Article

Categories Email & eCRM

Where does responsibility for Email deliverability lie?

RedEye's Commercial Director, Matthew Kelleher, discusses exactly where responsibility for deliverability should rest

Recent meetings with clients and prospects has raised this issue to the top of my mind; who exactly is responsible for deliverability. And by ‘responsible’, who carries the can if it all goes wrong?

 

At a recent meeting, an eCommerce Director was explaining a difficult deliverability issue that his business was facing. They were clearly laying the blame at the feet of their incumbent ESP. When I asked, ‘Do you think your ESP should have been consulting with you on this and should have prevented this issue occurring?’ I was met with a very firm response… [with raised eyebrows] “Well, you would have thought so, wouldn’t you?”

 

It is certainly true that ESPs hold the keys to the kingdom. They own the relationships with the ISPs and [should] build strong partnerships with third parties such as Return Path, who have made themselves indispensable to the science of Deliverability Management. But ESPs should be doing far more than this. From the constant monitoring of Deliverability Scores to leaping on deliverability issues before they mushroom, ESPs are more often than not the party that fixes issues when, and hopefully before, they arise. They should also, to my mind, be working with the Mailer to ensure that strategies are in place to maximise the virtuous circle of improving results and excellent deliverability.

 

On the other hand, for most service business the customer is always (or must think they are always) right and ESPs are no different. Too many times I have seen Mailers over-ride the advice of an ESP on deliverability matters. Furthermore, self-serve/ASP platforms leave deliverability in the hands of the mailer with no proactive support or consultancy. But is this sufficient? An email campaign manager, faced with a marketing director stressed over missing targets, is not in any position to argue against mailing every single record available to try to drive extra orders. Should they be expected to have the depth of knowledge, or indeed the stomach, to argue with the marketing director that this is a very dangerous and short term strategy?

 

If, as I stated above, ESPs hold the keys to the kingdom, in the form of knowledge and relationships, then isn’t there a ‘duty of care’ on the part of the ESPs to educate and manage their clients? I like a good analogy, and I see this current approach tantamount to a manufacturer selling someone a product, warning them that it could be dangerous and won’t work if misused, but then not explaining actually how to use it or what you can do wrong.

 

There are, of course, mailers who won’t listen, even to arguments such as ‘change your strategy and make more money’! But I find myself constantly drawn back to the conclusion that even self-service/ASP customers deserve consultancy and support on deliverability issues. If a mailer chooses to ignore advice, then on their head be it… but that support should be there in the first place. I must also caveat this statement, with the point that should a Mailer make such a decision then it should be with the firm knowledge that it is likely to be accompanied by an invoice from the ESP to unpick the problems.

 

But, the final and over-riding argument should be that working in partnership is a win-win. If an ESP helps a mailer achieve excellent deliverability then more money will be made by the mailer and a key reason why mailers become unsettled with their ESP is avoided. But this cannot happen without trust and commitment on both sides.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
If You’re A Social Media Manager, UGC Should Be Your Top Priority

If You’re A Social Media Manager, UGC Should Be Your Top Priority

It’s high time that the marketing world rethinks what an effective social media manager actually does. Hint: it’s not chasing “likes” or showing off their follower counts. Let’s face it: so many brands today totally miss the mark when it comes to their social content. Maybe their posts come off as too “salesy.” Perhaps they’re pushing too hard, leaving their followers behind in an endless trail of “look at me” posts.

Luisana Cartay
Luisana Cartay 11 September 2017
Read more
Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

As financial services and insurance (FSI) companies strive to deliver the seamless multi-channel customer experience, the traditional marketing model has been radically reimagined. Innovative institutions are showing how cross-functional teams focusing on the customer journey can work to develop a single view of the customer – an approach that can bring tangible rewards. Yet research shows that large institutions still have some way to go in maximising the return on their investment in this area.

Aoife McIlraith
Aoife McIlraith 18 September 2017
Read more
10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

The 10-year-old kid, selling ice cold fresh lemonade on the street corner in your local neighbourhood had it right. He or she may not have realized it but the simple marketing strategy that they accidentally and innocently came up with works perfectly on the people strolling by on their daily walk.

Ellie Summers
Ellie Summers 19 September 2017
Read more