Deliverability #1 E-Mail Marketing Headache

Deliverability is the number one challenge facing email marketers. Seventy-two percent of respondents to a survey conducted by SKYLIST cited deliverability as a persistent problem in a survey of marketing professionals conducted by email service provider.

In second place is analyzing campaign results. Fourty-four percent by email marketers cited it as a problem in the survey.

The majority of respondents surveyed have lists comprising between one and five million subscribers. Just over half of them (54 percent) email on a daily basis. Results show 62 percent of respondents’ mailings are promotional offers, while 54 percent of activity is B2C activity and 46 percent send newsletters.

While the majority of respondents said they would be very likely to use personalized content more extensively, most personalization currently only reaches greeting or name level. Fifty-eight percent of companies in the survey reach that level. Some 31 percent of marketers personalize the subject line. Further personalization drops precipitously from there.

Triggered messages are seen on a similar level, with 72 percent of respondents sending out action- or behaviorally-triggered emails, and 56 percent sending time-triggered campaigns. A lack of in-house resources is the biggest roadblock to sending campaigns based on triggered actions, as reported by 58 percent. The second barrier was lack of the time required to set up a campaign.


Triggered Message Barriers
Perceived Barriers Responses (%)
Lack of in-house resources 58
Lack of time required to set up campaign 33
Lack customer information required to plan triggered campaigns 17
It does not conform to our business model 17
Other 8
Source: SKYLIST, 2005

Overall, 65 percent of respondents said they were somewhat satisfied with their own email marketing efforts, while only 15 percent were very satisfied.

The survey also identifies how email marketers measure deliverability rates. The number of email messages successfully delivered topped the list at 38 percent; followed by the number of opened messages (27 percent).


Most Important Features in an E-Mail Marketing Application
Feature Responses (%)
Usability 81
Overall campaign reporting 77
List management tools 73
Bounce management tools 62
Testing 54
Real-time deliverability alerts 50
Dynamic content 46
Segmentation capabilities 42
Frequency caps 38
Multi-variable dynamic content 38
HTML/content editing tools 38
Campaign triggering capabilities 35
Campaign management workflow 31
Message throttling 27
Rich media support 23
Other 4
Note: Multiple responses allowed.
Source: SKYLIST, 2005

SKYLIST addressed the results of their survey by adding features including simplifying the level of personalization within email campaigns.

“A lot of it is around the level of customization you can do, existing as simple mail merge functions,” said Joshua Baer, chief executive officer of SKYLIST. “Most people aren’t doing that, the people who are doing it are mostly using proprietary tools, StormWatch has a generic tool that makes it easy.”

The survey was conducted by SKYLIST to help develop a newly launched product that monitors deliverability, StormPost 2.4.

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