“We need to treat our email databases well. It’s about people, not numbers on a spreadsheet.”

Over six years dedicated to Data Analytics to optimize performance in digital marketing. Today, Sérgio Cunha is Tech Lead at Adclick, where the audience’s response to email is above 20% (Average Open Rate). We wanted to know how to reach these numbers and what secrets good email marketing management hides.

About contact bases… does size matter?

It depends! It is necessary to nurture the relationship with users as the base grows, because quantity is not necessarily synonymous of quality. We cannot collect thousands of contacts in silence and, overnight, fire “cold” emails to everyone. It creates distrust and triggers spam filters.

And domain reputation also enters the equation…

Yes. To ensure a good reputation from the inset it’s necessary to set the DKIM (cryptographic key that prevents the editing of emails in transit), SPF (validation protocol of the sending email servers) and DMARC (compliance protocol) settings right (authentication and reporting based on the sending domain). And monitor, always! There are flaws that we don’t want to discover too late, when we can no longer save our domain reputation or IPs.

Is it irreversible? A bad reputation is not forgiven?

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It depends on how severely the domain was penalized for errors. Recovery over time may be possible, but it will always be very slow and demanding.

So what to do to get in the good graces of ESP?

Basically, it boils down to keeping the database clean of idle contacts and betting on good content that suits the interests of the users who make up our databases, in order to keep open rates high. ESPs are, of course, more tolerant when they perceive that users are interested in receiving our emails.

And what about those segmented email boxes where we ended up in the promotions segment? How to escape?

There are no great reasons for wanting to escape. The promotions box is an inbox, not spam. If the content is good, users click on it! Also, trying to circumvent the rules could be costly. Better to be transparent.

But sometimes there are transactional emails that end up in promotions… 

It may have to do with how the domain category settings when it is registered. There are categories that are openly commercial and therefore will be much more easily associated with promotions. We may have a domain for commercial campaigns and a slightly different one for transactional emails. It is also transparent and helps ESP categorize messages.

Does the use of an external database platform influence the results?

Not a lot. The big advantage is having a dedicated technical team at all times. Everything else comes down to the quality of the content and the interest the audience has in it.

What about sending third-party marketing? Is it over crowded already?

Not necessarily. Adclick, for example, sends third-party marketing to users who have subscribed to it and maintains excellent delivery, open and click rates! It’s all about balance. We have to give users what will capture their interest and establish a relationship with the brand. If we avoid sending mass commercial campaigns and manage to tailor them to the interests of our audience, then we will be one step closer to success.

Basically, we just have to treat the audience with due care. They are people, with different interests and profiles, they are not numbers and metrics in an excel.