September 6, 2013
In the hectic world of a marketing department, how often do you find your self bouncing on Outlook's 'send/receive mail' button waiting for that crucial email someone has just told you they sent ?
If it's anything like me, this happens at least once a day - and it's doubly frustrating if some less important email arrives but not that all important campaign I'm waiting to proof read !
There are an almost endless list of reasons why an email may not arrive as soon as it is sent. It's easy to forget the complicated process' that go on to make sure an email reaches the right person as quickly as possible without getting lost on the way.
Here are some of the more common reasons.
Firstly, do some basic cross checks. It sounds silly, but we've all made the odd daft mistake so check that you did upload and/or assign the correct lists to the campaign. An easy way to check is to select the campaign in Reports and search for the address or domain that you are interested in. You should see a result saying 'sent'.
Next, it's worth checking on your bounces and unsubscribes. It's worth a double check even if you have used the same list before - people change jobs or accidently click unsubscribe links more often than you might think. Just select 'all campaigns' in the search or unsubscribe widgets and do the search again.
Of course, being incorrectly marked as a virus or spam is a big reason for an email not appearing to arrive. This is where it really helps to have a great relationship with your users as the easiest way to find out why it happened is for them to dig details out of their IT department - in some cases the email wont even be in a 'spam' folder for them to do this themselves.
The situation can be complicated by third party filtering systems like MessageLabs that sit in front of the main corporate mail server.
Another common issue is sending too many emails to the same domain in one batch - some times this causes the destination mail server to slow the rate at which it will accept further emails to a crawl, so make sure to use the batch sending features of Messenger if your data may fit this pattern rather than just blasting everything out at once.
Something else that can happen, especially if you are sending at peak times, is where one or other of the mail servers involved just has too much mail to handle as well as yours, which can easily add delays of
30 minutes or more while the connections are retried.
The only thing to do here is to try and avoid peak times if you can; after all what works for others may not work for you. You can use the opens by date chart in Reports to find an alternative sending time by looking for a strong second peak - you will almost always get your highest open rate immediately after the send time, no matter what the time actually was.
When our clients are experiencing issues with deliverability, we can usually provide extra details and specific trouble shooting tips that normally solve most issues - or at least point towards a solution whether this is a tweak to the content, or something more technical.
Posted by Tom Chiverton
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