Double Your Email Open Rates in 4 Key Steps with 'Mr Deliverability' Adrian Savage

Apr 26, 2020

Email marketing is STILL the most powerful online marketing channel but ONLY if our emails are getting read and step 1 in that is getting them delivered...

Adrian Savage is an expert in email deliverability, founder of Deliverability Dashboard and all about helping you avoid the Spam folder and win the email race to the Inbox. Including:

  • What is ‘deliverability’ - what does it mean?
  • What’s an average open rate - and what’s possible when we work on our deliverability?
  • How important your email platform is...
  • Plus: the one platform Adrian 'wouldn't touch with a bargepole'
  • If our deliverability is poor, is that a good reason to move platforms?
  • What happens if we do nothing?
  • The point after which you should NEVER email a subscriber
  • Why subscribers who join your list but don't engage for 14 days need to be dealt with promptly too
  • How long until we can expect results from our deliverability activities
  • The 4 key steps to get twice as many people reading your messages

TRANSCRIPT:

Rob Tyson: Welcome back. This is Rob Tyson here and in the last episode, I talked to Dave Plunkett about how to run a partner program for lead generation. So do catch up on that show if you missed it, but I'm here today with Adrian Savage. Now, Adrian is an expert in email deliverability. He's the founder and the creator of Deliverability Dashboard. And he is all about helping you to avoid the spam folder and win the email race to the inbox.

 

And this is really important because we'll talk about this but I think email marketing is still the most powerful online marketing channel but only, of course, if our emails are getting read and the first step in them getting read is them actually getting delivered. So I can't wait to pick Adrian's brains on all that. But before we welcome Adrian and get into all that good stuff, if you're listening to this show, chances are good you have professional expertise you'd like to monetize with an online business or an online component, perhaps, that breaks the time for money link.

 

And if that's the case, I'd like to invite you. I have a free web class that's gonna explain why the ‘ascension model’ or ‘value ladder’ you've probably heard quite a bit about is actually a really bad approach for most people in your position, and exactly what you should do right now instead if you'd like to generate real cash flow quickly and finally get on the right track with monetizing your expertise online. So all that is free. All you need to do is pop along to robtyson.net/class for the details. That is robtyson.net/class. So as I said, I'm here with Adrian savage. Adrian, welcome. Good to see you.

 

Adrian Savage: Hi, Rob. Thanks for inviting me.

 

Rob: You are most welcome. And I think this is a really interesting and valuable topic for people. So what's your background briefly? How did you get into this rarefied area of email deliverability in the first place?

 

Adrian: It has been quite a journey. I won't go all the way back to when I was 7 because that was when I became a geek because my dad bought an Apple II computer home and it was muggins here who taught him how to use it. I went down a very kind of traditional, academic, corporate career until about 9 or 10 years ago. My ex-wife moved to the other end of the country with my kids. So I went from seeing them a couple of times a week to every third weekend, and that was my big catalyst to get out of corporate life. I took my IT geekery and combined that with sales and marketing, and I got into the marketing automation space. And then I started to get clients who were having problems getting their emails into the inboxes of their clients and their audiences.

 

So I first created some software to help with that because going back a few years, there was a lot more of an impact on where your emails were being sent from. So that was my first foray into email deliverability. And since then I've kept half an eye on that. And then for the last 12 months or so, since there's been some really big changes to how email inbox placement works, then I've had some very clear messages from the world that my expertise is needed. So I'm now focusing, maybe not quite 100%, maybe 99% on that. I still got a few other little things in this space that I'm working on. But most of what I'm doing now is just helping people get their emails delivered better, creating software that helps them do that, and just sharing the message as much as I can.

 

Rob: And what is deliverability in the email context? How do you define that word?

 

Adrian: So there is a lot of misunderstanding because sometimes people talk about delivery, sometimes people talk about deliverability. And they are two very distinctive things. The first thing is when you are sending an email or when your email marketing system is sending an email, then the job that the technology has is just to get it as far as the recipient's email server. So let's supposing that I use Google and you use Hotmail, then if I'm gonna send you an email, then my Google server has got to connect to Hotmail and say, "Here is the email." And as long as Hotmail say, "Yes, thank you. I have received it," then the delivery has been made.

