The Relentless Pursuit of the Inbox

If you’re reading this post, you most likely have a vested interest in email as a means of communication. If you’re like me, you’ve been incessantly refreshing your inbox since your address ended in “” – or even before – and email likely plays a major role in your personal and/or professional life. You know that it’s not dead, despite what you might have heard…but it has evolved, and it continues to grow and change at a rapid pace.

Specifically, email deliverability has become far more complicated than it was even 5 years ago. With mailbox providers taking every step possible to minimize unwanted email, senders have found new challenges awaiting them at every turn. A small group of senders who were following “best of the best” practices have seen little impact from these changes, while a few others made quick modifications to get out ahead of the changes. But most senders have been left wondering how to deal with the shift in the industry that has revoked their golden ticket to the inbox.

The answer is deceptively simple: senders must adapt. Too many senders are looking for a quick fix or a way to succeed in spite of the ISPs and mailbox providers, but success is rarely found in these methods.

As senders, we must grow and change with the industry. What worked when your email program started in 2005 doesn’t fly under the heightened standards of 2015. You wouldn’t keep the same email creative for 10 years (hopefully), so why should your list management and delivery practices be any different?

Today, email engagement is key. An active, engaged user base has become more important than ever as more mailbox providers track user interaction with your messages and use this data to route mail. Instead of simply avoiding ‘spammy’ words and purchased lists, senders must now employ a more holistic approach to email – driving readers to engage, targeting those who engage most often, and cutting loose the dated, inactive, and unengaged subscribers that are killing their inbox rates.

That’s not an easy proposition for many senders, but this adaptation is vital to any successful email program. If you’re not sure where to start, then stick around! We’ll be sharing knowledge and insight on the the new best practices in upcoming posts.

Readers, what say you? Have you made changes in your email practices in response to the recent changes in the industry? If so, were they minor shifts or drastic disruptions?

– Brad Gurley


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