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Improve your results by following Campaigns alerts and tips

Acceptable email rates
Increase your campaign open rates
Decrease your campaign abuse rates and bounce rates
Decrease your unsubscribe rate
What to do if a spam trap is detected in your email contact list
Final thoughts

Pipedrive Campaigns has a dedicated Email Delivery and Compliance Team that manages and maintain campaign deliverability. This ensures emails sent from Campaigns meet a high standard in delivery quality and make it to their intended inbox.

One way Campaigns does this is through email compliance alerts and tips for Campaigns users.

In this article, you will learn about how Campaigns customers can improve their results when following tips.

Acceptable email rates

It’s inevitable that some of your emails may be marked as spam by recipients or left unopened and some may even bounce back. You’ll track whether these things are happening too often by measuring certain metrics.

If these rates are too high, it’s a signal to email service providers (ESPs) that the sender is sharing something unwanted and the next emails should be filtered into the spam folder or blocked.

If your email campaigns threshold doesn’t fit with industry standards, you should improve your email marketing strategies to limit damage to your email reputation.

Rates will vary by industry, but as a rule of thumb, try to stay within the following thresholds:

  • Abuse (spam) rate: stay below 0.5%

  • Unsubscribe rate: stay below 1%

  • Open rate: stay above 10%

  • Bounce rate: stay below 3–9%

Increase your campaign open rates

Low engagement can affect your domain reputation. A low domain reputation will see more of your emails bounce back or delivered to spam folders, even to interested subscribers.

Track metrics such as open rate and click-through rate to monitor your engagement. If it seems low, follow these tips to increase your engagement rate.

1) Send campaigns to engaged contacts’ email addresses

Your email reputation improves when you send email campaigns to contacts who previously engaged with your campaigns multiple times.

Likewise, your email reputation decreases when you send email campaigns to contacts who don’t engage.

Send campaigns to emails who open and read your emails to avoid reputation damage.

2) Send re-engagement campaigns to contacts with low engagement

If your emails have previously been marked as spam, there’s a high probability that your next campaigns to those contacts will be delivered into the spam folder (thanks to ESP spam filters).

In Campaigns, we offer a service to unsubscribe contacts who marked your message as spam (a unique service that providers like Gmail do not currently offer).

Instead of unsubscribing these contacts, you can also run a re-engagement campaign to try and retain them. What is a re-engagement campaign?

Re-engagement (win-back) emails are emails that help you get back unengaged subscribers’ who may still be interested in your email marketing campaigns.

A simple way of re-engaging your contacts is by sending them a specific offer (e.g. a discount on their birthday) and asking them if they’d like to stay subscribed or unsubscribe. If there is still no engagement, unsubscribe the contact.

3) Send out test campaigns

Low open rates could mean that your emails are ending up in junk folders.

To see if this is happening, send out test campaigns to test accounts at popular servers, such as @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @aol.com and @outlook.com. This is also a good way to test how your email looks in different inboxes.

4) Make sure you send campaigns to contacts who want to receive your campaigns

If you’re not sure your contacts still want to receive your email campaigns (perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve sent anything), it’s better to proceed with caution than go full steam ahead.

Emailing contacts who have forgotten about you or don’t want your content anymore could lead to high abuse rate or domain blocklist.

For example, sometimes salespeople are given lists of contacts, perhaps from a colleague who is closing down their business and they sell a similar product.

Although it may be tempting, avoid emailing these contacts because they haven’t consented to receiving emails about your product specifically. It’s also likely that they’ll mark your email as spam if they don’t know who you are.

5) Authenticate your sender domain

Authenticate your sender domain to ensure your emails get past ESP security checks. It tells ESPs that Pipedrive is a trusted sender from your domain (and not a hijacker).

You can follow the instructions in our knowledge base article to find out how to authenticate your domain with DNS records.

6) Check if your domain is not blocklisted

If your emails aren’t landing in certain contacts’ inboxes (e.g. all contacts using Outlook), you could be blocklisted. Campaigns can identify your sender domain as blocklisted in one or more anti-spam services and send an alert.

Being blocklisted can be the reason why you have high bounce rates and low deliverability.

It’s good to check your domain on blocklists once in a while to ensure this isn’t holding your emails back. There are third-party services that offer this, such as MxToolbox, MultiRBL and ZeroBounce.

7) Don’t use purchased contacts

Campaigns prohibits the use of purchased contacts. These lists often contain spam traps, or old emails that ESPs use to trap unwanted senders. Using these lists can damage your sender reputation. In addition, purchased contacts never gave their permission to receive your emails, so there is a high probability that such contacts will mark your message as spam.

It can also lead to a very low engagement rate (clicks and opens) as these contacts are less likely to interact with your emails.

Decrease your campaign abuse rates and bounce rates

Try to keep your abuse rate (spam complaint rate) below 0.5% and your bounce rate below 3–9% to limit damage to your domain email reputation.

What is abuse rate?

An abuse, or spam rate, is the number of subscribers who reported your email campaign as spam relative to emails sent. For example, if you send 1,000 messages and five people mark it as spam, your abuse rate is 0.5%. You can find your campaign abuse rate in your Campaigns report.

What is a bounce rate?

Your bounce rate is how often an email “bounces” back to you (or cannot be delivered to an email address) compared to emails that do get delivered. Follow these tips to decrease your abuse and bounce rates.

1) Add a clear opt-in (permission) reminder in your campaign footer

When you send email campaigns to contacts for the first time, or the first time in a while, contacts may have forgotten why they gave consent to receive your campaigns.

By adding permission reminders in your email campaign content header (above your email content) or footer (below your email content), you can refresh their memory and keep them interested in your campaigns.