 

So that's just like a postman posting the letter through the letterbox. The problem is you don't know if there's a dog waiting on the side of that mailbox to chew the thing up and run away and it never gets opened by the person who was meant to get it. And deliverability is that part of it. It's once it's been accepted by Hotmail or Gmail or whoever, are they gonna put it into the inbox or is it gonna end up in the spam folder or the promotions tab or, heaven forbid, are they just gonna throw it in the garbage and it doesn't even get as far as spam, which can happen.

 

And that is the deliverability part. And that is based on a lot more than just where it came from. And that's what we'll talk about today. But that's the key difference. You know, if you're using something like ActiveCampaign or Mailchimp, their job is to get it to the recipient's server. And they will do a very good job on that most of the time. But then what happens after that, that's where it gets interesting.

 

Rob: And we would gauge this how, with open rates, right? I mean...

 

Adrian: Yeah. It's a real challenge because you can't measure deliverability because, you know, we've got no idea. If someone hasn't opened the email, is it because they didn't care about it? Is it because they were too busy? Or is it because Google or Hotmail or whoever, bless them, decided not to put it in the inbox in the first place?

 

So you're quite right. We can infer things through the open rates, and we can look at trends and things like that. And there are some testing tools out there that claim to be able to tell you whether you're hitting the inbox or not, but even those have got their limits. So it is very difficult indeed. And, you know, this is harder than SEO. With SEO, at least you can see where you are on the search rankings. There's as many different factors to get into the inbox as there are for getting to be number one on Google these days. But it is a much more of a kind of weird thing because you can't see what your results are. You've just got to infer it as in terms of are more people opening our emails or fewer people opening them?

 

Rob: And with that caveat, I mean, what is an average open rate? I mean, I know it varies wildly, doesn't it? But...

 

Adrian: Totally. It is an interesting one because, you know, we're talking a lot in this podcast about how to double your open rate. And, you know, a joke that I often make is that I can double anyone's open rates in seconds. And the way I will do that is I will remove half of the people from their email list who haven't opened anything for a while, and then the next time you send out an email blast, guess what, then if the same number of people opened as last time, then the open rate is doubled. So, it is a very subjective term because it depends on lots of factors.

 

It depends on how engaged your audience is at the moment. It depends...then there is the content. There's the type of business you're in. But what I would say is that I've got clients that have messed things up to the point where they're getting a 0.2% open rate with Google, because they have upset Google to that point. I've got typical clients, maybe starting with a 10% to 20% open rate. And that's, you know, just that's what they've been getting without getting any advice from me without using any of my software or anything. If people are managing their engagement well, and they're doing everything they can, then you could expect maybe 35%, 36%, 37% open rates.

 

That's the kind of amount that I'm getting typically with my mailing list when I'm managing the engagement. And then the other side of it is just well, how many people...or if a new person signs up to your mailing list, what is the likelihood of them opening something as well? So a good barometer is what percentage of new contacts are opening something from me? And if you're managing things well, then I've got clients where 80% of their new signups will open an email from them at some point in the first few weeks. So, you know, there are lots of different ways to measure it. But if you just look at the pure open rate, I would say that you can consider yourself to be doing well, if you're getting more than 30% opens.

 

Rob: Okay, so most of us, you know, a bit of room for improvement there.

 

Adrian: Definitely.

 

Rob: For sure. And we will be using some kind of email software provider so it may be ActiveCampaign, AWeber, Infusionsoft, whatever it may be. Are some of these software providers just better for this than others? And if so, who?

 

Adrian: It's a very interesting one because you can go to any Facebook group or mailing list or discussion forum about any of these platforms, and you can be guaranteed there will always be people complaining about deliverability and saying that emails aren't getting through, they will be blaming the platform. And now if someone's blaming Infusionsoft, then you can take the word Infusionsoft out, put ActiveCampaign in and someone else will be saying the same thing. So it's perception-based, very subjective. But in reality, these days, every single one of these email platforms has a very devoted, dedicated email compliance team, making sure they're not on blacklists, making sure they're getting a good 99-point-something percent delivery rate to the other servers.

