An Open Letter to Email Service Providers Who Don’t Care About Their Customers

Dear Email Service Provider,

You’re not helping your customers.

You think you are. You make it easy to create a list and a campaign and send it out. Yes, this is a short term win. Only for you, though.

You do little to help your subscribers with the long term goal of high email deliverability.

You do this in several ways. You don’t make it explicit to your customers that it’s their job to manage their domain reputation.

I get it. You can’t be responsible for the actions of your subscribers. Some of you can hardly get your subscribers into the inbox. So it may be too much to ask that you help your subscribers maintain a good sending reputation.

Every ESP I’ve signed up for and/or worked with sends out a series of welcome emails.

Not one single ESP has every sent a video from the CEO with a frank but helpful message:

Dearest subscriber:

It’s your responsibility to maintain your domain reputation.

Your sender reputation is built on four factors.

A good sender reputation means  you’ll get more emails into your subscribers’ inbox.

Here’s how.

Another thing you don’t do?

Remind subscribers to remove cold subscribers from their list. We do, you protest. Yes, but only in blog posts, posts subscribers will be too busy to read.

How about setting up the cold subscriber flow automatically? Then tell a new customer they must turn it off.

In the explainer video tell them why list pruning increases email deliverability.

You’ll never do that, of course,

Pruning lists reduces your subscriber numbers. 

Reducing your subscribers cuts into your revenue.

Who cares if a small business owner keeps sending campaigns to everyone on the list?

Who cares if she’s sending to 3000 unengaged subscribers?

Who cares if she’s losing hundreds, if not thousands, in marketing spend?

You don’t. That’s money for you.  Maintaining her list reputation is her responsibility!

She spent thousands of dollars/euros/pounds for a top-rated email copywriter. But caviar won’t save stale toast points. Those very expensive emails won’t raise poor deliverability.

Do you feel bad for business owners doing everything wrong?

Do you feel bad for business owners losing thousands of dollars in revenue as a result?

You could have such a positive impact on their bottom by becoming better educators.

Email list creation is easy. That’s what you sell to people who don’t realize email marketing is hard.

The knowledge needed to create a strong sender reputation isn’t common.

They don’t know what they don’t know. 

And you punish them for the fact that they don’t know what questions to ask.

Here’s some suggestions going forward:

  • Create a series of simple emails that explain SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Tell them why these records are vital to their success.
  • Create a pre-made cold subscriber email series. Tell subscribers in a video what it is, and why it exists. Encourage them to turn it on.
  • Tell subscribers email marketing is more than a list. It’s a process with several smaller processes they must watch, run, audit, and rerun.
  • Create a series of videos discussing creating email marketing processes. Like a process for creation to send or a process for auditing their subscriber list.

When you advocate for your customers, you’ll build loyal followers. If you help customers grow strong lists with a good sender reputation, your customer wins and so will you. She’ll gain subscribers who stick around and engage, which improves your bottom line.

It’s very simple.




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