailbox has probably also been inundated with emails from what feels like every brand you’ve ever been connected with in any capacity.
Now is the time to think like a subscriber: How companies use your email address matters in a very tangible way.
Keep it personal, helpful, concise, and only for critical updates. And above all, stay safe and well.