 

In some cases, the reputation of the system sending it has a small impact. But I can be absolutely certain and say that if you switch from one provider to another, then you are gonna experience a drop in your open rate regardless of where you're moving from and to. And the reason for that is because one of the reasons that you will suffer from poor open rates is if you do something that looks like a spammer. And guess what spammers do. They move from one platform to the next, to the next. So anytime Google or Microsoft or any of the big players see that you've moved platforms, they will instantly think, "Hang on, there's something going on here."

 

And it might be that things recover again. But you will always have a dip to start with. And it's unlikely that you're gonna do much better than you did before because you've got to build everything up again. So I would say that in terms of how good the platforms are at getting their emails delivered, they're all pretty good. They all have the occasional problem. But it's not a reason to switch platforms. What I would tend to... When I recommend an email platform, comparing one to another, what I will look at is how easy is it to manage the various parameters that will help you to improve your deliverability. And the big thing that I'll talk about later with that is engagement.

 

Because if you can't easily identify the people who are and are not opening your emails, then it's gonna be more difficult to send the right things to the right people at the right time. So, no, I won't call many platforms out for being good because there's lots of good ones, but ConvertKit is one that goes on my real kind of do not touch with a bargepole list, because they have a very, very kind of very poor way of measuring and managing engagement. And you can't even download the data to use from third-party tools. So all the email deliverability tools and software that I've written, I can't even connect that up to ConvertKit because they don't make that data available.

 

Now I’m hoping that's gonna change. So maybe, you know, if people listen to this a few months down the line, maybe that's changed. But the biggest thing that matters to me is: how easy is it to manage the engagement? And most of the platforms are okay. Infusionsoft as an example is really good. ActiveCampaign, you have to jump through a few hoops. And to do a real good job, then you need to use my software to make it easier. But it does depend very much and I'd say, you know, because there are so many different platforms out there, then, you know, if you're choosing one at the start, then engagement management is one of the important things. If you're already using a platform, though, it's not a reason to switch as long as everything else is okay.

 

Rob: Now, that's good. Well, I can speak from bitter experience here, because I actually moved from AWeber, which I'd used for many years, to ActiveCampaign, which I really like, by the way. I like ActiveCampaign, but when I did that, I wasn't aware that you could fall foul of this.

 

Adrian: Absolutely.

 

Rob: And I took a real hit early on. You know, it just wasn't the same and it took some time to get over that. So is there any way if we are moving platforms for some reason, is there any way to manage that process better than I did?

 

Adrian: Yeah, totally. And the other thing is all about who you move across first because as I've already mentioned, it's all about who is engaging with you at the moment, and are you only mailing those. So if you can identify who has opened something from you in the last 30 days, and when you move to a new platform, send emails to those people first. Because that way then you build up a good reputation with your new platform because they want to see that you're a good sender.

 

And at the same time, you're still getting a reasonable open rate. And that helps your domain sending reputation with people like Google, Microsoft, because one of the things they're doing now is they are crowdsourcing your reputation based on which of... Let's supposing that you've got 10,000 people on your mailing list, on average, half of those will be on Google. So Google will look at those 5000 people and say, "Right, how many of those people are opening Adrian's emails right now?"

 

And if it's only 5%, 10%, then Adrian gets a poor domain reputation score from Google. If I'm getting 30%, 40% then I'm getting a good engagement reputation. So it's very much around understanding what they're looking for and just as much as you can, stack the odds in your favor by only starting with the most engaged people, then you can start to go further back. But it is like the law of diminishing returns. The longer it is since someone has opened something from you, the less likely they are to ever open anything ever again.

 

Rob: Yeah, sure. And what happens if we do nothing? You know, if we don't do anything about deliverability these days, I mean, what is that gonna look like for us?

 

Adrian: Oh, it's not a very good picture. Because the thing that people, a lot of people still don't get is how much the email landscape has changed. Because if you wind the clock back to those wonderful years, 10 years ago, you could build up a big list, you know, get as many people onto it, then you basically spam the crap out of them, email them as much as you like. And then you keep emailing until they buy, until they die, or until they unsubscribe. And that was, you know, that was how everyone did it. And that's how people still do it today in some cases. But if they do that now and just keep emailing, keep emailing, then you will see a very, very continuous constant reduction in the number of people opening your emails.

