Monday, March 2, 2009

Soft bounces, full inboxes, and email marketing myths debunked

If you are doing a fair bit of email marketing, you may want to read the post on discussing the myth that soft bounces are caused by a full inboxes:

The post talks about how full inboxes are not the problem, and often soft bounces are early warning signs of deliverability problems or blocking.
The great thing is that Eloqua now provides the depth of insight into bounceback reporting that you'll need to dig into those issues and understand your situation better.
In the reporting console a quick search for "Bounceback" shows you a selection of key reports that you can use for understanding your bouncebacks better. For any given email, batch, or email group, you can use the "Bounceback History" report to show you a detailed breakdown of your bouncebacks. Individual recipients who bounced, the error code, and the message that came with the bounce. This gives you the insights you need into what is happening (list, content, IP address, etc) and how you might want to work to resolve it.

The Contact Bounceback and Unsubscribe report shows similar data, in aggregate, against the associated contacts. This of course, allows you to work with that contact data either within Eloqua, or by exporting to a spreadsheet, and attempt to resolve any issues that you detect.

The Bounceback History Statistics report shows you, at a high level, what types of errors you are seeing from your email marketing efforts, in order to identify high level trends. If you are seeing high levels of spam notifications, or unknown users, you will need to look into your lists or practices to better understand how you can improve your deliverability rates.

Deliverability is something to continuously watch, manage, and improve. I wrote a bit about the general topic here on the Digital Body Language blog to give you a sense of the overall approaches. Now with deeper bounceback reporting within Eloqua, you can better manage and monitor your own deliverability success.