Here are permission reminders examples you can adapt according to your needs:

  • You subscribed to our company news on the website ____ on date _____.

  • You showed interest in our company email campaigns at the following event _____ on date____.

  • You showed interest in our email marketing when you communicated with the following employee ____ about _____.

  • You subscribed to our company news when you purchased our products on the following website _____.

  • For example: “You’re receiving this email because you indicated you’re happy to receive product updates when you downloaded our State of Sales report.”

You should be specific where exactly the contact subscribed to remind them why they signed up and as proof that they did.

2) Use double opt-in signup forms

Double opt-in signup forms ensure contacts are interested in receiving your emails and haven’t subscribed accidentally. It means you’ll be sending emails to people who actually want to read and engage with your campaigns.

Single opt-in forms, which don’t require confirmation, are more prone to fake emails and less interested subscribers.

3) Send campaigns to long-term contacts

If you’ve been sending email campaigns to specific contacts for some time, it is unlikely that a high volume of these contacts will mark your emails as spam. To reduce your campaign's abuse rate, which is probably caused by recently added contacts, mix a part of these newly added subscribers with the older cohort.

4) Maintain subscriber hygiene with email validation services

Use email verification services like Zerobounce and Kickbox to validate email addresses that appear bad, such as unknown, invalid, catch-all and disposable emails, and then remove those that can’t be verified.

Decrease your unsubscribe rate

Try to keep your unsubscribe rate below 1% to avoid it affecting your email deliverability reputation.

Follow these tips to decrease your unsubscribe rate.

1) Personalize your content

Know what your subscribers expect from you and segment them by creating filters.

Email segmentation is an important part of any email strategy, as it allows you to deliver only the most relevant content to your subscribers. The more specific your segments are, the better your campaigns speak to subscribers.

For example, you may create five types of email campaigns, such as company news, new products, product discounts, blog articles and partner news. Your subscribers may only be interested in receiving one or two topics.

With Person data fields, you can sort your subscribers by interest and send email campaigns to specific filters.

2) Send the right content to the right subscribers at the right stage of the sales process

Matching your content to the right segments at the right stage of the buyer journey helps to lower the number of people unsubscribing due to irrelevant content. For example, your campaigns should look different to brand new customers and existing, loyal customers.

You can then segment each journey stage by behavioral data. Be aware of the best time to send each group specific email campaigns, where your contacts are located, when your contacts are more active reading emails or doing additional product purchases with or without discounts.

3) Schedule your campaigns

Campaigns scheduling will help to keep the flow of emails regular enough to hold your subscribers’ attention, but avoid overburdening them with too many emails.

Likewise, don’t send email campaigns too rarely. It’s good to connect with subscribers at least once or twice a month, so they remember who you are and are kept up to date about related topics.

What to do if a spam trap is detected in your email contact list

Spam traps are email addresses used to catch spammers, usually old email addresses no longer in use by real people.

If you have a spam trap in your subscriber list, it means you are on the radar of services that protect mailboxes, such as email, internet and anti-spam service providers. You’ll want to avoid sending emails to these email accounts at all costs.

Follow these tips to remove traps on your contact list and avoid them in future.

1) Unsubscribe the most recent contacts you’ve added to your list

If your email list was operating just fine before you added a recent batch of contacts, it could be that you’ve accidentally added a spam trap to your list.

First, you need to remove any “marketing status” attributed to these newly added contacts, so they aren’t included in any more campaigns.

You’ll next want to validate the contacts in one of the tools we’ve mentioned above to spot which address (or addresses) are spam traps.

While Campaigns can detect when your domain might be blocklisted, it can’t detect spam traps.

2) Send emails only to those who opened your campaigns in the last three to six months

It’s good practice to only email contacts who open your campaigns. This improves your engagement rates, stops your brand from annoying disinterested customers and helps you avoid emailing spam traps.

This is because anti-spam providers use email addresses that are no longer in use by a user to trap spammers.

3) Validate your subscribers before you send a campaign or use double opt-in signup forms

As we’ve mentioned before, validating email addresses is a great idea. It takes a little extra time to run new contacts through validation services, but if your email marketing is a critical part of lead generation, it’s worth it.

Alternatively, you can use a double opt-in form. This ensures contacts confirm they want to receive emails from you before adding them to your list. Spam traps don’t interact with double opt-in forms, so you can be sure that everyone who confirmed they’d like to receive your emails is a real person.

4) Be aware of subscribers you have

Perhaps you’ve inherited your contact list from a previous colleague, or maybe you’re starting an email marketing position at a new company. If you didn’t gather the contacts yourself, you’ll want to get to know the subscribers on your list.

To do this, ask the following questions:

  • Do you know how the subscribers were gathered?

  • Have all of your subscribers confirmed they are OK to receive your email campaigns?

  • Do your subscribers want to receive campaigns on all topics (if you have multiple)?

  • Do you know how often your subscribers want to receive your campaigns?

  • Do you know how long each subscriber has been on your list? Are those who have been on your list the longest still active and engaging with emails you send?

Getting to know your email list, especially if it’s a new list to you, is crucial to avoid issues.

Along with the advice above, you should also aim to maintain good email list hygiene. Send regular campaigns so your subscribers remember who you are and remove old, disengaged contacts. This will help you maintain a healthy email list and avoid spam traps.

Final thoughts

Pipedrive’s Campaigns can help you build and run a well-oiled email marketing engine. To ensure your marketing efforts don’t go to waste, maintain your email list regularly.

Monitor your email metrics to look out for potential bottlenecks and issues and set up blocklist alerts. If your rates look like they’re in a worrying place, troubleshoot using the advice we’ve given you here.

Contact Pipedrive support for any further advice.

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