 

Because typically I'm seeing about 10% of your audience disengages on a monthly basis. And that's the law of averages. Sometimes people, you know, they turn off their mail address, they might change jobs, they might lose interest, whatever it is, then, you know, you are typically gonna lose 10% of your audience through disengagement and apathy and everything else on a monthly basis. So, you know, you don't need to be a genius mathematician to work out that as time goes on, then you are gonna get fewer and fewer people opening.

 

Now obviously, if you've got a good lead generation in place, and you're refilling the hopper from the top all the time, you might not notice as much. But if you're literally getting no new leads, and just keep emailing the old list time and time again, then you will see things decline. And that's one of the reasons that people say that email is dying when actually it's not. It's just people aren't necessarily getting enough leads and managing their engagement.

 

Rob: Yeah, sure. Absolutely. So these four steps, talk to us about those.

 

Adrian: Okay, so very, very simple. The first thing you want to do is you wanna protect your reputation. And the way you do that is you scrub your email list, you make sure there are no spam traps on there, you make sure that there's no dead addresses that your email marketing platform hasn't picked up on. Make sure that there's, you know, you're not sending too many emails to role accounts like [email protected], or [email protected] and that kind of thing. And scrubbing the list will find all those different bad email addresses. And then you can choose. In most cases, what you'd do is you would stop emailing all of the addresses that have been identified as bad. And that's just a good way of making sure that you're not hitting spam traps.

 

I haven't got time to go into the detail about spam traps, but the simple version is they are email addresses that have been created either to catch people scraping stuff off the internet, which I'm sure no one listening to this would ever do. Or alternatively, people who aren't keeping their list clean because if an email address stops working, then it will bounce for a while, but then they will reactivate that address as a spam trap. And if you're still emailing that address afterwards, then you go on to the bad boys' list as well.

 

So scrubbing the list helps avoid that, helps keep your reputation clean, and it doesn't cost a huge amount of money. The list scrubbing services will typically say you should do this every three months. But they would, wouldn't they? Because they get the money out of it. But I would say that if you've never done it ever, then you should, and it probably makes sense to do it periodically, maybe once a year, maybe more frequently than that if you keep turning up more problems when you do scrub the list, but definitely worth doing.

 

Rob: So you would use...you would go to a specialist or use a specialist piece of software for this because there are tools built-in with, you know, ActiveCampaign, for example, where it will imply that it's gonna help you clean up the list.

 

Adrian: Yeah, absolutely.

 

Rob: In fact, it may even be called list clean up. So are you saying that's not really adequate or...?

 

Adrian: It doesn't get rid of the nasties. It will certainly help you find the addresses that might have disengaged or might no longer work or anything like that. But if it is an actual toxic address that gonna cause you problems if you mail it, then it's very difficult for the email providers to help you identify that. So yeah, third-party tools that do that will do the job.

 

And it's one of the things that I've actually added to my... I don't have any list scrubbing software myself, but my email deliverability utilities that I've got. I've got a free integration that helps you scrub your list in place on the platform, because normally, you have to download the list to a CSV file, upload it to the scrubbing service, scrub the list, download the result, upload it into your email platform, and it's a right faff when you do that. So I've written a little tool that actually integrates with that and you just literally press a button, and it will either scrub your entire list or a particular segment and then it applies a tag with the results. You decide what to do. So nice and simple. And I'll share more details about that when we get to the end bit.

 

Rob: Good stuff. So that was step one. So basically scrubbing the list is step one.

 

Adrian: Yeah, absolutely. So second step, then, so scrubbing the list is one of the ways to help your reputation. The next thing that matters massively is authentication. And this is about making sure that firstly, you're telling the world who you trust to send emails on your behalf, and secondly, making sure that your emails are being digitally signed by you. So the first thing is called SPF, which stands for Sender Policy Framework. And this tells the world which email systems you trust. So let's supposing that you're using G Suite for your business emails, and then you're using ActiveCampaign for your marketing emails, then you have one...you only have one SPF record. And in the SPF record, it would say that you trust Google and Active campaigns.

 

So that way then when those emails come from those providers, the recipients will check that against your SPF record, and they'll see a big tick in the box if they come from the right place. If someone else has then sent it elsewhere, and they're trying to forge your email, then that gets treated with suspicion obviously. But spammers don't use SPF. So that's one reason to set that up. It's just one way of showing that you're legitimate. So that's nice and simple. And again, most email platforms, I think almost all of them, you might have to dig around sometimes, but they will give you the details as to how to set SPF up for those platforms.

