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Mastering email through deliverability and subscriber lifecycle management

5 Minute Read

Steve LunnissHead of Deliverability, Cordial

Achieving email deliverability success and managing subscriber lifecycles can be challenging. With rapidly-evolving methods used by mailbox providers to filter out spam, it’s more important than ever to manage email programs in a way that legitimizes your brand as a sender. In a recent webinar, we teamed up with our partner Kickbox to dive into the fundamentals of maintaining good deliverability while maximizing subscriber engagement. Here’s a summary of the expert advice given by deliverability experts Al Iverson, Kickbox Director of Deliverability and Steve Lunnis, Cordial’s Head of Deliverability.

Watch the webinar:


Maximizing deliverability

Deliverability is imperative to your email campaign’s success – it determines whether your brand’s messages reach customers. What factors influence deliverability, and how can you ensure emails end up in inboxes? These are the most critical considerations:

Building a positive sending reputation

Sending reputation is like a golden ticket to the inbox. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) evaluate various factors, such as your sending IP, domain, and content quality, to determine your reputation as a sender. It’s crucial to build and maintain a positive sending reputation.

Maintaining a low percentage of bounced emails is essential since high bounce rates indicate poor list hygiene and can negatively impact sending reputation. By regularly cleaning email lists and removing invalid or inactive email addresses, you can enhance deliverability and build a positive sending reputation.

Deliverability dos and don’ts

Do create personalized and relevant content that engages subscribers and compels them to interact with emails.

Don’t ignore authentication protocols like DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework). This is crucial for establishing your brand’s legitimacy as a sender. These protocols verify the authenticity of emails and help ISPs recognize that messages are from a trusted source.

Do respect unsubscribe requests. By making it easy for subscribers to opt out of email lists and promptly honoring their preferences, you demonstrate good sender practices and build trust with ISPs and subscribers.

Mastering subscriber lifecycle management

Subscriber lifecycle management is the strategic approach to nurturing and engaging with email recipients throughout their journey. From initial sign-up to re-engagement or sunsetting inactive subscribers, effective lifecycle management is crucial for maintaining healthy email lists. 

The power of re-engagement

Re-engaging inactive subscribers can significantly impact an email campaign’s success. Crafting attention-grabbing subject lines and compelling content is vital for grabbing the attention of inactive subscribers and enticing them to open emails. Personalization and tailored incentives, such as exclusive experiences or relevant content, can also play a significant role in encouraging inactive subscribers to re-engage.

Sunsetting inactive subscribers

Sometimes, parting ways with inactive subscribers is necessary to maintain healthy email lists and improve overall engagement. Defining inactivity criteria is a crucial first step in sunsetting inactive subscribers. This could be a certain period of time since their last engagement or a specific action, such as not opening or clicking any emails within a defined timeframe. Segmenting inactive subscribers separately allows you to target them specifically with a sunsetting campaign or strategy.

Creating a dedicated sunsetting campaign is essential to re-engage inactive subscribers before removing them from lists. Compelling subject lines, personalized incentives, and exclusive content can entice inactive subscribers to re-engage and take action.

Monitoring metrics and data hygiene

Tracking engagement metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions is crucial to evaluate the success of re-engagement and sunsetting strategies. These metrics provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of email campaigns and help refine strategies for better engagement.

Optimizing email marketing campaigns and monitoring engagement metrics allows you to identify trends and patterns in subscriber behavior. By analyzing open rates, you can gauge the level of interest generated by subject lines. Click-through rates indicate the effectiveness of email content in driving recipients to take action. Conversion rates provide insights into the ultimate goal campaigns, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a webinar, or completing a form.

Data hygiene is another critical aspect of subscriber lifecycle management. Regularly cleaning and updating email lists helps maintain a higher deliverability rate and improves overall engagement metrics. Removing inactive and unresponsive subscribers ensures that you’re targeting an interested audience and reduces the chances of emails being marked as spam.

Putting it all together

Achieving deliverability success and mastering subscriber lifecycle management are essential for maximizing the effectiveness of email marketing efforts. By implementing these insights, you’ll be equipped to create compelling content, build a positive sending reputation, engage subscribers effectively, and maintain healthy email lists.

Mastering email through deliverability and subscriber lifecycle management is an ongoing process. Continuously evaluate and refine strategies based on the metrics and data you gather. Regularly review and update content, authentication protocols, and list hygiene practices to adapt to changing trends and maintain a strong sender reputation.