Many marketing professionals understand the value of deliverability. It's obvious when you're in the trenches. But what does the top brass understand and how do you translate deliverability into something they can understand "in their gut?" Here are a few suggestions:

  • Senior executives need to know "if the message isn't delivered the cash register doesn't ring." Translation, if your company lives and dies by the success of your digital marketing programs (email, text, retargeting, etc) make sure you are tracking deliverability - and I don't just mean did the email arrive in the email box. I mean, look at your customer base, where they sit in the customer lifecycle and whether or not your message is being delivered to those customers that drive 80% of your revenue. If 80% of your revenue is produced by 20% of your customers, make sure your marketing messages are reaching this core audience. And make sure you can demonstrate this deliverability to your senior executives and show correlation to revenue.
  • Senior executives need to know that marketing to new prospects is expensive and deliverability is much worse at the front-end of a lifecycle marketing program than it is at the back-end of the program. Identifying viable prospects is simply harder to do when you don't have a relationship in place. So if you are using "lead nurturing", marketing automation and other similar technologies, make sure your execs know there is fallout and not everyone makes it through the lifecycle sequence. As a point of reference, we are working with a company where 39% of those that started an 8-step nurturing program, actually completed the program and received all 8 messages - and no it wasn't due to lousy delivery of the email. Simple deliverability metrics are above 96%.
  • Senior executives need to know that testing takes time. When you set up an 8 step program and IF the touch frequency is monthly, it's gonna take 8 months for a prospect to cycle through the series. You' not going to know how well it works until the program runs its course. If you want to test anything, it's going to take some time.
  • Executives need to know that your housefile of known customers is a "perishable commodity." 20-25% of your customers are going to change every year. Executives need to know this. People change jobs. People move. People die. These are all facts of our economy. Your customer base is not static and executives need to know it takes money, focus and effort to maintain a file of customers so that your deliverability remains high. If you don't keep up with the changes the most profitable customers in your customer lifecycle programs will simply disappear. They will migrate out of your marketing programs and it will get very expensive, very fast to bring them back. Revenue growth and profitability will suffer as a result.

This is a fairly short list, but if executives understand these four points everyone will be a lot happier and expectations will be realistic. Otherwise, life can be a beast in the world of marketing.