 

Then the second part of it is called DKIM. So, Domain Keys Identified Mail. Again, I'm gonna kind of call out ConvertKit as giving bad advice here, actually, because they say that you should only set up DKIM if you've got more than 50,000 emails a month going out, which is not strictly true. As long as you have got a good sending reputation, you should always set up DKIM, because Google, in particular, will use that digital signature that gets attached to every single email, as a way of proving that it was from you, proving it was legitimate.

 

And if it's been DKIM-signed, then it means that, "No, it can't have been forged." So again, most email platforms, even ConvertKit, will do that for you, you just have to make a bit of a fuss. But, you know, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, you know, the list goes on, they will allow you to set this up. It might be called email authentication, it might be called DKIM, it might be digitally signing, but dig around, you can find it, very, very important to do that.

 

Rob: Okay. All right. So that's step two, those two?

 

Adrian: Yeah, absolutely. I will quickly mention DMARC, which is the third authentication method, which again, is worth doing. But you have to be very careful with DMARC. And make sure whoever sets it up for you knows what they're doing. Because DMARC will tell the recipients to reject and throw emails in the bin, not even the spam folder, if it's not set up right. So be very careful with that. But if you've got a properly set up DMARC record, that is another indicator that you're legitimate, but be careful with that. You know, DKIM you can't get wrong. It either works or nothing happens. SPF, you know, it's not the end of the world if you get that wrong, but, you know, you should make sure it's correct. But if you get DMARC wrong, your emails will suddenly stop going. So be very careful there.

 

Rob: Okay. Proceed with a bit of care?

 

Adrian: Definitely.

 

Rob: Good stuff. So we've talked about scrubbing the list, we've talked about authentication, the third step?

 

Adrian: Okay, so the third thing is about whitelisting. And this is really, really important. Because normally, you are completely at the whim of Google. You're at the whim of Microsoft. Whichever your email provider is, they are gonna decide which emails they show to you and which ones they don't. And whitelisting is a way of forcing them to show the emails that you tell them that you want to see. So as an email marketer, you want to be sharing these whitelisting instructions with your audience. And it's a bit pointless doing it by email because if the emails aren't getting through, they won't do it. So it means that when someone signs up for your list, the first thing you have to show them on your thank you page is how to whitelist you.

 

And this depends very much on the platform that they use. Now the really clever solution is to actually detect what platform they're using and show them personalized whitelisting instructions. So if they're using G Suite or Gmail, you can tell them how to set up a filter to always bypass the spam folder. If they're using Hotmail, or Office 365 or something like that, then you can show them different instructions. And there's ways of actually developing custom code that goes on to the thank you page that can do that. I've done that for a few clients.

 

I've done that on one of my own signup pages, I do that. But if that sounds like too much work, you can also get your own custom whitelisting instructions generated that will just show all of the different platforms on there and how to whitelist you. And if you go to a website and the address is simply whitelist.guru, I'll just repeat that, whitelist.guru, then there's a guy called Chris Lang, who has created a do-it-yourself whitelisting instruction generator. You put your name, your brand, your email address in there, press a button, and it will give you a nice pretty HTML page with your personalized instructions on that you can copy, save, put in your thank you page, off you go. So, very important...

 

Rob: That's handy.

 

Adrian: It's very useful. Bear in mind that not everyone will follow those instructions. But even if 10% of them do, then you're doing yourself a favor. And if people complain, they're not getting your emails ever, then those are the instructions they need to see.

 

Rob: Okay, so that was whitelisting

 

Adrian: Yep. So that leaves us one final step. Now, this is a little bit tenuous, because it isn't just one step. This is more about change your mindset forever. Because as soon as you stop doing this, then this goes back to when we talked about what happens if you do nothing. And this is all about managing your engagement, making sure that you are only sending emails to the people that have opened from you most recently. And if you find people that haven't opened for a while, then you need to maybe send them a reengagement campaign that I'll talk about in a sec. And if they still haven't engaged at that point, then basically, you get rid of them off your list. You're gonna be very ruthless with the way that you manage engagements.

