Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Smarter Commerce | August 29, 2014

Scroll to top


Email Deliverability Archives - Smarter Commerce

New Metrics for Inbox Performance

August 24, 2012 | | One Comment

Written by Laura Villevieille.

Laura Atkins of “Word to the Wise” recently wrote a fine article detailing the problem we have as senders:  we only ever have access to engagement data through proxy measurements like “open” and “click-through” rates.

There are other metrics that senders would love to see and use to help measure engagement, for example:  How many people actually read a message? Or deleted a message without reading it? Or how long a user kept an email open on their screen?  All of these metrics would be fantastic data for marketers, and would help us diagnose our own deliverability issues without opening trouble tickets with the ISPs that  own the architecture that records this data; sharing it with us would require they invest in development that pretty much only benefits senders, and has the additional problem of possibly even giving away part of their filtering “secret sauce”.

Surprisingly, though, a couple of trail-blazing ISPs have made this data available to senders! has recently rolled out a new postmaster site that includes several of these dream metrics.  QQ has also made some of this data available., operator of the largest Russian webmail provider and social networking sites, has just released a new postmaster website and feedback loop.  The verification process is a bit more involved than other feedback loop programs, but the access it provides is well worth the effort! Read More

Getting At Email’s True Reach – Part 1

May 22, 2012 |

Fresh Ideas For a Tried & True ChannelI read an article recently that got the gears upstairs cranking a little faster than normal. The cobwebs parted and my imagination ran wild as I contemplated email but through a slightly different lens.

In her article on the myth of email opens Margie Clayman (@MargieClayman) postulates that email opens are a slippery slope and that they are as effective as the concept of impressions when analyzing web traffic. More specifically, they are a high water line but does little to illuminate or provide the real behavioral data marketers require to anticipate customer desire while providing unparalleled service.

Read More

5 Design Tips That Will Lower Your Spam Scores

March 28, 2012 |
I’ve recently fielded a number of questions about email design. Some of them I thought were lost in time, like the formula for turning lead into gold. I know, I know, we’re all infinitely savvy digital marketers with ludicrous amounts of technical know-how, but sometimes the simple things get past us, so it never hurts to have a refresher. Design and deliverability are more closely related than you think. There are nuances to how you construct your HTML that directly impact your ability to deliver a given piece of email collateral to your consumers’ inboxes. Off the shelf products like Spam Assassin filter not only on source IPs, email authentication and content, but also examine, down to the code, how your email is architected and how you’ve formed your links and paths. So here are a few tips for those seeking to improve their design and deliverability…

Email Marketing – The Ride Is About To Get Bumpier.

March 13, 2012 |

A few years ago, in a different life, I was privileged to work with the folks that first developed reputation engines for spam filtering. I spent 2 years before we rolled it out banging on the drum, warning marketers that Reputation Was Coming And It Would Change Everything. When it did finally arrive, it did change everything, very fast, and most email marketers were left scrambling to adapt or have their email programs fail. For a while, Reputation was enough to stem the tide, but predictably enough, spam evolved and so the spam-fighting systems needed to evolve as well. Enter stage left: Engagement, or how ISPs measure their customer’s interest in the email they get. They measure it any number of ways, some of which are known -including opens, clicks, if mail is moved to or out of the spam folder, if a mailbox is logged into in X amount of time, etc. Of course, there is also the Secret Sauce – ISPs certainly do not reveal more than a fraction of how they do what they do. Read More

2012 Through The Lens of 2011 Deliverability & Q4 Benchmarks

January 12, 2012 |

Let me start by saying happy New Year! We hope that the final days of 2011 were spent relaxing with friends and family and that whatever final marketing pushes you might’ve been engaged with went off smoothly and effortlessly. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way: welcome to 2012! What better way to start 2012 than by reviewing the last quarter of 2011? High points, low points, let’s soak up the learnings from the entire year; let’s take it all in and hope that it helps us steer the ship into smoother waters in the year to come.

Overall Deliverability

Average Deliverability for Q4 2011Sometimes no news is good news, or so the saying goes. In this case the news is the same as the quarter before: overall deliverability held firm at approximately 83.25%.

I don’t mean to sound despondent about it, and really I’m not. Given micro trends we witnessed with certain ISPs around the all important Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail events, overall deliverability holding firm is a good thing. We don’t have to brace ourselves for a cataclysmic shockwave; rather we can spend the opening months reviewing what’s worked and what hasn’t worked as a means of constant self-improvement. Read More

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deliverability Postmortem

November 29, 2011 | | One Comment

We have closed the books on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for 2011. By all accounts the numbers look very promising and exceed last year’s. Marketers, retailers and shoppers alike have reason to rejoice. One might even go so far as to say that the economy itself has done a little victory dance.

However, before we throw all caution to the wind, let’s pause for a moment and review the holiday deliverability metrics and take note of a few trends for the upcoming Christmas bonanza.

We’ll start with a history lesson. The term Cyber Monday really came into being in 2005. Following Black Friday a spike was noticed on Monday and that spike became a growing peak in the plans and strategies of retailers.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Holiday Week Deliverability Averages 2005-2011

Read More

Gearing Up For Holiday Deliverability

November 21, 2011 | | One Comment

With the holiday week upon us marketers are kicking their programs into high in hopes of achieving maximum inbox placement, clicks and ultimately, conversion.  The economy has made the battle for holiday dollars fierce. Consumers are looking for the best …

Q3, 2011 Email, Mobile & Social Benchmark

November 14, 2011 | | 2 Comments

As clocks roll back and the days grow shorter, we’re going to pause and review last quarter’s (Q3) deliverability across email, mobile and social messaging to get our bearings as we head into this holiday season. It’s more important than …

Yahoo! Mail “Moving Out Of Beta”

June 22, 2011 |

Back in March I reported on the new Yahoo! Mail Beta client that presented a fresh, social user experience with the integration of SMS and Social network messaging. At that time one of the things I noted was that Yahoo! …

The Continuing Saga of

April 4, 2011 |

The transition of from AOL to United Internet continues to be problematic. We’ve heard from end users now about an alarming trend that negatively affects email marketers. It appears that is issuing a hard bounce for valid