September 29, 2022

Part Two: Optimizing the Customer Email Experience in a Post-MPP World

By: Ari Robbins

In part one on “optimizing the customer email experience in a post-MPP world,” we covered insights and tips with regard to double opt-in emails and the importance of zero-party data. In part two, building on more facts from the Validity webinar The Low-Down on List Hygiene: 7 Strategies for a Post-MPP World, we will talk about the importance of a clear email unsubscribe process, re-engagement campaigns, updating metrics, and sender reputation monitoring. 

Get out your notebooks, because we are debunking myths and taking names—of course, only from those who legally and willingly have agreed to do so!

Why a clear unsubscribe process matters

The strategies outlined in part one focused on gaining clear consent from your subscribers and collecting any additional information they may want to provide to help inform your email tactics. However, as it goes with the passage of time and inevitable change, not everyone will want to be on your list forever. Thus, a clear and simple unsubscribe process helps customers exit your email universe with ease, and bolsters confidence in the relevance and engagement of list subscribers who willingly choose to stay. 

An argument for doing this favor for exit stage lefters: implementing a clear process doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see a higher unsubscribe rate. In fact, the average unsubscribe rate for marketing emails in 2021 was just 0.1%. How’s that for good karma?

What are the qualities of an ideal unsub-process? According to Validity “the best unsubscribe process is simple, multifaceted, and fast.” That means that a subscriber should be able to click one unsubscribe link, manage all of their subscriptions with you from one view, and their changes should take place immediately. 

Doubling down on email subscriber engagement and metrics

Unfortunately, post-MPP, email opens are no longer a reliable metric for tracking engagement. What’s more, an increasing number of list subscribers will appear as though they have opened your emails, when in fact they may have been machine-opened. 

While the goal of all the previous strategies (double opt-in, opt-in campaigns, zero party data, email preference centers, and an easy unsubscribe process) is to offer email marketers some assurance that the people on their lists are truly engaged, re-engagement campaigns serve a different purpose: to wake up potentially dormant subscribers with a relevant and targeted strategy.  

PRO TIP: You can send a re-engagement campaign to subscribers who haven’t registered for a company webinar or event in over a year. Your re-engagement campaign to them might include a survey on what types of topics they’d like to see your company cover. 

Beyond re-engagement tactics, it’s also imperative to choose metrics other than opens for determining recent subscriber activity. With MPP in play, the following metrics provide more reliable engagement data:

  1. Clicks
  2. Purchases
  3. Provided zero-party data
  4. Verified email address

What’s in a reputation?

So, you’ve enabled the double opt-in setting, sent a specific opt-in campaign where relevant, collected zero-party data and subscriber email preferences, streamlined your unsubscribe process, launched re-engagement campaigns, and ensured your recency algorithms rely on new metrics. The last piece of the customer-centric puzzle, the piece that tips you off that your changes have been working: sender reputation monitoring.

None of your new approaches to email marketing will be worth the effort if your emails end up in the spam folder, your list submits complaints, or your email domain gets blocked. But what can you do to avoid having your emails landing in the interweb abyss?

PRO TIP: HubSpot has their email health tool, free third-party solutions abound, and paid third-party options like Validity’s Everest product are also great options.

To conclude this series on optimizing your customer email experience despite the nuances of MPP (which will likely continue to develop and change), we will say this: from our observations and experience, email subscribers will continue to engage and take action if you focus on giving them the most relevant, authentic, useful information. Betray their trust, and you may lose them forever, but build their reliance on your “tuned-in” approach to email marketing, and they will be much less likely to “opt out.”

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