 

Because, you know, as I said earlier on, if only 5% of your audience is opening something, Google and Microsoft and Yahoo will think that you're, you know, sending out complete and utter garbage and they will start putting your emails into the promotions, into the spam, into the junk and so on. So it's important that you are maximizing the chances of people opening your emails by only sending your emails to the people that have recently opened something. And one of the biggest questions that I get asked is, "Well, how far back should I go?" And it depends very much on whether you've got a problem or not. If you haven't got a problem, then my typical rule of thumb is to send emails to people that have opened something within the last 90 days.

 

If you've got a problem, you might need to dial that back a bit or if you want to have a really super-engaged list, then you need to dial that back to 30 days. And sometimes you're gonna have kind of a two or three-tier strategy here. So you might say that people who have opened something in the last 30 days, I'm gonna send them everything. I'll send them maybe two, maybe even three emails a week. If they've opened something between 30 and 90 days, then maybe I'll send something every week or two. If they've opened something beyond 90 days, then ideally, you would just put them through a re-engagement campaign when they reach 90 days of no engagement. And if they ignore that, delete them.

 

Some people will still send the occasional reminder to those people. I would say if it's more than a year, never send them. But maybe between 90 days and a year, then maybe send something every month or two just to give them another chance. You know, the law of averages says that the longer since someone opened something, the less likely they are to open anything. And the other thing to look at as well is we talked briefly about new contacts and the likelihood of them opening something. If someone signs up for your lead magnet, and then they haven't opened anything from you within the first 7 to 14 days, the chances are, they will never ever, ever open anything. Again, they're just gonna be there hurting your sending reputation.

 

So another thing that I recommend is if you've got a process in place for your new contacts, then maybe put something in where when it reaches two weeks, and they haven't opened anything from you, maybe put them through a little reminder. And then again, if there's no engagement, get rid of them. Because, you know, let's face it, if someone signs up for your freebie, and they won't even open that, the chances are they're never gonna be interested in anything else as well. So, you know, that is the main thing. It can be a very arduous task, managing your engagement, but the dividends that it pays off are massive.

 

That is what will make the biggest difference. And even though you will see that you are mailing fewer people, then the open rate will go up very quickly. You know, I know that what we've talked about in the past is how long does it take before you see results. And I would say typically, it can take between one and three months for you to get really good results. When I've been working with, you know, some of my private clients, I had one that came in. They are on a just under a 12% open rate, and within three months, then their open rates had reached 25%. And even though they were mailing fewer people, the actual number of people opening the emails had gone up.

 

So obviously, the number of people hadn't doubled, but it had certainly gone up a bit from when it was 11%, 12%. So, you know, it can take a few months, but as long as you are consistent, then that's what works. And the little tale of woe that I will share is don't let the fear get to you. Don't let the fear of loss and the fear of letting go. Because that same client the month after sent a bunch of email broadcasts to their entire list again without managing the engagement. And within two days, Google had downgraded their reputation and their open rate fell through the floor. It took another month to get that back. So you have gotta keep your nerve. And you gotta be very consistent with this. But the more you do that, the better you'll be rewarded.

 

Rob: Wow. So were those really old people, you just feel it's just not worth having them on the list at all? You know, the chance...

 

Adrian: No. Absolutely not. Because typically, if you send an email broadcast, just the people that have opened more than 90 days ago, you will get maybe a 2%, 3% open rate if you're lucky. But if you keep mailing those people that don't open, the chances are that you'll get 10% fewer people seeing your email in the first place. So it becomes a very simple trade-off that yes, you might get a few more opens, but fewer people long term will see those emails. Obviously, just because they're not opening the emails, doesn't mean you can't use those addresses for Facebook, custom audiences and retargeting, and things like that. So there's still a value in that data. It's just that you shouldn't really email them, you know, very often if at all.

 

Rob: And, I mean, I suppose there's a bit of value in, you know, you could go to the lengths with if we call those people kinda dead subscribers, inactive subscribers, I suppose you could have a crack at... You know, if you had a large number of these, you could maybe take them to another platform and, you know, try send or two to them from different platforms.

