Jeff AndersenCo-founder

So, You’re Ready for the Holidays — Is Your Email?

So, You’re Ready for the Holidays — Is Your Email?

Making an email stand out in the inbox is difficult enough, but with everyone competing for the same inbox real estate as your brand around the holidays that challenge skyrockets. Before you cave in to the pressure of increasing your email frequency, stop and take a deep breath. Here at Mailgun, we send billions of email every month, and that number only increases once we reach the Q4 holiday season. When it comes to sending, we like to help out when we can. We sat down and made a checklist to make sure that your sending habits and emails are wrapped up (and formatted correctly) for successful holiday sending this year.

What’s the Plan?

First things first, how much do you actually plan on sending? Some senders don’t think about the influence a sudden increase in sending can have on things like reputations, engagement rates, and even billing. Before you send anything, it’s important to step back and go through the following measures (if they’re applicable):

  • Dedicated IP and Warm Up — A Dedicated IP that hasn’t been properly warmed up will result in some big deliverability issues.

  • Subdomains — Using the same domains for both transactional emails and marketing campaigns can cause problems, like a poor sending reputation that leads your transactional emails in spam.

  • Business Verifications — Verifying that you are a legitimate business and not a malicious user trying to gain access to a service.

No matter which provider you’re using to send out email, it’s important that all of these things are done ahead of time. Do your due diligence now instead of the night before and you’ll save yourself a world of stress.

What about those replies?

We understand how tempting it is to dump all of your email replies back into a bucket like noreply.domain.com, but trust us when we say there is a better way. Proper inbound routing doesn’t have to be painful or hard, and it leads to better customer satisfaction.

A good rule of thumb is to have replies routed to either a support or customer experience team for handling issues like incorrect addresses, product returns, etc. The subdomains of these transactional email interactions should reflect the team they are connecting with like @support.domain.com or @customerexperience.domain.com.

Worried about the jumbled mess of code you get back from replies? A good inbound routing solution will take care of that mess for you. Mailgun’s inbound routing comes fully parsed and transcoded to UTF-8, making it a breeze to deal with customers. Poorly handled inbound routing leads to a lot of headaches for multiple departments, so be sure to go over what procedures you have in place before the start of the season, so you don’t have to dig in an abandoned email bucket later.

Check Your List and Check it Twice

Your company might already have your email contacts sorted for the holiday season already, but whether you do or you don’t it’s the right time to look at your lists carefully.

Sit down with your marketing team and check all of the lists for engaged users first, this will help improve your deliverability rate to the inbox. Getting rid of unengaged recipients will also help limit your sending to honeypot accounts that can get you sent to spam or worse — a blacklist.

Next, run those addresses through an email validation tool that will let you know of any bogus or misspelled email addresses so they don’t tarnish your sending reputation. That will go a long way in cleaning your list ahead of the season (and new year!) Verifying your email addresses may feel like extra work, but those little once and awhile cleanups can massively improve your results.

Being prepared = a stress-free holiday season

Like in life, being prepared is the key to a stress-free holiday season; the same saying goes for your email sending. Whether or not you send marketing messages, sticking to some best practices on the technical side gives you a better chance of reaching your contacts in their inbox. If you do the work now, you save yourself the stress of making up for it later.

To learn more about Mailgun, contact them online, visit their website, or sign up for an account through Manifold! Happy Holiday Sending!

Special thanks to Dianna Perez and the rest of the Mailgun team for submitting this post for us to publish on their behalf as part of Manifold’s 12 Days of Services.

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