March 31, 2015
During the closing keynote of EEC 15, Sri Somanchi from Gmail's Anti-spam team gave us a brief insight into an internal training session they held for their own marketing team. It covered the 5 steps of best practice for delivery to the Gmail inbox. Nothing mind blowing and all best practice but good to hear.
Always follow best practice when collecting data. Make it clear when people sign up what they are subscribing to and what they can expect to receive. Don't use pre-ticked checkboxes.
Send subscribers content they want to receive and that they signed up for. Use segmentation and targeting to make the content relevant to the recipient.
Monitor and measure what your subscribers are doing. Look at the standard metrics you have available such as opens and clicks but also ask the recipients. Do they like your emails ? Is the content relevant ?
Make it simple, clear and easy to opt out. Make sure the list-unsubcribe header is supported by your ESP. Do everything you can to make sure they don't hit the "this is spam" button.
Your frequency should be relative to engagement. Start slowly and ramp up. If subscribers are not engaged then reduce your sending frequency.
The final piece of advice was don't try and get into the primary inbox. The promotions tab is for exactly that, promotions and you shouldn't try and beat the system. If your emails suddenly start arriving in the primary tab then recipients are more likely to mark your email as spam. Makes perfect sense to me.
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