 

Adrian: It's interesting you say that because typically, you know, particularly now, Google and their machine learning is clever than all of us put together. And unless you can send a separate email from a separate domain with absolutely no connection to anything else that you've got, then it will probably be linked back to you somehow and your campaign sending reputation will still take a hit. So it doesn't really matter whether you do it from your current mail platform or a different one, it is more just about making sure that your overall engagement still stays high.

 

So, you know, if you are gonna try and send re-engagement emails to the older inactive contacts, make sure you're sending lots of good stuff to the people that are opening so that the kind of the poor performance is slightly more lost in the noise. And that's why I said, you know, having this kind of two or three-tiered process where you're sending the most content to the people that are engaging the most. And that helps you then because at least then you've got a good reputation to start with. And if you are sending to the inactive people, then it's not gonna drag you down as much as if you're doing that regularly.

 

Rob: It's nice, great. And I suppose the good news is that to a large extent, we should be able to automate a lot of this process, the reactivation process, that kinda thing?

 

Adrian: Yes, a lot of the email platforms have some level of that. Again, they'll kinda help you do maybe, you know, it's the 80/20 rule all over again. They'll help you do kind of the 20% that has 80% of the impact, but you can always do it slightly better. That's one of the reasons that one of the best software that I wrote actually makes it easier to do that. Because sometimes, you know, I'll use both ActiveCampaign and Infusionsoft are good examples of this, is that they will give you, you know, enough to do a semi-decent job.

 

But if you wanna really get down into the weeds in this and say, "Right, I'll have different strategies for 30 days versus 90 days versus more than 90 days," then it requires a lot of hard work and manual reporting. So sometimes the software that I've got makes that easier. But, you know, there's always a level of it that you can automate.

 

Rob: Okay, no, great. Really, really helpful. So to wrap up, then, if listeners only took one nugget or piece of advice away, what should that be?

 

Adrian: If I was gonna choose one thing out of that, obviously, all four are important. But I think, you know, managing...assuming that you haven't bought a list or something horrific like that, managing your engagement on an ongoing basis is the most effective way of keeping things healthy. Because that way then, assuming that spam traps and things like that don't open your emails, which most of them don't, then as long as you stop sending emails to people that aren't opening, then that will keep things clean, it'll keep your domain reputation up, and, you know, it will mean that as time goes on, then more people will see your email. So engagement, engagement, engagement. That's the key one.

 

Rob: Excellent. Where's the best place, Adrian, if people wanna get more from you? Where should they go? Where can they check you out?

 

Adrian: Nice and simple. So the first thing, I've got a free email health check service. And that works with most email marketing platforms. I'm adding more all the time. So right now if you've got Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Sendinblue, Constant Contact, then it already works with those and I'm adding others in. And that will just give you a nice simple score between 0 and 100 telling you how well you're managing your engagement right now, give you some hints and tips to improve that.

 

And to get that you can go to emailhealthcheck.net and just sign up. If you're not using those platforms, then sign up there anyway and you can get added to my list. I'm always sending out blog posts and hints and tips, things like that. And also you can find me on Facebook, facebook.com/adriansavage. Connect with me there. I'm always happy to point people in the right direction if they need any help.

 

Rob: That is excellent. And I can vouch for Adrian, because you helped me... I think we had a look at some of my stuff with your software and very enlightening it was too and I've began to do some of the things that you recommended.

 

Adrian: Excellent.

 

Rob: There we go. Good stuff. Well, Adrian, this has been really valuable. So just to say thank you. This has been really helpful.

 

Adrian: And I've really enjoyed it. And thank you very much for inviting me onto the podcast.

 

Rob: You are very welcome. And I will talk to you soon.

 

Adrian: Great stuff. Thanks, Rob.

 

Rob: Hey, it's Rob, again. Want to build a successful online business from your expertise? Well, the game has changed. There are bigger opportunities, but also bigger pitfalls than ever before. And I would hate for you to waste years figuring these things out for yourself. Now as a listener to this show, you're obviously a sensible person, right? So here's my invitation to you.

 

Apply to jump on a call with me in the next few days and let's talk about you. You will get feedback on your ideas. You will get a product concept that is fit for right now and you will get a personalized sales and income plan to take away. That is free but availability is limited. So please go along right now to chatwithrob.com. That is, chatwithrob.com. Do that now. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Once again, that is chatwithrob.com. Talk to you soon.

 

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